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  • On Monday, I had a Bad Day. It might even have been a Very Bad Day and while most people face such things with exercise or ice cream, a stiff drink or 12, a few hours of tears, I booked a trip to Nepal.

    It probably wouldn't feel so absurd if I wasn't planning a trip to Australia and another to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam (with a stop in Japan) between now and then. In late spring, early summer, though, I will be hiking and meditating in the Himalayas with one of my best friends.

    We're considering whether or not we want to add an optional flight to see Everest. I'm considering it, anyway. She's considering the flight to New York where she'll pack up her life to move cross country for a job that popped up late last week.

    Generally speaking, neither of us are impulsive women. We're Virgos. We plan. Sometimes, life just throws things at us and we do our best to catch them. Sometimes, we just duck and run.

    I have been running a lot lately. I have crossed the Atlantic six times this year as well as the US north and south, east and west, more times than I can remember. I'm well on my way to platinum status and 75,000 flying miles in a calendar year, none of them for work.

    It doesn't make sense. My family didn't book trips as a reaction to stress. My family didn't book trips for any reason at all; we were poor. We couldn't always afford both toothpaste and shampoo and I fondly recall the sharp tang of government cheese. Family vacations consisted of a less-than-annual 17-hour drive to visit my grandparents, staying with family or camping halfway.

    I spent the drives failing to quell the urge to vomit and fighting with my brother as our sister fumed silently. Exasperated, Mom would tell us to stop. She'd turn down the radio as her nerves frayed and the car grew thick with tension. Sometimes, the car broke down. Sometimes, someone would stop to help us and sometimes they didn't. Nauseated and miserable, I dreamt of the day that I would fly anywhere I wanted, wherever I wanted because I would be a flight attendant when I grew up.

    A decade and a half later, I would stop pursuing the career as I realized I didn't like people. Not that much. As a child, though, I spread my arms as wings and spun through life, imagining the world I would see. Based on the one flight I remembered, I loved to fly. As I grew older, I learned to love the running away. I have only gotten better at both over the years.

    Australia. Cambodia. Nepal. I'm not sure I can get much farther without coming close again and while I have the time and money for now, it will not last long at this rate. Though, Nepal didn't cost very much with a deal on a land package and a flight booked on miles. I had hundreds of thousands; I had just been holding onto them, hoarding them, in case I hit a patch of Bad Days. I wasn't quite sure what my breaking point was, but I kept enough miles (and money saved) to walk away from my life and board a plane 'round the world as my backup plan.

    I should probably work on developing less costly coping mechanisms. Something healthier. Something local. "Should" is just an awfully loaded word.
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