“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”
So, let’s get this out of the way, from the start. I have Bipolar 2. So I am high maintenance. And not in that makeup, hair, appearance way. More in that “highly sensitive” way, that requires lots of props to keep me at my optimal me.
To run, I require just the right proportions of sunlight, sleep, food, drugs (legal), and most important, environmental stability. Easily stimulated, sensitive to noise, hyper emotionally aware – I’m a Ferrari and not a Ford.
Going through airport customs in Zurich, my carry-on bag, chock full of RXs, was scanned and the official asked me why I had so many – did I have a heart condition? I’m pretty sure he’s not supposed to ask me that. Well, not really, sir, I want to say. But I simply nod. Heart, thyroid, brain – what’s the difference, really?
By most standards, I make a poor traveler. Jet leg puts me in a tailspin. Sleep is the biggest factor in my wellness equation. Being in different time zones messes with my brain.
In my own North Carolina time zone, I’m often a little off, spacey, easily overwhelmed. Away from home, my head can become a swirling vortex, a brain within a brain. I seize up before the gaping maw of airports, tickets, maps, schedules, agendas, cabs, buses, trains, language barriers, social customs, etc. – a deer in the headlights.
The Linear Way – logical, scheduled – doesn’t fit me. I never got that brain chip.
I can’t do it so don’t try to teach me, please be patient, I’ll figure this out, just wait a second. Don’t yell at me. Hold on. Missed the train. Well. That’s OK.
Travel doesn’t comes naturally. But I throw myself into it to prove I can. And to remind myself that my way of doing it is just as legit as anyone’s. And through the years, I’ve come to accept my nature and enjoy the ride. I’m curious about people, new lands, new ideas. I especially love the mundane in foreign places.
My habit is to follow my nose – it’s never the right way to go, but it’s the off-track way, leading to who knows what, but you never know, could be fun way. And hey, I never met a stranger (due to my Southern upbringing which is very handy).
So I am not letting logistical challenges stop me. Because I’m becoming fluent in the act of letting go – trusting the chaos, stepping out onto the street, mapless, ticketless, and resistant to urgings to hit all the must see/do things. Shucking the “check it off” mentality.
All this to say, we’ve arrived in Zug and, as always, I’ll be learning the lay of the land in my own sweet way. A little slow for the type-As, but whatever. My body’s almost on European time now.
My husband’s work has brought us to this place for how long we’re not really sure.
So, here’s a picture of the river flowing into Lake Zug, from my run yesterday. The earth smelled like fresh manure, strange new yellow buds were at my heels, and some horseback riders (Swiss women?) passed me on the trail. I have no idea what they said to me.
It’s an amazing new poem in a very, very strange language.
going with the flow