I was in the bathroom this morning getting ready to go to
the supermarket with Ricky. I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt and some slide-on
shoes. My hair went into a ponytail, with a headband to keep back the flyaways.
I slapped on some mascara and some deodorant and was ready to go.
And then it hit me.
Nothing has changed.
During the nine months we were traveling I looked pretty
much the same—ponytail (when my hair was long enough), t-shirt, simple shoes,
tiny bit of makeup, and looking barely presentable to go into public.
I realized that I was living the side effects of long term
travel. They are unavoidable. Sometimes
I find myself forgetting to change clothes after a couple of days. I have to remind myself to change my shirt. I
forget that I can do laundry when I want, and I have enough clothes to wear
while I wait for other ones to dry.
And days like today I forget that I’m not traveling anymore
and I can actually take a little bit of time to style my hair (though I’m
getting close to chopping it all off again), or put on some makeup, or even
make better clothing choices.
One thing that Ricky and I both suffer with as a side effect
of traveling is that we’ve forgotten the value of money. We’ve used so many
different currencies while constantly mentally changing it over to dollars or Euros
that we forget what things are actually worth. That resulted in a lot of stupid
purchases when we first got to Beijing. We spent 1200 rmb for curtains and 550
for a rug. That’s about $300 dollars that we actually needed to spend on things
we, you know, need.
And it’s a constant thing.
Our priorities are pretty messed up right now, because what we valued
while we were traveling (the occasional ice cream, a nice meal to keep us sane
after days of fried rice), isn’t what we should value now. We spend too much
money on McDonald’s because we can, when we really don’t want to spend any more
money than we have to for dog food.
Basically we are terrible people with imaginary money to
So hopefully we’ll get a handle on this real-people thing we
call life and I might actually put on some make up or do something with my