New Blog!

If you've enjoyed reading about my experiences in Tanzania here, check out the new blog I've started on Wordpress as of November, 2017. It's called "Back to Tanzania" and you can read it here. All new adventures in Tanzania from an older, wiser, more experienced expat.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

No, I'm Not That Brave

Some of my friends, when they hear about my activities here in Tanzania (or Peru or Morocco or Mexico or ...), tell me I'm brave. Well, to all of you, this morning I came across a passage that eloquently lays it all on the line. Here's how I almost always feel before I move to the next place and before I leave home and how I've been kind of feeling for the few days since I arrived back here:

"I have been a traveler my whole life, and yet at moments like this I feel completely untethered. There is such a wave of loss it borders on grief. There is so much unknown just down the road I feel a disorientation bordering on vertigo. Part of me always wants to crawl back inside my house and curl up under the quilt with a gush of relief. Part of me never wants to go anywhere strange again. Wants to go to a movie for excitement and come home. Make tea like we always do at night before sleep."   Peter Heller in Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave.

I'm letting myself feel it, knowing I'll move on to other feelings next, back to the excitement of being in a strange place. I know that I need just the right mix of hiding in my house alone and forcing myself out into town to experience it all.

K2 is up on the mountain in the middle of a 10-day trek. Anna's working in a new job and she has the flu. A friendly Australian invited me to a party to watch "Aussie Rules" on TV--not sure what that is, but if it was Australians it would've been fun. However, I went to the wrong place and missed it. 

But, tomorrow morning I'll make myself get up early and get out of the house and get over to Jordan Institute. I'll sit in the classroom crowded with all those 20-something-years-old Tanzanians and soak up some of the joy that radiates out from them, even while they're studying English. That should do the trick!


  1. I have had feelings of fear before going off to a strange place but then once I get there and recover from jet lag, I'm pretty good to go. You were really starting to settle in when you left so I imagine it won't take too long to adjust again.

  2. Hi, Barb, Glad to hear you made it once again - what a trek! I've been wondering how you recover from the traveltrauma and settle-in again - beautifully said. Take Care, I love to read your stories. Betsy

  3. HI barbara,
    feeling low is ok. then when it is time to feel UP it is much better.
    if its ok to walk around your neighborhood, I think you will feel better. Your body in tune

  4. Barbara - I am one of those who had you in the "you are so brave" category. Your blog really helps me start to understand the unsettled feeling of being in a strange place. Carol Brown