Am I regressing? Today I set off for an adventure, a coach tour around Eastern Europe. I’ll land in Helsinki later today, and tomorrow I will meet my tour group; an unknown number of 18-35 tourists, and I’ll have to buddy up with them as best I can manage. I’m not good this.
I like to think I’m a smart guy, smart enough for people not to ‘get’ me or my sense of humour at least. Or that’s what I tell myself when I think maybe I’m just crap at speaking to people. I’m considerate and a good listener, but I tend to be a bit deferential when I’m in a big group. One-to-ones were always easier for me, but if someone’s going to talk all over me, they’ll probably succeed.
So big group meetings are a little stressful, and I just hope I find someone good who doesn’t mind me being a bit clingy in an unfamiliar situation. Maybe I’ll be lucky and they’ll be a bit clingy too, and we will make a great duo, and I don’t have to lie awake worrying if I’m being a burden.
God, did I just write 3 paragraphs of neuroses without even blinking? Yeah well, that’s me.
The first time I did one of these coach tours, it couldn’t have gone better. I met a few friends that I got very close with, and had a great holiday. The second time was a little tougher, and fresh from dad’s stroke I went on a long tour that I couldn’t cancel (and everyone said I should go, dad included). A bit stressed, I ended up in a rather dysfunctional setup with someone who got on well with me, but my paranoia just couldn’t settle, and I spent the whole tour in an emotional tailspin with plenty of bottled-up feelings.
So I’m doing it again… 4 years is a long time, and maybe I can act a bit more rationally this time. Hmm!
After two nights in Helsinki, we cross the border into Russia, where we spend a week between St Petersburg, Novogorod (no, me neither) and Moscow. From there, there’s a night in Belarus, before the tour ends officially in Warsaw after 2 nights. There is a free transit to Berlin, where I will stay a few nights too, before coming home.
I must say I’m a bit nervous about my safety in Russia & Belarus. I guess tour groups wouldn’t go if there was a reasonable chance of anyone being stabbed or killed, but that’s not quite comforting me yet.
But still I go. I want to see Russia, and all the other places (well, Belarus would have been nicer had I not had to shell out £100 for a visa for a day), so this is the way I have to do it. Wish me luck.
PS I’ve been trying to pre-blog plenty of stuff to try and keep the thing busy while I’m away. Totally stupid as it’s sucked a lot of fun out of creating content, but I hope you guys like it. xx