Monday, June 25, 2007

Never Enough Time, Too Much Time

There are so many things I want to say here about the experiences we've been having, the foods we've been eating, the people we've met for the first time or again, the places we've seen for the first time or again, rental cars, airport lounges, briny grilled fish, surprise breakfast buffets, strange clinical modern libraries, ice cream. But there never seems to be enough time, when we finally find a computer to use.

The last few days have been hard for me. We're almost to the middle of our trip, so we've done the exciting "oh we're on vacation!" part, and now we're looking more seriously at what it means to be nomadic for several months, particularly when you were pretty well established in the material world before you became nomadic.

There are so many things I'm missing, first and foremost being my community. I miss my friends, I miss my family, I miss my dog. I miss being able to call people up at 4pm and have them show up for dinner, or cook me dinner, for 6pm the same night. I miss the cameraderie of a group of people who know each other so well that they can completely transform a backyard from a wild weed heap to a slate-paved oasis in a few hours--without swearing at each other. I've met great people here, and even seen members of that home community, but I also miss the home context--I miss having a home that I don't have to vacate by 10 am, even on weekends.

I miss having my computer. Ian and I discussed before we left what we were going to carry with us in the way of communication devices, and decided on his two computers. I would be able to use whichever one he wasn't using. This worked only moderately well--I missed my own computer, because a personal computer is, to me, very personal. But then his older computer (5 years old!) died about 10 days ago. And so now we only have one, and he has to use it for work that he's legitimately doing, and so if I am going to have uninterrupted computer time it means we spend twice as much time apart during the days, and one of us works at a time when we'd rather be taking in the sights of this amazing world we live in.

Here is another thing I'm struggling with--Ian has a purpose to his days, a known purpose, and one which he is fulfilling. I don't have a specific purpose, and by leaving my computer behind, I basically discounted all that I do with it, not all of which is simply filler for vacant hours. With my computer, I could be writing more regularly in a way that didn't give me carpal tunnel, in a way where I, more or less, can get my thoughts out as I have them. Writing longhand hurts, and is slow. And so I get frustrated, and instead of anything meaningful, I do the laundry (oh, to completely redo my whole wardrobe, and I'm only halfway done with it!), and feel like I'm missing out on something.

I realize that this is partly just that we're tired. One doesn't really understand how exhausting endless travel can be until one tries it. And we've been on the road for awhile, particularly the last week. We're just beginning 10 days in once place, though, in our own little (borrowed) house with a kitchen and a washing machine and no check-out time (I'm sure, soon enough, I'll be resenting the fact that I have to make my own bed and wash my own towels, as is human nature), in a Portuguese community where I can practice my language skills and, probably, do some more riding (there seems to be a stable just down the road). But I've found that thinking, as I maybe would have in the past, "halfway done and then we're home!" doesn't actually help all that much, because we don't know where we'll be going in another two months.

We have no idea at all.


Erika said...

Would it make you feel any better to know that Spackle is happy and doing well?

In spite of the fact that Loper steals his tennis balls and hides them, he's playing lots of fetch. In fact, he spends so much time outside that his ears are heading toward sun-bleached blond and he has put on some muscle.

We dubbed him the California Surfer Dog.

KateMV said...

This sounds very familiar. Now that I'm home, I have a harder time remembering those frustrating days, but I know they were there. Traveling is fun, but it's hard not to be settled somewhere.