Growing Out of Backpacking but Still Going Around the World

I am an introvert. I don’t party and being in the middle of a large boisterous group of people is basically my version of hell.  If I could travel while invisible, I would (stupid lack of superpowers). I guess my point is that there is no one way to travel. 

I remember the moment that my now husband and I gave up on shared room hostels.  Luxembourg. 200 Dutch middle schoolers.  I am still recovering. I remember the moment we gave up on hotels altogether. Budapest. 100 degrees, no AC and 24 hour partying. We moved into a hotel the next day. The fact that I did not lose my mind and start screaming at people should impress you.

Sometimes, I feel pressured to go back to the days of staying in hostels.  As if that is the only way to authentically travel.  But I am not 17 years old.  Thank God.  I have a travel companion (yay, for husbands) and I have a job that pays me money.  Which I am willing to throw in a dozen different directions while traveling.  Because comfort is not a dirty word. 

While in Indonesia we switched Airbnb homes.  Not on purpose, but neither place was available for the whole time that we planned on being in Palau Weh. The first place was isolated on a cliff behind a tiny little village.  Aside from a political rally one night (seriously, we confirmed that was what was going on) the frogs were the loudest thing we had to deal with. 

The second place was still a very small one room “house” but had access to a beach and was six feet from a restaurant.  Score, as we were getting tired of boiled eggs and cup noodles. Having spent four days in complete seclusion our exposure was a bit of a shock.

Everything was fine until about halfway through dinner. More and more backpackers arrived.  I swear I don’t hate other backpackers on principle. Usually, you can have a decent conversation or simply exist in the same space with them.  But, oh, my God, the loud and screaming drunken obnoxiousness that followed.  I have a travel truism that is people who are more than two meters away from you know your nationality then you are being obnoxious.  Also, shut up.

We were both obnoxious but unfortunately, the new bungalow was hotter than the surface of the sun.  There was a ceiling fan but it was turning the wrong way so all the air was being blown at the ceiling.  I am sure that there was a way to switch the fan but we couldn’t figure it out. Consequently, the room was at least 15 degrees warmer than outside. The first bungalow hasn’t had ac either but a couple of night we were actually on the verge of being cold if we woke up in the middle of the night (score). Overheated already because every time we almost drifted off someone would shriek with laughter or just shriek.  Since they were less than two meters away from us it was pretty hard to ignore. At 3:45 am we finally yelled at them which miraculously make the leave and the lights outside finally turn out.

We tried to get over our middle of the night fire (We are moving!  Dramatic.) but a huge cockroach crawling up Carsten’s leg while he showered did nothing to improve our mood but breakfast calmed us down. The actual people who own the place are super nice. Our room is comfortable and we were promised a fan.  The view is stunning. We have a hammock in our porch less than two feet away from the surf and at the moment things are peaceful.

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