Week #10 – “Are you exhausted?”

OK, so I’m totally late on the week 10 post, but hey! better later than never. Week 10 of my trip finished on September 25th.

I recently caught up with a friend and the first thing he asked about my trip was:

“Are you exhausted?” 

It was quick and resounding:


I had just been to Ubud in Bali, the calmest place on Earth. Even the dogs are mellow! I got there without any plan nor any guidebooks. I booked 4 nights at an airbnb place at a villa with a wifi and pool. I liked there so much that I ended up staying there for 10 days. Most of the time I spent reading, writing, eating really good food and hanging out with other people from the house who live there for the time being. I had no schedule, no agenda.

I felt like being a local.

Only towards the end of my stay in Ubud I started planning anything. I finally went to the staple tourist landmark – the Monkey forest. Now I’m scared of monkeys.. They jump on your legs and crawl up if you have bananas. And the biggest and bravest monkeys do it, which makes it even scarier.

I went for a long bike ride. I went by myself instead of going with a tour group, which is what I would do back at home (more about that in another post).

This way perhaps I didn’t see all the famous places that one should see, but I got a feel of how it would be to live there. It just means I will have to return there some day and see all other famous spots.

In fact for much of the trip I felt like being a local. While I was in UK for two weeks, I stayed with my best friend from college during weekdays and took weekend trips (as I often do when I’m at home in San Francisco). We went to a tango class which is not a typical thing for tourists to do. We went for drinks after work on a Friday night with her coworkers.

When I was at Le Grande Motte in south of France for 10 days for the west coast swing dance camp I stayed in the same apartment for the whole time and walked to the same event venue every day. There was a routine. There was familiarity.

In total I spent about three weeks at home in Latvia, where I was a true local. I stayed at my parents place, met my friends, visited my favorite places (but also explored new ones as well!).

In Singapore I stayed with a friend from high school, commuted via subway, saw some touristy stuff but it was also interspersed with lots of walking and wandering around and scouring for the best coffee shops (which I did in other places as well).

So what has helped me to not get exhausted from long term travel is to spend time in each place as a local by doing things I would normally do, like going dancing, biking, hiking, hanging out in coffee shops, meeting locals and not having an agenda to squeeze in as many tourist attractions as possible.

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