Downtime and Laundry Have Me in Heaven
We arrive at our latest place to stay and it feels like we have jumped into a movie set.
The view is insanely beautiful.
We keep waiting for someone to show up and tell us that we have the wrong house. That we should actually be staying in the garage, not the main villa overlooking the water in a small seaside town on the coast of Greece. It is everything you imagine a greek villa should look like, right down to the whitewashed walls and marble in every room.
We have fallen upon this place via a friend and his incredibly generous offer to use his family home. After many months of travel, through guesthouses, hostels, AirBnb’s or caravaning our way through the countryside, this feels like heaven because we are stopping for awhile.
We are chilling out. Taking it easy. No agenda. Nothing to see. Just to be.
This feels like heaven because we can unpack.
Fully unpack for 10 days.
Not just our personal packs but the 1 big yellow backpack that encompasses our travel cubes, souvenirs, shoes, cosmetics and usually a big honkin’ bag of laundry.
It’s funny how perspectives shift on the road.
To us now, a chance to unpack could very well be one of the biggest luxuries we enjoy on this trip.
We typically don’t plan any more than a couple days ahead. We like travelling as the day takes us but lately its sped up a bit. I can’t quite tell if it’s because we now have a return date for our trip back to Canada or if we are in places we want to see so much of that we toggle back & forth between “tourist” and “traveller”?
We seem to intuitively anticipate each other’s needs now. We can tell when one (or more of us) are travel weary and start making space and time for relaxing.
Reflection, quiet and sleep are our medicines required to get back on the horse (or camel or tuk tuk) and keep going.
We have all changed, I know that. My OCD on keeping things “neat & clean” has relaxed from a 9 to about a 2 on the peripheral stuff. Those things don’t matter so much anymore. What matters really is us, these experiences and being together.
As our priorities shift to focusing on being present, I can see a shift in everything we do.
For an absolutely incredible book on the practice of being present, I can’t recommend highly enough the book You Are Here by Thich Nhat Hanh. It has brought a calm and peacefulness to my world that I have never experienced before.
One of the most evident is in how we pack. What we thought we needed and what we really do is so completely different than when we started.
We have 3 distinct styles of packing. They all seem to be focus on eliminating extra time, energy and unnecessary opening of bags.
Here is a quick breakdown of how we roll:
The overnight/carry on travel pack
This includes 1 change of clothes, always a swim suit (thank you Drew Dudley and his tip that a swimsuit is “fun insurance” it has come in handy more than once), flip flops, a pr of PJ’s, toothbrush, and deodorant.
The 2-4 days city pack
1 extra pair of shorts, 2-3 shirts (depending on the mean temperature and how sweaty or smelly we might get as we travel), swim suit, flip flops, sarong (this can go a long way between beach, temple coverage and sun protection), small bag of deodorant, soap, conditioner, brush, and toothbrush.
The 4+ day in one stationary location
This gets me so excited you can’t imagine. Laundry, homemade meals, naps, even being domestic (like establishing some element of “home” for a few days) feels really really good.
For awhile, when we started talking about going home, I would picture Fred Flintstone putting his feet down in his car to put on the brakes. I wasn’t feeling ready yet. We still had so much to explore. What I realize now is that I had in my head that this was a singular defining moment for us. Yet life isn’t over after this trip. We can start planning the next one. We can relish in all the adventures we have had. We can cherish the beauty and the specialness of Canada for awhile. We can reconnect with family & friends. We can create & savour new memories back home.
Perhaps we can even welcome some of the amazing people we have met on our adventures to our home land and show them why we are so proud to be Canadian.
Come on over guys. The door is always open.