Five Signs You May Be Traveling Too Often

This is the kind of lunch break I enjoyed over the past year. Not bad.


While it is not the end of the year for most people, it’s the end of my year–the end of my year off from work, that is.  Sure, I still have two months until I go back, but as a teacher my years run June to June–or, even more accurately, September to June.  It’s June 13th.  The 2011-2012 school year is over, and I’m already bracing myself for the first back-to-school sale ad that will certainly launch me into a round of anxiety and despair.

As I think back over the last year, I can’t seem to decide if I didn’t travel enough, if I traveled too much, or if, like the Goldilocks of travelers, I traveled just the right amount.  Because I know that most people who know me (and, especially, my mother) would go with the second option–the ‘traveled too much’ choice–I thought I’d consider some of the signs that you, too, may be traveling too much.

5.  You stop putting your suitcase or backpack away and your toiletry bag is always fully packed and ready to go.  When your husband asks to borrow one or the other, you look at him like he asked to wear your underwear.  And speaking of underwear, you have stopped wearing them entirely because they take up too much room in your carry on bag and they are a pain to wash in hotel room sinks.  (I swear to god I found all of my underwear, still clean, in the suitcase I packed for my New Orleans trip.  I found them yesterday.  They’ve been in there for over four months.)

4. You haven’t used a cart to go grocery shopping in recent memory.  A basket full works, because you just got back and you’re broke or you’re just about to leave and you don’t need much anyway.  Your flat-top stove has dust on it, and you forget that you even have a dishwasher.

3.  You can’t find the speedometer on your own car.  I swear to god this happened to me recently–I have a Scion, so the display is in the middle instead of directly behind the wheel.  After driving a rental Hyundai for 700 miles in California last month and then returning home, I lost my mind for a good minute thinking I forgot to put my lights on because I couldn’t see the display on the dashboard.  I also hesitate at gas stations wondering which side my gas tank is on.  This same concept also covers the ‘unable to find toilet in your own home in the middle of the night’ syndrome, which is truly a hazard for frequent travelers.

2.  You start to think of work as relaxing.  As I mentioned above, I’m not looking forward to returning to the world of work in September.  But by the end of my last trip I thought hey, how bad could it be?  I only have to be there for eight to ten hours every day, and then I get to come home.  I don’t have to get up at dawn every day to navigate a new city or town; I don’t have to make a flight or a train or find my way on unfamiliar highways or on buses or metros.  It almost makes teaching middle school seem like a vacation.  Almost.

1.  You fail to get appropriately excited about your next trip.  I was at my favorite bar the other day and my favorite bartender asked–as everyone does–so, Tracy, do you have yet another trip planned?  And I’m not proud of this, but my response was something like no, I’m done for a while.  Oh wait–yeah.  Well I am going to Bermuda next week. But that’s it.  And only for a week.  What kind of asshole says things like that?  Certainly not me. This simply must end.

And end it shall–come September, when I return to the world of work.  Though there are a few long weekends here and there.  And the week between Christmas and New Years.  Oh and I do have five vacation days I can use.  And then there’s always next summer.

Ok maybe this won’t end.  But really, did any of you really think it would?

Speaking of traveling too often, I’d like to take a minute to celebrate this short little post, which is officially my 400th post on The Suitcase Scholar.  So I guess I could add another item to the list:  you may travel too much if you’ve written hundreds of posts about said travels.  

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