Being a solo traveller fills me with a kind of independence, confidence and freedom that doesn’t quite exist in my life back home. But being far from home, living out of a suitcase and being on your own can present you with challenging times. Here’s some of my confessions from life on the road.
1. Sometimes I do a runner on people and have no regrets about it. I know that sounds a bit harsh, but I’m a friendly person and have no problem making friends easily. But sometimes these ‘friends’ send my alarm bells ringing and a feeling surges through me that tells me I’m not safe. So I make a quick escape, usually with the excuse that I’m going to the bathroom… and I never come back. I wouldn’t do this at home because my city is small and I feel comfortable telling someone to leave me alone. But while I’m away… my preferred option is to do a runner.
2. Sometimes I end up washing clothes in the bathroom sink. Hotel laundry services are expensive and it’s not always easy to find a local laundromat. Or I might only be in a place for 24 hours and I’m worries that the laundry service won’t get the job done in time. So I end up washing things in the sink and hanging it up in the bathroom.
3. I have a habit of stealing slippers and pens from hotels. I don’t really care for the soaps unless they smell particularly good. But I like taking the pens and keeping them in my desk or handbag back home as a reminder of my adventure.
4. Every so often I have a day where I basically do nothing and go nowhere. I know that probably sounds like such a waste of opportunity, but the constant culture shock and overstimulation of the mind that comes with being in a foreign country can be quite overwhelming. Thinking back over my last few trips I have done this 1 day out of 30. That day on this trip is today… I even ordered food delivery to my hotel room instead of venturing out.
5. I go to rooftop bars instead of paying for tickets to an observation deck when checking out tall buildings. I’m always on a budget when I travel and buying tickets to overly touristy things can be expensive. Instead, I’ll opt for a drink in a rooftop bar which generally ends up being a much cheaper and more enjoyable option as I soak up the view, take in the ambience and sip on a cocktail instead of silently being frustrated by the hoarss of tourists with no concept of personal space.
Right now I’m laying on my bed, listening to the athan bellow out over the city. I have no idea what the imam is saying but I am feeling humbled and at peace. I’m exhausted and haven’t been sleeping well since I was in Russia. I’ll go venturing out tomorrow, but today I just can’t do it.