I had forgotten what a fantastic feeling it is to finish up work and not be rushing off to an airport right away. It felt like luxury!
To not be preoccupied with packing and re-packing days before, making modifications dependent upon last minute weather changes. To not need to carry toilet paper around all the time. To not concern myself with covering up from the neck down. To not need basic functioning in a different
language, having maps and streets in order on paper,
in my head and wondering where I'll be finding food. It's a lot of
work, especially for one person. I didn't make 2014 easy on myself.
I would be lying if I didn't admit to feeling
withdrawal symptoms, after the first couple of days through the first week (because most of the time, I love figuring all that above stuff out). Not even a mild cold deterred it. Had to fight hard, the temptation to not go
somewhere when I had a good amount of time, advance research done and a flight credit to use up. It didn't help that I was actually able to find enticing options so last minute. And any time I can get away without loss of income is a good thing.
I cannot remember the last time I had 2 weeks off and
actually spent it at home (vs cottage etc) by choice. And it isn't because D and I didn't have fun plans or that there isn't a long list
of things we've been wanting to do around the house either. We've just gotten fairly decent at tackling that list during our regular weekends.
In my mind, I spend fulfilling time at home most of the year. I'm out of the house maybe 22 hr a week during a typical week so I don't have the same pull as D might of wanting to be at home more or missing it.
Maybe there will come a day I won't feel the internal tug of war, but right now,
the drive to explore is still super strong. In the end I was glad I didn't jet off right away because D came down with a bad flu (very unlike him). He is understandably tired and frustrated with health issues these past couple of months.
My new set of conservative travel clothing got a real work out this year. I had become so acclimatized to conservative cultures, when we got to the Dead Sea, I was ready to wade in covered up. Felt naked initially while wearing my most conservative bikini (didn't feel like buying a 1 piece just for this and there were a number of other tourists wearing the same) as I had not even worn a T shirt, shorts or knee length skirt in any of the countries I went to this year despite temperatures well over 35 C.
It's not easy nor always enjoyable to voluntarily push myself often outside comfort zones. And believe me I get scared. But how do we grow if we don't? There is at times a huge gulf between what I've signed up to do and where I'd prefer to be instead. But in every single instance, I learned a lot and was pleased/thrilled to have gone. It's just that comfort creates such inertia.
At this stage, I don't have the stamina to maintain this year's travel pace indefinitely. I really admire people who seemingly can, whose rigorous commitment is so strong. Maybe someday, if I keep working on it, if it is what I want.
After the adventures of this year, I'm hyper aware of my ability to chose and how easily things can change and be lost -- Many examples all around me. Am not taking anything I do for granted, work or play. Cherishing my freedom and still aiming to maximize potential.
There is something very satisfying about glancing over the year's spreadsheet, which has more than just numbers, to look at the distribution of my time. Have I spent it wisely? Any changes needed for next year? Potential of 2015? It may sound geeky, but it's fun for me. I've even spent time putting together my tax return. Aren't I just a bunch of excitement...
I've made some work related changes for next year, dropping a couple of things which will have a small effect on my income. It's OK. I've been ready for those modifications for a while now. It makes me feel more congruent.
Love not being part of the stress and commercial hype surrounding the end of December. Feel rested and have been able to increase my workout intensity. Even start a detox to undo the sweets I indulged in. Might as well aim to start the new year as healthy as possible.
My senses have taken in a lot this year. Feel honoured for all the good in my life. Thanks for reading and All the Best to you all for 2015.