#8: Between the Travel....

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January 28th 2012
Published: January 28th 2012
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Between the travel…

I remember when I finished grad school and went out to interview for my first teaching jobs. One principal asked me what I like to do in my free time. I responded without thinking, “I love to travel!” This apparently wasn’t a good enough answer and he asked what I like to do when I’m not traveling. I thought about for a minute and said, “I read about travel, I plan travel, I watch the Travel Channel.” Since they hired me, I guess they liked my educational qualifications enough to compensate for my lack of varied interests!

Right now, I’m between trips. I just finished a weekend in Lombok and my next trip is to Thailand in, according to my Tripit app, 55 days. But enjoying Thailand will be only half my trip, as half will be spent at a conference. In my mind, work-related travel simply doesn’t count. However, it IS something to look forward to. There’s a 4-day weekend in May that I’m excited to fill with an Indonesian destination, since I will be losing my passport to the local bureaucracy for that month. But, looking beyond that, I see that there are only 134 days until my 7-week summer vacation! I had planned to use this down time between trips to write some fabulous blogs about my past travels. I could write about the wonderful trip I took earlier this year to peaceful Yangzhou, China. I could write about some of the interesting people I’d met on previous trips. Or I could write the next part of my spa series….

…and I will get to those. But, right now, I can’t focus on anything because I’m between trips. The only thing I can think about is heading to the airport for the next adventure! This is how it has been my whole adult life. When I’m traveling, I think about the next trip. When I’m not traveling, I obsess about the next trip. I only have two life situations: traveling and between travel. Is this normal?

So, how does my obsession manifest itself? First of all, I spend hour after hour “running the scenarios”. This is where I spend time on airline and general travel websites, checking the time and cost to get from where I am to anywhere on the planet. I stick to the planet because, as of yet, you can’t book space travel on Expedia. People wonder why I have an encyclopedic knowledge of the world’s air routes, but haven’t been able to learn a foreign language – it is simply a time resource allocation issue. In addition to finding transport, I think about hotels, scenery, sights to see…I consume travel books, reviews, blogs, articles, etc. – waiting for something to click. This is how I choose my destinations. I just wait for them to click.

Once I choose the destinations, it’s about finding that hidden gem, that perfect bargain, that ideal itinerary. I love order, good value, and efficiency. It is like a mission! If there is way to get from A to B really quickly, that even the big websites don’t suggest, I will know about it. If there is one business class flight at a cut-rate price, I will find it. If there is a way to sleep on the plane and maximize my fun time, I will find it. Finding a cut-rate, business class, red-eye ticket is like winning a championship! What do I do when I finish booking my upcoming trips? I start doing research and making bookings for my friends! They consider it a huge favor and bestow me with home-cooked meals and bottles of wine (which I never get tired of), but I’m secretly chuckling because I haven’t been able to think of a better way to fill my non-traveling time.

But, for right now, I’m feeling like a bird whose wings have been clipped. I’m grounded. I’m feeling stuck. Even though I live overseas, making life one long travel adventure, I still feel trapped.

Must work! Must earn money to pay for future trips!! Must make an attempt at being a responsible adult!!!

55 days. 1 month and 25 days. Less than 2 months……then life begins again!


28th January 2012

Please write about NC...
18th February 2012

Foreign Language vs. Anything to do with Travel
My husband says the same thing..why don't you study Chinese (as we are embarking on our 5th term teaching here) instead of reading blog? My response is "I studied the 1st term we lived here and haven't since..why do you still ask me this? I don't enjoy learning the language that is why and I truly enjoy reading about others travels and planning our next travels.

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