Jay St.

“Bloody hell, that’s a tall building,” the twins below seem to be saying. Sometimes it can seem as though the place you’re going is a long way up. Standing on the streets of New York (or Brooklyn in this case), it definitely was. But much like standing in on ground level looking up (or on the first floor, as the Americans would have it) sometimes the place you are going might just be bloody excellent.

This year I spent three months travelling around South East Asia. It was incredible, and apart from my partner taking a (very small, but quite stressful) tumble off a moped, and our fair share of food poisoning, almost nothing went wrong.

Why, then, did I spend the months prior on the phone to my long suffering aforementioned partner, fretting about all the things that could go wrong? And not just normal worries about getting mugged or not knowing the language. Oh no. I had full Liam Neeson worthy crises fully scripted and played out. I was fairly well convinced that we would die in a car crash, get robbed at knife point, or have heroin slipped into our bags and spend the rest of our lives rotting in a Cambodian jail.

Of course things can go wrong while you are away, but I really wish I could have let go of some of the more wildly irrational of my anxieties and just looked forward to the trip. I Googled packing lists obsessively (we managed most of the three months with carry-on only… my partner still thinks I brought too much, but he spent the entire trip with three sets of underwear, so that gives you an idea of his expectations). I meticulously hunted for the cheapest flights and price matched the best value insurance. I scheduled all of my vaccinations and researched the cheapest places to have them done (get your Hep A and B in a combined jab, then it’s free on the NHS!).

All of that preparation served me well, but I do hope that next time I’m looking up at something that seems huge, I can forget about how hard the climb will be or how far it would be to fall, and think more about the fabulous view from the top.

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