Believe it or not, I was actually looking forward to coming home from our latest trip. After a few days away, I start to miss my dogs and the comforts of home. I am notoriously terrible about traveling with too much stuff, so I get tired of hauling heavy bags. I miss being able to do laundry when I need to. I also miss my computer, since I write almost every day and an iPad isn’t so good for that. I know I could invest in a laptop, but I actually prefer writing on a desktop computer. I may buy a laptop, though, just so I’ll have it for travel.
Every trip, especially the ones that last longer than a week, has its stresses. When we went to Scotland, the stress was dealing with our dog, MacGregor, who had a spinal tumor that suddenly got very bad when we were away. We dealt with lots of frantic emails from the pet resort where he and Zane were being boarded and a call home to our vet. We otherwise had a wonderful time, but it was tough being away while MacGregor was dealing with that… and even tougher when we got home and realized that we would have to put him down.
During this trip, we didn’t have any issues with our dogs. They both came through the experience just fine. Our main stress this time was dealing with being sick, on the rag, and/or injured. I guess we should have expected the sickness, since it seems like every time we go to Europe, one of us gets sick. Bill usually gets it before I do, then passes it to me. This time, I was the one who got it. I thought maybe I was dealing with allergies at first, since I was sneezing a lot when we were in Rome and it seemed like everyone around us was, too. It makes sense, I guess. We pick up the germs we haven’t been exposed to.
Another stressor about traveling is dealing with other people. I spend most of my time alone because we live in the country and I don’t work outside the home. Most days, Bill is the only other person I see. So I worry that my social skills have eroded. Also, I’m just not used to being around people all the time anymore, so I tend to be hypersensitive about some things. On the other hand, I am a bit of an extravert, so being around people can also be energizing. But I do find that by the end of the trip, I’m ready to go back under my rock where there’s peace and quiet and nothing I say or do offends anyone. And likewise, nothing anyone else says or does offends me… 😉 While most people can’t live the type of hermit existence I do, it is a relatively drama free way to be– unless you count online drama.
The last few days at home have been kind of difficult, mainly because of online drama. I’ve gotten it from several different sources over several different issues. It’s about reached a critical mass, to the point at which I’m considering unplugging the Internet for awhile. Last night, I was actually feeling kind of depressed and wondering if I really wanted to book another cruise. Don’t get me wrong. I loved being on SeaDream again and seeing some of the marvelous folks who make that cruise line what it is. It’s just that there’s all this drama that comes from disrupting life to go on a trip. There’s drama at home, drama online, and drama involving the people you interact with during your trip… I sit here and rerun all the things through my mind and wonder if it’s all worth it. But then, once all the drama inevitably blows over, I find myself wanting to go somewhere else.
Perhaps the reason the post travel depression has been so acute this time is that the last two years have been pretty travel intense. In November of 2011, we went on a SeaDream cruise in the southern Caribbean. Then, in May of 2012, we took our very first military hop and ended up in Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg. We had a fantastic time, but it was truly “seat of your pants” travel in that we had to make all our plans at the last minute and be very flexible. Then in November 2012, we went to Scotland, which was a trip that I had been planning and anticipating for a long time, only to follow up with our most recent trip to Italy and Greece. Interspersed with all of those trips have been shorter domestic trips. That’s a lot of transatlantic and international travel… and a lot to absorb if you’re used to being alone and are not a particularly laid back person.
Anyway, things are getting back to normal now… sort of. We still have the big move looming ahead, which means another trip is in the works before the big road trip from North Carolina to Texas.