5.10.13 - 5.14.13 50 °F
We’ve hit a wall. Or at least, I know I have. I’m tired. My brain is tired. And I don’t have much desire to do or see anything.
We’ve been to Fiji, New Zealand, Bali, Thailand, Egypt and Israel – all in 8 weeks. And we visited Bali, Thailand, Egypt and Israel just in 3 weeks. It’s a lot of moving, a lot of thinking, a lot of decision making. You just get tired.
Before we left home, I had so many people tell me, “Enjoy your vacation!” I didn’t care to explain this to these people. They meant well by their wishes. But this isn’t a vacation. It’s a 4-month lifestyle change.
We make more decisions a day than we did at home. Home lends itself to a routine. This is no routine. Every day is different. Every country is different. Every custom, every culture, and every people is different.
We bend, we grow, we adapt. We change our minds and our plans every few minutes or every few hours. We live out of our backpacks and our daypacks. We pack and repack these packs. We search for places to do laundry. Sometimes, we don’t do laundry. We shower on occasion. We sleep in rooms with other people or just in rooms that aren’t ours. We calculate and recalculate our daily and weekly budget and take a deep breath when we’re reminded a new paycheck isn’t coming in.
It’s just not a vacation.
Now, please don’t take this to be complaining. It’s certainly not meant to be a complaint. It’s only meant to explain that this trip, and any trip of this kind where you’re moving from place to place, is a lifestyle change – not a vacation. It’s wonderful and exciting and exhilarating and absolutely incredible. But it’s just not a vacation.
Thankfully, I read about this life-style change and this wall-hitting phenomenon before I left home. Travel bloggers warned us that we would get wouldn’. They said we wouldn’t want to see all the wonderful things we left home to see. We wouldn’t want to make a decision. We may only want to sleep. We might plan to rest for 3 days and end up staying two weeks.
But most importantly for me, these bloggers informed us that this feeling is okay. In fact, this feeling should be expected because it’s normal, acceptable - and again, it’s okay.
I remember reading these warnings thinking, “That makes a lot of sense. I bet it will happen at some point.” I’m glad I was warned. This feeling wasn’t something I would have anticipated on my own. And because I was warned, I only feel small amounts of guilt and anxiety. We did, after all, leave home and are in the process of spending all of our money to do and see things. So, had I not been warned, I’m sure guilt and angst would be shouting at me,” Run, Sharon, run!” in a Forrest Gump style plea to see and do everything there is to see and do.
But since I know somewhere in my heart that this feeling is normal, acceptable and okay, I think I’ll put my small amounts of guilt and angst aside, take a nap, and go outside to frolic whenever I feel like it.
Details of this wall and its Nothings…
Staying in isn’t always bad. We’ve had a wonderful time with David’s cousin, AnnaKate, and her friends at Cambridge. What have we done? A lot of nothing. And it’s been glorious.
We’ve drank tea, we’ve drank wine, we’ve caught up on American television (um, I am so addicted to New Girl), we’ve washed our clothes, we’ve taken naps, we’ve eaten peanut butter mailed to AnnaKate by her parents (because apparently PB is not as good here as it is at home), we’ve welcomed numerous gifts including hair conditioner and soap (toiletries I had just ran out of and would have had to buy otherwise), we’ve told stories, and we’ve done a lot of other things that equate to a whole lot of nothing.
An example of Nothing:
Yesterday, David and I decided to no longer (completely) mooch off of AnnaKate. So we paid for a guest room in the dormitory. After sleeping until 11:00 am, showering, and eating AnnaKate’s food, we left her room at 1:00 pm for our guest room across the quad. Then I took a nap - and woke up at 6:00 pm. We took AnnaKate to dinner at 6:30 pm. Then, we sat around with her friends Jemima and Rob drinking cheap wine until 10:15 pm. We retired to our own room, watched two episodes of The Big Bang Theory from AnnaKate’s collection of DVDs and easily fell asleep by 11:30 pm.
Nothing. A whole lot of Nothing – with a capital N.
We’ve seen very little of Cambridge. We’ve turned down AnnaKate’s offers to visit the colleges. It’s always raining and seeing these things means doing something. David and I have ventured into London only once to see our friend Ryan. I haven’t even taken the time to update my personal journal (a seemingly easy thing, but I’m behind from the last day of Thailand and some days in between). My mind just can’t handle it.
In fact, writing this post could be the most productive thing I’ve done in the past five days. Well, perhaps it’s tied with washing our clothes. That was doing Something.
Soon though, we will do lots of Somethings. We will leave Cambridge and venture into London. We’ll go to the museums and see the touristy things. We’ll even order a meat pie and drink a British beer. Then, perhaps we’ll venture into some other country or countries in Europe.
Maybe I’m slowing finding my way around the wall - because these thoughts sound more exciting than they did two days ago. But I won’t scramble too hard to find my way around. I’ll find the way soon. But, until soon happens and I feel like doing Somethings, I’ll gladly continue with these Nothings.
Note: A special thank you to AnnaKate. She took us in late notice after we were dumped in the airport with no place to go. She’s fed us, given us tea, downloaded TV shows, and talked with us for hours. Her and her friends have been delightful and have made our days of Nothings fun and bright despite the lack of sunshine and the surplus of rain.