Decompression.

A sizeable chunk of bloggers on the internet is primarily focused on how to get adventuring. Those that aren’t are focused on the actual adventuring itself. The ‘look at me! I’m somewhere cool’ posts we all like to read so much. For self-inclusive purposes, I would think I best fit into the second category. I like to go do new stuff. I also like to talk about the new stuff that I am doing as it may inspire you to try something new as well.

I think that its safe to say that our current society is judging itself based upon how cool you make yourself look in the social media. I see it as both a blessing (it give me inspiring ideas) and a curse (It give everyone on the planet an extremely unrealistic view of success and happiness). One thing I am sure of is that It’s not going away anytime soon.

That being said, I think something that tends to get overlooked by most travel bloggers is what happens after the adventure is over. How do you decompress from travel? This is a very real topic of conversation with my different traveling friends. what you do to process your travels, and how you transition back into your middle-aged workaday world, are legitimate things to be considered prior to leaving.

The majority of people aren’t professional travelers nor are they independently wealthy. This implies that whenever you return from your trip, you are going to need to reposition yourself into whatever life situation you were escaping from. If you went on vacation for a week or took that three-day cruise around the Bahamas, this probably will be accomplished without much effort. If you dropped everything to travel the world or moved overseas to work and are now about in your own country, this will be a fairly more daunting task.

I idea of decompression after a trip of three weeks or less is pretty much avoidance. A long time ago, I started planning a free day at the end of every trip. A day off between the airport and having to go back to work. This day was used to get my head out of where I was (cool adventure stuff), and back into what I had left (work). Granted, this day off looked a lot like me doing laundry, organizing pictures and video, and generally lounging on the couch. Needless to say, It usually worked pretty well. If I walked out during an important time at work, it also allowed me to check in and see what was going on. That way, I didn’t walk in and get blindsided by something stupid.

Having been back from a year in the desert for a couple of months now, I find myself still adjusting from the adventure into what comes next. Even though I had a plan upon my repatriation, the shift from constant motion and the immediateness of another culture to the (quasi) normalness of the American condition has left me with the feeling of lingering. And even though I know that I’m going to be off again in a couple more months, I still feel like I’m spinning my wheels.

The funny thing is , I knew this stage was coming. I told everybody at my last job that, if I couldn’t keep myself from becoming bored, that I probably would be back. Where I’m super good at being lazy, I’m not good at be listless. If left to my own thought for too long a time, I tend to wander off in search of something to do. This leads to the title of this blog, namely Istray.

I can have the best plan ever to do whatever, and then in the middle of its execution I’m mysteriously off to Europe instead. Proof of this statement. After I had been in Kuwait long enough to start travelling, I made up my mind that I was going to see the city Ubar. The city of Ubar is located in the Empty Quarter of Oman. You have to want to go there. It would be proper adventure. A year in Kuwait, and five countries later, I left the Middle East not having gone to Ubar. I did make it to Oman, Technically. I had to change planes in Oman on my way to Cambodia. Yes, I know. It doesn’t count.

but, back on-point here. When you spend a significant amount of time moving and then you stop moving, it make you want to be moving again. My plan for spending the interval between adventures involves writing book and getting another book ready for publishing. While it’s mentally stimulation, it is NOT the life of the jet set that I’ used to. I am getting a lot more and better writing done than when I was in the desert. That’s a good thing.

So, if you plan of being off on a grand adventure, my I suggest that you take a quiet afternoon before you go and think about what it will be like when you come back. If you’re off on sabbatical or structured leave, then you probably have this done already. If you are cutting the cord and running off, well then, this exercise will be a practical use of your planning time. You need to plan your trip. You should also plan what comes after your trip. It’s all fun and games, until it’s not.

Well, that’s my two cents anyway.

The scene of the next Kristin Hughes thriller. That is, if I don’t wander off to Europe earlier than planned or go find another cool job first.

Now, get out there. Plan your way into and out of that next adventure.

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