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It happens.

You have a fantastic two-week adventure, trying new foods, meeting new people, getting immersed in the culture, chasing birds (okay, maybe that’s just us), and you come home and BOOM! You’re back at the office digging out of mounds of email and at home going through piles of regular mail you had the post office hold for you so you could be reminded  of the dull things in life like paying medical bills and reading letters promising you better car insurance coverage.

It’s all just so…ordinary.

I travel for two reasons:  For escape and for opening up my world to new experiences, and that’s why I generally have another trip in the queue.  Well, that’s usually the case.  Somehow this time around I was so crushed with other things going on (called “Life”) before our Panama trip that I didn’t have another trip planned before we left.

Egads.  What that means is that when I looked at my cute little (free) “Countdown” app on my iPhone I had nothing in it.  Or as my newly-found Panamanian friends would say, “nada.”

Same goes for my “Fly Delta” app.  There wasn’t a trip in there.  Not even a business trip. My apps were empty and I was feeling the same way.

It got insanely busy at work the moment I arrived back at the office and I was prepared for it. The ordinary life can be draining. That’s not to say that my travels are all about lying on the beach sipping umbrella drinks and reading a book. In fact, you probably won’t ever find Steve and I doing that except maybe after a long flight or at the very end of the trip when we’re just so tuckered out we can barely move.  We don’t scale mountains, but we are both maximizers and we’re up very early in the mornings to chase after birds or get into the water to go diving. We’re on our feet all day when we’re birding and all that hiking–especially in the heat and humidity–often takes a lot out of us. It makes you feel your age very quickly. In fact, after this last vacation we fell into that category of folks who insist on needing a vacation to recover from vacation.

So here I was back at home, all cleaned up and in my own bed and all I could think about were those apps on my iPhone.  I had no trip planned.  It was that same feeling I had in college when I hadn’t declared my major.  It’s the not knowing what was next or what journey I was going to have. Or right after you get married. You come home from the honeymoon and not only is life not centered around you anymore (admittedly, I missed that a lot), but what the heck do you plan for now? Everything before the wedding was all about planning the big event and now that you’re back there’s no more planning. No more obsessing. No more researching.

I’m a planner at heart and I didn’t have anything planned. Was I just to keep going to the office every day with nothing to look forward to? Was I going to just hope that some adventure falls into my lap? What was I going to research now? After nine days back at home I stayed up late one evening after a long day at the office and booked our next trip. I couldn’t take it any longer.

So, the “Fly Delta” and “Countdown” apps both show a trip to Hawaii in our future this year.

Today’s lesson: Always have a trip in the queue and your life won’t seem so ordinary.

(Note: Links on this page are linking you back to relevant posts on my other blog, The Accidental Birder.  You can also get to that blog by clicking the Accidental Birder tab in the menu above.)