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No Passport Necessary: Discovering Tranquility The Local Way.

I thought this was going to be a good morning.

Stretching languidly in bed at 6:15 while Justin got dressed for PT, (that’s “physical training” for all you non-military friends), I smiled when I thought about the interesting weekend I have in store. I decided to walk the mutts first thing, before the heat of the day set in, so I’d have the rest of the morning to prepare for this weekend and to hopefully avoid crossing paths with too many other dogs.

See, I wouldn’t say my dogs are terrible when we pass other dogs.


It’s more like they turn into rabid, demonic mutt beasts whose combined weight totals more than mine and whose primary goal it is to embarrass the hell out of me by acting like they want to downright maul any four-legged creature that dares get within eyesight.


This is Capone. We named him that to counteract his sheer adorability factor so he wouldn’t feel emasculated. I think we went too far.


This is Mara. She’s my little love muffin when she’s not busy wreaking havoc.

Yeah don’t let the cuteness fool you. They’re humiliatingly ferocious.

I’m not sure how it turned out that my dogs who are terrified of the laundry basket are the same dogs who are not afraid to bark and growl and lunge at any non-human specimens we happen to see. Maybe there’s some sort of secret animal language in which every critter we meet is taunting my dogs and I’m not able to hear it, but I’m thinking that probably my dogs are just assholes. But at least they’re not racist assholes — they’ll bark at anything. Squirrels, dogs, horses, and the occasional box on the side of the road — it’s all fair game.

And this morning? It was cats. We passed at least 4 different cats on today’s 2-mile walk, and now my hands are blistered and sore.

However, I’m a firm believer that my mood for the day is a choice, so when I got home, I started a pot of coffee, hopped in the shower, and attempted to wash the early morning’s duress from my psyche. I sat down at my computer, completely ready to work. Right after checking Facebook, of course. There was a video I absolutely had to see, and before I’d even had a sip from my steaming mug of java, I’d somehow managed to download vicious malware onto my computer.


If there’s anything that can put me over the edge, patience-wise, it’s technology issues. I tried to take a deep breath and solve my problem the grown-up way, but it’s quite possible I ended up pitching a hissy fit and yelling at my browser like it might actually be able to hear me and generally behaving worse that my dogs with a squirrel in their sights.

I felt like a failure. The malware, the dog walk, my blistered hands, my blog — a couple of simple morning missteps had culminated into a pre-10:00 a.m. mini breakdown that way exceeded any healthy reaction.

And that’s when I realized that I need a break.

Which totally works out, since I’ll be getting one this weekend. It’s going to put me outside of my comfort zone in a way I’ve never experienced before, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s preferred. My weekend getaway is going to mark the start of a new Local Travel series here on Domestiphobia, because listen —

As much as we’d all love to hop on a plane to Italy to learn to cook and drink lots of wine, it’s just not always possible. I get it. We have homes and families and jobs with limited vacation hours. And while international travel is always going to be at the top of my list, Justin and I do have a home to renovate, crazy mutts to cuddle, and many amazing experiences to discover near our new home here in Virginia.

There are so many, in fact, that it was really difficult to decide where to start.

But my little temper tantrum with the computer this morning convinced me that I chose right. I need to simmer down. Get my act together. Brush off my scraped knees and bruised ego from recent rejections, re-evaluate my direction, and learn how to clear my head.

I’ll tell you all about it soon, but I think first I need to experience it, just to avoid developing any preconceived notions over what’s about to happen.

But if you absolutely can’t wait, sign up below before midnight tonight (EST) to start getting occasional emails from me, and I’ll let you in before anyone else in an early Saturday morning message.

When the Domestiphobia rears its unsettled head, it’s a clear sign that it’s time to step away from our sofas and experience a little discomfort in order to learn and grow. To gain some perspective. To avoid becoming complacent when we want to see change.

And that’s what I’ll be doing this weekend.

What are your plans this weekend to step outside of your comfort zone?


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Colleen Brynn

Ugh, sorry to hear about the meltdown. I know I’m not supposed to say “I know how you feel” because I probably don’t, but I am pretty apt at some major meltdowns of my own.
I’m excited to hear about your plans and what you will be doing.
ALSO love your pups. x


I am *never* one to get insulted when someone says they know how I feel. It makes me feel less alone. :)


Booo meltdowns, but oh my goodness those puppy photos! I’m intrigued to learn more about your new series, Katie :)


Thanks, Silvia! It’s still in development, but I’ll probably be sharing the first post tomorrow (Thursday). :)

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