love/hate with travel

I move extremely fast when traveling on my own. Reduce my possessions down to a backpack and duffel and I can weave through all kinds of human foot traffic. Airports? I’m on the plane in 20 minutes flat. Train stations? I’ll find my track and train. Buses? I’ll run through Port Authority like an 80s movie commuter cliche. Ferries, I’ve been taking my whole life, I can get in the cafeteria line on a Queen or Spirit class vessel in less than five minutes from when I drive on, less than two from walk on.

This is the part of traveling I like. It’s being in the moment, like a ninja. I’m totally focused on the next step and the next transport. I’m not thinking about my to do list or worrying about the million anxieties in my life. I’m just leapfrogging from step to step of a journey. And I do that best on my own, without checked bags, just carrying what I can sling over shoulders. It’s the same mental state I go into when I bike in New York City, a total focus on movement and the space around me, combined with the constant puzzle solving of the directions and airport and train station signs.

On the other hand, I’ve also been home for two days in the past two weeks. It’s hard to believe it was only two weeks ago we left for Orlando, for our Disneyworld adventure. It’s only been five days since I flew up to Toronto. But it feels like I haven’t been home for longer. I miss my routines. I miss the gym. I miss my friends. And after five days in Toronto, I miss my men.

That last one is really why I don’t travel like I always wanted to, like I thought I would when I could afford to. It’s harder to travel as a family. There’s more stuff. There’s more people. It costs more. Yet I don’t want to go alone because I miss my husband and son too much. I don’t get the same sort of sense of travel flow with my family that I do when it’s just me.

So I love travel. But right now I’m over it. Staying put for a few weeks sounds like a welcome reprieve from being on the road, even when it’s on the road to visit the people I love most. It’s wonderful being part if my family’s life in Toronto, with my mother and my sister and my nieces but it’s not my life. And I’d stay a month if they needed me to, without complaint, just to be sure everything was OK. But just because I’d willingly stay longer doesn’t mean I’m not grateful to be heading home, for some quiet time, in my own home

, with my men, and the ability to again plan my life in Brooklyn.

And I expect to get that quiet time today…just as soon as I finish running through Penn Station from NJT to the Q train, blasting EDM in my Bluetooth headphones, and pretending, just a bit, that I’m a backpacker transferring from the Eurostar to the London Underground.

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