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Shock Therapy

Usually, it takes me a couple of days to recover from a trip. Day one consists of unpacking, doing laundry, checking the mail—all general housekeeping tasks. Day two is for my brain to get in gear. I may not be firing on all cylinders by the third day, but I can usually start to engage in my non-travel life by then.

I’m home between trips for probably the longest stretch since April, and it’s been two weeks since my most recent visit to Colombia. The typical two post-trip days have passed, so I should be all good, right? Wrong. Either I left my brain in Colombia, or I now need to recalculate my average recovery time.

I can’t afford to be useless for this much time after every trip, and unless this malady is specific only to Colombia, I need to find a way to snap out of it sooner. It’s often not enough to remind myself that I love where I live. Sometimes, I need a little shock therapy.

Every day this week, I’ve been taking Coastal Trail walks with my dog on the bluffs near my home. When the weather is good, the views are heart-achingly beautiful. When it’s overcast and the skies are filled with drippy fog, it’s still gorgeous—just darker.

I let everything work on me: the crashing waves, the smell of the salt air, the red-tailed hawks hunting for small creatures, the harbor seals hauled out on the black rocks at low tide, the sage-colored foliage and the jingle of my dog’s collar. If this kind of beautiful can’t get my mind and body back together, I don’t know what can.

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