I woke up from a nightmare I can only vague recall at 4:30 a.m., and considering I'd passed out while barely mumbling sentences to my boyfriend around 10, I decide to wake up and get some work done, because the bit I do remember from my nightmare was that it was about work. I've taken on a lot this month, between writing my weekly sex column, debuting my essay collection Sex & Cupcakes, teaching my first online erotica writing class for LitReactor and assorted other projects, plus travel. It's the travel that seems to throw me off the most, because you never really know what your schedule will be like when you're away from home. Even when you make plans, they are subject to change, and time to yourself or to work often seems harder to carve out. It doesn't have to be far away to throw me off.
I just spent two days in Philadelphia, attending an event I was covering for my column, meeting with friends and businesspeople and my Philadelphia City Paper editor, enjoying a lobster roll and walking around on Tuesday, racing through the rain on Wednesday. It was a lovely little visit (thank you, Bolt Bus, for making it so cheap to get there), but it also takes me out of my routine. Next week I'll be in Los Angeles to attend Hello Kitty Con (yes, really!) and teach a live writing workshop. I'm so often torn because I love traveling but I actually love being in my cozy home even more. We've given it many touches that make it ours, and it's one that I feel utterly relaxed in.
There's a tension between the fact that I can't seem to sit still, that I'm constantly hopping on a train or a plane to somewhere, and that when I do get home, it feels so glorious. There are times when I look at my calendar (which is actually more like the calendar in my mind, because while I do use the calendar function on my phone, I don't currently have a paper calendar) and get excited about the trips I have planned. I like filling in dates and having trips to look forward to. Yet sometimes I dread the idea of being away from home, from all that makes up my routine. I'm slowly getting used to the fact that I'm half homebody, half traveler. It's confusing sometimes, trying to figure out which one I want to be at any given time. But it's also made me treasure my time at home, where we plan our meals and watch "our shows" and I make the exact same amount of coffee every morning, drinking it out of the exact same mug.
I don't think a whole month goes by where I don't go somewhere, even if it's just to New York, a city I love but often find exasperating and stressful. It's not that I couldn't wake up at 4:30 and forage for food and listen to the rain anywhere, but more that it feels right when I'm home. I don't have to be as on as I do when I'm away, navigating plans or directions. I follow a lot of travel bloggers, and for many of them travel is their way of life to the point that home seems, to my reading, almost beside the point. I don't think I could ever do that. I love traveling because I always get to come home, and this home specifically, where I've lived since April, is a very special one.
I'm already making plans for 2015, vacations which I feel very lucky to be able to afford for now (it's been a very up and down year, and I have no idea what the future holds in that regard), teaching at events like CatalystCon (I just submitted a panel proposal as well, and encourage you to do so ASAP; the deadline is November 4th and this is an incredible, inspiring conference) and hopefully teaching at more sex toy stores and doing other events. I am the kind of person who doesn't mind airport layovers because I love people watching; I love the sense of excitement that builds just before a trip, and can even get it vicariously by watching others about to embark on a journey. But as I sit in my kitchen on a wet, rainy day, having just sent my guy off to work, there's no place else I'd rather be at this moment. Maybe there's nothing wrong with not knowing how to sit still for more than a few days or weeks, as long as I can appreciate being wherever I am at any given moment.