Adventure or Escapism

I have been craving a vacation. Although I do not have one specific place in mind, I want to go somewhere. New Orleans is a possibility. Of course the problem is money, as it tends to be. But the question is, am I craving a vacation just as an escape from the stress of grad school? Or do I really want an adventure? Does it matter?

In the back of my mind, I often think that I will become a travel writer on the sly. Perhaps after I finish my PhD or some years after that, or perhaps while I am finishing my degree. Is it possible to do both? Somehow I never seem to be satisfied doing only one thing.

This coming April I will be in Albuquerque, NM for the annual conference of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA). It will be my 4th year attending this conference and it’s always a fun time. Usually I get burned out around the 3rd day, but it is a great opportunity to learn about new discoveries, methods, etc. and to hobnob with others in my field. Unfortunately, the people who truly study what I study tend to steer clear of that conference; I mean the people who study marks on bones (taphonomy). However, taphonomy is not all I do, so I go to this meeting and I socialize and I learn. It’s kind of like a little vacation except that the spatial range of my travel is limited to the conference hotel and wherever I am staying (which is sometimes the same hotel).

My trip to Albuquerque will be different than previous years. Or that is my hope. I want to transform the trip into a true vacation. Visit my friends and family in NM (yes, I have friends and family in NM), and go to at least one major historical site: Mesa Verde. I am also hoping that I will have my sweetheart with me and possibly a couple of friends. While solo travel has its perks, but I don’t want to do this one alone.

Unfortunately, that trip is not until mid-April. What do I do until then? Suck it up?

Yes. I think so.

Even if I have the funds, I don’t know if I have the time. However, I may still aim for that New Orleans trip if C can swing it too. Maybe in January. NOLA in January. Sounds glorious! Plus there is an added benefit to going to NOLA; we would be contributing some small bit to the city’s recovery. We ain’t rich, that’s for damn sure, but it would be something.

I am considering starting a new blog. Maybe one for non-fiction or for grad student stories. I’m not sure yet. What do I want to say?