I suppose it was inevitable really. Only a few days after hitting a new peak of excitement, finally the nerves have begun to kick in.
I’ve only got 6 weeks’ backpacking experience under my belt, and only 4 of those were solo, and it suddenly hit me that I’ll be on my own for a whole year. I know thousands of people do it every year, but the last few days I’ve become a bit neurotic thinking about all the bad things that could happen.
What if I get kidnapped in Colombia? Get robbed somewhere remote and end up stranded with no cash and no passport? Have my bag nicked from off the top of a chicken bus? Swept out to sea while diving? Bitten by a dog well away from the nearest doctor and get rabies? Break my ankle by being a little bit over-enthusiastic up in the Andes?
It’s not just the big dramatic things, I worry about more mundane but equally stressful things – what if I find it hard to meet people and get lonely? What if I find it hard to adjust to a $50 a day budget when I’ve been used to spending way more that in London, and my money runs out too quickly? What if I get homesick?
I suppose it’s only human to worry, and the rational bit of my brain knows it’ll be OK (and it’s probably healthy to have a few nerves, so I’m more aware of potentially risky situations) but it’s still a bit of a comedown after all the giddy excitement of the last eight months.