Saturday, 28 July 2012

During my 3-week stay away from home, where I had to stay in 4 different places, I started thinking a lot about travelling, and my dream of travelling long-term around the world.

If you have travelled recently, or if you have a very good memory, you would know that when you travel, there is a lot of adaptation involved- you would need to get used to a different bed, a different bathroom, a different... everything. How would you adjust to this?

Those of you who know me well, would know that I enjoy having routines and having set plans. I like familiarity, which sometimes makes it hard when I'm travelling because then familiarity gets thrown out the window. Sometimes it can be a little OCD-like, for example, I like having my winter jackets on the left side of my wardrobe, followed by my tops, then my jeans, then my formal wear to the right. My shoes need to be put in the right order in their compartments. I like eating at a certain hour. Showering at a certain time. You get the point- I can be very particular about some things (though when I get busy I sometimes don't follow these rules and just put things where I can). 

So while travelling, of course these would be different and I would have to establish a different set of routines. And because I keep changing accommodations my routines had to constantly change as well. Not that it was hard- I find that I am quite capable of adapting to change when I'm travelling. I also handle a lot more discomfort, and I'm sure a lot of you do this when you are on the road as well.

Of course, towards the end I longed to get home, to return to routines I'm used to, to my own bed and warm shower.

But then it occurred to me- what would happen if I were to do this long term? How long can I sustain this way of living? When I was away, I lived with some discomfort, such as sleeping in a cold environment in a sleeping bag, taking extremely short showers (or in the case of Kenya, sometimes no showers). If I were to travel for, say, six months, how would I live- would I return looking scrubby and dirty like this dude?

Okay I'm exaggerating a little, but I'm sure you've seen tons of tourists looking like that. It's something you can very easily do- when you don't have your usual routines, coupled with the travelling, it's very easy to forget the simple things like looking presentable. After all, who's going to recognise you?

And it dawned on me that maybe I'm not going to be suited to this kind of nomadic life. Maybe I'm better suited to travelling short-term. I mean, if three weeks exhausted me, what would six months (or longer) do?

But I would like to try it out, though. There's something quite attractive in living a nomadic life, in seeing new things everyday. And then I guess I'll finally be able to put to rest this question.
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