Dromania

Also delightfully called Travel Fugue – the overpowering desire to wander.  Long a victim of this disease, my symptoms have become increasingly dire.  Though always a traveler, the success of Anatomy Trains has lately given me a free ticket to many places, and I have hit every continent except Antarctica in the last few years.  This year alone, since January, I have been to Greece and back, then to Oxford and Oslo and back, then to Australia and back, then to Norway, Denmark, and Germany and back, and finally to Tokyo and Nagoya and back.  My marriage suffers; my business languishes, but my dromania is satisfied.

But now I have tucked my passport away until October, and am suffering the pains of withdrawal: the weather at home is unending rain, drizzle, and fog, so my sailboat swings idly at its mooring; our ‘estate’ requires all manner of spring projects to be ready for summer which cannot be completed because everything is soggy; my retired neighbour is planing out old boards for his new barn floor and the all-day irritated whine of his planer is driving us all spare; and the long-denied business projects at my home office are so complex and stalled that I feel I am running on shale.

Still, it’s great to be home, as the maniac heart calms to a slower pace, regains its sense of place, stop living out of a suitcase, and relearn the lineaments of my Quan’s face (oom-chakka-chakka-chakka, oom- chakka-chakka-chakka).

Any road up, there are many signs that my dromania must come to an end.  Australia tested the upper limits of how many students I am willing to have on a course.  I can talk to an unlimited number of people; but teaching practical skills to 120 people in 3 days is an exercise in frustration for all of us, however well-handled (and that tour was excellently planned and executed by the Ozzie organizers).  In Europe, we have had trouble being paid on a couple of my courses, a new and disturbing phenomenon.  And the trip to Japan in this year of the tsunami and Fukushima was stressful in the on-again, off-again lead-up, stress with the organizers in execution, and for whatever reason – am I just getting too old for dromania? – getting back to East Coast time took a week of relative jet-leg.

Generally, I love my bipolar waves, and will weather the troughs in order to get the view from the crests.  But this is just too exhausting.

So I have told my scheduler: stop the madness.  I am booked a year out, so the madness continues this next autumn and winter, but then we must focus on the next stage of building a platform for these ideas without my waiting endlessly in airports: web-learning and electronic appearances.  Of course I will still go abroad – being in the belly of the American beast all the time is not good for the soul and skews perception – but my dromenon must go inside again, to search for its center not its outer wings.  And the mania must end.

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