Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try! – Dr. Seuss
Besides the standard questions that are both asked by you and to you, there are five things that I’ve learned backpackers are quite terrible at. I am not without flaw as I’m also guilty of these as well, and over time have found them to be quite humorous, because as Pico Iyer put it, “we travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again–to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”
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FIVE THINGS BACKPACKERS TEND TO FAIL AT:
5. KNOWING THE DURATION OF HOW LONG YOU HAVE BEEN AT YOUR CURRENT LOCATION: Too many times when the question arises of how long you’ve been at your current location, just as with knowing what day or month it is, this takes some mental work.
4. REMEMBERING NAMES: As you meet so many people, often names are replaced with the country the person is from and being approached by someone because they recognize your face–even from months prior–is more common than remembering their name.
3. TRAVELING WITH LARGE HEAVY ROLLER BAGS: The worst decision for extended travel as well as awkward when you’re crossing dirt roads or climbing varying terrain, backpacks provide more mobility and I have to say sorry to all my Israeli friends, but you guys (especially the girls) tend to lug these awful large things around.
2. VACATIONING WITH ORGANIZED PLANNED ITINERARIES: Often you see groups being led around like cattle and I feel as though people often miss some of the best parts of being abroad by immersing yourself in the local culture and searching out better prices for things outside of the poolside resort.
1. KNOWING WHAT DAY IT IS: Ask most people and they have no clue what day it is as well as the time. I’ve even been guilty of thinking that it’s going to be 2013 soon, until I had to realize that was completely wrong. It feels as though daily life is a perpetual weekend with the freedom of living without a schedule or list of things to do.
Today embarks my second Christmas in a row that I’m fortunate and blessed enough to be able to spend on a beach, this time halfway around the world from last year. A few of us even sought out looking for a church to go to the night before, but unfortunately on the small island of Ko Tao we were unable to locate one. What we did find were plenty of Santa hats and traditional Christmas songs playing at several of the restaurants, bars, and shops that line the narrow streets. As I was making the short one-minute walk to Sairee beach from the hostel, I heard Joy to the World playing, and couldn’t help but stop and listen as it truly felt like Christmas.