I can identify with your situation entirely, I myself, a 19 year old student am about to embark on a 6 month study journy to Europe from NZ. I have been relativley excited up until this week, and now it has suddenly hit me that I have to break up with my girlfriend and say goodbye to my family for this trip. I am incredibly anxious about it!
But I am sure the experience will be one I will never forget, and one that will only richen my soul.
I think travelling is about putting yourself in situations other than ones you might experience from day to day, go out, live life, and enjoy the time you have here!
What good is it leading a grey and dull life without travel? I believe to experience something as great as a trip such as yours, you need to undertake the stress and worries of the time before you go.
As a famous quote goes - "The world is a book, not to travel is to only read one page"
By now you'll be on your way in the next day or two. Having been there myself, anxiety and excitement can be one and the same. It's perfectly natural to be a bit apprehensive about what you are embarking on. That said, when you are actually on the road, I think you'll find that things just seem to fall into place. You'll have good times, rough times and times that fall somewhere in between. More than anything, you'll have times that will provide you with a lifetime of memories and experiences that will prepare you for so many other aspects of your life.
And speaking as a fellow American, don't let any of your friends or family get you down. They don't and won't understand, and probably don't have the desire to anyway. But in the end, they will envy you for having the courage to do something they never would.
I started travelling myself as a Eurail backpacker in Europe, and I can relate to how Americans view this as a "rite of passage" while anywhere beyond that is just plain nuts. However, since my Europe trip, I have done one RTW, been back to South America for a second go, hit parts of Asia last fall and am now moving to Korea in a month to teach English to set myself up to travel some more. So I guess my only caution is: watch out, it can get addictive!
Best of luck to you. But you don't need luck. Just keep your head on straight, an open mind and the knowledge that the world is a wonderous place.
I envy you ,too,because you have so much money and time to do it actually,first of all, your courage is adoring.
we will face venture wherever we are,just to solve them courageously.
I can only echo what others have said in that your feelings are completely normal, in fact I would be worried if you weren't feeling a little apprehensive, as it would probably mean you hadn't thought things through!! You will have the adventure of a lifetime, meet loads of people of a similar mindset, experience new and alien cultures. Maybe you'll have a life changing experience and become a Buddist Monk in the middle of the mountains or maybe not, but at the very least you will get a nice tan and have a good laugh!
I am leaving on the 1st Sept on a two year round the world trip and its a big/huge step, I've recently turned 31 so this isn't something to do as a gap year before uni, I'm leaving behind a well paid job which I enjoy, a nice flat, good freinds and family, but this is something I've wanted to do for a long time. After University I couldn't afford it and couldn't afford the time once I had settled into a job, so it was one of those things that was just tp easy to put off. I got my fix of travel with a two week break every year but it just wasn't quite enough.
My only real major anxiety is that I won't be able to get everything sorted out in time, all the flights visa's etc are done its just the moving stuff to my mums house sorting through mountains of paperwork selling my stuff etc. basically sorting out all of the paperwork and redtape and the rubbish that we manage to pick up along the way. But stressful as it might be to put your life on hold, I have the light at the end of the tunnel that as soon as I have finished, all I have to worry about is having a good time.