Pre-trip jitters, last minute changes, and the dangers of the Tube

I've been on the YouTube (I know, bad ju-ju) and I've been going down the rabbit hole of traveling with Autism, ADHD, PTSD, OCD, and every other acronym I'm labeled with. I didn't think I had said issues until my boss started quizzing me constantly about traveling so far by myself. At first, I kept brushing her off because I've literally been traveling like this since I was a kid barely able to drive but, in all honesty, I have never gone this far before on my own, and even my Disney trips were never for this long, at least not alone. So, eventually, her qualms started to sink in and have had a really negative effect.

Ironically, despite the bad, I have also learned some new things about myself I didn't realize. I've learned I have a bigger issue with food than I thought I had, in the form of a new phrase "safe foods". Apparently, I do have a broad menu, I just choose a limited menu of foods that I deem "safe" and comfortable, and eat on repeat until I choose to change the menu up to another safe group for a while. It's apparently pretty good to bring your "safe foods" with you on your road trip (apparently, that's something I have been doing since before I was driving myself, so check!). It might also be the reason why I have such issues eating out when I'm on vacation, so I say I'm going to work on that, but we'll see.

My new favorite word, catastrophizing, (although I can't actually physically say it) is also something I have just recently started little spell on my Colorado trip where I freaked out that the house was going to burn down or that someone was going to break in and I almost turned around because of it? Yeah, apparently that's a real thing that people like me do. I've done it before, but never to the extend that I did on that last road trip, and apparently, it's probably only gonna get worse, but at least I know what to look out for now, and how to prepare for it, so check check!

And, last night, my co-worker AGAIN texted me hinting about if she was still invited on the trip! I mean, come on! I told her I was still planning on going alone, and then she started quizzing me on where I was going, so my catastrophizing started kicking in and I started imagining that she was going to rob me! I don't really think she will, but the fear is real people, so I'm glad I learned about it, because for a chunk of time last night, I was willing to eat the non-refundable hotel fees and not go. I'm better today and have even booked a bus/package tour of Gettysburg (now, whether or not I actually go on said tours, is another story, stay tuned to find out).

Back to the co-worker for a sec though, she apparently doesn't even have the vacation time to cover the initial week we planned (I only found that out yesterday). She apparently planned to take off without pay, but I know for a fact they won't let her do that (it's against policy), so I would have been left holding the ball on reservations and everything for her anyway, so I definitely made the right decision there. And people wonder why I have trust issues.

I'd like to say I'm all packed, organized, and ready to go, but that would be a lie. I've got my map books printed (finished them yesterday), but they are already outdated thanks to said tours I booked today that changed my plans for timing. I had to move the Flight 93 Memorial from the beginning of the trip to the end of the trip to make time. But I haven't packed, done any of the personal things I had planned to do and, unless I pack tonight, I probably won't do it until tomorrow since I'm not leaving until sometime between 1-3 pm (I'm driving through the night so I can arrive at Gettysburg by park opening at sunrise on Saturday). And since I'm driving through the night, I need to get some good rest tonight, but I know myself well enough to know that won't happen.

Ironically, most of my other co-workers (well, the ones I've told, it's not like I'm broadcasting my travel plans to everyone and their cousin, although, since I'm blogging about it, I guess I am) are freaking out at my midday departure and driving through the night thing, whereas my boss is more concerned over the distances I'm traveling and the cities I'm going through. You know, a girl shouldn't go through such big cities alone and all...this will be my 53rd Birthday. I had to order a cake and a gift basket at the hotel for myself (because there is no one else to do it and, even if there was, the people in my family wouldn't have done something like that for me anyway, so I like my arrangement better), so I think I have my big girl pants on pretty tight there boss and can take care of myself, but thanks (there was a time I did actually believe those words wholeheartedly, I did before the doubt started sinking in, now, I just keep repeating them like a mantra and hope I can at least build up a shell). I miss my life before the doubt, when I was naive and wilder.

So, here's to a week on my own, re-discovering myself, hopefully finding my future, discovering my history and my family, and enjoying my Birthday in the grandest way possible! I will speak to you guys when I get back...wish me luck, wish for my safety, and most of all, wish for me to have strength of character, because apparently I'm going to need it!


I hope you have a great trip! I am very much looking forward to reading all about it!
I'm not sure if you're back already as I'm writing this, but in any case I really hope everything went/goes well and you had/have a great time! Happy (belated) birthday too, of course.