Monday, November 12, 2007

Reverse Home Sickness

Well, two months have passed since we got back from our big trip. It's amazing to think that we've already been home as long as we have. When I compare what we've done since we got back, to what we probably would have done if we were still traveling. It's easy to see how time works different when you are at home and when you are away.

"So, what have you been up to since we got back?" You ask. Good question. Let's review, shall we?

After the initial fanfare of our return, Sarah and I spent about two weeks living with my parents while we hunted for a new place to live. Eventually we found a small studio on the north portion of Seattle's downtown (in Belltown for those of you who are familar with Seattle). And, after much box moving (see my last entry), we finally got settled in.

About the same time we started moving back in, Sarah was able to start back up at her old job at Organizational Research Services. Fall is always the busiest part of the year at ORS, so no sooner had she gone back to work than she's found herself back on a plane again. First to Austin, then to Chicago (for your Grandmothers 75th Birthday), and then to Baltimore. So, I'm sure if you asked her, in some ways she probably feels a little bit like she's still travelling. Well, minus the Buddhist temples and stomach bugs.

As for me, I was supposed to be rehired at my old job at RealNetworks, but the company is currently in the middle of a hiring freeze. As a result, I'm sort of in limbo. In addition, the longer I'm on hold, the more I am convinced that its time for me to move on and find a new job elsewhere. To that end, I've been spending the last couple weeks doing things like setting up an online portfolio and reapplying to the old contracting agency I used to work with. Which pretty much brings us to here...

To be honest, as happy as I am to be back amongst friends and family, I've been suffering from a bit of Reverse Home Sickness. As much as I like having a space that is mine and Sarah's again, and being able to be unpacked and settled; there is part of my that finds itself daydreaming about traveling again at the slightest provocation.

I'd read about other travellers going through similar experiences when they returned home, but honestly thought that I would be immune to it. I mean, let's face it, by the time Sarah and I returned home, I was definitely ready to be home. In addition, being back in Seattle, we've been keeping ourselves busy seeing a number of movies, visiting galleries, going to wine tasting and even making wine with my dad and a family friend, Gary.

So, it came at a bit of a surprise when, after watching Darjeeling Limited, I started finding myself experiencing pangs of, well, home sickness. And, combined with my current jobless state, Sarah's had to deal with me falling into several moping funks. During one of her trips out of town, I found myself watching a documentary about the Dalai Lama... primarily because I knew it was filmed in McLeod Ganj and northwestern India. Other times, I've found myself staying up late to listen to Rick Steve's on NPR, or turning up a special on Vietnam.

It's odd that India has been so central in my Reverse Home Sickness. As all of you who have been following this blog know, India was a bit of an uphill battle for both Sarah and I. So, its a bit surprising to even me that I find myself wanting to go back. But, as a friend and fellow traveller pointed out: "...I remember reading in Lonely Planet words to the effect that 'Most travellers leave India for the first time eager to have escaped, and then find themselves drawn inevitably back.'" And, apparently, that's me too.

I won't really speak for Sarah, but I do think that she's been spared a bit of the Reverse Home Sickness thing if only because work has kept her distracted and busy. That said, I did recieve a call from her late one night from Baltimore: "I can't fall to sleep, and just keep thinking about that bus trip we took in India. The one from Dharmasala to Pushkar. Remember that?"

So, even though we are now back at home, and occasionally find ourselves on opposite sides of the country from each other. It seems a part of us is still out there traveling together.


chriscla said...

Maybe you have some form of Stockholm Syndrome about India? Meaning that you got abused by the country but through this abuse you developed an odd affection for it.

I like your portfolio a lot btw.

The General said...

I like it! Good diagnosis!

Brian S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian S said...

"Most travellers leave India for the first time eager to have escaped" - hah!! I am definitely feelin' that right now, I hope to look back in a few months with the same nostalgia you've got right now Tyler, your hindsight gives me renewed optimism.

-- Brian - When In Roam