Month Seven. #Reserve. #SEA

In the past month, I flew to Mexico, Canada, Hawaii and Japan, besides flying all over the continental United States. I played the penny slots in Las Vegas, rode the Staten Island Ferry in New York City and ate at In N Out in Oakland. I flew across the Pacific Ocean twice, down the entirety of the North American continent four times and from the West Coast to the East Coast -- and back -- in less than twenty-four hours. I changed time zones more times than I can count and slept on planes more nights than I was in my own bed.

I'm running on fumes.

The thrill of adventure always lures me into these manic travel periods. I'll feel a bit antsy, then, before I know it, I've signed up for five weeks of insane work schedules and mini vacations. Instead of picking up local trips in my own base, I'll fly to Houston to work an international trip into Mexico. Instead of getting sleep after a 25 hour four-day trip, I'll hop on a redeye to go have a Saturday adventure in New York City. Instead of taking a week off, I'll fly to Japan.

"You're crazy!" Is what I hear a lot. And maybe its true. Maybe this manic travel is wearing on me. I know I need to slow down, but how? And when? The Holiday season is just warming up. And I can never resist the lure of another adventure.

On Friday, I flew back from Kyoto, Japan. I took a taxi to Kyoto Station, the Haruka train to Osaka and then a plane back to Seattle, stopping in Honolulu on the way. With time zones and date lines, I actually lived November seventh twice. (Try to wrap your head around that one!) By the time I reached home, in was almost 1am and I was on empty.

Three hours later, Crew Scheduling called.

...and then I was back on the road again. Fresno, California, and on to Edmonton, Alberta and three more days of flying. I didn't see how I could do it. By the time we landed in smoggy Fresno, I was completely run-down, coughing and light-headed. I collapsed into bed, wondering how I could keep flying.

And then it hit me. I needed to refuel. I called in sick, for the first time in my life. They were understanding, commenting on how much I had been working and flying lately. I was booked a ticket to return home, and rode as a passenger on the very same flight I had been scheduled to work.

I arrived at home and got a big hug from my boyfriend. I curled up on the couch and for the first time in a month, actually exhaled.

The manic travel bug always leads me on a crazy journey, but the longing for home always brings me back. While I wandered the old cobblestone streets of Queretaro, Mexico or while I rode a bicycle through a rainy alley in Kyoto, Japan, I constantly longed for home. I thought about my boyfriend Tim, my cat Bruce and my lovely friends. I reflected about the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and the smell of Evergreen trees. I dreamt of riding the ferry, of seeing Mount Rainier at dusk and crossing the bridge at Deception Pass.

And now, I'm finally home. And I'm ready to allow myself to relax, recharge and get myself ready for the next big adventure.

Happy adventuring, friends. Just remember to refuel once and a while!


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