This trip is becoming more and more real. In 6 and a half weeks I leave for Burma and I’m both terrified and excited in equal measure. I booked the first three flights this week: Birmingham (UK) > Yangon (Burma), Yangon > Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur > Osaka, and after that, whatever happens happens. I’ve also booked the first two nights in Yangon, and once I arrive I’ll need to figure out how to get around and where to stay for the next 25 days in Burma before moving onto Malaysia and beyond.
That’s all very simple for a seasoned traveller; someone used to turning up places, rolling with the punches, going with the flow. But for me, well, it’s alien to me. I can’t imagine anything scarier than being in a foreign land with no idea where to go or how to get around. That’s why I’m doing this trip – I need to face all of my fears. I used to avoid scary and uncomfortable things but then I realised it was getting me nowhere so vowed to tackle them head on for the rest of my life.
I haven’t decided how long I’ll be away for – I’m telling people it’s a year, but I could hate it and come home, or I could love it and carry on.
In the meantime I’m still at work. I’ve left 18 days between finishing work and flying out, which I now realise is stupid and nowhere near enough. I’ve been having anxiety dreams for months and I suspect they may continue for the entire rest of the year, and I’m trying to block out all the bad stories I hear and remind myself that people love reporting the horrors more than the joys.
By throwing myself in at the deep end with Burma I hope it will help the rest of the journey seem smoother, and by facing all my fears this year I hope it will help the rest of my life seem simpler.