Monday, September 30, 2013

Hostels Make Me Sleepy & How I Travel For 9 Months Without Killing My Soul

I'm on my way home but it feels only as if I've just begun. Nine months have blurred into an unidentified mass of emotions and connections and I feel as if this entire time, I've been messing around with it like a preschooler with play-doh.

Last night, I got the best sleep I've had since... I'm trying to remember the last time I was able to wake up on my own without the influence of others. I've had good nights of sleep, but nothing like this. I'm currently in my own room in a giant bed and I don't yet have a desire to get out of it.

During the past month, I've usually been in a situation where someone else is sleeping in the same room and they get up early. The moment someone else in a room gets up for the day, my body tends to switch into “awake mode” and it's hopeless to try and sleep after that.

Hostels are the most infamous because your fellow sojourners not only keep you up late as they unceremoniously stumble back from the pub, blinded back by their drunkenness that anyone else might be trying to sleep in the room, they also wake you up in the morning with their sight-seeing ambitions. I'd forgotten about that when I booked a hostel instead of trying to CouchSurf (which I don't regret) this past week.

My body needed that sleep.
It still might need that sleep.

It needs to rest.

But I'm in Glasgow! This will be my only day in Glasgow, so I also feel that ever-present feeling that I frequently shake that I ought to be doing something.

I've been ignoring it a lot this trip because, on a nine-ten month journey, you can't afford to tourist-it-up every day. There's a reason why most folks only travel for a few weeks, at most, at a time. Well, I guess that has more to do with their job than the fact that it can be tiring. I've had multiple people remark, “Hey, how do you do it? How do you travel for so long? Just a week is exhausting for me?”

How do I get used to changing my settings every few days?

I've got rhythms I cling to. I've got a quilt.

I'm a super-lax (not laxative) tourist that puts no value in seeing all the sights of a town. I can't afford to care. I can't afford to put any emotional connection in seeing what a town has to offer.

I see what I can and live with that. I explore what's possible but, when I start to feel like heading home and just chilling, I do. If there's more I desire to see and I can't, I know I can always come back.

I give myself time to read books and write letters, just like I would do at home. There's time to research, study, and learn.

I spend a lot of time in the woods, forests, or whatever natural settings a place has to offer. This contributes to recharging and well-being.

I keep my suitcase “organized” in a way such that I can live out of it without feeling anxious. Everything has a place and I know that place.

I've taken a lot of down time. When my CouchSurfing hosts would leave for work, that day, that didn't mean I always left to explore. Some days I would spend a lot of the time inside recharging in the glory of having a house or flat to myself.

In Moscow, I spent a lot of my first week there doing not too much. Sure, I was in Moscow, but I was jet-lagged and had just finished a non-stop-month-long tour of the States (Hello Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Chicago, Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, New York, and Ontario). My CouchSurfing host was out of the house the entire time and I loved just hanging out in his apartment and making beans and rice.

In Norway, after another month of travelling up from Moscow, I spent a lot of my time exploring the area surround the fjord I was staying near. Between that and the empty house I got when my host was at work, yoga, or choir, I was able to settle in pretty quick.

Then I had my three months in Ukraine.

So while I'm travelling, it doesn't always quite look like travelling as you might imagine it. I spend a lot of time comfortably curled up and ignoring the possibilities.

1 comment:

  1. Love the idea that you carried your quilt around with you while travelling across our little continent : )


Your words make me grin.

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