Beginning is hard, continuing is easy

Well, the months have passed and again I must conclude that blogging, though something I enjoy, is not one of my strong suits.  Neither is being organized.  I leave for eight months worth of traveling in just two short days.  I have not packed anything nor have I tidied my room so that my brother can move in during my absence.  I haven’t bought most of my plane tickets, do not have one of the visas I need, and have no traveler’s cheques or American cash, yet somehow I still feel less mentally and  emotionally equipped than I am practically.  Beginnings are not my forte.

The last time I prepared to leave for two months of travel I wrote a poem called “To do before I leave.”  It was certainly not one of my finer works, but it summed up my troubles with traveling to a T.  I, like everyone else, am a procrastinator.  And as the days count down to takeoff, I realize more and more that I have too much left to do.  Once I’m on the road it’s easy enough to keep going- I miss the people I’ve left behind, but I’m more occupied with the things I’m doing than my homesickness.  If I don’t have the things I need when I’m on the road, it’s easy enough to buy them.  The last minute preparations are not really as devastating as people think they are, the real frustration is that they add to other stresses.

I am so nervous.  My real fear here has nothing to do with the fact that I don’t own all the appropriate clothing for the climates I’m headed for or that I don’t have perfectly laid plans for where I’ll be when.  What hampers my preparations is this sense of internal unpreparedness and inadequacy.  A pervasive feeling that says: “you’re not good enough.  Your reasons for traveling aren’t good enough.  Why are you doing this?  It’s a waste of your time and money, a waste of other people’s time and money.”  This feeling, I know, is common to all people- we all struggle with insecurity.  But somehow the thought that other people are dealing with self-doubt isn’t very comforting.  So all I can do is keep stepping forwards, keep pressing on, into a bright but wholly uncertain future with little sense that I’m doing the right thing.   But that, I suppose, is life as it has been, is, and will be for as long as I live.


About Helen (etaunknown)

An undergrad at the University of British Columbia, studying Anthropology and all the kinds of history they didn't teach me in school (concentrations in Indigenous and Environmental History(s)), my blogs are mainly places where I talk about academia, travel, and writing. I've been blogging in one form or another for the last 7 years, from angsty teenage poetry (no, I won't link you to that particular blog) to thoughts on religion, books, music and academia. I've been writing for as long as I can remember, and while I use my two main wordpress blogs as places to post a lot of my writing, I'm also busily at work on a novel (or three), some longer narrative essays, some short stories and as ever, some poetry. If you want to know more, please email me at
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