A Little Humor…Days of the Week, Travelers Style

Whitehave BeachLong term travel sounds so glamorous – you tell someone you travel most months out of the year and no matter what you follow it up with they’re picturing brooding ancient temples, blindingly white sunny beaches paired with clear blue waters and an endless cocktail party with friends from all over the world.

And those idealized travel images? I’m not going to lie, they’re true. Wading in the pure white sands of the Whitsunday Islands transitions in my memories into a sunset bike ride through Angkor Wat and then the beers shared with the lasting friends I’ve met along my travels.

But those are just snapshots of travel. What about the other days?

I offer up the Days of the Week, Traveler Style:

Monday AKA Deprivationday

Napping on the Bus

The rest of the world starts their work week and you’ve just switched towns in some remote area of the world. That “restful” 12 hour overnight bus ride to get there has left you twitchy, tired, hungry, and bleary-eyed as you schlep your backpack (yet again endlessly grateful you’re light packer) from the bus-stop to your next guesthouse.

Food and sleep are tops on the list this day and perhaps some a beer as a nightcap before you drop onto the thin mattress by 8pm and check out of the world for ten hours.

Tuesday AKA Sightseeingday

Ten hours of sleep puts a pep into your step on Sightseeingday and you wake at the ungodly hour of 6am – perfect to get an early start on those nearby temples while the light is still ideal for photographs and the over-sized tour buses haven’t yet vomited out hundreds of mobbed masses following a waving flag through the temple-grounds.

Your itinerary takes you through the “must-sees,” UNESCO sites, and anything else your dad would lambaste you for missing on your next Skype call – tourist-centric food stalls pepper through your day and you snag some postcards for your ever-loving niece/nephew/brother/sister/mom/dad/grandma/favorite aunt/aunt’s dog.

Angkor Wat

Wednesday AKA De-Smellifyingday

The previous day of sweating at the tourist attractions all day long used up the last ounce of “clean” you pretended your clothes had before you set out – now they’re truly stinky. Laundry day dawns and you strip out of your PJs and scrounge through your bag for the cleanest and least useful of your travel clothes. Donning those purple leggings and workout shirt you then pinch your nose and tip your backpack into a bag and cart it off to the nearby laundress.

The Gang

Not daring to venture far in such a bizarre outfit you snag you log some computer time blogging, working, and eating.

Thursday AKA Friendsday

The day before you bonded with several other hostellers and backpackers (they didn’t even bat an eyelash at your laundry day outfit) and planned an outing to some nearby cave/beach/waterfall. Friendsday is about having fun and sharing a day doing whatever the collective group decides.

By the end of the day you’re eager to prolong the hanging-out and hunt down a nearby “hotspot” of entertainment, pub/bar/club/dancing/bowling, for drinks and conversation.

Friday AKA Eatingday

You’ve already found all of the great eats near your guesthouse so today is about exploring the markets and finding regional treats proffered by the smiling locals standing behind the dozens of street-food-carts and market stalls. Also a great photography day your camera is charged and ready for a day of meandering and exploring wherever the meandering streets take you.

Saturday AKA Businessday

Those postcards you bought earlier in the week aren’t going to write themselves, your camera’s memory card is full three times over and photos are still unsorted, blog posts need to be queued, websites maintained. You’re leave town the next day and transportation needs to be planned and booked.

Though you’ve been working a couple of hours each day this week it’s time to buckle down and plough through work. Besides outings for tasty foodie treats you’re holed up answering emails, Skyping, and writing until your fingers cramp.

Overnighter into Laos

Sunday AKA Transportationday

You spend the morning hitting all of your now favorite local eating spots between repacking your trusty backpack, checking out of the guesthouse, and executing any other leftover tasks from Businessday. By late afternoon you’re happily skipping down the street toward the bus station for an overnight bus ride. You’ve packed some fruit and treats for the ride, an extra sweater in case the bus blasts the AC. The iPod is charged, your book was swapped out for a fresh one on Businessday so you’re ready for that 12 hour over-nighter.

And there you have it – a grossly simplified look at a week in the life of a long-term traveler. :)

Any other day of the week I overlooked?!

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15 Responses to A Little Humor…Days of the Week, Travelers Style

  1. James Schipper November 23, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    This sounds surprisingly more fun than just the glamoury parts that most people write about.

    • Anonymous November 25, 2010 at 4:39 am #

      Well that rocks that you feel that way! :) It does have a nice balance
      and rhythm to it :)

  2. Rachel Cotterill November 21, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    Sounds like a fun week! ;) My longest trip so far was six weeks of cycling/camping… that was fun (and smelly and exhausting)

    • Anonymous November 23, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

      Six weeks of cycling and camping is huge! I’ve never even remotely
      camped/trekked for that long (my trekking and camping tops out at about two
      weeks) – that’s a whole different brand of smelly! ;-)

  3. Anonymous November 20, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    HaHa! thanks for an inside look at the realities of long term travel. Apparent acceptance of laundry outfit days that involve purple leggings put me over on the still want to do it side.

    • Anonymous November 23, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

      Then you are my kind of traveler! Do you think you’ll take your girls on a
      long term trip at some point?

  4. Anonymous November 20, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    Love this! It’s so true! The best part about long-term travel is that you can take days to write postcards and blogs and log some time online without feeling guilty about missing valuable time to sightsee.

    • Anonymous November 20, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

      When I first set out I did feel guilty about “business days”, but now I know
      that sheer exhaustion comes from trying to move to fast and never take days
      to just sit and take care of business/relax! :)

  5. Anonymous November 20, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    Can relate a lot to this post :-) Nicely written Shannon

    • Anonymous November 20, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

      Thanks Rob :)

  6. GlobalButterfly November 19, 2010 at 11:39 pm #

    Love it!!!

    • Anonymous November 20, 2010 at 2:43 am #

      Thanks Andi! :)

  7. Anonymous November 19, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    Well explained, I hate travel days.. purely because the next day is just a blur!

  8. Anonymous November 19, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    Well explained, I hate travel days.. purely because the next day is just a blur!

    • Anonymous November 19, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

      Agreed! They are so exhausting – it’s the main reason I travel slowly now,
      in the beginning I tried to move really fast but couldn’t handle all of that
      movement without some good rest :)

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