I got back from my last international trip – 10 days in Colombia – on August 30, which makes this the longest stretch of time that I’ve spent at home in Boston in more than two years.
And I’ve hated it.
OK, I haven’t totally hated it. I’ve been able to clean my closets, try out some new recipes, take long walks around the neighborhood with my dog, and catch up with friends – some I haven’t seen since before I left for Southeast Asia last fall.
Despite my surroundings being familiar and calm, however, on the inside I’ve been restless, anxious even – I’ve spent way too many nights awake wondering if it’s worth working so damn hard to maintain a stable career and home while trying to see the world, when I’m only able to do so a little bit at a time. Or if I should finally jump in feet first, rid myself of everything tying me down and take off for good – to really, truly immerse myself in a life of travel. (I’ve been wrestling with this for years – see my first post.)
And, despite how strongly I believe in being a “backyard tourist”, I’ve been letting my “day job” creep into nights and weekends, and haven’t made much time for fun. When faced with any unscheduled time, I’ve found it hard to relax – feeling that I should be doing something more productive or exciting with an extra hour or two instead of catching up on Dateline. (Although I did greatly enjoy hearing Elizabeth Gilbert speak with my Wanderful friends, and taking day trips to the SoWa Market – the banner photo – and Walden Pond with other local bloggers.)
I’d like to say that as the weeks have gotten easier as they’ve gone by, but they really haven’t. A quick weekend trip to New Jersey though perked me up – I got that familiar jolt of excitement when I arrived at the airport, even though I was only departing on a 37-minute flight.
I’m hoping that someday I can learn to appreciate downtime – but I never have (much to my mother’s dismay), so the likelihood of me being content staying in one place for long periods of time is unlikely. What has always helped me be my happiest and healthiest is having a trip to look forward to (Science is on my side here – check out this article in The Atlantic.)
So even though I wasn’t planning on traveling anywhere until early 2016, I decided to move around my work schedule and say yes to a last-minute adventure. I’ll be heading to PERU tomorrow morning to meet up with a traveler I met in Colombia – I booked my ticket only two weeks ago. Needless to say, I now have an outlet for all of my restless energy – and only wish I had a few more days (hours even) to get everything done before departing.
Do you feel unsettled when you’re at home between trips? What do you do to cope? Any advice on Peru? (I have no plans!)