For the past seventy days I feel as if I’ve been playing catchup with myself. Never on schedule with the things I’ve put in focus to do, and running out of time to accomplish short term goals I set.
I blame it on that first week of hellish jetlag.
January disappeared, February was even quicker, and March was nearly on me before I had any plans set for my two week holiday in mid-March. When I did get around to it, my holiday plans were finalized quickly; a week in Cairo and a week in Beirut. It was all quite rushed.
Packing, something I used to hate, has now become something of a pleasant ritual for me. I enjoy methodically going through what items I’ll need- or won’t- having found that it builds my anticipation and excitement for an impending trip.
This time, however, I was sitting on my couch the night before knowing I’d have to leave the very next morning with nothing yet organized.
I rushed through packing and dreaded the thought of a taxi ride to Erbil the next day as well as the two flights, sandwiched layover, and all other intermediary aspects that would have to be done to put my trip together. As much as I’d tried psyching myself up I just wasn’t excited.
And so the morning of, nearing the moment I’d have to take a taxi to Erbil, I sat on the couch considering my options. Letting my mind wander. At some point the thought sprang up to cancel my flights and stay in Kurdistan.
It was the most honest thought I’d had in regards to my two-week vacation in sometime. Thoughts like that rarely come out of nowhere. No sooner had it entered possibility did I act upon it.
Two phone calls and two emails later I had both of my flights cancelled with less than $50 lost.
Within international teaching there’s always a budding sense of hidden escapism…. As if extended holidays mean you must get out and go to another country. It’s made me bite almost every time.
Whenever I feel as if I’m entitled to jetting off I remind myself that Peace Corps, which I had at one point committed to, was to pledge 27 uninterrupted months to a place. A little perspective helps everything.
When I finally unpacked my wants for this two-week break I knew I wasn’t interested in another foreign adventure. The memory of my involuntary never-ending summer of 2015 was still too fresh, as well as the horrors of the Kurdistan-California-Kurdistan transit I did over the holiday break.
My plans/ideas for this coming summer are hectic and long enough, there’s little need to exhaust my adventurism now.
So only a few days before, I thought I was going to take this space to write about my soon-to-be adventures in Egypt and Lebanon. And now I’m far more excited knowing that I’m not going anywhere at all. That’s not to say I’m doing nothing for these next two weeks. Couldn’t be further from the truth.
This might be my best chance to see the beauty of this country in spring, when it is in full blossom with long cool days and high spirits.
Newroz, the celebration during and around the spring equinox (March 21st), is a long-standing Kurdish tradition of picnicking and relishing in Kurdistan’s beauty.
I can retrace roads I’ve been to before in distant corners of Kurdistan, all with a different palate of colors from a new season.
So I cancelled my flight in favor of what might be my last extended period of time to explore Kurdistan.
Cairo can wait, Beirut too. Two free weeks of Kurdish spring sounds a lot better right now.