Adventures of Mitey Miss

Stories of the world, a girl, and her bicycle

  • Ulrike Rodrigues

    Mitey Miss (Ulrike Rodrigues)
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Post-Vacation Stress Syndrome

Posted by UR on January 10, 2004

Home looks frumpy and I am not impressed
A traveller’s dilemma upon returning from Baja, Mexico

So now I’m suspended between these two worlds that I’ve created for myself hesitant ~ no, the hesitancy is more severe than that ~ negligent to shallow-wade from one to the other. It’s a Saturday. Yes, I’m still in bed, still pajama-ed, still sipping coffee and still (as my boss Dave puts it) suffering Post-Vacation-Stress-Syndrome.

The panniers are unloaded and the laundry done, certainly, but the bags’ contents of beach sand remain un-shaken-out. The bike waits, cramped, in its travel bag, the maps and booklets remain sealed in Ziplock bags, and I remain wrapped in sensory memories not willing to be pre-emptied by the current sensory facts of a messy bedroom, a dusty house, unwashed dishes, piled up garbage, and ~ outside ~ a type of low-level illuminated environment us Vancouverites mistakenly call “daylight”.

A large part of it has to do with decisions. On my first day back, Dave asked me to review a two-page document that he’d be sending a client. It discussed rates, fees, services…standard proposal jargon. I stared at it a moment, peered up at him and blinked.

“Er, NO salt on the rim?” He forgave himself his error, and said something about it being too soon.

My decisions up to a couple of days ago included: how many slices of Bimbo tostados to spread my peanut butter-and-jam on; how much sun block 30 I should spread on my shoulders at 9:30 in the morning; whether I should keep my tires hard for pavement or let out some air for dirt; how many kilometers I should travel that day, and do I have enough water and toilet paper to carry me through another deserted, Sea-of-Cortez beach, or should I pull into a hot-shower campsite stocked with curious RV’rs offering cold beer in the evening and hot coffee in the morning?

Will I dream another night of soaring through the stratosphere like an outward-bound comet, or do I dream of a life where I am stuck with these difficult decisions everyday?

Back in my room, my house, my job, my life (did I ever leave these behind or did they follow me silently on the East Cape Road, mutely waiting for a moment’s hesitancy) I must also make decisions albeit more philosophical:

Do I dissolve back into what is speedy and routine, or do I pinch-myself-remember daily that I do not forget how long and luscious a day can be? Do I knuckle the sleep and sand out of my eyes, brush my teeth, change into civilian clothes and face the chores and Lego-block tasks of everyday life, or do I stay in bed, immersed, in vitro, unproductive?

It would be self-defeating to say, “Back to the chores, you have no choice,” because this has been (“has been”) my choice. I am committed to it like a faithful lover and I know this room, this house, this job, this life is what I have chosen for myself.

I do not regret it , but at the moment the lover looks frumpy. I am not impressed.


Bank. Mailbox. Groceries.
Put away laundry, restock camping supplies, unpack bike.
Clean up room, take out garbage, do some dishes.
Think less about sand, sun and angels.
Think less about love and loss, more about movement, adventure, progression, wisdom, warmth, gifts, empathy, worthiness.


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