Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Vacations are great. Weeks before you leave, you find yourself getting more excited about leaving. You're deciding what clothes to bring for the destination you planned. You might even go out and buy a few new things to take with you. Be sure your camera batteries are charged, the camera is clean and you have enough memory cards to take with you. Get out the passport, can't forget that. About this time, I have my suitcase in my extra room and I have tossed things in there that I absolutely can't forget.
Finally, the day arrives and you get up extra early for the drive to the airport, doing a last minute check of all the things you need to remember. Don't forget the pre-printed boarding passes, what a great idea they came up with! I usually find myself driving to the airport in the dark, reaching the parking area at dawn. Even though I've allowed myself plenty of time, I always think there will be a holdup. Security is always a holdup - even though I have nothing on but my clothes, when I go through the scanner, it seems that they always have to pat me down. I don't think I fit their profile, but something prompts them. Or their scanner is defective? This time, they even took my glasses and put them in a container to go through their scanner with all the other luggage. I'm sure there's a reason for that, I just can't figure out where I'd hide anything in my glasses.
Then you sit and wait to board the flight and endure the change in planes at another airport and finally arrive at your destination. Within hours, you are whisked away from your life and have been placed in a totally different location with a totally different agenda for the week. It feels great! You just know you're going to have a great time and things will look different when you get back home.
You do all the things you planned - hiking, snorkeling, sailing, eating the local food so different from where you live. You're happy and content just sitting and gazing at your surroundings for extended times. It's so different from where you live, and you want to imprint it in your memory because you know a photo will only be a reminder of the great view you are seeing.
Too soon, it's all over and you're packing to go home. In some ways, it feels good to be going home because you're relaxed, you just know that things will be easier to deal with. OK, so maybe you haven't missed your job, and you're not anxious to get back there, but maybe it won't be so bad when you get back. Maybe they've kept up the work so you don't have a stack of it. You can always hope.
All too soon, you're back home. The house is the same, the cat is whining that you left her for a full week. It doesn't matter that she's had company once in a while and she's had food and water and sleeps most of the time anyway. What she's really upset about is that YOU weren't there to be with her, but she gets over it and is much more affectionate than usual.
Back at work for the first few hours, or maybe even a couple days, work doesn't even seem that bad. Then you realize no one kept up with things and you have a pile of problems to deal with. Did you really think that someone would take care of things like you did? Silly thought. After a few more days cleaning things up, you're pretty much as stressed as before you left. Then you start thinking you maybe should have "missed" your flight home.
Most people go back into their lives, happy with the memories and stories and they will be content to wait for next year's vacation. I never quite get that feeling. You realize that the wanderlust you've kept hidden deep inside has surfaced, like a monster you've kept at bay. You want to become the perpetual tourist, the permanent traveler. No one understands except possibly another kindred soul.