As a traveler, the last few months were heaven on earth. Amidst planning a June 2nd wedding and looking forward to honeymooning in Bora Bora, there was a hen do (bachelorette party) with friends in London, as well as various weddings for friends and family. Weekends were booked for months at a time, and it felt like I should have given the post office Ronald Reagan Airport as a forwarding address.
Then suddenly everything just…stopped. After returning from our honeymoon and then attending my cousin’s early July wedding in Texas, Leon and I looked at the calendar and were amazed that weekends were actually open. That was a new feeling, to be sure. We were now able to sit down and draw out plans–a budget for the upcoming months, what post-wedding errands to run, what needed to be done around the house, and so forth.
As a normal newly married couple, we knew that we needed to tighten our belts and try to plan responsibly for the future. It was time to work hard, save as much as we could, and use the weekends as time to catch up on domestic duties and touch base with friends. In other words, for at least a few months, travel would have to be put on the back burner.
Just because travel is on pause, however, does not mean that travelers must tap their foot and feel endlessly restless. A sabbatical from travel is a great time to perform some “routine maintenance.” After all, the mind can continue to travel, even when the body cannot.
My goals for the near future are to brush up on languages that I haven’t been able to practice lately, and to reconnect with cultures that are sorely missed. This will be a great time to dust off the Spanish, Italian, French, and Portuguese dictionaries that have sat neglected on the bookshelf, for instance. I’ve also finally started to watch the Korean drama “The Coffee Prince,” which my friend Hae Chin recommended ages ago. I’m only on the first episode, but the show has already made me miss Seoul and brought back some great memories. And, of course, there are great ethnic restaurants in D.C. that provide a taste of the exotic at home.
Life consists of ebbs and flows, and travel falls into that. Whenever or wherever the next trip is, the next flow will certainly be appreciated. But for now, it’s time to have a bit of an off-season. Just as the Olympic athletes don’t slow up on training, though, a traveler is wise to work on some maintenance during homebound periods.