How the Recluse Became a Road Rat

by Bill Brenner on August 6, 2010

Since my OCD and anxiety used to make me deathly afraid of travel, it’s kind of weird that I do so much of it now without giving it much thought.

Mood music:


This time, me, the wife and kids are driving down to the D.C. area. Not a White House tour like we had a couple months ago, but good times all the same. The family will stay with relatives in southern Maryland for a couple days while I drive on to DC to work two security conferences: Metricon 5 and one of my faves, the USENIX Security Symposium. After I’m done writing all there is to write down there for CSO Magazine, I’ll retrieve the family in Maryland and head home.

I still take my precautions, of course. I’ve enlisted people to look after the house while we’re away so someone will be here. I write about security. I can’t help but think of these things.

But the fact that I’m making this drive twice in one year really flies in the face of how it used to be, when I felt complete terror if I took a wrong turn and got lost in a city other than my own. Even getting lost in Boston would freak me out.

This week I’ve been driving all over Boston, taking side roads in the city to avoid traffic hell on I-93 as I traveled to and from Haverhill for SANS Boston 2010. It hasn’t bothered me one bit.

I used to have a fear of flying, too. Not any more. I get on planes all the time now. In fact, I start to get a little crazy if I go too long without leaving Massachusetts for a few days. It’s always for work, but I ALWAYS make sure I build in some time to experience the city I’m in.

Frankly, it would be easier to fly to and from DC on my own. But I treasure these long drives with the family as well, so it’s all good. I’ll be fried by the end of next week, but it’ll be worth it. And as a bonus, I’ll have several security articles to show for it.

This makes me happy. And it makes me feel weird.

These are just more examples of how I now crave most of the things I used to fear most.

I don’t have to over-analyze it. I just thank God and make the most of the gifts he gave me.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

expwoman August 6, 2010 at 7:28 am

Very cool. This is something I also am grateful for–that I am actually doing things. And yeah, sometimes it feels weird too.

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