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There is a frightening moment after a certain amount of time on the road, especially when travelling solo, when you start to talk to yourself, and even more frighteningly, answer your own questions. You start to develop certain habits, specific routines and tendencies. If you relate to these 9 commonalities, then you are most likely, a bonafide vagabond.
To be clear, this does not mean you become negative, it means you do critical comparisons between places, whether subconsciously or otherwise. Deep down, all travellers love being on the move and are always trying to find the perfect place, and the more places you visit, the more you understand yourself, your likes and dislikes, and what fits your view of paradise.
On the tourist trail, or even the most remote places, you are thrust into situations where you are amongst other travellers, vacations, and in general, plenty of human beings. Engaging with locals, and sharing stories with other travellers is one of the highlights of travelling, but when you do get some genuine me, myself and I time, you connect with yourself on another level and boy, does it feel good.
The common question pops up, “So where are you from?” and the answer to this question, the longer you are on the move, becomes more convoluted. Where you were born does not necessarily mean that’s where you are from, where you are from does not necessarily mean that is where you live, and where you live is not necessarily where you call home – and if you are a perpetual traveller, home is simply where you are laying your head that night.
A normal day travelling can contain the excitement equal to a month in the corporate routine, and as you return from the fast-paced, exciting life circling the globe, the pace of a normal day back home has you climbing the walls in search of some excitement. You’re like the energetic little kid whining to his mother “Mum, I’m bored!”
You would think, spending so much time living out of a backpack, reusing grubby stinky clothes, and having no place that really feels like home, you get you craving a stay in one place, however, this is often far from the truth. A few short weeks into your return, you are spinning a globe, checking flight websites, and watching travel shows – the idea of disappearing on a jet plane is creeping back into your mind.
If your bucket list is of any worth, chances are a number of things on it will include you crossing borders, and the more items you tick off, the more you tend to add. You’d think that the more time you spend on the road, the smaller your bucket list would get, but instead, the opposite occurs.
It is truly the little things in life that can make all the difference and when hostels are home you realize the value of the bottom bunk. No climbing up the completely vertical ladders, shaking the unstable bed, and feeling the heat of a poorly ventilated bunk. Instead, you hang up your towel to give you some privacy in your bottom bunk cavern, and having to go to the bathroom requires no rappelling from the top bed.
You will have maxed out the amount of Facebook friends you have if you swapped info with everyone who you met along the journey but who has time for that? Also, the same boilerplate questions of ‘How long are you travelling for?’ start to get on your nerves and you start to genuinely contemplate getting a shirt with point form notes of your journey written on the front.
To keep the pennies in your pocket, you’ll do anything to save money and making the half reclining seat on a bus your bed for a night, saves you from paying for a hostel bed. By now, you have a special technique for getting just the right angle for maximum comfort and can either catch a good kip during the overnight journey, or you have enough podcasts and games on your phone to occupy you for days.