Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Going Home

I'm well-aware of how lucky I am to get the chance to have work-paid trips to far away lands, like Holland and China, but it's hard not to think of it as punishment sometimes.  Like detention.  Detaining me from my regular life, with my routines and habits.  I didn't ask to be sent away, and I wasn't excited to have my return postponed.  I was only given 3 days notice of my month-long trip.  Not nearly enough time to research and plan, to look up sites to visit and to learn useful phrases, to build up some anticipation and excitement at the opportunities.  It's not that I don't like to travel to other countries; it's that I prefer to travel on my own terms.  To create my own schedule and lists of attractions to see, food to taste, and experiences to have.  

Working while traveling isn't all it's cracked up to be.  It reminds me of working on my research project remotely in college.  What was supposed to be a day job became a summer-long homework assignment.  I constantly felt like I should be working on it.  If I didn't make any progress one day, I felt compelled to keep working on it in the evenings.  

Now, as I'm at the end of my sojourn in China, I look forward to returning to the familiar: my car, my apartment, eating fresh produce, working in the office, having a set schedule.  I even look forward to running.  I was detained from several things this trip: watching the seasons change, my birthday, sending time with friends, the start of the TV season.  Sure, I got to visit new places and experience new things and improve my chopsticking, but I look forward to going home.  So much.

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