La Fortuna-San José-Nuevo York

We are approaching the end of our time in La Fortuna. Tomorrow, we catch an early morning shuttle back to San Jose where Beth will receive the last bit of dentistry that propelled us to visit Costa Rica. Then, it’s back to New York.

In his wonderful book, “Travels with Charley,” John Steinbeck writes about a cross country RV trip with his canine pal, Charley. About three quarters of the way to his goal, Steinbeck remarks that he is ready to end the journey and return to his home in Sag Harbor, NY.

I know how he feels because I, too, dislike the last 25% of most trips. Having accomplished most of my goals what remains is packing, airports and driving – typically an exercise in fatigue and crankiness for many travelers.

I would much prefer to have Scotty beam me up, but that technology isn’t here, yet.

I suppose some of this is sadness and the rest is anxiety. There’s grief when a fun trip feels like it’s ending and there’s anxiety about the logistics of travel and returning to the “real world.” As such, it’s normal for sadness and a little fear to outweigh the joy.

When I was younger, I felt some shame when I wasn’t as happy and peppy as some travelers. I would notice laughing couples and families in the airport and think, “what the hell is the matter with me? Why am I such a crank-pot?”

These days, though, I know it will pass, but I can hasten the passing dark cloud by sharing my thoughts and feelings. Instead of feeling shame, I can say, “Y”know, I don’t like travel at the end of a trip. I also don’t like ending a great meal with a check!” In so doing, I honor my feelings and return to my well-regulated self.

That’s why we decided to do very little here in our last day. Yesterday, we visited a waterfall and had a nice dinner and tonight we’ll pack and go back to our favorite restaurant for a final, great seafood meal. That’s enough. I’m enough. And there you have it.

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