You know you've been at it too long when...
They say in the traveling contract world, "the first time is for the adventure. the second for the money. the third time because you just don't fit in anywhere else."
I've [D] just noticed another effect of this semi-institutionalization. Every disadvantage to your lifestyle starts to look like an advantage. For instance:
No internet at home - we like that we don't sit around vegging on FB, or loosing hours to just about anything on the internet. One of my favorite cartoons:
Lack of choices at the store - I have never believed three shelves full of different toothpaste flavors and brands to be any kind of life enrichment. How much time does it take to choose? You’ll never try them all, if you feel so obsessive about making an informed decision. By the time you find one you like, it will likely go off market. If you have a favorite, it takes forever to sort through and find it.
Need to mail order many goods and not have immediate gratification – I remember having to drive to three different stores for that immediate gratification while visiting the states. If I end up back in the states, with my knowledge of online ordering, I will likely trade a couple of days patience for not having to fight traffic and burn gas.
No cell phones – I doubt I really need even explain myself here.
Lack of things to do – not really, as you pare down the scope of available things to do, you can start to see the whole picture. Instead of seeing a lack of options, you start to notice all the things available that you manage to miss out on. It took A to teach me how to take advantage of the place you live. There were so many things in Omaha I had no idea about. Every time we go to a city and see a sight I have to wonder what percentage of the locals have done this? It’s easy to wrap ourselves up and become blind to what’s around us. Californians used to not be able to understand my parent’s love of the plains. They’d say California was so great, they have the beach. My parents would ask, well, when was the last time you went there? Answer: oh, well traffic…
(we don’t make the beach often enough, either, and that’s a 4 minute bike ride.)
Cycle of friends – A posted recently on how many people move on. Yes, you often miss having that life time friend just down the street, but you tend to gain lifetime friends all across the world. On our trip home, I have so many old acquaintances that have found themselves directly in my path I’m scared I won’t see half of them. Additionally, the kids are getting real world practice making new friends.
Lack of restaurants – we don’t eat out much, therefore we eat healthier. It’s cheaper, and when we see that expensive cut of meat in the grocery store, I just say, that’s the same cost as one person’s order at Outback. Congrats, A on 140 cholesterol, btw.
It occurs to me that all my defending this lifestyle is the type of thing that foreshadows the other side of the coin. The loathing. We all go through our little spurts here when we’ve had enough. The goal is to vacation enough, and push through the rough periods until you can tell yourself it’s alright again. In the meantime, watch the blog for a rant!