Travel is exhausting. Airports are stressful. Customs officers are rude. New places take energy to navigate, and hot climes wear me down. It’s easy to get burned out.
I hadn’t traveled solo since I studied abroad in Europe seven (God. Seven??) years ago, so I had to reacclimate. Belize was a great choice- the official language is English, the busses are plentiful and easy to use, and the people are friendly and helpful.
Still, after a week of sweaty hostel beds, sunburns, salt water showers, lonely stints, and paying for toilets, water bottle refills, I start to fantasize about my own bed, cooking my own meals, calling up my own friends.
So by the time I arrived in Chicago, I was ready to get home, wash the rank laundry in my bag, buy groceries, organize..
And yet. After a good shower, a good sleep, and good coffee at my cousin’s, I went to catch the El train to the Greyhound station, and as I stood in the gloomy air, staring down the infinity of the rail tracks and the rising buildings, I was ready to go again.
For a few seconds, I said, “Why not?” Chicago has museums to explore, chilly parks with tiny leaf buds on the trees, streets I haven’t walked down yet, bookstores I haven’t plundered yet. Why not? I thought.
But of course I dutifully continued to my Greyhound bus, plotting and scheming future uncomfortable, stressful, addictive journeys all the way home.