Vacations are tricky for me. I love being away from home, relaxing, exploring, and trying new things.
Those very activities, though, also tend to make me melancholy. Stepping away from the normal routine in my life gives me time to reflect without as much noise. And that’s where I start to get into trouble.
One minor example is that I always decide that I want to move to the place where we’ve travelled (except LA, yuck). For me, the grass is literally greener… San Jose is dirty, smoggy, and expensive. In Hawaii, I can buy an oceanfront condo in Kona for $199,000. In Sonoma, a house on the Russian River surrounded by redwoods goes for $300,000. Compared to the prices in the South Bay, those are a steal!
But, honestly, it’s not really that the housing prices are more reasonable. Sure, though places are quieter, cleaner, and more peaceful than being near the junction of two major highways, but I’m just not settled, and I haven’t been for a very long time.
Being in a new environment somehow forces me to think about my life and what I would like to do differently. Maybe it’s because when I’m someplace different, I am the only thing that hasn’t changed. (Well, Chris and Honey haven’t changed either, but I just bring them along for the ride!)
So today, while taking the long way and driving through the various wine growing regions, I started to get sad- for no apparent reason. I think I have a clue, though. The last six months have brought major changes, and I’ve struggled with the transitions… And there are even more on the horizon.
Some come as soon as Monday, when I start looking for a new job. Part of the quiet contemplation as we drove came from the fact that I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. After years of switching jobs, industries, etc…, this prospect is daunting and exhausting. While I am sure that I will find my niche eventually, the road seems as narrow and windy as our off-the-beaten-path trek today.
The bright side to this is that come Monday, when I put my nose to the grindstone and start my search, I will be rested and invigorated after having some fun excursions. Maybe this time up in my brain is just setting me up to be successful and more grounded during the changes. Maybe the new job is right around the corner. In the meantime, I’m still bringing home the bacon as a tutor, and I am very thankful for that.
Plus, being away does have it’s perks too. Yesterday, I brainstormed my idea for a cookbook (watch out, Rachel Ray) and came up with a way to make our home office a more pleasant place to work (plants outside the window).
But if I moved to Sonoma, I could just be a farmer. 🙂