Hey there, and happy new year to you! I hope you’ve had a good holiday season.

Here we are moving onward into a new year, and so far, it’s been pretty dreadful and dreary here in PA. Temps below freezing nearly every day, snow encasing the Prius, feels vaguely metaphorical for my own experiences since returning home.

I’ve really appreciated the opportunity and privilege to travel until I’m thoroughly done, and then return home. I certainly did so this time around, in August and with the best intentions to keep up with travelling to local destinations upon my return. And I did, for a while. I hit up the Jersey shore (unmissable every summer if you ask me, what a gem), went to NYC for some appointments and workshops for work, checked out the local Ren Faire, and hit a few destinations that way.

I bathed in being home, spent time with friends I’d missed, cooked a shitload, worked my ass off at the ol’ day job.

For the most part, however, I hadn’t anticipated how hard I’d hit the couch. Save for these small outings, and a weeklong trip down south to see the folks for the holidays, I vegetated most of the time. I embarked on a symbiotic relationship with my Xbox and spent most of my recent time hanging with my houseplants. Some of this is because I’ve been recovering from a deviated septum repair surgery, but most of it is because of the weather.

I’ve been largely sedentary due to lack of outdoor options — the gym’s out because of omicron; the weather’s trash, and I’ve been on light duty to give my body a break to recover from surgery. It was rough, to get knocked on my ass because my body needed to heal, but a welcome reminder to not take for granted my health and wellbeing.

And what a difference! My body took it hard, transitioning from hiking miles and miles in the sun every week to chilling on a couch. My mental health and physical body are currently in kind of a hibernation state. I feel like I’m in stasis until I hit the road again, likely in late March. I miss moving, and I miss going out, and looking at stuff that’s not a screen. (I also miss my nose rings.) It feels like pandemic blues, early 2020, all over again.

Face is mostly healed up and ready to go.

I’m keeping my eye on the prize, though. I’ll be ramping up to travel again soon. And fortunately this time, I’ve got most of the supplies and the routine down — my main concern is just getting the car checked out by the mechanic before throwing another 30,000 miles on it.

There’s no plan, much like last year, I have a vague idea on what I want to see. I know I want to see The Big Stuffᵀᴹ like national parks and of course Moab but I’m a bit undecided on the more minute details. I’m also thinking that because of this I will need less exploration and travel this year to feel sated.