Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Antithesis of Travel

I left home to go traveling nearly six months ago now, which to me is a pretty significant amount of time. Although there have been a few low-key days thrown in there where I didn't do much, for the most part I've kept quite busy and have usually felt optimistic and upbeat since being on the road.

As my jam-packed month in Vietnam slowly came to an end, I started to hit a wall. On the miserable night bus from Phonsavanh to Vientiane, which was on the windiest road known to man that had half the passengers puking, I pretty much crashed right into it (in a figurative sense of course, although the bus ride had me wondering if I'd literally be crashing into something as well). I just felt tired in every sense of the word. Tired of long, uncomfortable bus rides, tired of sightseeing, tired of unpacking and repacking my bag, tired of meeting new people every other day, tired of being tired. In addition to sheer exhaustion, I felt guilty for not fully appreciating where I was and what I was doing because I know there are heaps of people who would love to be traveling right now. Suffice to say it was the lowest I'd felt since this trip began.

To remedy the situation, I decided the best course of action was to stop traveling. By that I don't mean booking a ticket home (sorry Mom!) I just wanted to stop acting like a traveler for a bit. Since arriving in Vientiane, the sleepy capital city of Laos, I haven't gone sightseeing, haven't stepped foot in any of the city's temples or made any sort of effort to find out what there is to do here. Instead, I've spent the last couple of days doing the exact same thing: wake up, eat breakfast (toast and peanut butter with banana), go to the gym, lay by the pool (oh yes, the gym has a pool), spend the afternoon in a cafe, eat dinner. Boring as it may sound, I think it's exactly what I've been craving. Less moving around, more routine and stability... essentially, the antithesis of travel.

I still don't feel as enthusiastic towards traveling as I would like but I'm hoping that will have changed by the end of the week. I'll be here in Vientiane until Friday, waiting for my Burmese visa to get processed. (It normally only takes two business days but there's a Burmese holiday this week, meaning their Embassy is closed for two days and my visa won't be ready until Friday. If that's not a sign from the travel Gods that I'm supposed to stay in one place for a while than I don't know what is!) I plan to spend the rest of the week doing the same old thing. I can't wait for travel and I to be on better terms again but until then, I'm pretty excited about my week of not traveling.

Chilling by the pool post-workout, reading up on Myanmar

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