I’ve definitely said before that I give off the illusion that I travel all the time. But after this Bay Area trip, I’m starting to realize that it’s no illusion. Since fall, I’ve had four decent trips: the jaunt to the Long Beach Peninsula in October (four days), Texas around Thanksgiving (a week), Bend on New Years (four days), and now a week long Bay Area excursion. That’s quite a bit!
And the bigger thing that I’ve realized is, save for the Long Beach trip, there was a point on all these trips where I just wanted to get back home. Why is that?
Well, for one thing, I felt like I had run out of things that I wanted to do that would be unique to the area. After awhile I felt like it was going through the motions, and if I couldn’t go home, I longed for a place where I could just be left alone and not have to spend money.
There’s another thing; Travel isn’t cheap. The Bay Area trip was ostensibly “work related” so Visit Berkeley foot the bill for travel and part of my stay. (Thankfully I’m still “on the payroll” with HI so I got to stay in SF for free.) Plus there was the two days where they ferried me around to various restaurants and watering holes, all on their dime. Still, there were several other days where I was on my own, and Bay Area food and drink prices ain’t cheap.
It’s sort of ironic to crow about this, since I did some major cross-country jaunts in the aughts, and it barely felt like I ever had two pennies to rub together. But I traveled differently then. Food wasn’t always about what I liked, it was about what was cheap. I subsisted on things like $1 Montreal pizza slices, which were barely Pizza Hut grade. And I basically crashed on friend’s floors and couches. Sometimes I look back wistfully at those days of romantic travel, but I’m too old and fancy to travel like that anymore. But at least I know if I really had to, I could do it with barely anything. It just takes a shift in travel priorities.
But possibly the biggest reason why I”m getting tired of all this travel is because I’m anxious about all the things I want—or need—to get done. I’m supposed to be a freelance artist now, I need to get to work if I want to make some money. It’s hard doing this stuff when I’m on the road. I can try to hole myself up in a coffee shop all day, but then I think about why the hell am I traveling? And that’s not counting the stuff I need to do specifically in Portland.
Does this mean I’m giving up travel? Hell no! It just means I have to think a bit differently about the where, how, and especially how long. I don’t regret these trips I did, but I wish I had shaved a day or two off of them. It’s hard to do this after the fact, since my travels usually involve train or air travel, and trying to go home early may mean paying more for a ticket. And I have the tendency to pad more time into a trip if possible. I guess I had felt like it’s better to regret staying too long than not long enough. But maybe it’s the opposite?
And I do have some interesting trips up ahead, plus all the bike touring I want to do. But I’m going to wean myself off the “travel for travel’s sake” type of trips I sometimes find myself doing. For instance, I had talked about heading down to Eugene later this month for a populaire. I still would like to do a populaire, but I don’t think I’m up for travel to Eugene at this time. I’m supposed to go to the beach next weekend, meaning two trips for February already. Plus, I might go down to Eugene with Emee in March. I can try a long ride on my own some other time, it doesn’t have to be a populaire.