"Just because everything is different doesn't mean anything has changed." -Irene Peter If you could have been a fly on the wall today and observed my activity, you would have thought I had inserted an IV drip of espresso into my veins with a Diet Coke chaser. I have spent the last many days feeling troubled, confused and frustrated about the situation in Tibet and its impact on my plans to travel there in six weeks and today finally discovered the main source of my angst - not only was I feeling uneasy about the idea of hoping things settle down just so I can still have my happy trip, but also feeling stuck in the limbo of "waiting to see what happens." There are many situations in which I am able to dip into a tremendous well of patience, but it looks like "waiting to make alternative travel plans when the plans you've been making for two years falls apart" is not one of them.
I was feeling anxious, annoyed, and irritable, trying to talk about alternatives with one of my travel mates on the phone this morning. Perhaps sensing I was about to have a slight meltdown she abruptly said, "OK, here's what you can do..." and proceeded to give me a small list of tasks that could help our group consider other ideas. Then it was as if my saying the words, "I'm on it!" sent a surge of adrenalin through every pore in my body and I was instantaneously wired. And I immediately understood that this had been my biggest problem - the fact that I didn't feel like I could take any action (which was not true), and that by "waiting to see what happens" I was going to have to slowly watch other possible travel plans slip through my fingers.
I don't know if my friend was simply using a distraction tactic she has to employ with her two young children or if she really understood that I just needed to keep moving or I would freak out from stillness, but either way she gave me what I needed most: permission to move forward and try to sort out other possibilities. I think this blog is evidence enough that I have a tendency to overthink things, and I see now that the time I spent thinking about other travel plans was totally out of balance with time spent creating other travel plans. Once I started taking action, I immediately breathed easier even though I became an intensely focused Tasmanian Devil.
I do not know what the ultimate outcome of these changes will be. There are many details to sort out and things may or may not work the way we want them to. For me, this is the best part of travel - all those little adventures you get to have, sometimes before you even step on the plane. I am deeply saddened by what the Tibetan people are going through right now and that we will most likely not go to Tibet. But I am excited that this door closing will mean another one gets to open, and an entirely new adventure awaits.