Time away from home for prolonged periods changes you. A criminal (ridiculously over-exaggerated analogy) is sent to do time inside for crimes committed to society and can return a changed man/woman. Time on your hands can be both a blessing and a curse. Unlike any (unwilling) prisoner I am free to walk away whenever I choose to but for me there has been some solitary confinement and certainly far too much free time on my hands most recently. I can't say I've been using it well.
At the moment I am in the midst of a downloading spree that has lasted about eighteen months or more. Films, music, album artwork, language tapes and more have been downloaded for future use. I'm doing it not because I want to but because I can. Last year I bought a 300Gig portable hard drive and never imagined it would ever be full but this weekend I find there is less than 20Gigs left. I have to buy a new one in February.
There seems to be no end to the downloading because just as I find myself satisfied with the mp3's or TV series downloads something else crops up into my mind and the hunt begins again to find it and 'have it'. I read quite a lot and it leads me down other paths which need exploring. Music in particular is something that I return to again and again as I constantly remember tracks I heard in my youth and want to revisit. I've been downloading mp4's for a new I-pod that I won't even have for a few months but already have enough material to fill it several times over. I don't know when exactly it will end but know it must before I get back home, to finally watch those films etc, etc.