Before I regale you with tales of the lovely Vietnam, I’m pausing for some real talk about Getting To That Point.
People, I am homesick. I am tired. I’m a little lonely. And most of all I am very ready to not be traveling anymore.
I feel like an asshole saying and even feeling these things because what a privilege to be able to take a trip like this. And I’m not saying it’s bad, because it is not. It’s incredible. Even when I’m feeling completely overwhelmed and fucking finished, it’s still incredible.
Like. I’m in Cambodia. What?
It’s beautiful! Seriously. And I even had the best home-brewed ginger beer I’ve ever tasted today. Good things continue to happen.
But while the trip has always been a bit of a full-time job, it’s starting to feel more and more like hard work. And the fact that I’m very nearly out of money and reaching unemployed panic point doesn’t help.
I’m not saying this so anyone pities me. I am lucky as hell. But the whole point of this blog is to be honest. And this is just the truth. I’ve never claimed any of this trip is completely rainbows and butterflies but the amazing has always outweighed the difficult. And around a week ago I felt that tide turning.
It is incredibly exhausting moving through the world at the pace I’ve been going completely under my own booking-and-planning-and-holding-myself-up steam. It is more expensive than I’d like when I can’t find a fellow traveler to share costs with but still want to experience the things I’m in a place to experience. (The world is still not built for singles. Particularly the world of travel.) And all of this makes sorting out the next steps more and more like drudgery.
I miss not re-packing my entire life every 3-4 days. I miss walking into stores and knowing what the fuck everything is. I miss use of a kitchen. At this point, I miss weather below 25C. I miss my fantastic, functioning, non-jankety bicycle with the lights and the helmet that Southeast Asia’s health-and-safety-is-not-a-real-thing-even-in-joking stance renders well and truly foreign concepts. I miss planning Fun Group Things For Other People instead of just all my own travel. I miss the pub. GOD, I MISS THE PUB. And actual good beer.
I miss not having to turn up my social energy to 11 every day if I want to talk to anyone because I’m an introvert and sometimes I just want to talk to people I ALREADY KNOW. So of course, I miss my friends. So. So. Much.
Even the eating bit of travel, which has always been something upwards of 60% of the draw for me, has gotten tiresome. Part of this has to do with the fact that I’m now in a part of the world where it’s a lot more difficult to know when there’s shellfish in something so I have to be extra vigilant and can’t just try anything I like the look of. But it’s also just that the whole thing is becoming a chore. Particularly in the energy-sapping heat, which I do not deal well with in any situation, let alone when I’m already drained. I’m concentrating more now on keeping myself healthy and hydrated and upright than I am on eating the biggest variety of local stuff possible. I’ve still managed to eat loads of good stuff, but it’s been more luck than effort at this point. My heart is seeping out of it. I long for my trusty bucket of peanut butter and my standard weekly lime-chili popcorn dinner. I long for proper cheese.
I’m doing my best to put all this aside. I still have history to absorb and famous temples to see. And most importantly, I still have dancing to do. And I remain VERY excited about The Big Bang.
But this is just to say that even epic adventures are real life, and the mechanics of real life always feel like chores at some point or another.
I’m very much looking forward to the point when doing laundry is once again a chore rather than the exciting time of the week when I find that none of my small stock of clothing has gone missing and I have a whole 3 clean t-shirts to sweat right through again.