For the first time in a decade, I went on a trip and didn’t blog about it. And I swear, my body experienced something of a withdrawal. My hands, so used to jotting notes throughout the day whenever I travel, felt restless with nothing to do. My fingers almost twitched at times. My arm would occasionally reach for my phone to take a photo, even though I had no intention of doing so. Muscle memory, I suppose. At night, I would place the hotel pen and stationary by my bedside before getting under the covers. Reaching for it, I would remind myself that I had nothing to document. And the doubt would creep in, wondering if I should take just a few notes, in case I change my mind later.
But I didn’t write. I took a few photographs of interesting buildings, intending them for Instagram but not my blog. I was not blogging on this trip. I had gone to Texas with my mother to visit family. We went to places I had not been to before, and places I had not seen in a long time. Often, as we passed through an area, my mind would drift as I started framing a story, considering how I would describe the scene, arrange the narrative, or characterize a particular shopkeeper. And each time, I would have to pull my focus back to the conversation I was missing with my family. Spending time with family was the purpose of the trip, I reminded myself.
It was a travel mishap that finally broke me out of the travel blogger mentality. We had been told about a light show projection that played against an old stone church in San Antonio. The show played each night at 9 and 9:30. We had one night available to see the show, and so our group of four made our way to the church. The first show was delayed because of technical difficulties. As we sat at a park table and waited, my mother, cousins, and I chatted. We were so caught up in conversation that it took us a while to realize that the second show was delayed as well, that the technical difficulties were not likely to be resolved that evening, and that people were starting to leave. We finally left as well, having not seen the show. I realized as we walked back to our hotel that I wasn’t bothered about missing the show. It sounded interesting and I would have liked to see it, but not seeing it did nothing to diminish the fun evening I had enjoyed with my family. The travel blogger in me would have been frustrated, already having included the show in my narrative and anticipated the great photos. But I enjoyed sitting in the park on a balmy evening, sharing stories with my family.
The next day we went to Fredericksburg, a cute town in Texas Hill Country. It was so Instagrammable. But it was also hot and windy, so I kept my phone in my bag and instead found myself happily hanging out in an antique store listening to a Pasty Cline album on the sound system. We ended the day at one of the wineries in the area. I thought about getting some shots of the vineyard, contemplating a future post about Texas wines, to compliment my Napa and Virginia wine country posts. Sitting with my family at a table on the covered patio, feeling slightly dusty and sunburned from our day strolling through town, I stepped away from the group to get a picture of the vineyard. But the sun was still strong at 5pm and I struggled to find a good angle. Looking back at the table, I saw our rosé about to be poured. I put my phone back in my pocket and walked towards my glass. There would be no post this time.