The problem of being a student and, beyond that, also liking my work work is that I never actually go on an actual vacation. When my uni schedule frees up, I take advantage of it to work. When I have fewer texts to translate and copyedit, I spend most of my time reading for uni. Even by the seaside last year I spent an hour or two working daily, instead of spending that time for an additional book.
*I make a distinction between work (meaning studying and working for uni) and work work, which is translating and copyediting.
I like all this, don’t get me wrong, but this time, at the beginning of March, I had to admit to myself that I was exhausted. After half a year, during which I furiously wrote my Master’s thesis, additionally educated myself in the field of linguistics, had surgery, dealt with the bureaucracy of registering for a new programme, started the new programme full force while still editing the thesis, all the while worked about a dozen hours a week … Well, sooner or later my body would’ve forced me to take at least some rest.
Cue the point of this travelogue.
After submitting the thesis in early March, my brother asked me whether I am now finally planning on taking some time off. My first instinct was to fight it tooth and nail. You know, excuses. “No, no I can’t, no way I can stop working for a week right now.” “But I have so much work for uni.” “I already live in a different country, I don’t need to change my environment that often.” And so on and so forth. But the idea got its claws in me and wouldn’t let go, like a scared cat that’s using its last strength to hang on to the trunk of a tree under which an angry dog is barking.*
*Whereby the cat was Wanderlust (or a strong desire to travel) and the dog was work and all kinds of excuses that have been preventing me, for years, from truly going on an adventure.
The thing was that my brother was working in Jordan just then and I knew that at some point, he had the plan to spend a week travelling around. I also knew, with the certainty of a younger sister, that we might not have traveled alone before, but he probably wouldn’t mind much if I joined him for a bit of company. I was right.
After that it all went fast. On Thursday I came up with the idea. On Friday my brother agreed. On Saturday I told my parents who nearly passed out when they heard I wish to go to the Middle East. On Monday morning the plane ticket was in my inbox. Sometimes it can be this simple. Of course I had quite some preparations ahead of me, but I knew it would all fit together. With persistence, everything is possible.