I’ve been extremely happy ever since booking my flight home.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely sad to be leaving Thailand, too, but rather than my brain wandering to climbing areas and surreal beaches during any lapse of focused attention, it’s wondering to mountains and autumn leaves.
It’s time to come home.
It was no more evident than last week when I saw this picture of socks on Instagram:
Hitting the Wall
I was talking to my friend and fellow traveler Elizabeth on Facebook one day while she was “killing time” in the Czech Republic, waiting to go to Nepal, and the topic of hitting the wall came up.
I had never heard of this, and at 3 months into travel, I’ve never really felt much homesickness or loneliness so I wasn’t sure what it was. I miss my friends and family for sure, but the ones I truly care about, and the ones that truly care about me, will still be there whether I’m gone 4 months or 4 years. I never felt lonely because….I don’t have that many real friends concentrated in any one area back home. Despite having tons of acquaintances and friends online, I’m sort of a loner.
(The irony here is that I feel like I’ve made so many more, deeper connections with other travelers, after just meeting them for 1 or 2 days — or 5 weeks — than the 2.5 years I’ve lived in Boulder and 6 years in Minneapolis.)
So if people aren’t calling me back, and I’m not feeling lost and alone traveling halfway around the world by myself, what the heck is hitting the wall (in terms of travel)?
A simple search on travel burnout or hitting the travel wall will tell you all you need to know.
You can find many examples of people feeling tired, looking haggard, missing creature comforts of their homes and social circles, and just … being stationary.
I believe this is the true wall. Where you just don’t want to go on anymore and you forget where you are or what you’re doing. Like Edward Norton in Fight Club.
But I haven’t gotten to that part yet.
My wall is a bit different. My wall is more like Katie’s in her article: Hitting the Wall. My wall is built of annoyance and inconvenience.
She still mentions social interactions and missing friends, and that’s not where I’m at, but I can relate to some of the other things. For me, it’s:
- Getting sick of living out of a suitcase that is so tightly packed, needing to get to one item requires unpacking nearly everything and then playing Tetris just to get it closed again.
- The mess and clutter it makes in a teeny-tiny corner of a hostel just to find a clean pair of underwear packed somewhere deeply in the abyss of an 80L pack
- Searching for places to stay when moving around
- 4 websites, word of mouth, cross-referencing….just to save a few hundred baht ($1-$4) or make sure I don’t get stuck in another bungalow with standing water in the bathroom.
- Searching for places with AirCon (air conditioning)
- Paying extra for AirCon
- Carrying toilet paper everywhere I go
- Wearing the same 3 tank tops and 2 shorts every day
I’m just over it.
I want to wear clothes again. Clean clothes. Not ones that have been worn and sweated through 4 times already before doing laundry, and not the same damn outfit.
What I would give to be around a campfire wearing some jeans, a hoody, a clean pair of cotton boxers, and some socks.
I really miss my socks.