It has been a long time on the road. I can feel that in different ways.
My bag, batteries, mobile, keyboard, eyes, skin ….. everything is getting older if not old. Worn out. Not bad enough to replace, at least not my eyes or skin, but I can see my gadgets are complaining.
People I meet still tell me I look younger than my age, my I can see I have aged more than I probably would have if I hadn’t exposed myself to the sun. Like if I had stayed in Sweden. Or used sunscreen, which I realised is impossible in Asia. I did that the first two days realising that the hot weather made my face perspire, sweat running into my eyes stinging and hurting. No more creams or sun blockers. But yes, my skin has aged.
So what, who cares.
When I was in Brunei I had a rip in my right eye cornea which prevented me from wearing my contacts. One week ago I started wearing them again realising my sight had changed. I cant see properly neither with glasses or contacts. Time to find an optician.
Usually I have my teeth checked every six months, have the cleaned, making sure the smile is ok. Spending one year in Asia I realised the food here stains my teeth so I have to have them cleaned more often. Bangkok is a good place to have that done.
The hair issue, having a haircut in Asia can really be hazardous. In most countries women are not considered feminine if they have a short hair cut. Which means going to the hairdresser for a modern style hair cut is like winning on the lottery.
These are things that are really not a big deal. These are things that are easy to fix. With one big difference. When you are at home you know who to approach, where to go. All these things that feels so safe and comfortable when one is at home. And when it doesn’t work out one can complain, and that is ok.
When traveling long term these things feel different. Well, if one has lots of money there are no problems but if the budget is limited, then its different.
Since I’m traveling on a budget, staying in hostels is the only option if I want to stay within the budget. That means constantly sharing space with others. Unless I’m lucky to find a place where every bunk bed has curtains to provide some privacy. But most of the time one has to endure being with people you didn’t choose. Being patient, to a certain extent, teaching people in how to behave, to a certain extent. There was this young Canadian guy who apparently didn’t now he had to close and lock the door to the toilet before starting to pee. A lot of young Indian men who are so full of themselves believing any dorm is their private space, never heard the expression ‘being considerate’. People packing or repacking their stuff in plastic bags, In the middle of the night. Playing music or watching movies not using earphones. Not turning of the sound on the mobile but texting in the middle of the night disturbing the rest of people in the dorm with constant pling pling pling …
So once in a while I give myself a sort of vacation from the budget traveling and upgrade to a hotel, or a nicer hostel. I treat myself.
A place that is quiet.
A bed bug free bed.
Christmas is coming up. The city is decorated, people are shopping, social medias are filled with posts of people preparing for the the holidays. Christmas presents, all the should do and must do.
I’m thinking of all the people around the world that won’t have the luxury of a hot shower, clean bed or privacy. The ones that don’t have the means to upgrade their lives.
I’m thinking of the importance of being grateful for what we have instead of focusing on what we don’t have.
I just had breakfast. One toast, two eggs and some fruit. Grateful.