Even a Full-Time Traveler Needs a Vacation

Full-time travel is NOT like vacation. Plus, don’t you always feel the need for vacation when you get home from vacation? You’re tired, you’ve experienced a lot, and still have chores and projects to do. Plus gobs of laundry.

That’s where I am right now–in need of NO stimulation.

Slow Down There, Missy

I’ve been on the road nearly nine months and have driven just over 17,000 miles. That road warrior state of mind is long gone. When I first started the trip, I was afraid of not seeing enough before snowfall. What’s “enough”?  It’s not like if I miss a place on this trip I can’t visit it later.

So now I’ve made peace with the fact that I likely won’t accomplish 50 states on this trip. To be clear, I’m not trying to visit all 50 in this year-ish, but to achieve my remaining five. I started the trip with nine to go, so I feel great about the four that were added.

Plus, stays are much longer than before. Previously, I was in and out in a matter of days. Add the constant writing and photo editing, and I was working until midnight and starting again at 8:00 am. Now I linger. To find out what wasn’t already on my itinerary. To dedicate days to writing and others to chores. This lets me stop working at a reasonable hour, watch tv (when there’s reception), read, sleep.

A Gluttony of, well, Everything

Exploring America is incredible. The dots of history are connecting, and making new patterns–so many realities I never conceived.

The art is compelling–whether it compels me to think or moves me to my core.

The whimsy is everywhere.

The natural beauty gives me breath as often as it takes it away.

The people are kind and funny and fascinating. And admittedly I haven’t taken the time to meet enough of them.

Regular Life

It continues, try as I might to avoid it. Taxes and broken eyeglasses. Common ailments that the internet convinces me are cancer.

My spectacular need to start ridiculous and consuming projects remains. Organizing my music. Listening to every song ever recorded by an artist who’s new to me. Finding the perfect system for capturing my flood of ideas and to-dos.

Fight for My Rights

No one takes my money. Look out world!

When the computer died at one year, I fought for a reimbursement and got it. Ditto for the printer. When the camper had water, water everywhere from both the kitchen sink that exploded and the input valve that seeped, I got warranty to cover both. I’m on my third internet provider in nine months. When the transmission blew (and I didn’t tell Mom and Dad bc they would worry), guess who got it covered under warranty plus got the rental car reimbursed because this faulty transmission pump is a known problem.

This is exhausting and time consuming. But it’s also a lot of money.

Car and Camper Troubles

Just had an accident with a woman who was DWI, with three children in the car, and blew .17–you’re considered legally drunk at .08. I’m fine. The SUV is fixed. And I’ll tell the whole tale once insurance is final.

A tire pulled and should be covered under warranty. The dealer wasn’t having it. So I called my tire guy at home, he called the dealer, and poof, no more cheating a woman. Ditto with the transmission above: the mechanic back home advised me on what to say and gave me a glossary so I would know what they were saying.  These men are on my Board of Directors.

The things that connect the roof of my camper to the body were recalled. Awesome.  The thing that protects the wheels from rocks literally blew off while driving. Awesome. Water freezes overnight so I bought a $150 heated hose specific for potable water.

And then We Have the Passions

Writing. What a gift to have time, motivation, and content to write daily. But see, I’m writing DAILY. It takes as much out of me as it gives. Saw a quote that “choosing to be a writer means you always have homework.” Yup.

Photos. So much to see. So much to capture. So many pictures to edit. 200 pics a day is average. Now cull and retouch and sort. It’s a LABOR of love.

Add contests and guest posts–which are plentiful and I’m so thankful. Add editing a friend’s book–which is clever and will go far. Add engaging in social media and studying best practices to promote my bog.

And That’s Why I NEED a Vacation

Blessed with good (and free) internet, I spent an entire day watching Downton Abbey. Then the next two days watching Scandal.

Not enough.

I reached out on Facebook for ideas in Vegas or a cruise. Neither suits me, both would still be stimulating, and I’d feel compelled to write.

Other full-time travelers and dear friends validated my need for time off.

  • “Any way of life can get monotonous.”
  • “Too many of anything necessitates some of other things. :-)”
  • ” [Get] a pitcher of margaritas. Short-term solution, but it [works].”
  • “What about a retreat? I hazard a guess that travel and sight seeing could be over-stimulating and you may enjoy something quiet and calm and serene….?”

So What Did I Do?

Stay at a campground that unbeknownst to me has no TV or phone service. Because it’s in a canyon, with a creek. Not such a bad thing.

Schedule one treatment a day at a local spa, so I could spread out the exultation and use them for their amenities. A shower with an unlimited supply of hot water? I’ll take two…in one day. Sauna, hot tub, nap, water with fruit in it. And two services I’ve never had before: Reiki and an Ayurvedic treatment. They were far from massage, and far more relaxing. Plus no soreness the next day.

Did it Work?

Yes.

Plus I need to continue to slow down. That’s not a new revelation–I’ve always over-committed. Even if I’m over-committing to sightseeing.

***

What do you do when you’re over-stimulated?

5 Responses

02.28.13

Maybe some type of retreat (yoga, meditation etc.) where you do not bring your camera or your computer. No pics and no writing. I know … I know … but if you also heed to the margarita recommendation, it will help with the withdraw from the those 🙂

I think vacation/travel is like work. You still have to plan your day. And the domestic duties you typically set aside for after work need to be done all day, every day. Oh, and the pay sucks when you’re traveling. Unless you’re traveling for work.

What are the things in your life that help you settle, relax and unwind? Do one or two today. And tomorrow.

Have you thought about contacting the Center for Women at Emory, or other women’s org about carrying some of, or linking to your blog? There’s lots of great girly feminist stuff in there.

As always, David – excellent advice!

Just home from a 13 day trip to Hawaii which included a cruise. Even a cruise can be exhausting — especially a port intensive one. I had a fever of 101F within hours of walking in our front door and I can hear my husband’s hacking cough in the next room. Too much of a good thing?
Just One Boomer (Suzanne) recently posted..Baby Boomer Travel DazeMy Profile

Suzanne – feel better! At least you weren’t sick in Hawaii…

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