Post Travel Mart Stress Disorder.
I have it.
When I was in high school, I went to church camp the first week of every summer. I would go on squished, chartered buses, stay in a moldy resort-turned-Christian-retreat, and experience a wave of depression after leaving these conditions. It was never about the hard mattresses, frozen food, or the t-shirt tans that came with having to cover up our bodies from head-to-toe. It was about the community, the bond created between teenagers that, in the same stage of life, relate to each other over a common love.
We’d refer to the post-trip sorrow as “coming down from the mountaintop” (in reference to Moses). You’re on such a high from that which surrounds you until – suddenly – you have to face reality.
This is how I feel about Travel Mart, except without the sub-par food, living conditions, and tan lines. In contrast, we had great meals, Bellagio fountain views from our large beds, and under-eye circles from staying out too late the night before (the latter I can do without).
Do you know how difficult it is to go from learning about 5-star properties across the globe on Tuesday to sitting through an Ecology class about soil profiles on Thursday? I don’t want you to know it feels, because I intimately know that pain.
In my first two days back, I find myself searching for travel in everything. I go to my Postcoloial Literature class and get overly excited that we’ll be studying literature from British colonies, like those in the Caribbean and India. I mentally locate the destinations, like Trinidad, on the fuzzy, mostly incorrect, world map inside of my brain.
I repeatedly hit my light-up pen from the Beau-Rivage in Switzerland as though, like a certain tornado in Kansas once did, it might magically transport me to a strange and distant land.
As hard as I try, I honestly can’t make the soil profiles relate to travel, besides the thought that, I would rather be anywhere in the world than in this classroom, listening to this man whose outfit and personality resemble that of the soil profiles.
Balancing my career and school might be more of a challenge after Travel Mart than it had been prior to the conference.
Moreover, I’ve gotten the sweetest texts from my new friends that make me miss our quickly, yet indelibly, forged bond.
I really don’t like coming down from this mountaintop.