My friend at work was chatting with me the other day. She asked about my preparations for my upcoming visit to Prague. Was I ready to go?

"I have travel fever," I told her. This is my Czech husband's term for the excitement you feel when you are about to make a momentous trip. [He tells me that he is directly translating from Czech--"cestovní horečka" (trip temperature).] 

In my husband's mind, travel fever is almost an illness: you can't eat, you can't sleep, and you can't think normally due to the effect of the upcoming trip. Getting ready for a trip is a source of stress. I can relate to this.

Back to the chat: nodding with understanding, my friend offered another term, the one her mother used: journey-proud

This is such a charming term that I wrote it down to research it, and this is what I found:

"Dear Word Detective:  My mother is fond of calling the nervousness one feels the night or day before a trip as being “journey proud.”  She says it is a Virginia (especially Richmond) anachronism, but I cannot find its derivation anywhere.  I would appreciate your help on this matter." 

Now my friend grew up in Connecticut. "Journey-proud sounded to me like a Yankee saying, terse and laconic with a hint of criticism against anyone who lets upcoming travel influence the normal Yankee stoicism. But apparently, it's a Southern term!

Reading further, I found this:
"But “journey proud” must have been more widespread in the US at one point, because the earliest citation for it in DARE, from 1891, is “I have heard New Englanders speak of a person as ‘journey-proud,’ meaning that one is so elated on the eve of a journey as to care nothing for food."

Then I kept reading and discovered that the hint of conceit I discerned in the term "proud" was probably not present in the original use of the word: The “proud” in “journey proud” is an older English dialect sense lacking the normal self-congratulatory aspects of “proud” and meaning simply “very pleased and excited”.

So the excitement and anticipation I am feeling is not a kind of stress reaction at all. No, it's pure pleasure. There is some stress, naturally, but overall, the pleasure easily overcomes the stress.  I am journey-proud, just pleased to be going to Prague, a city that I love. 


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