Have I forgotten how to vacation?

Leaving my house makes me nervous

A few weeks ago I was feeling really tired. Exhausted. Drained. It was like everyday I was waking up with a different pain, in every part of my body. Maybe it's because I'm getting older and this is just what happens, or maybe it's related to the fact that I hadn't properly exercised, or even left my neighbourhood, for the past three months.

Oh yes and as you know I have a three year old son whose favourite game is to go against everything I say. The point is, I'd been feeling too stressed and overwhelmed with life, and needing to take a break, even if just for a couple of days.

So I did it — I booked a couple of nights at a hotel with a friend. I was excited. Finally, some freedom.

But then something happened on the day that I was leaving. I dropped Gaspar off at school, came back home to get ready, and suddenly felt really nervous. It felt as if I was about to go travel around the world for a year, but really I was just going to a town 30 minutes away from Amsterdam by train.

I know this all sounds dramatic, but I honestly think I've forgotten how to vacation. OK, a lot of it is due to the fact that I hadn't been away from Gaspar in a really long time. But I also think I've just become anxious to leave my home, because I'm so accustomed to it — it's like I'm almost scared to leave. Does this sound silly?

Even though I can't wait to travel, just like everyone else, I've become more intimidated by the world and all its threats. And honestly, I think a lot of people will feel similar emotions, even if we're all so excited to just get up and go.

I used to be such a simple and practical traveller too. I knew exactly what to pack, how many items of clothing and pairs of shoes I needed, etc. Now I've become those types of people who take apples in their suitcase, just in case there are no apples at my destination.

This time, I considered taking my pillow, because what if the pillow they have sucks and I can't sleep? I also took valerian pills, nasal strips (I swear by these babies), plenty of paracetamol for all my strange body pains, tiger balm (can't live without it) also for my achy body, and all of the creams necessary to keep me from ageing. Oh plus hand cream for my scaly hands. And lip balm. Oh and the most important object of all: EAR PLUGS. I'm addicted to ear plugs (is this bad?). OK I sound like the least sexy person in the world right now, and actually I'm OK with that.

Before leaving, I also made a 5-minute video of myself for Gaspar, drew him a dragon that I then stuck under our dining table so that he would see it when he hid under the table like he always does, left treats on his bed and arranged all his outfits for each day that I was away because I'm a control freak.

I managed to get myself out of the house and I'm so glad I did because my days away refueled my energy, and when I came back I was acting a lot less bitchy. Honestly, hanging out with friends who get us, accept us and make us laugh, is ESSENTIAL to our mental health. We should nurture good friendships as much as we can, especially if they make you laugh harder than a meme.