Wednesday, July 18, 2012

An emotional roller coaster

I've talked a lot recently to both friends and strangers about this blog and how I hope my approach of being honest regarding traveling while bipolar can lead to others looking at this and saying "I can do that too."  It's a huge thing, to look at something you want but have been afraid to do, and doing it anyway.

I have no idea how this trip to India will work out for me.  I told my boyfriend recently that all of my future plans are really just dreams and the product of a vivid imagination until I get back from India.  I figure I'll either come home on December 5th saying "Again again again!"  Or I'll come home, convinced I never want to go that far from home for that long ever again.  Or, and I laughed when I said this, I don't come home because I've been traded for a camel and two goats.  Pushkar Camel Fair... who knows what will happen there!

But it's gotten my head on the hamster wheel that jut spins around in circles, leaving me dizzy.  I'm so scared.  I am doing all I can to prepare.  I decided to plan the first month completely in advance.  Get all my hostels booked, train tickets purchased, and know when I'll be going where.  Give myself time to adjust to being in India and figure out how things work there before I reach Kolkata in October and start traveling on the fly between Durga Puja and Diwali in mid-November.  But already things are not working out the way I hope.  My first choice of hostel in Jaipur just got back to me, they are fully booked on the days I planned to be there.  Here I am, two months in advance, having a fucking panic attack because all I can think about is "what will happen to me if this happens while I'm there?"  I can't let something this simple push me over the edge like this while I'm far from everything I know

Part of being bipolar, for me, is a total inability to manage money properly.  And this trip is going to be tight, financially.  Despite all the work I've done since deciding to do this trip, and how much I have sacrificed, I've still got it budgeted to $30 a day and if I want any money left to live on when I get back to Boston I really can't afford to go a whole lot over that.  So what triggered the panic attack today is my fear that all the budget hostels and guest houses will ALL be booked when I want to stay in them, and I will be forced to stay in more expensive lodging, and I'll end up broke and alone on the other side of the world.

I faced this when I went to Ecuador, and I survived.  I can do it again this time.  Scale is bigger, and the risks are higher.  But the rewards are, I think, worth more than anything I've ever gone after before in my life.  It's why I am doing this.  That, and I refuse to let fear tell me I can't do something.  I refuse to let the bipolar win.  I'm stronger than it, god damnit.  I am.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hair in a foreign country

A big question has been looming since I decided to go to India... what the hell am I going to do with my hair? For most people this may not seem like a big deal, but I'm currently sporting violet/pink hair and since I have no job that cares what color my hair is I'd really like to keep the fun colors coming!

India is a pretty conservative place, though. And I expect that me just being me will attract enough attention as it is. So what do I do? The original plan was to dye my hair back to its natural dark brown right before i fly out of the States. Some of my friends tell me to just let it all loose and go as I am.

I love this hair color. It is just so very me. Along with all the other unnatural colors I've dyed my hair over the years! I love the brown, but unnatural is just more natural for me. And I like the idea of being me in a foreign country.

I guess one thing I could do is go as is, with the understanding that I can always change the color there if I find myself attracting too much unwanted attention. That is an idea...

Yet another thing to think about!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Actually going - can't back out now

I bought my plane ticket to India.  Holy fucking fuck fuck fuck!  I am really doing this!  Up til now, even though I talk about the plan and planning and how excited I am, it was all still mostly just a dream.  At any moment, the dream could crash, I could change my mind, or something could happen that pushed me in another direction.

I have a plane ticket now.  September 3 through December 3.  With a lengthy layover in Helsinki both directions.  (Yes, I could have gone with a long layover in London... but I will go to London for real some day... when the hell am I ever going to go to Finland?)

Now I am committed.  Now, it's real.  And now I am terrified to death.  But fear will not stop me!  It can't.  I want this too much.

Holy fuck guys!  I am actually going to India for three months!!!