Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Suffering from a Case of Delayed Trip Gratification

I’ve been back almost a month now. I’ve been holding off the itch to travel by reminiscing about my time in the Philippines, and now that I’m finally done with that exercise I fear that the itch is coming back.

Rene thinks I suffer from Delayed Trip Gratification (DTG) when it comes to traveling abroad. It doesn’t happen all the time but it does hit me now and again. DTG is when you are in a foreign place and all you can do that moment, that afternoon, that day is whine about something silly: how hot (or cold) it is, how it ruined your day that [blank] wasn’t being served for lunch, how rude that waiter was, how obnoxious all the tourists are (except you, hee), how you have to wait so long to get from point A to point B, yada yada the list goes on. Does that sound like something you do? Then after you get home all you can tell your family and friends is how wonderful that trip was, how you’d love to visit again, how the sights were marvelous, and how you wish you were still there. It’s almost downright schizophrenic, really, to switch from Whiny Wendy to Thankful Tammy once you get home. Then you regret letting all those petty worries take over you and beat yourself for not living in the moment. This has happened to me more than once.

All I can remember about my trips are the good times, and the bad times are either forgotten or romanticized. For example, Rene and I once took a boat launch from a small Australian town called Gladstone to Heron Island (in the Great Barrier Reef). That launch was rough – practically all of the passengers were out in the deck throwing up and praying for land. I took Dramamine an hour before and was doing fine; Rene, however, “wanted some air” (read: was feeling seasick) so we ended up hanging out in the rear deck, breathing in the acrid smell of vomit for a solid hour and a half. Now we affectionately call that vessel “the Barf Boat” and find it amusing that everyone was hanging off the side rail with a deathly green pallor.

I suppose DTG is better than the alternative – remembering only things that went wrong on the trip. Because honestly, who doesn’t want to cherish their travel memories, no matter how imperfect?

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