There and Back Again: Afterthoughts of an Adventure
In certain ways, I identify a lot with the famous protagonist of The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. In general, I take comfort in routine, love my hobbit hole of a house, and do not usually associate with wizards, dwarfs, and/or far off questing just like Mr. Baggins. However, like Bilbo, I also have recently gotten caught up in all kinds of adventures, have fought the good fight, and come home victorious.
In the last year or so I have been to Geneva for three weeks two summers in a row, voyaged to castles Southern France, hiked the coast line of Northern Italy, and snorkeled the reefs and explored ruins in Cozumel, Mexico. For some, this amount of travel / novel experience in distant places may be routine, but for me it is not. This burst in travel was the direct result in enrolling in a graduate program that involved a good deal of international travel. Now that I have completed this program and return to normal life with a new degree, a good deal more “free time”, and the exciting feeling that comes along with deciding what I want to do next.
But this post is not about that. This post is about a few observations I have on coming home from a serious adventure. Here they are:
I have concluded that it is best to avoid giving yourself recovery time and to jump right back into your everyday life right away. If you like what you do, the people you associate with, and where you live, getting back into that pattern helps avoid post-vacation depression or malaise.
You can avoid feeling overwhelmed upon returning home by getting your business in place before leaving and staying connected on an intermittent basis. While the idea of being completely disconnect is compelling and sometimes necessary, I would rather check in and stay on top of things for a couple hours every few days when I am on vacation than come home to an overflowing inbox. Not having to return to a mess of any kind is key to post adventure happiness.
It is good to reflect on and use what you learned through/from your quest experience. This may be as superficial as starting to use that new compelling ingredient you discovered while away or as meaningful as re-examining your valuesystem and what you want to do with your life. Change is life. Embrace it.
Just some thoughts. Take what you need and leave the rest. Believe it if you need it, if you don’t just pass it on. You get the picture.
Oh the picture to the right of my bullet-ed list is of the Freddy Mercury statue in Montreux. Lead singer of Queen, Freddy Mercury spent the last few years of his life in this small city on the foot hills of the alps and shores of Lake Geneva. To commemorate him the city commissioned a statue to be built. At its base is engraved “Lover of Life, Singer of Songs.” Not a bad legacy. We are the champions!