Wednesday, March 14, 2007

shed my skin

The countdown's winding down. Less than two work days until vacation. Two days until I can board that plane at Dulles and head off on my way to disconnect. I know technically vacation is a luxury. There are people somewhere that are envious of all of the lucky group that view vacation as a part of life that is filed away as "to be done" regularly, almost as a sense of entitlement. I know that... and I appreciate that. I think though that since we see it as entitlement, our body comes to expect that period to escape away, and mine's ready for it.

I know, I know... it has not been too long since I was in Chicago, in part for work but in large part for a mini-vacation. And yes, here I go again. This time it's for longer... seven work days plus two weekends in the middle.

To me, there's something liberating about traveling to another country. I used to think it would be terrifying to travel somewhere where you did not speak the language. What if something awful happened? What if you couldn't figure out to order the meal you wanted to purchase? What if you couldn't explain to the store vendor that the pair of shoes that you just had to buy were in fact on sale and they'd rung you up incorrectly? I guess after my first trip, I saw that wasn't such a problem. Maybe it's my inability to communicate sans-hands, but I learned the universality of most gestures can be a life saver. And that if speaking in English doesn't work, in a crunch my body will always default to Spanish as an alternative, no matter how impractical of a solution it may be. I'm sure this trip will be more of the same...

But it's this liberation that I'm so ready for. I need that escape. There's so much going on around me... work-related stress, obligations to organizations of all types, things to think through, and just in general so many things left unanswered weighing on my mind that keep my mind racing when it's time to wind down at the end of the day that makes it hard to flick the power switch over fully to "off". For that time period, those things can wait another day... or two... or three... they'll be waiting for me to think through when I return back to DC, but for now, they're just on pause for another day.

Something about traveling overseas helps me to do that. It's comforting to let the sea of unfamiliar faces engulf you in the masses and to momentarily disappear. To sit at that cafe on an unknown street corner and just watch what it means to exist on an average day in that city that until then was unknown to you. To walk through the market and see what it would be like to do the daily essentials within a different culture. To walk down that back alley, camera in hand, and capture the solace of the archway there above the cobblestone road.

I'm getting chills... and I'm ready.

2 Comments:

  • So jealous! Have fun and be safe. Can't wait to see the pics!

    By Blogger GreenEggsSamDC, At March 15, 2007  

  • Thanks!! I am so ready... and you KNOW there will be tons of pics, no worries. I'm sure there will be lots to catch up on the District side when I get back!

    By Blogger LJ, At March 15, 2007  

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