Sunday, September 23, 2007

The grass is always greener on the other side of the border.

The last few weeks have been about regional and personal exploration, from Vancouver and the Puyallup Fair to family relationships and job satisfaction. Some of these have been more fun than the others.

Dispensing with the clear highlight right off the bat: Everything that Chris told me about Mutton Bustin last year is true. It's like a rodeo, only with kids under six and sheep. It turns out that those sheep can really move! Well, you'd move too if you had a random unexpected kindergartener hanging on to your back for dear life. If you are or have a child under six years old and under 60 pounds, don't wait -- get to the fair next year before it's too late!

In other news, I kind of want to move to Vancouver. Until last weekend I'd only been there to run the marathon, which is a good way to see a lot of the city but not to really experience it. It feels a little like San Francisco to me, which is to say that it feels like a real city kind of city, with real pedestrian life, stuff open into the night, a large and populated downtown. And it's Canadian! And surrounded by beautiful things in the same way that Seattle is.

Travel aside, I'm feeling kind of generally burned out this week. So that probably means that I need more travel! Good thing we have Hong Kong and Australia coming up.


Blogger jayblack said...

i'm genuinely interested in the concept that travel helps to make someone less burned out.

i once read that the difference between an introvert and an extrovert is that the former doesn't necessarily _dislike_ people so much as find them exhausting. the latter, on the other hand, is energized by the presence of others.

i'm wondering if the same principle at work here regarding travel. could it be that you're a travel extrovert?

11:26 PM  
Blogger Kieran Snyder said...

There are times when exhausts me, or where even the idea of travel exhausts me. But what's hit me as I've become a corporate slave is that time away really needs to be time away in order to be restorative.

2:45 PM  
Blogger jayblack said...


i'm not being argumentative -- i'm asking because i really want to know how you feel about the following things:

1) planes, airports, security. don't you hate these things? doesn't it take you at least a day of sleep on either end of the trip to recover from it? especially the flight itself, with its 8000 ft. elevation in-tube atmosphere and it's collection of elderly and young germ-carriers?

2) hotels and the bleak sameness of each and every one of them? do you really sleep well there? i, myself, feel like hotels are the imitation sugar fat-free brownies of sleep. it feels like you're full for a bit, but ultimately, they do nothing for you.

3) being somewhere other than home. you need to figure out where and how you're going to eat, where and how you're going to obtain things like prescriptions or medical attention should you need it, where and how you'll... well, do everything. i find this exhausting.

how do you deal with these things? or do you find this part of the process fun? or do you find this part of the process not fun but enjoy the other parts of travel so much that you are able to ignore them?

8:26 AM  
Blogger Kieran Snyder said...

Like everyone, I hate those things. But I hate my own inability to vacation at home even more. If I am near a computer, I am working. This is because I love my work and also because I am an obsessive crazy person. Still, constant working isn't great for you. It's bad enough 49 weeks of the year; the least I can do for myself is take three completely off. And because I am who I am, in order to take time completely off, I need total context shifts. Loafing around at home only works a couple hours at a time before I'm back working again.

I guess basically what I'm saying is that I like travel more than I like developing enough self-discipline to break my obsessive behavior patterns.

10:32 AM  

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