It’s not an actual sickness as the title of this post suggests, but yes, when I travel I have health-related consequences.
The biggest of these is the sheer exhaustion I incur. The trip from Alberta to Ontario takes 4 hours; tack on travel time on either end and time in airport, and it is doubled. Then take into account the early hour you get up, the late hour you get in, and the nappus interruptus of the actual flight time. By the time you’re done all that, you discover that I went to bed last night at 9pm Alberta Time and I had been up for 16 hours straight.
Not counting anything else, the timing is hard for my body to take. Now add standing for forever in lines, the uncomfortable seats in the waiting areas and on the plane, two takeoffs, two landings, turbulence… The bodily toll ramps up. Top it all of with a giant scoop of crowds, deadlines, delays, screaming kids, rude people, and gross travel food and you have pretty much just described the 10th circle of hell.
For me and Matt, travel is our lifeline to our families. But it also is a giant elephant in the room when we talk about vacations. How much will I be able to handle in one day? How much is too much? Can we stagger or stage this any better? I need at least one day of recovery for the AB-ON trip, so there’s no way I could do a connecting flight to the US or abroad after that. Then there’s all the emotional stimuli. By the time I get to Ontario, I feel desensitized to all but the most extreme of emotions, so I walk about in a zombie-like state. Not really all that great when visiting loved ones, especially if you have a limited time with them.
I am lucky to have three full weeks with my family this go-around: lucky because I can fully recover and enjoy myself and lucky because it’s a substantial visit. Also lucky to have found a nice older lady in our apartment building to look after the cats, and lucky that I don’t have to find a way to fill a month by myself while Matt’s back in Wainwright. So all in all, I plan to enjoy myself once my body and mind catches up with me. Right now I’d like to say thank you for waiting as this post was later than I intended.
I was napping.