As someone who plans her anxiety attacks in advance, our upcoming Mediterranean cruise has had me in a near-lather for some time and not just because I’m nowhere near bathing suit ready. However, I knew all along that I could use this…um…adventure as fodder for lots of stories and blogs.
I am not an easy traveler. In fact, I’m a frickin’ Gawd-awful basket-case kind of traveler and that is ten times better than I used to be. I am worse with family than without. My true traveling diva demons leap forth if there’s a captive audience. I really really should’ve gone into theatre…but can you imagine the stage fright?
What the family should do (for their sanity) is book me on a completely different flight/cruise/train. That way they can have a nice holiday without having to put up with me and my spontaneous, irrational panic attacks. We should hire a little vessel to sail in the wake of the big cruise ship. My family, happy and calm, could wave at me contentedly from the rail as we sail along separately. I can guarantee my family and the crew of the Royal Caribbean monster we’ll be sailing on will want to dump me over the side in a leaky lifeboat more than once.
Sitting here in my dining room in Toronto, I can admit that my spontaneous panic attacks are not rational. They are irrational, ridiculous, figments of my own stress-hyped imagination. I know this even as the panic begins to constrict the back of my throat just before I fly off the handle. And I see it in the aftermath as I see the sullen faces of my traveling companions and innocent bystanders.
I would really like to say that this trip will be different. I would like to be able to guarantee that I’ll behave. After all, this trip is being billed as the last hurrah. We have a quickly closing window of opportunity where our teenagers allow themselves to be seen in public with their decidedly uncool parents. I don’t want to ruin it for them or for us. Note: I am so far down in the uncool category, that I’m not sure there’s anything I can do to redeem myself but not humiliating them in public would certainly be a plus.
The plan, as I see it is to keep myself busy with a journal, writing notes for blogs. I hope to keep my busy brain occupied to the point where I don’t freak out. Much.
My husband’s plans are less cerebral although he does have plans for my brain. He plans to numb it to the point of unconsciousness. He likes to think he can anethetize the panic right out of me with things like Gravol and booze. I have warned him that his inane plan might backfire.
Instead of a placid, docile wife he might end up with a demonic, twitching banshee who is hitched to a bulkhead door in those newfangled handcuffs that look like garbage twist ties, a creature badly in need of an exorcism. We might also end up vacationing in a holding cell on the Canary Islands as we will have been dumped off the plane to await extradition to Canada (of course because I’m American, they’ll send me to Guantanamo). I’ll be labeled a terrorist and put on no-fly lists and we’ll never be able to fly anywhere on holiday again…maybe I’d better look into hotel rooms in Tenerife, just in case.
And, she’s off…I can go from naught to 60 faster than a Ferrari Enzo. I’m sure the Canary Island are lovely but that’s not where I want to vacation this summer. And, I’m pretty sure they won’t let me send “Greetings from Autentico Cuba” postcards to friends and family from Gitmo. At least if I’m sober, I may be stressed but I’ll not say anything stupid that will get us dumped off the plane in the middle of the Atlantic.
So, tune in to my blog…I think I’ll call it “The Testy Traveler” or “Trying Not To Get Tasered on Air Transat”
I might post some fond memories of past travels just to whet your appetite for things to come!!