It has been over 8 months, 257 days to be exact, that I left the United States to begin my trip around the world. It has been an unbelievably amazing adventure and there are times I have to pinch myself to ensure that this life I am living is real.
I have surprisingly on had one real case of travel burnout and have been doing very well traveling solo. Although, over the course of the last month, I have been noticing that there are things that I have been missing quite a bit more than when I left the country with an eager travel spirit.
Aside from the obvious things that I am missing: dog, family, and friends; here are the 4 modern conveniences that I have come to miss while I am traveling….
1. Kitchen – I have not had access to a kitchen to prepare a meal in 6 months. When you do not have access to a kitchen to prepare food, you only option for meals becomes eating out. You will never hear me complain about the deliciousness of the food in other countries (especially SE Asia) or the price (for the most part), but when you have to eat out 95% of your meals for 6 months…it gets old. Kitchens are found in nearly every hostel in New Zealand and Australia and I cooked 95% of my meals while I was there for the 2.5 months. But since then, they are few and far between. Sometimes you just want a home cooked meal and to make it yourself.
2. “Real” Shower – In most countries in Asia (and some in Europe) the shower is merely a shower head on the wall of the entire bathroom with a drain in the middle. There is typically no separation between the shower area, the toilet, or the sink. The whole bloody bathroom gets wet anytime someone showers. When sharing this kind of bathroom (like in a hostel) it is never dry, always a challenge to find a dry spot to put clothes and towel, and there is always hair all over the floor. I just can’t anymore. I cannot wait for the day that I can have a shower without shower shoes, in an enclosed space, and with endless hot water!
3. Washer and Dryer – I have never appreciated clean clothes more than after being on this trip. I am traveling with a 46L pack (think carry on size bag) and therefore have a very limited wardrobe, but enough. Laundry day is always a complex and strategic decision with many factors to be considered. Ultimately, my goal is to have as close to a full load of laundry every time it is laundry day as to not waste time or money. Throw in the added challenges of having only one pair of workout clothes (how many times is too many to wear before washing??) or buying new clothes (jeans that need to be washed solo the first go around) and life is tough! 🙂 But, I am never happier after getting back clean, fresh clothes! I have come to truly appreciate when my clothes come back not only clean, but smelling clean! Believe me….there is a BIG difference. Oh, and some of the worst days? …realizing you forgot to wash something or making a mess of something the day after laundry day. I will never again take a washing machine for granted!
4. Gym – I cannot even explain how much I miss working out. It is just plain difficult to have any semblance of a consistent fitness routine while traveling this way. This was much of the reason why I took a month “off” of traveling and stayed in Thailand to train Muay Thai. Recently, I stumbled upon a LifeFitness gym while in Pristina, Kosovo. I stopped in my tracks, went back to my hotel, and changed into workout clothes. I woke up the next morning and went again. I paid 10€ for two days of cardio and lifting and it was some of the best money spent in a long time. I instantly felt better. When you spend so much time in transit, sightseeing, planning…it is difficult to find time to work out. I would love to run in the places I am in more, but frankly I am a bit chicken to go out by myself because I don’t know the areas well enough. I need to focus on adding simple fitness goals to each day in addition to walking everywhere.
I am truly fortunate to be on this grand adventure and living my dream. The things I am missing, I am lucky to be able to return to the U.S. and have at my disposal. I am not ready to rush back home yet, but after nearly 9 months of travel, the original plan of going home in a few months is starting to sound good. I know I will be ready once that time comes. I am grateful for the all experiences I have had so far and they make me appreciate my life back home. With all that said, there are plenty of things I am NOT missing about life in the U.S., as well, and I will be highlighting those in a blog post soon! 🙂
What are some of the things you miss while being on the road?