From a perspective of a traveller, I can tell you that traveling is not always fun, but it is adventurous. Also I can tell you it is not for everyone. And I can also tell you, there are different types of travelers. And if you want me to shock you some more;
I will tell you a secret about my traveling experience. I was homeless for many days and I didn’t take a shower for a couple of them while being on the road roughing it out from one city to the next.
Yup. I slept on trains. I brushed my teeth and washed my face in public washrooms or in nasty washrooms on trains. It was not pretty. One time I shared a sleeping cabin with two senior ladies and I had to sacrifice my bed for the upper bunk to make it easy for this lady who can barely move. The space between my bunk and the ceiling wasn’t much but I did feel more private being 3 bunks high. It was weird going up on a ladder and jumping on the bed. But I was prepared. I took whatever belongings I thought I might need while I am up there so I don’t have to keep going up and down the ladder. The cabin is not made for big luggages and big people all at the same time. In fact, I don’t know how 3 people can stand in the empty space at same time with the luggage on the side. It was an experience alright.
Roughing it out is an understatement, I will add. I planned my trip that way. It was all my doing. I knew it was going to be a bit tough, but damn, it’s a learning experience. And if you ask me would I do it again if I knew I would experience all that I did. I would say “hell yeah!”
So I figured I am not one of those travelers who can live in hostels or do a backpacking thing. Nope. I am a princess traveller. Don’t ask me how I was toting around a 30 kg luggage with a carry on bag on my shoulders that weighed possibly 10 kg. Even though it was a 360 wheel luggage, try to push that on gravel ground or historical cobalt stones. Not fun. Add to that. Being in countries where English language for some reason seems to be a scarcity. At least I would have to ask 6-8 people if they spoke English to help me until I would find ONE that does. As difficult and confusing some city maps can be, I still managed to find my way through. Thank God I didn’t depend on people much, just directions and where things are in the vicinity. But also thanks to technology, I had an idea where I was going before hand. My brilliant ideas to get the map of where I was going, take a screenshot of it and open when needed. But the thing is, my phone died on me several times. As I was on the road for several days, with no access to electrical outlets, it was very hard to keep my phone with battery juice. However I had back up plans for that. That’s why my carry on bag was heavy as hell. Between drinks, food, phone, iPad, camera, charger (with an adapter), spare battery, umbrella, hat, sweater, and some other personal belongings, I felt like I was carrying everything I own on my shoulder.
Having said that, when you are traveling, you got to be prepared for anything. The weather changes all the time. In one day, while you are out and about, you can experience the four seasons back to back. It can get colder, it can rain, sun may be too hot to handle on the head, so you must be equipped. There is no time to waste. You do not have the luxury of time to keep going back to your luggage where you stored it for the day while touring around. And you are not going to always have access to stores and you don’t have all the money to keep buying things as you need it. Anyways, that’s my philosophy and I’m sticking to it. It obviously worked for me. I always had what I needed when I needed it; except for an electric outlet. I planned most things to my benefit. Of course there were times when I didn’t anticipate certain things like needing the WC so badly, but I’m stuck with my heavy luggage and the only one available is down a set of stairs. Talk about making things impossible sometimes. But I improvised. More like, hold it in for a little while longer.
Then there is the challenge of having some sort of a camera with battery life in it, how else am I gonna take pictures of all these places I am traveling. I found ways let me tell you. I charged my phone in hotel lobbies, in public washrooms, in a ticketing office, in a tourist information office. And once in a retail store while shopping, I found the outlet so I plugged it in. Wherever I could find an outlet, I stood there and charged my phone. Same goes for WIFI access, although I have to admit, I was very lucky to find free wifi access on this journey more than I expected. I could not believe it when I had wifi on the sightseeing buses. That was a surprise to me. I also managed to get wifi in train stations. That was awesome. Then there are your occasional restaurants and bars where you would see a sign saying “Free wifi”. Of course, that would be the restaurant of choice for that day. It’s a great deal. I get to eat and have wifi. What more can I ask for. But this got me realizing, how much we really depend on internet now. It’s almost like we can not live without it. Personally I can handle not having Internet for a while. But seeing as I am traveling alone and in places where there are stories about safety, I must stay in contact with some people in my life to let them know where I am at all times. So messaging is a must in this case. And forget about text messaging while I am abroad. I don’t have enough credit for that.
Be that as it may, this was some of my experiences as I travelled on this special journey. I enjoyed every minute of it including the not so favorite ones. I visited 5 cities in 10 days. I am here on my last stop now. Tomorrow I go home and recuperate and the day after is back to work. Back to more traveling. So my phone is now 100% battery. I was sitting in my hotel lobby waiting for it to charge and I decided to write this. Making full use of my time. You are wondering why am I in lobby?? It’s too early to check in!! So once again. I am homeless. Homeless traveller gotta go now to enjoy my last day of touring a new city. Hope you enjoyed reading about my experience. And by the way, I cannot post this immediately as I still don’t have a room assigned to me which means no wifi access. I will post this when I come back at the end of the day!! Go figure!