27 January 2013

On Travel

My earliest memory of traveling was when I was six and my family piled into our Oldsmobile for a road trip to Texas.  We were going to visit a family friend in Carrizo Springs.  I loved everything about the experience.  Waking up early, the books and activities for the ride, being in a new place, just breathing air in a different location on this planet of ours.  Coming home was hard.  Back to the ordinary.  The normal.

When I was eleven, this same family friend, a Catholic priest from Belgium, mentioned that he was going home for a family wedding.  I immediately chimed in that I would like to go.  I can still picture having the conversation at the kitchen table.  To this day, I don't know what possessed me.  I also don't know where I get my wanderlust.  My parents rarely travel and when they do, you get the impression they are holding there collective breath until the moment there arrive back on their doorstep when they exhale and begin to live again.  I, on the other hand, live to travel.  My grandmother used to call me her little butterfly.  She said it was because I was always flitting from place to place.

Mark and I just returned from a trip to Austria so I am suffering a bit from post-travel depression.  I know all the signs.  Heavy sighing.  Staring at ticket stubs and boarding passes.  The feeling of sadness and longing deep inside.  Reminiscing.  My head and heart remain here just a little longer.

Sometimes this post-travel depression is combined with not wanting to return home.  This makes it far worse.  The good thing for me is I came home to a place I love filled with people I love and even at a time I love.  To arrive in New Orleans with Mardi Gras and the Superbowl right around the corner is good medicine for my condition.  The BEST medicine, however, is this:

Holding my breath until the next trip...

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