Thursday, July 02, 2009

vacation anxiety

Maybe it's because I profess never to worry unnecessarily (then add that worrying neither changes the outcome nor improves my coping ability thus rendering it unnecessary always). Maybe it's because I have been said to have a "built in horseshoe." (Good things happen to me with higher frequency than they do for your average person.) Maybe it's because I don't often go away on vacation.

Whatever the reason, I am feeling unspecified, irrational, low-grade anxiety about my upcoming trip. Somehow, something always happens when I go away. It's usually not catastrophic - just upsetting and inconvenient. The kind of things that make for good stories (later). Right now I am wondering, what will happen this time.

Like the time I got stung by the bee on my lip while riding on a roller coaster at Magic Mountain. Never mind that we were riding on Revolution, the historic first inverted roller coaster. I made personal history, feeling the bee venom pump into my face as I rolled over and over and over to the end of the ride. The payoff? With my swollen lower lip, I looked exactly like Angelina Jolie for a few days. Still, it wasn't worth the pain and fear (not to mention how it freaked out the kids, waiting 20 minutes to be attended to by the first aid guy who finally got the stinger out of my lip).

Then there was that camping trip to Osoyoos when the kids were small. In 7 days, we visited the Desert Medical Clinic 3 times: first for Fiona's ear infection (a baby with a fever and a painful ear in a tent in 80 degree weather is no picnic). Then Alex put a pebble inside his ear and was honest enough to tell us. He also told us, with loud screaming and struggling, how uncomfortable it is to have a pebble taken out of your ear with "the long pointy tweezers." (The doctor explained, that the worst part would be the loud crunching sound inside Alex's head as the tweezers grasped and extracted the pebble.) Finally, as we packed up to leave, Alex slammed (and crushed) his finger in the door of the car. We were never so glad to get home as we were after that trip.

Another time in Osoyoos, I got pink eye in BOTH eyes AND a spider bite on my arm and another one on my face. I was just a big itchy, ugly goo-ball for about 5 out of the 7 days we were there. Nice.

I remember, as a kid, on one memorable camping trip with my parents, a tick attached itself to my scalp, and we had to find a doctor to extract it safely.

When I went away to Whidbey Island with my mom, years ago, we got rained inside our tent at campfire time, just before the s'mores. After hastily extinguishing the campfire and stowing our gear in the car and tent and under the picnic tables and climbing into our sleeping bags, we heard the rain stop, and all of the other campers continued to party through the evening. (I bet they ate lots of s'mores.) Then, on the way home, we stopped at a restaurant for lunch and both got horrible food poisoning the next day.

Another time, at Whidbey Island also, our friend Tom got up early and kindly cooked sausages for breakfast for all 9 of us in the group. The trouble is he used the citronella oil instead of cooking oil. Luckily we figured out his mistake before eating the sausages.

There have been other trips that I remember as not so dangerous, but I suspect I may just have suppressed the memories of destruction and devastation as time has passed.

So now, Andy and I are looking forward to a week in the Mayan Riviera in August. I'm wondering, what will happen? It is the edge of hurricane season. That would be exciting! or maybe just a jellyfish sting while swimming in the Caribbean blue waters? (Do they have jellyfish there?) Nothing as banal as travelers' diarreah, I hope. It has to be worthy of a story here later. That's my only requirement.

So we'll go, and I'll calm down, and when it happens I'll probably say, "There! I knew it!" and just laugh really loudly so people worry if I'm okay. And I'll be fine. Better than fine.

question: what's your favourite vacation mishap?

mompoet - waiting for the rubber chicken to drop out of the sky


mompoet's dad said...

I hope you don't get travelers' diarreah while you're there -- I'm not sure where we'll send you if you do. If you get diarrhea you'll be re-admissable to Canada or to the USA. If you come down with diarrhoea however, we'll have to export you to the UK.

mompoet's dad, as picky about spelling as about math

Lynn Valley Girl said...

Oh my MP...did you buy cancellations insurance?

Just go, leave your worries behind, don't walk on the beach at night in bare feet and you will be fine.

Really? You were stung on the lip?

Muhd Imran said...

Wait! Did you really got stung by a bee on the lips or you want to look like one of Hollywood's celebrities?

We will never know what will happen on vacations, but always hope for the best time possible... the true objective and have fun no matter what.

I had diarrhea on my Perth, Australia vacation when I was given raw oysters to try. Severe pain and high fever 5 hours later.

So no scrumptious dinner that night and recovered as my happy self the next morning. I missed the cheese cake they served for desert though.

Bring with your your first aid kit and your spirit to be happy.

Have a great weekend!

Pearl said...

wow, and I just have trip anxiety but nothing bad has ever happened unless you count food poisoning. you must be running out of mishaps to have happen.

mompoet said...

I heard that if you spell diarrhea correctly, you will instantly get diarrhea. It's kind of a curse.

We do have cancellation insurance, and medical insurance too. So if there's a big disaster, we're covered. But we aren't really thinking that way.

Yes, I did actually get stung on the lip while riding a roller coaster. It was memorable. I'll say that!

Seriously, I believe that the stories we tell ourselves come true, the more we convince ourselves that they will, so I have used this blog to purge my vacation disaster fears and will commence visualizing the most fun possible with no mishaps.


eatburns said...

My fondest vacation memory is slipping on a vomit covered floor as I ran to the washroom to get a bucket for Simon while we were on vacation in Mexico. I was going so fast that I fell on my back and got covered in the stuff.
Despite Simon's illness, we had a great time and I'm sure you will too! Adventures like this also make up our most vivid memories of our travels.