Recovery and Adjustment (...and "Featured Travel Blog"!)
San Carlos Travel Blog› entry 70 of 71 › view all entries
It's January 18. The date of my originally-planned return.
But mid-trip I decided to secretly change my return date, and move it up a couple days, so that I'd have time to recover and adjust. Wow, am I glad I did that! I got back late on January 15 and even now, 3 days later, I'm still adjusting. Adjusting to what, exactly? I can't say...
Jet lag? No, it's not that I am really jet lagged because although there is a time change, I was really living "California" hours. Going to bed at 5am in Buenos Aires is really only 11pm here in California!
Lifestyle? Maybe. I need to get used to sleeping in a real bed again...and being able to sleep for multiple hours at a time! For the last 2 months, I've been living on 2-3 hour "power naps" on buses, planes, and noisy hostels or 4-5 hours of "real" sleep after partying til 5am.
Eating? Maybe. I've been on a diet of red meat and wine for several weeks. And before that it was a lot of backpacking food. Throughout the trip, fruits and vegetables were few and far between. So my diet needs to get balanced, and shall we say, HEALTHY. And I need to get back to eating 3 meals a day. During the last part of the trip, we were eating only lightly during the day, saving up for the big steak feasts in the evenings. Not so good. Despite those big meals, I've definitely lost weight. Weight I didn't need to lose in the first place!
Stress? Maybe. Wait. Stress, you say? Yes, stress. The trip wasn't exactly relaxing - always on the move, always trying to figure out where to go next, and how to get there. Sure, some parts were very relaxing - hiking in the mountains, walking on the beach, or relaxing at our apartment in Buenos Aires. But, most parts were stressful at some level - or they at least required thought, planning, and consideration. Even simple things, like getting laundry done, finding an ATM, interacting with people, keeping track of all my stuff, even crossing the damn street - required my thought and attention. In the U.S., we do these things routinely, without thinking, totally multi-tasking. In South American cities, if you don't pay attention when you cross the street - you're dead. If you don't pay attention to where your wallet is - you're broke.
Routine? Maybe. I've needed some time to do the basics. Turn my house back "on". Unpack. Do laundry. Check in with parents. I still have to go pick up my mail and sort through 2 months of junk mail ads, credit card applications, and the occasional bank statement or bill. Not looking forward to that.
Work? Well, I'm saving that for last because I know it's a fire hose I'll be drinking from once I get started...
For now, I'm enjoying the absolute peace and quiet of my house in San Carlos. No traffic. No honking. No phones. No slamming doors. No obnoxious backpackers. No B.O. No roommates. Fresh food in my fridge, *including* fruits and vegetables. Plenty of space to stretch out and nap. It's all good - but an adjustment nonetheless. The contrast is spectacular.
Regardless, here I sit sorting through 3,000 pictures of far-away places and fleeting friendships...
(Of those 3,000 photos, I've only posted 465 in this blog... You're probably wondering what the other 2,535 pictures are of... Well, a lot of glaciers, icebergs, mountains, penguins, and dannyfaces.)
P.S. Thanks TravBuddy for making me the "Featured Travel Blog" today! It's been fun writing and posting. I hope I've helped and/or entertained some folks! And thanks to my TB friends for their comments and communication through my trip. Keep it up!