"Aren't you nervous?" Pre-departure emotions


"Are you nervous about your trip to Kenya? Don't you feel anxious? Are you worried?"

That's what people have been asking me in the last couple of days. Is it fine if I say that I am not thinking about it - at all?

Quite obviously, I am scattered by many logistics. Every time I sit down to do something, I suddenly remember I should do something else - ah, and also that other thing.
Things are getting in shape, and the departure is every day closer. But the plan is almost ready - well, not in the minimum details but we are getting there mainly through an enormous amount of documents and spreadsheets: this its extraordinary if I think about how all of this happened.

I am quite calm, quite serene, quite anthro_serene ;-) to be honest. Maybe because I was panicking before, a month ago, when I got the news I could finally go to Kenya.

I think part of my calm comes from the fact that a recondite space in my mind still can't believe things are finally unblocked and I can travel despite the pandemic. 
Another part of my mind remembers all the frustration of the last year, all the postponing, all the bad news, all the hassle of readjusting expectations (and dreams).
I was reading back my notes of the last academic year, today: they exude anxiety. The handwriting is so neurotic to look actually unpleasant. I closed my notepads and put them in a closet. There is no more space for bad emotions.
The last bit of my mind knows that despite I may have some rational worries - the pandemic, the fact I am not vaccinated, security concerns, etc etc - what I fear the most is boredom.

I have been annihilated by boredom, this year. Yep, it happened to me as well. It happened despite I was still working, despite I could go for many amazing walks with my friends and boyfriend, despite I could travel home. During this time, I have been scold that "I should have considered myself lucky", "that I didn't really have anything to worry about". All true. I have always been aware and grateful that I was still receiving a stipend, that I was still living in a beautiful house, that I was still accessing all I needed. But this didn't prevent me to be very low, very sad, very unmotivated. 
Now I can go, and I feel even luckier than ever in my life. I can progress with my PhD, do my research as planned, be an anthropologist in an exotic field! and, hopefully, leave all the boredom and depressing feelings behind.

I am not naive - well, I don't think so! I am sure it is going to be difficult, but haven't I enough good reasons to look forward to it? 

A view of the Keiro Valley_January 2020


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