Sunday, January 25, 2009

Saying Yes

I am scared of change.  I am scared of new things and of the unknown.  But I keep it under wraps.  Most people that know me think that I am an adventurer: the road trips, the whitewater kayking, the mountain biking...  But its all mostly local and pretty safe.  I'm not rafting down the Amazon and clashing with tribesmen or anything.  But its perceieved by others as adventurous and out of the ordinary.  The out of the ordinary part is actually just that I'm in my 30's and don't have kids!  Your own personal definition of adventure changes considerably when you have to arrange three weeks in advance just to go out to dinner and a movie, sans children. 

The fear of the unknown has only gotten worse as I have gotten older.  Friday night, I opted for a tried and true restaurant instead of taking a chance on a new one that was highly recommended (but likely overpriced).  Saturday, I checked out a new bar (hesitantly) and looked like a complete ass because we stepped in the door and I just stopped, feeling kind of overwhelmed.  Where is the bar?  Is that the bar?  Should we sit at the bar?  What about a table? Is that table in the bar, or in the restaurant part?  Is there a waiter/waitress?  Do I have to go to the bar?  The host actually said "you look lost."  Yeah.  More than you know buddy.

(ps.  the new bar was a great choice as we got a cool little table in front of a little tv screen and got them to change it from basketball to the Miss America pageant.  Of course, there was no sound, or captions, but just being able to make rude comments about the girls based purely on their awful dresses and spaced out smiles was awesome)

I so want to be the type of person that can backpack through Cambodia, kayak down the Nile, eat insects in Patagonia (ok, well, only if they are vegetarian insects) and join the Peace Corps when I get tired of my current gig.  But its really not me.  I like it when people speak my language.  I like western medicine.  I like water I don't have to sterilize.  I like knowing where I'll be sleeping that night (and it better have 400 count sheets, thank you very much).  And I really like knowing what exactly is in my food.  Really.

So when my friend  Fro (who is an actual adventurer) asked if I wanted to wander around the Yucatan Peninsula with her this spring, I was caught between my two personalities: Susan the Adventurer and All-Inclusive Susan.  Of course I want to careen down a hillside in a bus filled with chickens and goats.  Of course I want to camp and snorkel in a Mexican National Park.  Of course I want to go to Belize.  Of course I want to dance and flirt with swarthy men.  Of course I am terrified of being robbed and kidnapped.  Of course I am terrified of accidentally eating chicken or fish.  Of course I am terrified of Montezuma's revenge (seriously terrified of that one).  Of course I am terrified of just "seeing where we end up" (dead.  in a hole somewhere).

I thought about it.  And thought about it.  And said yes in my head.  And said no in my head.  And then yes again.  Then my pregnant friends who have no chance of escaping to Mexico for at least 18-20 years berated me.  Then I berated myself.  Then I saw the movie "Yes Man."  Then, I booked my ticket.

(the movie truly pushed me over the edge.  Thank you Jim Carey)

Yup.  I booked my ticket.  I leave in late March and will spend 10 days wandering about with Fro, who is well versed at wandering about strange countries and speaks at least enough Spanish to get by (I only know how to ask for a beer and the bathroom).  I'm hoping to be able to stay calm and collected and not turn into an anxiety-ridden bitch from hell.  Well, if I do, I hear there's lots of tequila there.  Then at least I can be a drunk anxiety-ridden bitch from hell.

Now that the hard part is over - the decision has been made, the ticket has been booked, I lose a considerable sum of cash if I turn back - I'm starting to get excited.  I swung by Borders today and got a travel guide, which I'm hoping will say "it is totally safe for two blonde, female Americans to flit about Mexico as they please."  What do you think the chances of that are?

2 comments:

Elena said...

You are going to have a great time(although I'm going to trust your friend knows enough about Mexico to keep you guys safe). Good for you Suzie--I'm totally jealous :)

Elusive Butterfly said...

I have a rule about the decision to go wandering around strange new lands by myself. If someone else is coming with, GO! It's bad enough that I have to go to weddings, Christmas parties and funerals by myself. Now THAT is scary. Traveling with a friend in foreign lands? Definitely less scary.

Just remember two things: brush your teeth with bottled water and take lots of pictures of the two of you in stupid tourist poses.