Nick Ang

(US) Anticipation, Excitement and Worry

April 04, 2016

A day before our big trip! I’m feeling a mixture of excitement and worry.

We’ll be flying out from Singapore’s Changi Airport tomorrow. 6pm to Guangzhou and thereafter on to New York. New freaking York! It’s going to be our first time in New York… that’s going to be a treat.

I remember clearly the first time I stepped out of the tube in London. Right outside Russell Square station, I just went “Whooooooaaaa… it’s just like in the movies!”

I’m kind of expecting the same reaction with New York City. For a long time these two cities—London and New York—lived in my mind as the best of the best. This time I’m going to see and feel and judge for myself - which one is greater?

My eyes will feast while my mind will take in New York life and compare it with that caricature so often sketched by American TV producers.

So I’m excited about the trip because of New York and all the other places I’ve heard so much about over the years growing up in Singapore. American soft power is really pervasive.

But at the same time, sitting in my bed thinking and writing this, I’m worried about a few things.

First, my wife just wept at the prospect of being away from our toy poodle, Brownie for a month. I thought that was a tad too dramatic, but I understand where her sadness is coming from. No more cute little furball wagging his tail every evening when we come home - that’s quite a change considering how much we’ve both grown to expect that kind of love everyday.

Second, I’m worried about whether I’m going to be able to write everyday for the next 32 days. Writing about our trip everyday was something I promised myself I’d do so I can improve my writing and as a bonus, create a travelogue that doubles as a travel writing portfolio (for whatever reason, that just seems like a good idea).

I haven’t written everyday for 30 days when I’m overseas before, so this will be a real challenge. While I’m feeling up to it, I’m worried about being bogged down by the structure-less approach, considering over and over again what to write about and how to write them. This definitely sounds like a trivial problem. So I’ll deal with it by winging it - writing and posting once a day is the simple goal. If the writing sucks, so be it.

Third, my anticipation for the trip has built up some expectations and I’m worried they might not be met. What if we have a string of bad Airbnb hosts? What if driving from Los Angeles through to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, Seattle and Portland and back to Los Angeles turns out boring? What if the photos I take using our newly obtained Fuji X100S are not so good?

I think anticipation sent my head into overdrive. To my rational mind a lot of these worries are unwarranted and maybe even inconsequential… perhaps the real worry I have is having an underwhelming expedition. If the trip doesn’t live up to my expectations then it’d be a letdown. I imagine it’d be like being thrown head first into a bucket of ice and being told that I’ve been laughably naive. Waaaaaaaa.

But as usual, only time will tell. So I’m positive the trip will be memorable, one way or another.

One thing is for sure during this trip: I’ll be keeping my eyes wide open, like pores absorbing sunlight. I’ll also be taking original photos and posting the best here.

Travelling remains a mysterious thing that I for some reason like to do. I can’t quite point to the one or two things that make travelling appealing yet and I want to find that out on this trip. Writing will help.

I think I’ll make a list of hypotheses on our 27-hours flight to the question - Why do I like to travel?

Why do you?

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