And Time Goes On…

I have sat down and started writing several times over the last few months.  I’d been inspired by different things, but in the end I wasn’t satisfied with the attempts to share what I’ve been feeling as I return to “normal life” after a year of travel.  I guess for starters, I returned to a life that is familiar, but now quite different.  I have grown and changed, as has my current life circumstance.

And then there’s the “time thing.” Time is such a strange thing.  We’ve all felt it, the grueling hour that feels like six, the burdensome workweek that seems to never end, and conversely, the one-week vacation that goes by in the blink of an eye.  It was 6 months ago that I returned to the US, and it feels bizarre and surreal that so much time has gone by.  I find myself thinking, “Six months, how is that possible? I’ve done hardly anything in six months,” when in reality I have done quite a lot.

In my time back I have been with my family in New Jersey twice, including a family reunion in the Poconos, two visits to NYC with dear friends, a night in Philly, and a week in Orlando with my immediate family.  I also spent two weeks in my second home, New Orleans, during Jazz Fest.  It was fantastic to be back in her energy with lifelong friends, and to share her with my love for his first time.  And then, as I’ve worked my way back into “normal life” in Key West, I’m now living with my partner and quit working nights, so right there life is quite different, in addition to keeping busy visiting, teaching, working, and playing.

The thing is that in comparison, a year ago I was in Ho Chi Minh City, I had visited 11 countries, nearly 40 cities and slept in as many beds, been on countless trains and buses, encountered a myriad of new people, and experienced some of the most memorable places of my life.  And I still had six more months to come.  That’s what seems so surreal; to realize how extensive and full my year was, to know how much I can accomplish in a year of no work, no schedule, no responsibility to anyone but self (and travel buddy).  And I did…I experienced a ton of new and exciting things, and when I think back to them, they feel incredibly recent, my memories are crisp and clear, and I am missing it.

I suppose most of all what I realize is that for me it hasn’t been about reacclimating to life at home, rather it’s about getting used to not being on the road and having fresh stimuli thrown at me daily.  Even though the details are different, my home of 16 years is more or less the same.  It’s the new, the unknown, that I’m missing.  Thankfully the world is big, there are thousands of places I’ve never been, and I have a partner who wants to live it with me.

That being said, I am incredibly excited to be traveling to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico in 2 days.  Even with its’ close proximity, I have never been there, so it will be a treat.  I hope to cross off the bucket list swimming with whale sharks, going for a dip in a cenote, and climbing to the top of a Mayan pyramid.  I’ll keep you posted on that.

posted on Monday, September 30th, 2013. follow responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “And Time Goes On…”

  1. Carol Hartman says:

    Gail, Oh how i have missed your travelogue all these months! You are a wonderful writer and I loved living the experiences/cities/modes of travel/and various forms of beds with you. I hope you continue to keep us informed as you begin the rest of your life. You live life to the fullest and you give me (and others, I am sure) a chance to enjoy all these experiences with you.

    Enjoy the Yucatan and continue sharing your bucket list with all those who love you.

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