I remember the first time after four years that I didn't go to Wrestlemania/Raw Deal World Championships. On the day of the event, I was like a bear with a sore head. Intellectually I knew that (a) the free trips had to end sometimes and (b) I had chosen to end them, but it still really got under my skin that something that I thought was so cool and I had been such a part of for such a long time was happening without me.
I had similar feelings this weekend. This year will be the first year since 2002 that I have not gone to the USA. I know that sounds amazingly indulgent, and indeed it is, but the trips have been a real highlight for me and have acted as a watershed for me to sort my head on so many things. Moreover, being someone with a very broad and active online social circle, they have also been a chance to catch up with my friends. This year would have been particularly poignant as it would have been the first chance to see some people since the death of our mutual friend, Barron. He was a big part of GenCon - in more ways than one - and he would have been sorely missed.
I promised myself last year that I would NOT get it into my head that I could attend GenCon every year. The commitment of £1000 every year just for me to go on my jollies would be simply unfair on Christine and the girls. Indeed, finding myself currently 'between jobs', if I had commited to going I would have almost certainly have had to cancel. That still doesn't stop me being jealous as hell of the people that could go.
For a while now I have also been having a thought about how things like this will progress. The airfares to Indianapolis have risen by £100 since last year and given 'the current climate' I can only see them getting higher. You never know, give it a couple of years and we might have caps on our international air travel! I guess things will look a lot more achieveable if I was, you know, working but even then I can see another trip being an expedition too far.
So yeah, post GenCon blues and I never even went!