Travel Hangover

I’m here. I now live in Greensburg, PA. I have a job, (looking for another,) I have an apartment, (well, privacy curtains in my friends living room) I have a gym membership, a couple bars I like, the lady at the coffee shop knows my name. I have a routine. I’m here.

But then I pulled out my small backpack. It fits my computer perfectly so when I head to the coffee shop I throw my weathered Macbook in there, grab my wallet and gear up to write, read, write letters–general coffee shop ‘things’. But last weekend I really looked at my back pack. I noticed how dirty it is. Months worth of sweating through SE Asia, being thrown on buses, running a 50k ultra marathon, transporting bottles of beer and water.

Then I noticed the random things I had tied on when the zipper toggle broke: a friendship bracelet from my native ‘tour’ guides in Sa Pa, Vietnam, safety pins, hair ties, whatever random things I could find that would work. Digging through the inside pockets I found a tin of Tiger Balm from Cat Ba Island when I got thrown off a motorbike, I found the equivalent of a few dollars in Malaysian Ringet. I found more dirt. I found Thai Baht. I found candy wrappers from treats my students gave me.

I found memories.

And then I remember: I’m here. I’m in Greensburg, PA furthering my career, saving money, making connections. And I wonder why I continue to look elsewhere. I run around the hilly neighborhoods and notice the architecture of such a historic town–then I remember the park I trained in with the 1000 year old Buddhist Wats. And I’m pulled back into the world of memory. I hate that world. I remember how hard it was to be in Thailand. I remember how much I wanted to ‘be’ somewhere for a while.

I found memories and now I need to begin making memories, here. And for some reason this is the hardest thing, for me. Travel is great but the travel hang over seems to last for months.

 

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