Time is a weird thing. As I sit here and contemplate the fact that our “Big Trip” is 25% complete, I think to myself: this month has passed faster than I care to admit. In the blink of an eye, like a flash of lighting, a million miles an hour. It’s come. It’s gone. So much has changed and yet so much remains the same.
As the first days of our official road trip came and went, eight hours normally spent sitting at my desk in an office in Calgary were suddenly begging to be filled by adventure, attractions, and activity. Every hour, opening its mouth like a hungry baby bird saying “fill me up, feed me, let me taste everything this place, this city, this country has to offer”. The hours can seem long and drawn out when each one has an insatiable appetite for being filled with something.
I’m not used to being dormant. Don’t get me wrong – I definitely appreciate some down time here and there – but I’m certainly not used to just. doing. nothing. Normally I’ll fill my days with a morning shower followed by rush hour commute, work, cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, feeding the cat, washing the dishes, going to the gym. When I fall into bed at night, all this, crammed together in 24 miniscule hours makes the day feel like it comes up short (who hasn’t prayed for a few more hours in the day?).
So here is my first world problem: Last Thursday, I received my last paycheque of the year. I now have a lot of unpaid time on my hands which holds the very real possibility that somewhere down the line I’ll be forced to just. do. nothing. It’s a funny thing when time is laid out with no commitment and no structure and no predictable budget. Like the Nirvana song, the hours demand: “Here we are now, entertain us” and filling those hours suddenly takes work and effort and money. When I’m used to spending the majority of my time making money, it’s now concentrated on spending it. Like I said: first world problem.
Moving on. This past month road tripping down the West coast of the USA have been my training wheels in perfecting the three legged balancing act of seeing it all, being present within each experience, and keeping the daily adventures somewhat on budget. While I think we’ve got the hang of it (generally), the next leg of our journey will be the true test: In a few short days, Tyler and I will shift into high gear and hit the Autobahn of travel at top speed: Five weeks in Europe. Here’s hoping we can keep up.