What on earth would I do if four bears came into my camp? Why, I would die of course. Literally shit myself lifeless.– Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods
I’m sitting in the backseat of a car on a 2.5 hour drive from Phuket to Krabi (Thailand) asking myself this question, while doing my yoga belly breathing to calm my nervous system of course. To be honest, I ask myself this question frequently. But always when I travel, and especially abroad.
I could blame it on the fact that I used to suffer from panic attacks (who wouldn’t panic at the thought of shitting themselves) or that I have a sensitive stomach. But let’s be really honest, more often than not the culprit is alcohol (hence well pickled). I like to explore the local beverage offerings wherever I go…I believe it’s my moral imperative as a tourist to sample all the Chianti Tuscany has to offer, the Malbec Argentinian’s are so proud of, and the pure 4 ingredient beer in Germany.
And I know I’m not the only one with this fear because it’s been cinematized. You know that Sex In the City Charlotte moment, the one where she let’s go of her inhibitions in the shower in Mexico and accidentally gets water in her mouth and then proceeds to shit herself in front of her friends. Well lucky for her she does it at her hotel right next to her room. Knowing me I’d be in the middle of a city, hours from my hotel, wearing white pants with shit running down my leg.
There must be a word for the fear of shitting oneself, I need to look that up. Yes, these are the thoughts going through my head while I travel. But hey, if it happens, at least I’d have a great response to the “what’s your most embarrassing travel story” question on Hinge. Although I don’t think my answer is likely to score me a date…shit’s herself in public…that sounds like a woman I’m dying to date. And if it does get me a hit, that dude likely has some fetish involving shit and that’s not the kind of fetish I can compromise with. Now that I think of it, I haven’t thought about what kind of fetish I can compromise with…hmm.
So what if I shit myself, what’s the absolute worst that will happen:
- Embarrassment = yes
- Ruined garments = yes
- Good way to end a bad date = absolutely
- Failure in adulting = depends on how you look at it
- Death = not likely
What’s the point of me telling you this? To say that while I think about this predicament way too much, I don’t let it stop me from doing what I love, whether it be hiking or traveling or hiking while travelling or any other adventure. Sure, there are things I do, or rather not do, to try and avoid my fear becoming reality (which it will someday, I’m convinced).
The point is I don’t let it control what I choose to do, I don’t let it control me! How scary is it to admit this, very! How much grief will I now endure from any of my friends choosing to read this, a ton…Natasha, I can’t wait to see what you come up with. But the more you talk about your fears, put them out in the open, and laugh about them, the less “fearful” they become. And if I had let it control me, I would not have gotten the awesome pic at the top of this post!