Panic is a stealth intruder. It sets upon you. It comes out of nowhere and squashes your tenuous grip on perspective. Especially the pre-flight panic I feel before we take off on holiday.
We leave for Italy on Sunday and today is PANIC day.
It’s almost as much a ritual as the cabin crew’s ‘Doors Check’.Yes, even for this experienced travel blogger.
Today I go through our carefully made travel plans, turn them inside out, interrogate them with ‘what if’s’ and generally FREAK.
What if…my Englishman cannot find the pin numbers for his credit cards and we’re stranded in Venice without any moolah? What would I do? I can sing and tell jokes.
Does Venice need another busker? Or a little
girl woman selling matchsticks?
What if….the accommodation I’ve carefully chosen turns out to be a front for a white-slavery ring, or a travelling circus with a penchant for short Kiwi women and plane-mad Englishmen?
Am I ready to join the circus?
What if…Iceland’s volcano, Hoosiewhatsitthingameeee* blows its top and all of the planes across Europe are grounded? Or worse fall out of the sky, when the ash cloud turns to glass in the engines, as I’ve been told by various sandal wearing educated worthies, could…actually…happen?
Is it possible to walk to England from Italy? (Obviously not across the Channel, I’m not Jesus!)
And then there are the home worries consistent with leaving teenage children at home.
What if…. Dark Princess really does have that sleepover and invites half of town to come and play in our three bedroom terrace? And there’s so little room that half of the kids take up residence in our bedroom and for amusement they stage mud-wrestling in the backyard?
How will I get the mud out of the carpet?
I am carefully running through my contingency and disaster recovery planning. I’m good at this, I even once held a seminar on DRCP in the NZ Civil Defense bunker in the bowels of the Beehive. I’m writing my lists and checking off to-dos. I’ve rung the bank and the credit card companies and the mobile phone company to notify them that I am leaving the country. And whilst on the line, I did reassure them that I would return and pay off, the massive overdraft..
It’s not like I’m skipping the country or anything.
I’ve checked in online and ensured my bag does not exceed the stringent carry-on measurements. I’ve even double checked our accommodation (not at all worrying about the circus thing).
I’ve noted the name and telephone numbers of my next of kin in Australia, and I’ve even left a breadcrumb trail to where I’ve left my last will and testament.
But they won’t need that.
Do you panic before you head away on holiday?
Do you? Do you?Do you?
Tell me allll about it, I’m off to drink gin.
*This may not actually be its formal name.
Image: Flickr CC