I'm off to Rome. Like, literally, in about half an hour or so.
Tonight I'm in a Heathrow hotel, then very early tomorrow I'm flying off to see, well, I guess stuff like the Colosseum above.
I've wanted to go to Rome ever since I studied Latin at school about eleventy billion years ago. So how did this dream trip come about?
This trip is being arranged by Bridgestone, and along with a bunch of other bloggers and journalists we're going to be trying out various types of tyres on their dedicated test track, aided by a former Formula One star.
So yes, that'll be me who had terrible fear of driving; didn't drive for seven years; overcame my fears; got back on the road; wrote a book about it and now will be going to Rome to drive with a Formula One dude. Funny how life turns out isn't it? It only ever makes sense when you look back and join the dots.
In my book about fear of driving I talk about the importance of getting to know your car as a good way to puncture your fear of it. Everything you learn about how your car works and how to drive it safely will help you become a more confident driver.The more you know about something, the less it stays scary and unknown. Knowledge is power, as they say.
But I don't know very much about tyres, and I've never even changed one before, though I'll be getting expert lessons in how to do it. And I'll report back on what those of you who feel scared to drive will find it useful to know about the wheels under you.
I will admit to feeling mildly anxious about all of this, but it's more of an excited type anxiety than the sort that can tip over into a panic attack. I'm up for an adventure.
Bring it on, Roman-style.
photo credit: www.rome.info