I know what you’re thinking – going to new countries and meeting new people isn’t exactly hard work, so why would you need a break from it? And what does a break from what’s essentially an extended vacation even involve?
Well for me, two weeks in Fiji with my increasingly beardy boyfriend was exactly what I needed to give me the energy and motivation to keep going on my trip.
Of course travelling has been amazing and I’ve been to some incredible places and made some really good friends, but there are a lot of things that after nearly four months were becoming pretty tiring.
I like meeting new people, and in general I think I’m fairly chatty. But you do find yourself having the same conversations over and over again – where are you from, how long are you traveling for, where have you been, where are you going…
I can’t even explain how good it is after that to be spending time with someone who actually knows you, where you can talk about topics other than the most obvious and superficial – or just not talk at all and be completely comfortable with no such thing as an awkward silence.
Similarly, no matter how much you love where you’re going, there will always be things you miss about home. It might be the place, your family, your friends, maybe even just the food, but I think for pretty much everyone there is something. If that something can come to you mid way through your trip, it makes it a hell of a lot easier!
The other big thing I really needed a break from is dorm rooms. Yes, they’re the best place to meet people, but they are for the most part tiny bunk beds with minimal space and limited storage, you can’t spread out your stuff everywhere, and it’s a gamble whether you get good roommates or ones who are weird, loud, smelly or who creepily watch you while you sleep.
Even the little things can be annoying, like not having enough plug sockets for everyone to charge things at once, not being able to turn the lights off when you want to sleep or keep them on when you need to see to pack, having to wait an hour to use the one shared shower…
Spending two weeks in private en-suite doubles was luxury, even when they were wooden huts with highly ineffective fans in the tropical heat. And when they were the good rooms – well, just take a look at these photos, I think I might miss this room with its beautiful air con even more than the boy I was keeping in it….
After having such an amazing holiday-within-a-holiday part of me does just want to fly home now and live a happy comfortable life. But the part of me which is getting it’s own way is the part that is looking forward to meeting new people again and happy to chat about travelling a hundred times over, and doesn’t mind a lack of luxury accommodation if it means seeing more amazing places.
So now I’m in Los Angeles for a couple of days, before I begin my Central and South American adventure – an update on this crazy country to come very soon!