A tale of two weekends

road trip

This summer has been extremely busy so far. Most of the time I love it, but there are times when it gets too overwhelming. Its been more than a week since my US trip and I’ve been able to process everything that happened. I also went on a road trip this past weekend. I thought I’d compare the two trips in order to figure out what made one more enjoyable than the other.

Trip to the US ★★☆☆☆

I travelled to Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago. My post on June 22 details the anxiety I was feeling about the trip. Food-wise, things were okay. I had steak at the Italian restaurant and it was yummy. We also went to a Japanese restaurant, rather than the Indian one, so I was able to fill up on delicious sushi. But other than that, meals were few and far between and I was running on adrenaline most of the time. I was also staying with people who didn’t eat breakfast which made things more difficult. I think the only thing that saved me was the homemade protein balls I brought with me.

Activity-wise, it was not good. I completely understand that my friends wanted to squeeze in as much as possible into the weekend, but it was overkill. They kept us out late (we didn’t get back until 12 am most nights) and then were up early the next morning. I think I averaged 5 hours of sleep a night. They chose group activities everyone else was excited about and I got guilt-tripped into going along. When I pulled out my book to read, they would start a conversation with me. How does that even make sense? It was quite frustrating. Fortunately, I used taking video and pictures as a way of isolating myself while still ‘participating’ in the action. By Monday I was completely done with people and just wanted to leave. The trip home went well, although I ended up sprinting through the Chicago airport in order to catch my flight, but that’s another story.

Road trip ★★★★★

This past weekend was another busy one. I took an 8 hour road trip to see friends. A few of us carpooled to save on fuel and spent the trip laughing and talking. Even though we were in a vehicle for several hours, I was able to pull out a book or my music without feeling guilty. I stayed with some good friends and had a lovely time catching up. There was a super fun BBQ too. We stayed up until nearly midnight talking, joking, and singing songs around the campfire (although I didn’t really know any of the songs they played).

The next day we grabbed breakfast, spent the morning chatting, then headed home. It was a quieter drive back, we were all pretty tired, but it went well. I was able to enjoy more quiet time with my music and a book. We also drove through a thunderstorm which was pretty neat. I was definitely exhausted once I finally made it back, but it was worth it. I slept extremely well on Sunday night.

I noticed a few things that made trip two far more enjoyable than trip one. Firstly, trip one was full of constant activity and no breaks. Everything was last minute and I couldn’t mentally prepare myself for anything. Trip two was busy, but had space for breaks, and no one got offended if I turned on my music. I also knew the itinerary and was able to mentally prepare for the busy activities. Secondly, I was constantly hungry during trip one and couldn’t eat much when we ate out. During trip two, I stayed with friends who asked me about my food sensitivities and took the time to prepare food specifically for me. They didn’t have to do that, but I was very grateful to them.

Based on my experiences I have a few tips I’m going to employ on future trips

1. Take breaks all the time.

I don’t care if it makes me look anti-social. If I need quiet time, I’m going to take it. I’m a far more pleasant person to be around when I have the energy to interact with others.

2. Plan to take a longer break.

Smaller breaks are wonderful, but they only postpone the inevitable burnout. I’m going to set aside an hour or two to read, listen to music, go for a run, etc. I will then tell everyone this and not feel guilty for doing so.

3. Volunteer.

This seems a bit counter-intuitive, but I find that helping out with cooking or washing dishes is an amazing opportunity to get away from the crowd and help your host/hostess out at the same time. The bonus is that it makes you look super helpful 🙂

4. Expect the unexpected.

There will always be surprises. Things will not always go as planned. If I remind myself of this, it helps me be a little more mentally prepared when the schedule inevitably changes.

5. Make time for the little things.

I have the tendency to jump right into things at my own expense. In the future, I will make sure I have enough to eat, I will drink water, I will take time to be in nature, and I will maintain my fitness routine. I may not have access to a gym but I can still go for a run.

How was your weekend?

Image credit: “Montana road trip” by Derek Swanson is licensed under CC by 2.0

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12 thoughts on “A tale of two weekends

  1. Salvageable says:

    Sorry about your disappointments in Wisconsin–that’s a beautiful part of God’s creation, but I’m sure you cannot appreciate it with the wrong company. “What’s that you’ve got there? A book? Are you reading it? Is it any good? What’s it about?” Some people cannot take a hint. J.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mtbiowayahoocom says:

    It’s amazing how a little time to relax and recharge in between activities can make such a difference. We introverts tend to be much more sensitive to food (or lack thereof), sleep deprivation, and too much environmental stimulation. I know some people are disappointed when I have to check out of the party early, but it always makes for a less grumpy next day. Hope you are able to plan more fun relaxing vacations in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bizzy0 says:

    Traveling with groups (especially people you don’t know very well) is incredibly stressful. I did a special semester in college with a few trips around the US and I was so excited to see new places, but so stressed about constant people-time. Fortunately they did make an effort to schedule in some downtime or self-scheduled time. I did still get pegged as anti-social, I think, but I also found a couple of people who also wanted have quiet times, and we intentionally grouped up so that we could so things like sketch together. SO ANYWAY yeah, I totally get how hard that weekend must have been. You spend extra money and worry and wish you were having a better time. I’m glad you counter-balanced with a more compatible trip. I think it is so, so valuable to have friendships where you can do your own thing, together. Like my housemate and I will both read or do computer stuff in my room, and occasionally say something, but mostly just be happy in each other’s company.

    Liked by 1 person

    • bizzy0 says:

      Now that I thought of it, funny story: Yesterday I went to a lake with friends, and there ended up being a very chatty situation with some of the older adults who were just meeting. I knew that “so where did you go to college” and “so what are you doing with your career” were coming up (exactly the things I do not want to think about at the beach), so I decided to lie on the dock near them but with a hat over my face. Not so subtle… but nobody asked me anything, and I enjoyed the day 😛

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      That’s awesome you were able to find others who also needed downtime during your trip. One of my favourite housemate’s was similar to yours. We would often do things separately in the same room, but there was never any pressure to be social or talk all the time. It definitely helps keep you sane 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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