Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Coping with the Post-Travel Blues

I want the happiness aura of a pre-trip
By Cal Orey
Framed art of Montreal in my dining room

Black and white framed in my study
I admit it. More than once or twice during my September trip to Quebec City, Canada I fell victim to homesickness. One man boarding the plane heard me say I was from Lake Tahoe. He quipped, "Why are you going to Quebec?" He had a point (why leave paradise, a world-renowned resort town) but both mountains and city life have their good points-- I let the comment fly into air as we separated. And the breathtaking city view(s) I savored each day and night were well worth getting the best of both worlds: The slow-paced isolating sierras and fast French-speaking city.
A fellow passenger in SLC asked
why I was fleeing Lake Tahoe

In my hotel room late at night after being on the go adventure-seeking all day, there were times I missed my fur kids. On the upside: It was amazing to hog the entire king bed and not have to get up at 5:00 A.M. each morning to let the dogs eat and do their outdoor business.  Still, separated from the cuddly, warm dog duo and my beloved Siamese kitty was on my mind. I was feeling the blues. One time at a gift shop I almost bought a stuffed dog that looked like my Aussie (but it was a Siberian Husky and I snapped out of my desperate purchase). I missed Skye's fluffy, big white paws.

Coming home to Zen was zen-like
I'M HOME. NOW WHAT?: When I arrived at South Lake Tahoe the first night was heaven. It was me and the cat Zen. Sleep was heavenly in the cozy and clean waterbed complete with comforters.
While the hotel I stayed at did sport four stars the bed was nothing like my own sanctuary. In the morning I fantasized about having an awesome reunion with my young Australian Shepherd and senior Brittany when I came home. We picked them up separately sensing the excitement would be overwhelming. top. It's like no time passed. True, the boys got extra walks, brushings, teeth cleanings, nail trimmings, and well--gosh, they were at doggie spa. So, there were no Kodak moments. The dogs came home and it was like I never left. Caveat: Skye did have a little accident on my bed on night two (one time only). Was he marking or making a statement for me not to go away again? Only the dog god knows for sure. I choose two.
Service dogs stole my limelight at B&N

GETTING RESTLESS, PACKING MY BAGS: In my 20s, when I hitched and hiked with a dog around the country and Canada I'd come back to California, again and again. But I'd soon get the drive to go somewhere else and I did just that. Fast forward decades later, it's a bit different due to more roots. But I'm restless and hardly alone with my feeling down.  I did take in a movie, walk the dogs, savor the lake and trees but I've been here doing that for 15 years. 
Before and after the next getaway (it's not an if but when), I'll be going away on short trips to Sacramento and Reno: A guest at Barnes and Noble bookstores for signings for my past and new books. But it's work and not enough.
New fantasy to revisit for reality
About ten times I found a perfect flight plan and hotel to Vancouver and a few times to Toronto--almost clicked my mouse but I hesitated due to the chaos of new Ebola screenings at airports, eerie flight surprises (i.e., "cosmetic" problems with a flight from SFO to hazmat workers removing  an"idiot" passengers), and more of the unknown. 
My prediction is that more than likely (80% odds) I will book a trip to Canada in the upcoming weeks. I've been to three provinces and want more.  I have lasting images of people and places I experienced--much better than a new stainless steel fridge or used hot tub (although these would be nice); the fridge would get smudges and I'm probably mess up on the chemicals in the water. But a trip back to Canada will give me new dishes to cook, more photos to print, frame and hang--and will allow me to feel alive not just hot or cold for minutes like big ticket items.
My room was like this on the 28th floor

Vancouver may be my next final destination
GIVING MY CABIN FRENCH FLAIR: I did add ivory flannel sheets and a duvet cover to my bed complete with a bed scarf like I enjoyed in the hotel room with Mediterranean flair. The framed black and white art piece of Montreal arrived and added class to my dining room stuffed with books and magazines I've penned for years. The cross on my neck, need to get another French manicure, infinity scarves, smokey eyes (done right) are part of my new, improved look. And my photos of Quebec in the living room on the fireplace mantle make me smile and feel more worldly. 

So, as the firewood is stacked in the garage, the earthy brown colored blinds are now up in the living room, clocks chime on cue like in Quebec City, pumpkin spice candles fill the air, and chocolate chips cookies will be baked tomorrow, I feel at home. Still, I am busy filling my brain with thoughts and fantasies of planning the next Canada trip that'll give me that bounce in my walk, a genuine smile on my face, and a reason to get up in the morning. Perhaps it's the grilled cheese sandwiches, purple grapes, coffee and gourmet chocolate (two friends to beat jet lag) that remind me I need to feel warm and fuzzy somewhere else in Canada, a place I visited when I was young and makes me feel youthful again. A boat ride, and flying to a faraway place is the remedy that will fix my longing for more and take me out of my comfort zone again, a place I need to be.

No comments:

Post a Comment