Travel Blues

It’s finally happened, friends and readers. I’ve just passed the three-month mark on my long trip and the travel blues are starting to hit me hard.

It’s been rough this week especially. While I’ve been having fantastic experiences in Buenos Aires, making new friends, practicing Spanish, and getting to know the city, I’m also beginning to deeply miss familiar things like my car and my cat and my friends in the States. Lack of sleep and proper exercise are taking a toll on my endorphin levels. And traveling is exhausting, readers. There’s seldom a daily routine to provide structure for things like eating well, exercise, writing, and reflection, so you have to take them where you can get them. Experiences are intense and the emotions are all magnified – loneliness, joy, wonder, and isolation.

And, though I haven’t written much about this here, I’ve known for years that I have problems with depression and anxiety. For the past couple of weeks – probably due to some of the bad habits I wrote about above – I’ve felt really low emotionally despite the presence of friends and fun experiences. That’s one of the tough things about depression, for me. Sometimes I feel sad, anxious, and deeply self-critical regardless of how many objectivity good things are going on around me. It’s a terrible feeling to be so sad, and even worse to feel that you have no right to be, and to blame yourself for your own sad feelings. It’s in these cases that I especially miss my good friends at home. It’s very difficult to talk about sadness with people you don’t know very well, and perhaps aren’t interested in hearing about a stranger’s problems. This is one of the very hard things about traveling alone, readers.

I’ve had plenty of blog-worthy experiences the past couple of weeks that I will try to share with you, unseen readers, when I’m able to write more again. In the meantime, please think well of me. I’ll be all right in the end, but right now I need your good thoughts.

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4 thoughts on “Travel Blues

  1. Mark says:

    Mary – this may sound strange, but enjoy the introspection. There is a good chance you are not just talking to yourself. Christ is there, listening, holding you up, and loving you. About the same time in my early life I elected to leave my fantastic job in the TV industry and drive – solo – around the country. I traveled from DC to Montreal, to Vancouver, to L.A. and back through the desert and the deep south to my home. I completely relate to your experiences (except for having to learn a new language – Canadian was pretty easy to pick up). I can vividly recall those moments when you want to say “Oh Wow, that’s amazing.” Only you turn to find you are unaccompanied. Solitude is magnificent. Loneliness only happens when you forget who gave you life and is there waiting to be noticed.

    Deep Breaths, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow…” even the blessing of self awareness.
    Much Love – Mark

  2. judy bruening says:

    Mary –
    I totally empathize with you. December has always been a really difficult month for me for the very same reasons/symptoms. That’s not to say I haven’t experienced it at other times. You already know what makes it better, but traveling makes it soooo difficult. Ask God for peace and try to find spaces that fill you spiritually. We all miss you, but want this to be an amazing adventure for you. You are in my prayers and hugs are sent.
    Take care, Judy

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