This week marks three years since we walked away from our house of 15 years in Gig Harbor Washington and began our nomad life.
Three years. Holy Cow the time has gone by so fast. When we began this crazy adventure we didn’t know if it would last six months or six years. I guess six years is looking pretty likely.
I’ve said all along this lifestyle is not for everyone. There are times where it’s not for me. But in general there are more positives than negatives and it now feels like a normal way to live. For us anyway.
There are definitely challenges, and one of the biggest challenge is sleeping in so many beds. Along with all those beds comes all those bathrooms. Sometimes if I wake up in the middle of the night and gotta go…I need to take a minute and really think about where I am and what is the path to the potty?
As of this writing, we have slept in a total of 197 different beds over the three years. That includes the ten weeks we stayed in a condo after we sold our house (the longest we have stayed anywhere in three years) as well as all the different albuergues, hostels, hotels and pensions we slept in on both of our Camino walks.
That’s a lot of beds. The best part? We have yet to encounter bed bugs anywhere.
Last week we stayed in, well let’s say, “rustic” accommodations in Guatemala. Mind you Guatemala is one of the poorest nations in the world and has only been open to tourists for ten years. But the mattress sagged, the horrible satin sheets refused to stay put and the shower head kept falling off.
However, overall most of the beds we have slept in have been comfortable. My requirement in a good mattress is harder is better than softer. I have memories of two horrible mattresses, each so soft I could barely get out of bed in the morning. The worst one was in Hanoi, the second worst in Ladyville, Belize.
And, coincidentally (or maybe not), one of the worst bathrooms was also in our Hanoi apartment. We have learned that bathrooms throughout the world vary widely. Flushers on toilets are different in nearly every country. More than half the time you cannot flush toilet paper. Showers often have no hot water. Some times toilets are raised up on a platform (we call those the throne), or are in a separate room from the sink and shower. Showers might be huge and elegant or so tiny you can’t bend over. Some showers are open and get the entire bathroom wet, so keeping towels and toilet paper outside of the bathroom is required. Oh and bugs, centipedes and geckos sometimes enjoy our showers too. I learned the hard way to turn the light on for middle of the night visits to the loo.
Often the septic or local sewer is well below what we take for granted in the USA. In Placencia, Belize our Airbnb was at minus sea level and this made for interesting and usually incomplete flushing.
In New Zealand we stayed in a cabin with an outhouse. Also in New Zealand we spent four weeks in a camper with a port-a-potty. Very tricky at night.
Of course kitchens and other things vary as well. It’s all part of the ongoing adventure.
So like I’ve said – it’s not for everyone. You really have to have a sense of adventure and approach each place with low expectations. That way, you are usually pleasantly surprised. Only once, has a place been bad enough for us to leave (read it here).
We have a month of travel left before we return to the USA for a four-month visit. During our time in the USA we will settle into a condo we bought (sight unseen) a few months ago. This condo will become our home when we are in the USA, but we plan to continue to travel for a majority of each year, at least for a few more years and maybe forever.
Because, well, there are a lot more beds and baths we haven’t seen yet! Fabulous!
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