For the last six weeks or so I’ve been doing something rather odd. Instead of writing todays’ date in my daily journal–September 15, August, 24th, whatever–I’ll begin by writing July. I noticed the pattern about a month ago but attributed it to the travel hangover I’d been feeling since coming back. My dad dropped me off at Mono Meadows in Yosemite on July 1st. He picked me up from Whitney Portal on July 29th. I walked 249 miles in between. That’s a long time to be out there. Though I didn’t write in my journal everyday it was damn near close enough. So when I returned, writing the wrong date felt sort of like writing the wrong year that first week of school in January after the break. Your hand hasn’t caught up to the change in date.
That’s what I thought this was. But now it’s six weeks later. I’ve reintegrated myself into the world. I’ve been speaking more clearly, the little things have almost (but not quite) begun to frustrate me again. I’ve gone to parties, made out, played video games, eaten disgustingly wonderful food you just can’t find on the trail, and watched more movies than I had the previous six months. So what is this? I catch myself looking up to the sky. Not to calm down or quell any rising anxiety. More to reinforce the general feeling of at ease around me. Most my time in the mountains was spent looking up and out and feeling calm.
Perhaps that’s it then. That high you feel after a trip often lasts a week, maybe two weeks at most. Am I still on that trip? Is that why I keep writing the wrong date over and over again? My head isn’t really here. I might go to a with you, or make out with you, or watch and discuss how and why Guardians of the Galaxy made us both cry, but at the moment I’m simply not there.
I know I’m not the only one. What other travel hangover symptoms have you had?
© 2014 Christopher Dart