I’m going home. Tomorrow.

In well less than 24 hours I will be on a plane to Chicago. Between now and then I have to work a full day, plus commuting, plus packing and cleaning and getting our cat sitter set up with keys and all kind of other stuff. You may also have heard that the Midwest is in complete crazy-state due to this little thing called “snow” that has almost ruined my holiday plans in many a recent year. I’ve got my boarding pass printed, but I’m prepared for a stressful and possibly quite long day tomorrow.

Snow on house & bushes
Snow on house & bushes, 2007

Travel around the holidays is obviously stressful for everybody, and I’m luckier than most. I’ve largely worked at or been in education environments most of the years I’ve lived away from home, so I often have a reasonable amount of time in which to travel. My parents are still together – in fact, for 39 years this month – and have been in the same house since 1986, which makes it all very straightforward. My sister and I are sufficiently independent to be able to travel home without extensive negotiation (we’ll see about next year, I suppose). I have easy access to airports, or in years when I have more time than money, a reliable car and toll pass. Even with all this convenience and luck, it can still be (and usually is) stressful to worry about things like weather that we can’t control, stand in insanely long airport security lines, and all sorts of other pieces that have to fit into place just so.

Instead of spending the next 18 hours agonizing about travel, I’m going think about the better times – a glitch-free family Christmas trip to Costa Rica in 2008. There was temperate weather, there were cocktails at dusk overlooking a volcano, there was ziplining and rafting and kayaking, all manner of beasties with fur and scales and feathers, most importantly:

Resplendent Quetzal
Resplendent Quetzal

Travel safe, everybody!

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