1. Decide that the hotel room is going to be horrible and obsess over that for weeks. Because you are totally going to a beach resort in order to sit in a room all day long.
2. Worry yourself to the point of mental collapse with the doubts as to whether two sticks of deodorant will be enough for the entire trip. Because it makes so much sense to wear deodorant to the beach.
3. Freak out every twenty minutes about the possibility that you will forget to print out your travel documents yet abstain from printing them out. Because just printing them out already would rob you of a great opportunity to freak out constantly.
4. Read only the negative reviews of the resort. Because a positive review might actually alleviate your misery.
5. Convince yourself that being away for two weeks during the month when you are not scheduled to teach and nobody expects you on campus will ruin your academic career. Because successful academics are people who live in their offices and never have any fun.
6. Tell yourself that even though you’ve been packing for over a week, there is some hugely important object that you must have forgotten to pack and your entire vacation will be ruined as a result. Because the success of a vacation is totally dependent on a piece of clothing or a pair of shoes.
7. Decide based on no evidence whatsoever that your partner who is traveling with you doesn’t love you any longer and doesn’t really want to go. Because it makes no sense to be miserable on your own. It’s so much better to make somebody else share the misery.
8. Worry endlessly as to whether it’s better to paint your toenails one day or two days before the trip. Because this huge dilemma of incredible proportions is really worth stressing about. Especially when you are a 36-year-old university professor.
9. Decide that you cannot go to bed until you determine whether the Japanese restaurant at the resort where you are going is amazing (as some reviewers say) or horrible (as other reviewers maintain.) Because finding out for yourself when you actually get to the resort would be too easy.
After completing all of these rounds and feeling thoroughly unhappy, you are ready to set on your trip. Fortunately, the airport is a great place to torture yourself some more with worst-case scenarios.
There is never a dull moment for us, masochists.
* By masochism here I don’t mean the fun, great and healthy S&M practices.