Travel Confession

I have a secret, and honest to God, it has been keeping me from traveling, which is something of a secret shame, I mean, I do have a freaking travel blog. But there are places that would tick off all my imaginary excitement travel box options, that I tell everyone I have no interest in going to, but that’s a lie. I am interested dammit, its just that….

I am afraid of bugs.

Very small, well in my imagination, very large and leggy, insects stand in the way of my travel dreams. The idea of any tropic rain forest destination terrifies me, well technically its really the tropical and subtropical moist and dry broadleaf forests that seem to be right in the wheel house of horror. Which of course basically takes most of South America, and pretty much all of Southeast Asia out of my passport plans.

I mean, this is crazy right, someone who bases a major functioning passion in life around travel, cannot just black out amazing places across the map because of the fear that a large bug could appear right? And its not that they bother me all the time, it’s just a sleeping thing.

I am a gaping mouthed sleeper, akin to maybe a widemouth bass (and you wonder why I am single?!), and the thought of one of these bugs crawling in my mouth on on my face, or in my ear (I saw Brokedown Palace!!), is almost too much for me to bear.

I will admit, I have gotten a lot better, I used to spend hours of sleepless nights at the sight of a spider, after living in the wilds of Manhattan and encountering the mysterious creature there they call a waterbug (which I thought were big enough to require their own saddles to ride on), I find that anything under two inches might be something I can deal with, after like 30-90 seconds of squealing and jumping up and down.

Am I being ridiculous? Have any of my faithful band of readers encountered anything I am talking about? Does anyone else have hidden travel fears; besides you know the regulars like having no sense of direction, or packing enough shoes (and packets of Heinz ketchup) or ordering brains when you meant to order chicken (obscure 90210 reference)?

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  • Helena

    What a weird coincidence! We were watching a TV show yesterday about people emigrating to Australia and I told my mum that I know people that won’t go down under because of the insects. She didn’t believe me! Thank you as you have just validated my statement. (She thinks people shouldn’t go because you can develop skin cancer within 24 hours of arrival and they only have one type of tomato.)

    But its true. My mate Gemma is so scared of encountering a Huntsman, she will not even consider leaving Europe without a hypnotherapy course and a large bottle of Valium.

    • Liz

      I should travel with Gemma.

  • Bugs freak me out, too. My friend and I once stayed at someone’s house in Kenya. After about 2 minutes of being in our bedroom, my friend whispers to me, “Adam, don’t shine your flashlight at the walls.” Of course, me being an idiot, I do exactly that. What I saw still haunts me to this day. In every crevice and crack in the walls and around the door frame, cockroaches were scurrying about. I’m not exaggerating. We stood in the middle of the room clutching each other the entire night before daybreak. I think that was my official “I Hate Traveling Day” (a day that is guaranteed to happen on every trip I take).

    • Liz

      Oh god, let me add Kenya to the list, it’s roaches above all that freak me out. You’d think I’d be ok after encountering them in NYC, but it made me even more nervous about them! Maybe I can just carry my own personal netting everywhere I go!

      • Yeah that’s definitely an option, as long as it’s compressible! I think that the more you see roaches, the more they freak you out.

  • Do the statistics about how many bugs you’ve probably already eaten in your sleep make you feel better or worse? That usually helps me give my lizard brain the smackdown it needs. Most of my bug rationalizing sounds something like, “we don’t have dangerous bugs in CT. It won’t hurt you” which may not work once I hit the road. When I found out we do have earwigs, it definitely made me lose a few nights of sleep. Maybe you’d be better off if you just don’t look up what kind of bugs live somewhere before you go. Sometimes less information is better. Because I will NEVER go to the Middle East now that I know about camel spiders. EVER. So I think what I’m saying is that I’m with you. But I try to not let it get to me.

  • Liz

    I’m with you on not researching. I just like to pretend there are not any bugs out there and if I did see any, it was just a figment of my imagination. Something to get over, and I’ll have to throw myself into it at one point!