Basic info - in less than a month I'm off to Las Vegas, LA and San Francisco for 2 weeks for my sister's wedding and a bit of a holiday. Thanks to everyone who replied to my other thread, it was very helpful but now that it's actually coming up I'm having all sorts of new issues.
I'm basically just in a panic. I feel like I don't want to go at all and am scared that I'll spend the entire time in tears because I'm somewhere I don't know with people I don't know, other than my sister, her soon-to-be husband and my Dad.
I'm not looking forward to the flight, it's a MUCH longer flight than I've been on before and the last time I went to Florida was in... 2014/15? Not looking forward to getting through customs with my Visa and hoping that my family won't clock that I have one and they don't. Dad keeps asking if I've done my Esta and I keep saying "Yeah, I'll do it soon" rather than "I don't need one".
Although we're travelling to the same places at the same times as a family, my sister and fiancé don't seem to want to do much together so it'll just be me and my Dad a lot of the time... and although that should be fine, he's just a bit old now and says embarrassing things and isn't as switched on as he used to be so I'll probably have to take charge of transport and organising everything. As it is, he's left me to book tickets for things we want to do and when I want his opinion on something he just says "I'll do whatever you want to do"... Not helpful!
So I'm going round in circles and getting myself stressed and basically wondering what is wrong with me because most people get excited about holidays and going to new places and seeing new things (like the Grand Canyon!) but I'm not.
For the last year everything has been leading up to this point and it seems like once this is over there is nothing. I haven't even considered that there is anything after February... I don't know if that makes sense but that is also stressing me out somehow.
Also... tipping and eating out and gambling and driving over there is freaking me out too. And my Mum is coming to stay in my house to look after the cat which is really freaking me out - total invasion of personal space, even though I'm not even going to be there. And I need to buy a suitcase and other things...
Basically everything about it is awful so I will stop typing now and, as usual, I don't seem to have asked any specific help questions but if anyone could reassure me or offer advice about travelling then that would be greatly appreciated. =/
If it's any comfort np, i'd be exactly the same. I would stress over the first million things that could go wrong before i even entered the airport. I took a small trip this summer to the Capital of my country and even though i travelled by train it stressed me out to the point that i nearly cancelled on the day of departure. Like you, i felt it was too much, too overwhelming and too much energy i did not even have at that point. But i tried to break it down into smaller pieces. First of all, all i concentrated on was getting on the bus. Then came the train. Then find my friend at the station and so on and so forth. By breaking it into smaller bits it didn't Seem as overwhelming and somehow i managed to survive the trip even though i was basically running on fumes the entire time.
Remember that it's okay to take some time to yourself while you're away too. And try to nag your dad about thinking of some things he would like to see and to experience as well.
It's stressful to be going away from home and away from the everyday life that seems much safer and comforting, even on the worst of days. I have the utmost faith that you Will be okay. And the excitement and joy Will come when you're actually standing there and experiencing it
Thank you, Zurg. I'm glad you have faith in me. Your words are very reassuring and I will really try to break things down into smaller tasks, that does sound like a sensible way to look at it.
I do intend to take time to myself, probably evenings or early morning as I imagine I'll be awake early... and I won't be out late drinking and gambling.
My dad keeps referring to "his youngest daughter getting married", even notifying his customers like that, and that just makes me feel **** because to me it's saying his eldest daughter is a big fat single failure.
Good time of year to see the Grand Canyon (not as hot or crowded). When I was there, I went down into canyon further than I should have, and it was a dog getting back up to the rim. It was all worth it though.
I don’t have much advice about the whole travelling thing because I too find it extremely nerve wracking, but I like the idea of breaking things down into little steps. I assume (please correct me if I’m wrong) that from your R/V your dad asking how far along you are stresses you out, so could you tell him that? And that saying “I’ll do what you want to do” isn’t helpful? I’m not sure how possible that is for you, but thought I’d suggest it anyway incase its an option.
I also wanted to say that I completely get the whole “my dad vrags about my wee sister getting married” thing. My sister isn’t married (nor as far as I know in any kind of serious relationship) but my dad does it with jobs. My brother has a masters degree, his own house and a good job. My sister is a children’s nurse that works in an extremely well known children’s hospital and I’m “only at college” so I do get it.
Not sure how helpful this post was but just basically wanted to say I get it and I’m sorry things are so difficult for you.
Who doesn't get worked up in regards to planning itineraries and budgets? It's pretty much a universal thing, try not to dwell on it. Everyone else is just winging it and going with the flow. Just try to keep things as organised as possible.
When it comes to getting out of your comfort zone and having company every where you go. Just think of it the same way I do. You are in your own bubble, no one can invade that space. The solution to all this...
Bring a journal!
Keep the journal neat and organised.
Write down your itinerary and budget, as well as everything that needs to be done. This way, you don't have to worry about forgetting.
Also keep in mind that this journey is for YOU and YOURSELF only. No one else.
I don't know if you have any hobbies but if you don't, take this journey as an opportunity to explore yourself, deep down. Write in your journal your experiences, anything that is only positive and improves your self worth. This way, you have something to look forward to after the trip.
For example, lets say you did something you really loved in the journey. Write it down and how you felt. As soon as you come back home, try to find an activity that is similar and that instills the same emotion you felt.
South Rim, I'm assuming? I have the option of West or South from La Vegas.
Yes - the south rim and Bright Angel Trail. I believe its the easiest and most popular trail. It has shade, water and toilets. South Kaibab is also popular but there is a shuttle bus involved. I left from Prescott, and drove trough Sedona. It was a great trip as Sedona is very popular with arty/nature crowds - lots of colors and desert formations
Bright Angel has intermittent rest stops with facilities. The last stop is Phantom Ranch and its over 9 mile hike. Going down that far in one day would be a killer on way up. Wherever you go, dont take more than you need because you feel every ounce after the first hour back up. Water and snacks, hat and glasses. You can rent a mule. I only went to first level area. I played racquet ball the day before and my legs were sore. It was 2-3 hours of cramps climbing back up lol. Its easy to go down and distance is misleading in such a huge place. Imagine the Spanish Steps in Rome being a couple miles long lol
I think you've been given some good advice. It does sound stressful, and I can understand why you have concerns. I think it's normal to be both excited and stressed about traveling, just most folks never publicly acknowledge they are stressed.
Are you able to plan any down time or alone time into the days if you're planning some of the days out? Would that be something that would help you if so?
Re some of the stuff about tipping and eating out, you can download an app that helps you calculate tip percentage if you're unsure what to use. Basically you tip the server at sit down type restaurants by leaving money on the table when you leave or writing in the tip amount onto your receipt when you pay with a card. Places like coffee shops or more grab and go type of restaurants often have a tip jar at the counter when you pay, or use apps that if you pay with a credit card, you can easily add it on.
I also just want to say if you're not comfortable with gambling or driving, you don't have to do either. You're in cities that should have uber/lyft/taxis, as well as decent public transit. You can also find a place in the casinos to just sit and read a book or play games on your phone instead if you have to.
You can't always keep it separate.
This is happening, this is part of you.
I'm not planning each day from start to finish but I imagine I'll have most evenings to myself. I don't intend to be out in the casinos or going to evening shows which I know others want to do. I know I don't have to do it but I also don't want to be the person that stays in their hotel room and doesn't experience anything.
We're driving from Vegas to LA so there will be some driving involved. I've done it before, I should be able to do it again... Just LA seems so much more chaotic than any where else I've been.
I will definitely check out the tipping app. I just find tipping so confusing... and I don't want to offend anyone if I get it wrong. It's a much simpler system here!
Also, The Worst Witch - thank you for understanding! I'm sorry that you get it too though. I did try to talk to my dad about leaving me to do all the organising but he just said the same thing. I think he thinks he's taking the pressure off by saying that. =/
Soulstorm - the journal might be a good idea. I'm not so sure about using the trip to explore myself though (to me that sounds like additional pressure), I just want to get through it all without dramas and hope to have some good times along the way.
Isoverity - I dunno how much hiking I'll get to do but I'll look up all those places and definitely won't be making your mistake =)
how exciting. I'd love to go to the west coast and Las vegas.
just a thought on the visa situation. IF they do ask why you've got a VISA you could say you had to get one because you submitted the ESTA with a mistake and it wouldn't let you have one.
It's only a white lie.
I filled out the ESTA for my Mum and the big dufus I was, I ticked a box saying she was a terrorist by mistake and then because I tried to submit it it got refused. Upshot was, Mum had to go to the American Embassy in London and got a 10 year VISA instead.
It was a right flipping hassle, but it could be an explanation of sorts for your VISA.
I find making lists helps when I'm going away.
Things like; get currency, buy guidebook, book tickets online for attractions; look on tripadvisor for nice restaurants to try
you'll enjoy it when you're there, just remember to have some time for you
I never had a desire to go to Vegas but a lot of people just crave the place. I'm not a gambler so the casinos don't draw me. But I would like the lights. I restored a movie theater marquee once and I'm into marquees and lights (especially those that "chase"). I could just walk/drive around for hours at night.
Oh and thanks Hilda! I know I will enjoy it when I'm there. =)
That is an idea about the visa. Not sure how I feel about lying... I don't want them to think I'm dumb or something for not filling it out right (not saying you are at all, btw). I might just say the questions have changed, which they have, and gloss over the whole arrest thing. I dunno.
Flying out in 5 days time. Having serious travel anxiety, everyone keeps getting excited for me and I'm too busy worrying to feel excited at all. I can't see much beyond the airport or the flight at the moment. Really don't want to have a breakdown on the plane... but I don't see how I'm going to cope cooped up in a tin can with 400 other people for 10 hours. Advice or reassurance anyone?