Where have the last two years gone? It’s mid-November and this year is over in every way. Let’s face it, we’re down at Christmas parties, heavy mall traffic, and the incessant scent of pumpkin spice.

My friend and coaching client Rain Bennett gave his first TEDxRaleigh talk a few weeks ago, so I was blessed with the opportunity to see North Carolina this fall. Let me tell you, we always hear about the “fall colors” in Maine, but damn N. Carolina has some lush trees! I was blown away by how colorful it was. The reds and golds and burgundy tones were amazing. They made for a beautiful backdrop against the deep blue sky, which was beautiful.

Wanting to be on the east coast, I decided to extend my stay and go to Florida to visit another old friend and meet his four-year-old daughter. Moving from the cold N. Carolina to the 80 degree and humid environments of Naples Florida was a treat and I am glad I had the chance to end this nearly two year drought of vacation travel in such a beautiful 10 days.

It’s hard for me to believe this year is over. It feels like I have a huge hole in my timeline. I remember returning from an African safari with my brother just yesterday. And then the plague hit us like a huge tsunami.

I remember walking down Main Street with my friend Anne and telling her it was going to be bad. That millions of people would be negatively influenced, that companies would be destroyed and life turned upside down. Unfortunately I was right. Just look at the carnage that happened on the boardwalk – there is a huge vacancy rate. Wilshire Blvd and Santa Monica Blvd have way too many openings.

The good news is that, having just toured our country, we feel like we are going back there. Yes, we still have to wear masks, and yes, a lot of people try to regroup, but the planes are full of people traveling for business and pleasure.

On my flight from Atlanta, I sat next to flyer number 2 for Deltas Skymiles. He has flown over 890,000 miles this year alone. He flies an average of two a day to Japan and two a month. Crazy, right? And he’s been doing that for 30 years. What scares me is that he wasn’t even the top flyer! There’s someone out there who spends even more time in jets as a passenger. At first I was awesome, then a little jealous, then I thought about it and thought, ‘Nah, I’m good’ – I don’t have to fly that much. It’s like a daily overland flight.

I love travelling. I love hotels. I love seeing new things, trying new foods and restaurants. But there is a limit and then I am good to come home here for my life. I love the comfort of being known in one place, of having a story and a connection. When I got back yesterday my car was a bit dirty (actually dusty!) So I took it to the car that was on Pico next to Gilbert’s El Indio. I was hungry and needed some comfort food so I figured I’d run two errands in one go.

Going to a place where I’ve been eating since I was literally 12 is like going to Grandma’s. I know the shop, I know the people, I know the menu, I’ve probably had everything except menudo for the past 43 years. Coming home is rewarding and comforting.

As this year, these years, this crazy phase in my life comes to an end and I prepare for 2022, the peace and quiet of home relaxes me. While it seems shocking that we’re done so quickly in 2021, I am now ready to prepare and immerse myself in all of the 2022 deals as we return to some semblance of normalcy.

The holidays are here and whatever you celebrate or not, I wish you a relaxing and pleasant six weeks so that we can get off to a full start in 2022 and make up for the lost time. Plan what you want to do now so you can do it again!

David Pisarra is a Los Angeles divorce and custody attorney specializing in father and men’s rights with the Santa Monica law firm Pisarra & Grist. He looks forward to your questions and comments. He can be reached at [email protected] or 310 / 664-9969. Follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra

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