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.