What a long, strange trip it’s been.

Two trips, actually.

In the last nine days I boosted my usual amount of travel by 200%. This last just-over-a-week has been a real-life “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,” and by the very last leg of the two trips yesterday afternoon, I’d pretty much had it. Yes, I’m a lightweight. I realize some people travel, for leisure and/or business, all the time. Those people are very much not me.

I love seeing and learning new things, new places, new people. I’ve been enriched in countless ways by the small amount of travel I’ve been able to do in my lifetime. I’d love to stretch even wider – back to Europe to explore all the places I’ve missed. To the portions of the U.S. I ache to see. (Example: It’s super-exciting for me to be in the Baltimore/D.C. area. But it’s 17 hours by car OR an expensive plane/rental car journey. I’ve always wanted to tour New England – especially in the autumn – but the places I’d love to go, like Boston, Connecticut, and Maine, are HOURS AND HOURS and/or DOLLARS AND DOLLARS further even than Baltimore/ D.C. This nation is too damned big.)

But as much as I’d love to see more new places, traveling fundamentally goes agains the grain for me. So many people. So little alone time. So much being “on.” For a person who has to spend literally hours alone in a quiet room, recharging her emotional batteries after a morning of forced interpersonal encounters, travel is pretty much a love/hate thing.

So by the time I was on the winding ribbon of highway yesterday through the Flint Hills of Kansas, I was something of a mess. There were a lot of reasons for that; recently having to say another good-bye to our Oldest, difficult experiences in travel with The Husband (news flash: people with anxiety, depression, ADHD, hearing loss, and OCD tendencies do NOT make comfortable travel companions), a challenging and exhilerating but fairly draining conference, a brief hello-and-goodbye to our Boy (he had a concert I was able to attend one evening during the conference, which took place in his college town), and the ever-present middle age hormones. All these factors combined as I made the three hour drive home, so that I felt physically unwell and emotionally off-balance.

Today I’ll recover and recalibrate. Do normal, homey things: bake a pie, dust and vacuum, read, knit, tend to my birdfeeders and the Little Free Library, enoy a neighborhood walk in the cool of the morning.

And I bet that by the end of next week I’ll be ready to start dreaming of travel again.

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