Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Hodgepodge trip

A balance: see the world and chill at home...

My entire trip this July
Denmark/Sweden ... Morocco ... London ... Ireland!
It was crazy but fun and each had a purpose.

The world...
As I was traveling, I realized how hodgepodge of a trip this really was! It's not abnormal for me to travel for 2.5 weeks or span multiple countries, but normally I at least focus on one area or theme (ie. SE Asia, Baltics/Scandinavia, Peru). This time, however, I really felt like I was going into many different and disperse cultures, thanks to the budget airlines. It almost felt like 3 different trips!

Most importantly, I got to escape New York and my life mentally. I have been the happiest with teaching, but also the most stressed.

When abroad, two things were clearly reinforced.
1. I really do love my job(s) as stressful as it is. Fellow travellers ask me what I do and ask if I like it, and I would automatically respond "I love it."
2. I really have to escape the city (and even country) to get a true mental break. I forced myself to not talk about work or even my students the whole time! AND I went for days and even weeks at a time without checking e-mail. It is so freeing to be untethered.

After coming back and taking care of work things for a week in NYC, I headed to California for more than one weekend for time with family and friends. I feel so blessed that I finally had a relaxing summer that I could travel and also spend time with family & friends in Cali. Oh how I miss you California.

Chillaxing in NYC?!?
AND at last I have given myself downtime in NYC as promised pre-trip. I allowed about 1.5 months to stay put. It's enough time to get work done, but also catch up on the past two years of life that has been on hold and friends who claim I have been MIA. Alas, could I be gaining my life and balance back? I have even checked things off on my almost-given-up on NYC "bucket list". At the very least, 7-8 hours of sleep a night (!!!) has made for a much healthier body. Yes, and I teach Human Biology. Hmm...

Thanks to all who made my summer amazing out in the world and on both coasts!

Here's to a more sane year ... and of course, what's next? I'm thinking of taking a chunk of time and focusing on one area. Maybe South Africa? India? Argentina and Patagonia? So many places to go. Sane or not, my adventures will never end.