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Flapping About Spain Part 2

Blog Date - 30 April 2018

By Ren Withnell

Fear is a personal thing. 

I have promised myself that I'll ride "The Big One" at Blackpool (it's a roller coaster if you don't know). Then every time I get close to the damn thing I start to back pedal and chicken out. I'm scared of a roller coaster but I'll ride a motorcycle. Statistically speaking which one is more dangerous?

I don't like spiders, they give me the shivers. I can handle them though, nervously. I don't run out of the room screaming I just wouldn't want to wake up with one on my face. Yet I know grown men that turn to jelly if there's one in the same room as them. 

A small scruffy spider's web in Ren's shed
In my scruffy shed a fear of spiders must be overcome.

I cannot watch scary movies. I mean for goodness sake even Indiana Jones makes me nervous. I have seen Jaws but mostly I looked at my knees when the scary music started. Yet I can enter a room filled with strangers and introduce myself, something many people cannot do.

As such there are things that will worry me that might not cause you to barely raise an eyebrow. My flapping about Spain should by now make it clear that going to far off places is one of the things I worry about.

On the previous flapping post several comments were made to the effect they or their parents would happily hop onto a (now vintage) motorcycle with nothing more than a map and a change of underpants and head into Europe. They had their guile and a spanner, they required nothing more.

Ian Soady's 850 Norton Commando
If Ian Soady's 850 Commando can get into Europe...

Logically I agree. Logically spiders in the UK are not dangerous so there's nothing to fear. Logically scary movies cannot hurt me but they still scare the poop out of me.

I am incredibly resourceful. I made a temporary cover for Sharon's radiator fan cowl from a beer can. I replaced the glass over the speedo with the bottom of a plastic jar when I was last in Spain. I have grafted a random Kawasaki brake lever onto Sharon's Keeway. I'm as good as anyone I know at "MacGyvering" my way out of problems.

A beer can squashed and bent to cover the fan cowl exit on Sharon Z250SL
There...fixed it!

So what am I worried about? 

The biggest problem for me is the fixed rigid time we need to be back at the ferry. Eh? What? Sheeez Ren it's not hard being in Santander on the right day is it? No, no it's not hard at all. Not unless we have a breakdown or a problem a day or so beforehand.

We are booked on a Sunday ferry. I plan to be in Santander on Saturday night. But what if on the Saturday I fall ill or Sharon's bike springs a leak? We both have some form of European breakdown cover but that won't be contracted to make sure we're at the ferry on time. We have travel insurance but that won't get us to the ferry on time.

The ferry at Santander in 2005
I *HAVE* to be here to catch the ferry home!

Catch a later ferry? Is there a cost to this? Sharon and I would both be late returning to our respective jobs. I've just started at a new place and Sharon's council are always looking for excuses to reduce staffing levels. This would not be a good experience, particularly for Sharon. Unlike the "good old days" employers aren't interested in your personal mishaps.

If the personal mishap is earlier in the trip at least we'll have a little time to sort it out. Then there's my always unreasonable expectations. 

I don't want our trip to be a problem solving experience where we have to sort out problem after problem. So I'm flapping about the tyres having enough tread, the servicing being up to date and preparation in case something breaks. What about getting lost? What about the weather? What about the traffic? What about the Spanish roads? What about the Spanish drivers....

A road winds it's way through the Spanish parched countryside
I do hope we find roads and weather as good as this.

Look, unless you are one of those superhuman people who takes every issue in their stride I'm certain most of you have worried about SOMETHING! It could be your child going off to their first festival or you're starting a new job. Logic dictates it is quite likely everything will be OK, problems do happen but you will overcome them, complete disasters are quite rare and you cannot control everything. 

I KNOW THIS!!! Much as I know a scary movie cannot actually hurt me and I have faith in my abilities I cannot switch off my concerns. 

I am clinging to the notion of balance. Only a fool would set off to Spain on a motorcycle with bald tyres and low on oil. I cannot do anything about unforeseen problems like a failed sensor though. Only a fool would set off to go camping in Spain without a tent and a sleeping bag but I cannot control the weather we may come across. Only a fool would go without the correct paperwork for the motorcycles but I cannot control the traffic.

A pile of new and used motorcycle tyres
At least check the tyres before we go huh?

As I get older I am learning that bad things happen. Fewer bad things happen to those who are prepared, but bad things still happen to even the most prepared people. As long as I am as prepared as my limited experience of foreign travel allows then I have done my best. If I have done my best then I can do nothing more. Everything else is beyond my control. 

My ego yearns to be that wild adventure motorcyclist as pictured on magazine covers, as seen on YouTube videos and even on TV these days. I am not. I'm a worried inexperienced young boy trapped in the body of a middle aged bloke. 

Despite all this I am looking forward to our trip. I don't have to do this, I want to do this. I could just go back to Scotland because I absolutely adore The Highlands. I could go to Cornwall or Wales or East Anglia, they are all wonderful places and I'm sure I'd have a great time. I want to go to Spain though. One day if finances and time allows I want to go even further.

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Reader's Comments

Christopher said :-
Go for it Ren!! Have not the slightest doubt....You (we) create your (our) own 'reality' via our thoughts and words...For example instead of 'I will believe it when i see it' its a case of.....'What i believe i will see', So....If for example you 'expect the worst', or 'somethings bound to go wrong'....Then, that is what you will create in your 'reality' via the universal law of in 'like attracts like', or 'you reap what you sow', Another term is 'self sabotage', Everything we 'experience' each day is not 'what has happened to us on that day,' but, rather what we have manifested/created on that day via our 'belief systems' through thoughts, emotions and words.
Hence, for example, see it as.....'Your trip to Spain is a enjoyable and wonderful experience, Your looking forward to it very much.....Or thoughts/words to that effect.

1/5/2018 2:20:30 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers Chris. I am what I refer to as a optimistic pessimist. I expect the worse then if anything other than the worse happens I've had a good time.
2/5/2018 10:18:51 AM UTC

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