I’m back from Portugal. Oh yeah….
You guys….I went to Portugal. It’s a very nice place and in my one week of experience the weather is perfect. I don’t think that the country has clouds. I think we saw one the whole time we were there.
I never know what to do with myself on vacation. I have a perspective problem when I’m in a strange place. I never feel like I belong in that place. I itch in my skin because I know everyone can tell how much I’m not from Portugal. In my home I know I belong there. I know what to do in that place. In my home, I feel like the decisions that I make are rational and un-judged by the other people and things that I share the space with.
On vacation it almost feels like an out of body experience. Everything that I do feels “touristy” and that irrational fear of judgement by the “locals” is all around you. I’m not sure how to shake that feeling. Should I shake it? Maybe I should be thinking about my interactions with a new place from the perspective of people who are going to keep on living there after I leave. Maybe it’s a protective measure.
It’s not like I don’t have the counter experience. I’ve seen plenty of people that were visiting my neighborhood or the city where I live, and I don’t think that I’ve ever judged them that hard for having a map in their hand and looking around confused. I’ve certainly felt very judged doing the same thing. I don’t know why I would feel like an invasive outsider for something like that, when I see it from the other side, and feel something akin to watching something interesting or cute. It’s cute to watch someone turn a map all the way around, several times, trying to understand their place in a strange city.
I’m home now. I’m recovering from all the fun I had with a full week of day job and my regular life. All my normal fears and uncertainty were waiting for me right here, so I can put my vacation fears up on the shelf and wait for them next time.