A Serious Case of Travel Envy

I’ve been a bit MIA for the past couple of months.  Some combination of sloth and overworking has rendered me incapable of doing anything but watching The West Wing and knitting whenever I have a few moments to myself.  If you haven’t seen The West Wing, I can assure you that it’s a great show and completely suitable for binge watching, especially if you want to forget about the real world.  I had a meeting with my boss recently and he agreed that I can defend my PhD in the spring, which has had me alternating between euphoria and hysteria since then.  With the mountain of work that needs to be done before I can graduate, I’ve been lying low on the travel front, though I do have plenty of adventures planned for the next few months.

Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden

While I’ve been in one place over the last month, I’ve had a lot of travel envy.  Graduate school has been keeping me indoors and working almost every day, and I haven’t been able to justify even a weekend away.  I’ve mostly had to satisfy myself with day trips in Chicago, which has allowed me to finally check off some of the items on my Chicago Bucket List.  But in the meantime, friends and other travelers have been embarking on some truly epic adventures, while I must content myself with following along on the Internet.

Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden

Fish at the Shedd Aquarium

Fish at the Shedd Aquarium

There’s really nothing like the feeling of getting on a flight to some faraway place.  Perhaps I’ve gotten spoiled by the recent glut of travel, but despite my best efforts, I’ve been checking flight prices longingly at work, wondering when I’ll have the time and money to be able to justify buying more airplane tickets.  Every time I get another email about a spectacular sale that’s going on, I find it harder and harder to resist taking advantage of it.  This has been especially true lately with the predictions that flight prices might be at record lows this fall and a slew of great flight deals just in time for the end of summer.

When I first moved to Chicago six years ago, a roundtrip ticket between Chicago and Denver cost $250 at the minimum.  Over the past couple months, I’ve been able to find roundtrip flights for close to $100.  With low prices and a wealth of destinations to choose from, it’s taken a great deal of self-restraint to stop myself from booking all of my weekends from now until next year.

Of course, I haven’t been entirely successful in practicing restraint.  I was recently in San Francisco and I have a trip to Washington DC coming up as well as a few trips to Colorado.  But for the most part, I’m trying to convince myself that I need to concentrate on school and graduation.  This means that even if tickets are $38 roundtrip to Atlanta or $78 roundtrip to Miami, my credit card stays firmly tucked in my wallet while I salivate over pictures of all of the amazing adventures I could be having instead of sitting in a windowless office writing the most boring dissertation known to man (I’m mostly sort of joking about this, but my research can’t hold a candle to trekking the Inca Trail or country-hopping through Europe).

I really hope the drop in ticket prices lasts until I’m done with school (hopefully in the next 6-9 months).  If I have to watch all of these great travel deals parade past me with no chance to take advantage of any of them, I will have an eternally incurable case of travel envy.

Have you had travel envy?  How did you overcome it?

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2 responses to “A Serious Case of Travel Envy

  1. When our children were young our friends traveled all the time while we were busy raising them and frankly didn’t have the finances to travel. We managed our travel envy by hanging on to our dreams and when the opportunities came we jumped at them. Good luck with your PhD prep and keep dreaming. Your day will come too.

    • Thank you for the words of encouragement! Sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back and realize that working now will pay off in the long term (I hope), but I don’t always remember to do that.

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