Have you ever discovered a fear that you never thought you would have if placed in a new environment or situation?
I would describe myself as an accomplished driver. I learned to drive on some of the most congested roads in East London and passed my test at the age of 17. Driving has therefore never been an issue for me. However, what would suprisingly be one of the first fears I would need to conquer here in Guadeloupe?
Yes, getting behind the wheel!
We shipped our car from the UK to Guadeloupe so I have the familiarity of our right hand drive car. I have not yet seen another right hand drive vehicle in Guadeloupe so we often get toots, waves and bemused looks from other drivers! The first two months were spent with me driving now and then, but mostly declining to drive when my husband asked if I wanted to do so. Roads in Guadeloupe are mostly dual carriageway style with some winding country roads in more rural areas. There is a bus service, however this is infrequent so driving is a must. My husband, J, would encourage me to drive , saying that once I was doing so, I would be able to do the things I enjoy, without relying on him for lifts.
On a few occasions, J would try to push me to get behind the wheel more often to try to overcome any fear I may have but I was not having any of it! I was not ready and would not be pushed…… J thought I needed this push (as per his teacher instinct) and we ended up in some very animated discussions!
So last Friday, J wanted to go to the gym and I did not fancy it that day. He suggested that having dropped him at the gym, I could go to the local shopping centre about 20 minutes away, have a browse and then pick him up. At first I protested inside and verbally, but then decided I should probably just go for it!
In doing so, I felt a sense of achivement….something maybe insignificant for some, but for me, I had taken a big step.
Going forward, I know it will become easier and I will be the British girl in Guadeloupe who now drives on the right!