Post-traumatic stress about my latest travel consumption
Glen Canyon National Park
Photo: Eric Treacy, iPhone 5
It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes I feel off: a couple/few times a year. I don’t feel bad, just off. Cloudy headed and mentally imbalanced. Sometimes confused and trying to find the words. Out of curiosity, I decided to write about it while I was experiencing it and see what I conclude.
My mind is nebulous, and I feel slightly achy. I am not sick — I have, and do, eat well — and responsibly. I don’t have a temperature or any inflammation in my glands. It is a Thursday workday. I am excited for the weekend to spend it with my family and in-laws. The only thing I can think of, though, is that I just came back from a week of vacation (a few weeks ago) and all I have been doing at work is catching up on a week’s worth of work. I’m not complaining — honestly — this isn’t a rant about work; I love my job. This is more of an exploration of what seems like emotional incontinence. I’m just saying that it’s been a little more than a stressful couple of weeks than usual. First world problem, but this is me trying to think-out the cause.
Maybe it was the CBD I had last night. 😐
Maybe it was that my family and I vacationed in Glen Canyon NP a few weeks ago. We had some friends get married there. Though beautiful, there was something that concerned me: the environment. Low water levels, the haze, the commerce — the travel in general — the fact that we know:
- Tourism’s carbon footprint grew four times as much as expected from 2009 to 2013 and accounted for 8 percent of all greenhouse-gas emissions in that period.
- The travel industry is expected to consume 92 percent more water in 2050 than it did in 2010, and 189 percent more land.
- People are less likely to recycle while on vacation (both because they’re unsure how to, and because getting away with things seems to be a key part of getting away from it all)
I can go on, but in a nutshell, the place was starting to look trampled on — used. Yes, they are expanding parking lots there in areas but, that’s just it: expanding to accommodate more people than it already cannot support.
But, hey, in all sincerity, it was an amazing place with great experiences and people. It was a fun and rewarding trip. About 23.3333333% shameful. The rest, humanful.
There’s that bad feeling again… I need a break. CBD consumption @ 40mg
I’m back. I took some time to organize some of my photos on Amazon Photos.
Then to affirm my emotions about my travels, I decided to take a carbon footprint test to see how much CO2 emissions my family put off while making our travels. Because according to a New York Times article by the excellent Andy Newman, our trips can be calculated by an online carbon calculator. Basically, in short,
32 sq. ft. is the amount of Arctic summer sea ice cover that one passenger’s share of emissions melts on a 2,500-mile flight.
That is a confusing statement. That means that for each 2,500-miles traveled, 32 sq.ft. of Arctic summer sea ice melts. I don’t even need to do the calculation — I know it’s not good given that we drove from Marquette, MI to Minneapolis, MN and then flew to Phonix, AZ only to travel more to Glen Canyon NP — and then back. Hmph.
To tangent a bit, I have been reading the New Philosopher ‘Balance’ issue this week and I have come to a few ideas as to why I may feel off. Sometimes — aside from the potential for nutrient imbalance or weather conditions in Marquette, Michigan on June 13, 2019 — I feel as though I have been trying to keep myself in balance more since having children. I have been trying to play a role and stay on it at any given cost. It mentally drains me and though I sleep (though only about 4-5 hrs a night), I still feel like I am playing catchup. To add to the stress, I listened to Matt Walker in a TED talk about sleep during our travels home. I’ll save you the words: it concerns me greatly.
I have been thinking & studying about sleep lately. And then, Glen Canyon NP, again. I think it was the site of Glen Canyon NP that is putting the emotional hangover on my mind and, in turn, my body.
Conclusion: I’m tired today from my post-traumatic stressing-out about my recent family vacation travels.
Or, the in-laws…? Aren’t we supposed to be stressed-out about in-laws? Rarely, am I stressed about them. I love them and they are amazing people. So, no, it’s not that.
I need to get back to work. It’s good for me.
More reading to stress you out about your travel: