I mentioned yesterday that I felt a wave of anxiety come over me at the weekend and I felt overwhelmed.
I have had a ever growing “to-do list” always present in my mind. There are things I have written down on post-it notes all over my desk, my bed-side table, the coffee table. Things I keep remembering I must make sure I do before I go out to Australia. For some strange reason, I have felt urgency about completing my self-assessment tax return. I have until October, but I felt as if I want to get it out of the way and pay any tax I owe.
In addition, I found out my phone won’t work in Australia (I am going to need a phone out there) and the network I am with said that even with a new phone, they would only unlock it after three months. They told me I would have to buy an unlocked phone from Carphone Warehouse. I have never actually bought a phone in my life. I have always depended on hand-me-downs.
My hair needs a trim, but I will have to postpone having it cut until just before I travel. Which means I am going to have shocking split ends and the hair stylist is bound to tell me off. I am just going to tell her straight – “you are too expensive and I have had to spend a lot of money on my Australia trip!” Better to have nice hair when I see Goldfinch though.
Then the pharmacist told me that unless I have a yellow fever booster, a rabies course and some other vaccinations, I will not be allowed into Australia. Everyone is telling me, buy a flight pillow, buy compression socks for the flight, buy hand sanitizer, buy travel mini toiletries…and so it goes on. I want to buy new lingerie for my trip – but that’s another big expense. Aaaaagh! All these little things I have never thought about. I have just felt a bit frazzled with it all.
I saw one of my workmates the other day and voiced my worries of either being detained at the airport like that Tom Hanks movie because I didn’t have a yellow fever booster. Or else being lost somewhere in the outback without any way of getting in contact with Goldfinch because my phone won’t work and then being bitten by some creature and ending up with rabies. But because my phone has no signal, nobody can find me!!! Then eventually when they do find me and I end up in hospital, I am mortified that I failed to buy new lingerie and the hospital staff have seen me in my faded undies!!
Some of the pressure I am putting on myself is unnecessary.
- Why am I worried about my tax return now? But I was so anxious that I sat down and made myself fill out the form, which I could only do after I spent forty minutes on hold listening to music and “we are very busy right now, an adviser will take your call as soon as one is available” announcements, and had the chance to ask my questions about which parts really apply to me. I think I owe HMRC £30, but I have to wait until they receive my form before I can ring up and make a payment. I have posted it though, and I already feel relief.
- The travel agency reassured me there are no mandatory vaccinations for me, but they recommended a booster for diphtheria, tetanus and polio. I called my GP surgery to see if they could beat the price quote of £60 that a private travel clinic had quoted me. My GP surgery said they can do that for £15. They said I needed to nip down to the surgery and fill out a form. The GP surgery is just at the end of the road. The next day I found a message on my answering service saying that it was only the tetanus, diphtheria and polio booster I needed, and inviting me to call and make an appointment. I called the GP surgery and the receptionist said I could go immediately as they had an appointment available in ten minutes time. While chatting with the nurse I admitted to her that I am bit anxious because it’s the first time I have travelled abroad on my own and I have never been so far. Well she told me the first time she ever flew on her own, it was to go and visit her boyfriend who had recently moved back to Australia. She gave me lots of advice and told me about the airport where my transit is, and… she also told me she is now married to her Australian sweetheart.
- I need to replace my phone anyway. It hasn’t been working properly for about six months. I can only take calls if the caller is on loudspeaker and one of the keys on the keypad isn’t working. I bought a new basic phone which is unlocked for £20 and I will put my sim into it. I have been assured I can use this in Australia! So now, I should not find myself in a pickle on the opposite side of the planet without any way of contacting Goldfinch, or anyone else for that matter.
- I was looking at travel pillows and flight socks in Boots The Chemist and decided I could not afford them yet. Then I went to a department store to use the ladies because they are always clean, unlike the main shopping centre (mall). The ladies toilets are near to the section that sells suitcases. I had a wander round – I don’t need a suitcase, but I found myself curious about what they had – and noticed they had a travel accessories section. There was a flight pillow that was reduced in their sale. I bought it for £6 instead of the original marked price of £24. They had flight socks too for half the price of those in Boots (again they were marked down in the sale).
- I read a travel bloggers’ post with tips about long-haul flights (very helpful!) and she mentioned a product that you put on your pulse points to make you sleepy – it has lavender and essential oils in it etc. I noticed a branch of the store she mentioned and I went in and told the assistants what I had read. They showed me the product, but I was hesitant when I saw the price for a tub. While I was chatting wit the staff about the coffins we saw in Ghana, one of the assistants kindly put some of the Sleepy cream into a little pot for me and said to me “that’s all you need for your flights, if you like it, you can come back and buy more when you get back.” Wasn’t she kind!
- I don’t really need more clothes, but some of my clothes seem so shabby. I keep looking at clothes elsewhere and wishing I could afford them. My landlady very kindly gave me a beautiful blouse which will look great with my tailored chinos. I am going to spare the details of my choice of clothes for Australia right now, (I am sure there will be a post about the contents of my suitcase later!) but there are five pairs of chinos under consideration. I have navy, a really nice colour tan/beige, white, turquoise, and red. I have been looking at all my navy/white/beige tops and my navy/tan shoes, I am taking a navy rain coat and a tan cross-body hand bag which fits all of my travel accoutrements inside.
SO NOW…ALL I NEED TO WORRY ABOUT IS NEW LINGERIE!
And I will have to save up some more money and postpone that purchasing lingerie until closer to my travels.
But what I have learnt is that, as always, things have a habit of working themselves out, often helped along by lovely folk you bump into along the way… I get myself all worked up and overwhelmed for no reason. Things work out!