As you might know, I don’t travel well. When I booked my trip to Paris, I was ecstatic because I loved the idea of going to France but didn’t actually think August 8 would ever come. Me sit in an aluminum tube as it hurled through space over the ocean where Jaws lives and the Titanic went down, all taking place in the dark? No way. Time would stand still, my routine intact.
But the day drew closer and, as the truth became clear (the world continues revolving), I did a few desperate pre-travel things:
1. Handed assignments in very early at work.
2. Watched 7 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy (I understand a lot about medicine now).
3. Did four embarrassing puzzles (some with glitter).
4. Cleaned the apartment from top to bottom. I won’t say when I did this last. We’ll just say it’s been
5. Started watching Shark Week until I realized I might be a shark victim.
The other non-plane problem with vacation is that you’re supposed to take a break from work. This is very hard for me because along with my husband and family (and, okay, Candy Crush), work plays a major role in my life. How can I not check email (even the easy ones)? Not edit (when I have three books due)? Not try to get ahead of deadlines? You mean, I have to enjoy my surroundings and do something other than read/write? I can do this for four days, not ten. But my husband wanted a real trip and I wanted to prove to him–and myself–that I could do this.
The big lesson I learned is that it’s amazing what a person can withstand–I survived both plane rides just fine. And even when the pilot said, “This flight will be unusually long,” I only whimpered a little. Paris is a gorgeous city, even more entertaining this time since I could share it with a loved one (though his tolerance of dubbed American shows was unsatisfactory–Bones and MacGyver dubbed, c’mon!). We dined, walked, took in culture, bought souvenirs, spoke French and then were happy to come home.
Maybe I did check my work email a little. I edited thirty pages (I brought 200). But luckily, jet lag and poor Wi-Fi service kept me out of the work loop for a while. Most important was returning to my normal life knowing I could do more than I had expected of myself.