This vacation consisted of three countries (one simply for transit), six states (again, one only for transit), six airports, eight flights, two beautiful weddings, planning for another wedding, countless miles on the road, way too many packing expeditions, lots of hugs with family and friends, catching up with my best friend from childhood, quality time with my niece and nephew, a good dose of animal fun, and lots of much-needed down time. I shipped 40lbs of non-perishables to myself today, which supplements what I can't get on the local market or through the commissary. I watched countless Red Sox games, celebrated the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup, and reveled in the Heat losing the NBA finals.
This vacation did not consist of any trips to Trader Joe's, The Container Store, DSW, a movie theater, Coach, outlet malls, or any of several other things I planned to do. I did not get a chance to eat Coquilles St. Jacques or make vichyssoise. I did eat lobster, bagels, conch fritters, and reubens.
I didn't get my dry cleaning done or my alterations/hemming done. Which is just as well, since it should have been done before I left for R&R and will be cheaper in KSA anyway. But I feel silly lugging it across the ocean twice with no tangible results.
I was only able to access my Blackberry a few times, so I didn't get to look at work email very much. Which is probably a good thing. But I'm already starting to think about unfinished projects and creating my mental to-do list for once I'm back at work on Saturday.
But I still wish I had a little more time. Or knew when the next time I was going home next. Or, for that matter, knew where I was going next. Bidding will come soon enough and consume all of my time, I know, and I've already started having dreams about it. Both good and scary.
I love my job and my lifestyle, but there are a lot of unique facts of life - including uncertainty, constant change, and occasional feelings of helplessness, an inability to easily answer the question "where are you from?" - that accompany it, for better or worse. There are a lot of hellos and goodbyes, also for better or worse. If you don't like something, it will change soon enough. But if you do like something, it too will change. This is my first post and only my first R&R, but I've come to learn this much already.
So I'm heading back to KSA and to my work and my life there. And in some ways I'm ready. But, in others, I'm not quite ready.
I'll write more posts once I'm in Jeddah and have time to stop and think. I'd write more now but need to board fairly soon. Ready or not...