No nerves in sight

by Kim on March 11, 2012 · 28 comments

Here’s something I’ve been hearing a lot of lately:

“Wow, your trip is so close, you must be nervous.”

Me? Nervous?  Picture by loco, flickr creative commons

I’m caught off guard each time I hear it.  Mostly because I, too, think I should be nervous. But as our time draws to a close here at home, I’ve found that instead of being nervous, I’m actually more calm, more happy, more excited, and less nervous than I have been in the past year.

Not that I don’t think the nerves won’t get me at some point.  But for all the times I’ve worried and cried and experienced major meltdowns wondering what we’ve gotten ourselves in to, I’ve always known this was the right decision.  That knowledge calms my nerves right now.

Full disclosure: I am at times scared of certain things- grizzly bears, tumbling over the side of a mountain, the various questionable modes of transportation we will certainly find ourselves on.  But when the fear pops up I shrug my shoulders and say to myself: Oh well, would you rather be facing the alternative?  The answer is always clear as day: no way.

So I live with the fear and remind myself that there is always fear in new things.  The safe path isn’t scary because I’ve been down it before. I know what to expect on that path. But I didn’t want safe.  I chose to be afraid.  I might as well get used to the feeling.

I find myself here, 30 years old, quitting my job and soon to have only a backpack full of stuff to my name.  I’m about to set out on the biggest adventure of my life with the person I love.  This, this exactly, is what I wanted when panic stopped me in the middle of a trail run three years ago and I emerged from the woods on that ordinary day, sat down and said: This doesn’t make me happy.  I tried, but I just don’t think this will ever make me happy.

Am I scared?  Sometimes I’m terrified.

But am I nervous?

Not for a single second.



{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Mrs. RTW March 11, 2012 at 7:50 pm

I love it! Actually it is funny I just brought this up to my husband yesterday. Like you I’m feeling the same way. As we get closer to the date we leave I’m feeling more and more excited and less worried/anxious! Perhaps our paths will cross somewhere down the RTW road…


Kim March 12, 2012 at 5:39 pm

It’s kind of amazing, huh? I’m just so sick of talking about this trip and SO READY to take the damn thing!! I’m over being nervous at this point, I just want to get on with it.


Gillian @OneGiantStep March 11, 2012 at 8:18 pm

“I chose to be afraid.” I love that. Whenever I find myself questioning myself lately I always say “Well, you wanted to be uncomfortable. This is uncomfortable.” It helps. It is what I want. I love the idea of being on the other side and looking back at what I accomplished despite the discomfort. 68 more days?


Kim March 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Well, 72 days until departure and 65 until the last day of work. Not that I’m counting.

Being scared and uncomfortable is the trade off for living a life that keeps you inspired. I’ll take it!


Ali March 12, 2012 at 6:36 am

I think I’m more of a worrier than you. I didn’t get too nervous about my RTW until about a week before I left, but I was nervous, worried, anxious, any emotion in that area, about moving to Germany for months before it happened. I actually broke out in hives my last couple weeks in Atlanta and into the first week in Germany. But like you said, I knew my life before wasn’t working, and I always knew moving to Germany was the right decision for me.


Kim March 12, 2012 at 5:43 pm

You know what Ali? I am seriously a gigantic, massive worrier. But, unlike you, I’ve been nervous about this trip for TWO YEARS. I’m just sick of being nervous. Totally over it. In my mind, everything there is to worry about I’ve already worried over- I’m just ready to get on with it.

But wow, hives, you’re not kidding. It’s a huge amount of stress. Not only were you embarking on a big trip but also, at the same time, a huge move. You are brave and better because of it!


Sarah Somewhere March 12, 2012 at 8:16 am

Love this Kim. Seems like you’re WAY past nerves at this point! You’ve done all the big stuff, selling your home and moving into a small apartment, selling your car, quitting your jobs, saving your pennies… You have explored every nook and cranny of fear and hesitation in your wonderful blog which has no doubt allowed you to transition into the next ‘phase’ of your lives with excitement and yes, maybe still a bit of fear. I found the last week very stressful, tying up lose ends and saying goodbye to family wasn’t something I’d like to do again in a hurry. I’m really excited for you and Brian and wish you all my love for a safe and joyous journey. Can’t wait to read about it!!!


Kim March 12, 2012 at 5:45 pm

I bet the last week will be real tough. Or, rather, the last few weeks. Because first we leave Oregon and then we go to Ohio and then we leave our families in Ohio. But then we’re back in Oregon at the end of the summer before we leave again. I’m going to be an emotional freak!


Patricia GW March 12, 2012 at 10:09 am

Fantastic post, Kim! What a reverse – the scariest thing is actually staying in one place and being complacent. Like you said, there’s no way you’d accept this alternative.
Maybe some of the people asking are the ones who are nervous – because here you and Brian are, changing your lives and about to seize the dream in your hearts, while they are not. It makes people nervous when you can break out of the box, and they are still in it.
That moment of panic while running in the forest is so important because it was the big turning point you took your life in your own hands. I’m so happy for you Kim – only 10 more Mondays to go! 🙂


Kim March 12, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Thank you Patricia. Yes, only 10 more Mondays. We are so close.

Yes, I think there is an element to others being nervous and that’s why they ask. Also, when they hear of what I’m doing it is this insane thing that they have never heard of before. I’ve had two years to digest the idea of it and connect with other travelers. I’m almost at the point where it seems like the most normal thing in the world!


Julia March 12, 2012 at 10:11 am

Good for you! Though I am such a pessimist, thinking my 4-hour bus ride was going to crash last weekend, nearly scaring myself out of a weekend away. Yeah, ridiculous.


Kim March 12, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Oh lord, I totally understand this! Trust me, I hate it but in my mind the next disaster is around every curve. As my friend told me one time (as she was telling me how she always thinks she just *knows* that the plane is going to go down)- we prove to ourselves time and time again that we are not clairvoyant!


Cherina March 12, 2012 at 8:55 pm

I think the fact that you are so super organised for this trip and have been planning it for so long is probably where a lot of that calm is coming from. It sounds like you are doing exactly the kind of trip you want to do so…there is not room for anxiety and nerves when there is so much excitement!!


Kim March 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Thanks Cherina. I definitely the years and years (and years) of planning have helped calm the nerves. I have definitely had time to think everything through.


Ron | Active Planet Travels March 13, 2012 at 7:00 am

“The safe path isn’t scary because I’ve been down it before. I know what to expect on that path. But I didn’t want safe. I chose to be afraid. I might as well get used to the feeling.”

Wow…what a powerful quote. I’m glad to see that you are willing to just throw yourself out there and experience life in the moment! So many more people could learn from your ways!


Kim March 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Thanks Ron. I am trying at all costs to practice what I preach. But it is definitely an effort and I use a lot of different tactics to keep me brave and motivated.


Kristin March 13, 2012 at 9:11 am

Rock on Kim! Rock on!


Kim March 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Thanks Kristin 🙂


Jaclyn March 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Glad to hear it! I’m about 10 months away from my departure and every once in a while I get hit with this paralyzing fear. My stomach drops, my heart races and I think “what am I doing?!” So I am very glad to hear those feelings slowly subside!


Kim March 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Jaclyn, I know that feeling well! I guess what I was trying to say with this post is that I am SCARED but not nervous. In other words, I know what we are doing is right, even though it scares me. There is a calm deep inside, even when I am hit by fear.


D.J. - The World of Deej March 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Great stuff….Looking forward to tagging along. Besides…sometimes the things that terrify us are actually the best. You know, like roller coasters and sky diving:)


Kim March 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Yes, sometimes I think fear is a sign that we are close to doing what we need to do. Skydiving… I’ll leave that to all you real thrill seekers 😉


Lucy - On the Luce March 14, 2012 at 4:10 am

Good for you! I remember heading off on my open-ended RTW trip 8 years ago and the nerves only kicked in on the way to the airport as it all suddenly became very real. Any nerves were well outweighed by the excitement about what was to come. Look forward to hearing about how you get on.


Kim March 17, 2012 at 5:26 pm

I can’t even imagine what it will be like at the airport. I may pass out and have to be dragged to the departure gate. 😉


Dana de Brito March 14, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I chose to be afraid – Great quote!

Sometimes I think making the decision to go is scarier than actually going – so you should be over the crazy part! Good luck, we can’t wait to follow your travels 🙂


Kim March 17, 2012 at 5:27 pm

I agree, Dana. The hardest part, the scariest part, of this whole thing has been acknowledging to myself how badly I wanted and needed to do it. The rest has honestly been a cake walk in comparison.


Kle December 23, 2012 at 1:51 am

Oh well! I totally understand the fear! I know you already took off ( I’ve been following you!) but im now searching for some great articles from people like u that were there before! To remind me that my fear is totally justified, that I’m making the right decision and that everything is going to be ok!:-)
For me 1,5 months to go! With 8 months planning non stop! So as you, I just want to get it over with and just do it!!!:-)


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