The last time I traveled alone was in 2003. The husband was on deployment for pretty much the entire year, and although I can't remember the exact date I'm sure I traveled back home at least once that year. That was also the year I went on my scariest adventure: Hong Kong. While hubs was sure to point out that I wasn't technically alone for that trip - a group of wives traveled together, but none of them were my friends so it only sort of counts - it was pretty darn terrifying. And once in China I needed to navigate to my hotel alone and then walk to the dock by myself in the morning.
You see I'm not the best traveler. I get nervous. Like, I can't eat for 24 hours prior because my stomach is in ragey knots nervous. It doesn't matter where we are going, what we plan to do there, or who is coming. So it's not a big surprise that I am a ball of nerves right now and have been since yesterday. Today I am setting off to my third writing conference and the biggest one yet. Oh, and I'm traveling alone. Which is pretty awesome on one hand - no one to entertain but myself, no one whining about how hungry/bored/full of pee they are. Just me. And my tiny little bag filled with just my stuff that took about 10 minutes to pack. Okay, it took about two hours to pick out what I was going to wear, but the actual packing part was super fast.
I'm meeting my friend on the other end and then we have a driver taking us to the hotel. A driver. As in some guy is going to hold up a sign with her name on it and everything. Here's the thing. My friend is kinda famous in the writing community and she's part of the faculty for this conference, and I am crazy lucky because she still wants to hang out with me despite the emotional word dump she endured on our last few road trips. (Seriously. Sometimes I don't know when to shut up.) Oh, and she lets me tag along with her on conferences. And she brings sponge candy. And introduces me to amazing people. So yeah. Anyway, the conference is going to be huge and a bunch of well known people from the writing community will be there, and I get to meet them and sit down and talk about my book with them and holy crap that is a lot of things to make me a nervous wreck.
My husband told me this morning that I can't put my best face forward when I feel this way, and he's right. I need to get out of my head and enjoy the journey. I had an amazing time at the last conference - made new friends, had a ton of fun, and learned a lot about writing and about myself. I didn't want it to end. It's something I get to do that is entirely selfish and hey - I'm not going to apologize for this - it feels good. So as I sit here waiting to board and thinking about what is just around the corner, I'm hoping the nervous feelings with hit the road because frankly, I am sick of them holding me back. I walked through a communist country alone and lived to tell the tale; this is easy compared to that. Right?