Travel The World

That Feeling You Get The Night Before Tomorrow

Cathay Pacific PlaneTomorrow.

Tomorrow it will be too late to plan and too late to pack.

Tomorrow, the dragon route begins.


British unicorn passport

My passport doesn’t look like this…

Through hard work and a healthy sprinkling of good luck, I get to travel a lot. More than a lot as my family would say, not to mention the various visa centres I’ve traipsed through as fingers and thumbs have searched for the last few empty pages in my passport. A passport that lost its gilded unicorn on the front page a long time ago.

“So you’ve seen everything now and you’re going back twice,” someone said as I returned to old friends Toronto, Morocco and Mexico last year.

Well, hardly. The world is still so big. And despite my fondness for cupcakes, I am still small.

Yet, this time something feels different. This time, the day before tomorrow comes and I can’t sit still. I’m restless. Distracted. Drinking far too many cups of tea.

Could it be that I’m excited? Or perhaps there’s something else.

There’s a chance that I feel nervous. A sliver of a shiver as I step into the unknown.

I’m not sure if it’s an old friend but I certainly remember it well.

I’m not sure if it’s an old friend but I certainly remember it well

I suspect that you do too.

I was young once...

I was young once…

It’s the feeling, that feeling, before your first journey overseas. It’s the pulsing in your fingers and slight buzzing in your ears. It’s not quite panic and it’s not quite joy. It’s a cocktail of expectation laced with an undercurrent of fear.

It’s the bubble of half-heard myths all jumbled together, the photos, the films, the stories and the bureaucratic language of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It’s the recent sting of vaccines, the dashed scribbles on the to-do list and the omnipresent “finger cross” that you’ll get to the airport on time.

It’s knowing that it all could go wrong, yet hoping for something to blaze into your life. Hoping for something wonderful.

It’s the start of a new adventure. And it’s finding, after all these years, that there still is adventure to be found.

Time may have wiped the unicorn from my passport. But that doesn’t stop me searching for dragons.

Wish me luck – and follow me – as I head out on the Dragon Route.



How To Follow Along

Internet permitting, I’ll be posting updates and photos as I travel on all my various social media networks (see the flasks top right for an intro.) I’ll write the odd blog post as I go along and then delve into the in-depth stuff once I get back home.

Words & Pictures On The Go

The Inside the Travel Lab Facebook Page

@insidetravellab on Twitter - use the #DragonRoute hashtag to filter out the chat

Pictures On The Go

Instagram – profile @insidetravellab

Pinterest – profile @insidetravellab – “Where I am right now” board

The “On The Road” section of this blog…


How To Win £200 worth of Cathay Flights

Check back here for all the details after the trip. (Hint – you can subscribe by email to find out when that will be!)

Disclosure: this whole project comes about thanks to Cathay Pacific UK, my “artistic sponsor” if you will. They fly to Vietnam, Burma/Myanmar, Hong Kong and mainland China. They don’t yet, alas, fly to Wales…


What is the #DragonRoute? Find out here…


14 Responses to That Feeling You Get The Night Before Tomorrow

  1. Alison April 13, 2013 at 12:08 am #

    I totally know what you mean. The night before a big journey I vacilate between panic and excitement and joy. I’m never quite sure which emotion I am feeling more strongly. I truly don’t relax until I arrive at my destination. All part of the experience I guess.

    • Abi King April 20, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one! Luckily, so far, so good and I’m feeling much more peaceful!

  2. Sam April 15, 2013 at 3:16 am #

    Good luck! My passport no longer has a unicorn on it either. Sad.

    • Abi King April 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

      The bigger question, I suppose, is why there was ever a unicorn on the front to begin with! Still, at least lost unicorns mean we’ve travelled plenty!

  3. Gina May 1, 2013 at 5:13 am #

    You summed up how I feel before I set up on a new adventure perfectly. I never use to feel this way, as I started traveling at a young age. Back then it was all excitement before a trip. But as I get older and wiser (I hope), I’ve learned the world isn’t all butterflies and puppies. I think a healthy amount of uneasy before starting into the unknown is a good thing.

    • Abi May 9, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

      I agree. I’m sure the younger me would have just said “just go for it!” but now I know that things can and do go wrong. A healthy amount of preparation – and then go for it!

  4. Tamanna Shaikh May 2, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    This is the situation in which neither you enjoy nor you go away. On a such day only one thing you need to do is let it be..whatever is going on. After reaching to your destination you will find everything well. :)

    • Abi May 9, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

      Happily – all did go well too. Thank you!

  5. ces May 2, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    Been there done that. I often get that unexplainable feeling the day before my trip and so many what ifs puzzling my mind. I think I can never relax when I think about smooth and hassle-free travel. :D

    • Abi May 9, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

      Perhaps it’s because usually if something goes wrong in a day we can muddle on through and it doesn’t cost us much (in either time or energy.) But if you miss a flight or arrive on the other side of the world only to remember that you DID leave the oven on…Well, it’s trickier to fix!

  6. Subhradeep May 31, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    The night before tomorrow is just a word lack i cant find rigtword todescribe it but its true u cant sleep that particular night due to exitement and joy.

    • Abi King June 5, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

      Glad you understood what I meant!

  7. Wade Goodwin June 28, 2013 at 12:34 am #

    As if the anxiousness and excitement of my upcoming year-long RTW journey wasn’t quite enough….

    …thanks for multiplying it! :)

    • Abi King June 29, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

      Once you step off that plane (or boat or what have you) then it will all melt away! Have a fantastic time :-)