I am sitting at the gate at Frankfurt airport. The time has finally come. I still have some time until departure. Just some time, that is. An hour maybe, half an hour. I am tired, but who cares. I got up at 6 this morning, reeled through my flat half asleep, got dressed in what I composed the evening before – leggings, long shirt, and a fleece – comfortable and light stuff but warm enough to hold off the cold of the October morning. I am ready for departure. Our holiday has begun. I am at the verge of squeaking with joy.
We’ll be touring Southeast Asia for four weeks, the boy and I, and today will get us from Frankfurt via Helsinki to Hanoi where we’ll arrive tomorrow morning. I still don’t know what to expect. I know that the weather is good at the moment, and I know the name of our first hotel, that is. Still, I don’t know where the road will lead us after that, what we’ll see, who we’ll meet along the way. We haven’t decided on that yet. We want do drift from one place to another, spontaneously deciding which route to take, just staying at whatever place we like, and walk some less known paths. I am curious about the countries we’ll see and the people we’ll meet along the way – and my curiosity adds to my anticipation. This is the kind of holiday I like the most – a holiday in which everything can happen or nothing at all.
I got the travel nerves for a week now and I’m happy I had to work these last days before departure. It is gross how much work comes along the way when actually you want to mentally prepare for your holiday. And that’s a good thing. If I hadn’t had that much distraction from my holiday, I might have caught something from my holiday fever. Like that one time, right before Christmas, when due to my excitement for the presents I would be getting I got stomach ache so bad I thought I wouldn’t live to experience Christmas Eve. Still, the greatest pleasure lies in anticipation. It makes stressful workdays pass off fast. And after hours are much more pleasing with the prospect of an upcoming journey.
Traveling isn’t traveling without anticipation. Anticipating to be on the road, to see new places, not to be pressured into a certain time-schedule, that is the intrinsic joy of traveling. The feeling of being on the road and feeling the wind in your hair as you pass by places you have never seen before is a feeling that will never go away. You may forget about the names of the places you have visited but you will never lose that feeling. We only have some minutes left until boarding time. But I’ll keep seated for another while and watch planes on the taxiway. It will take four weeks until I return to this country. Time to say goodbye…
I won’t say goodbye to you, though, not for much longer than the duration of my flight. You’ll hear from me soon!