Saturday, 8 April 2017

Lifestyle of an Amateur Traveller

  Physical therapist by day and a single homemaker by night(I don't wear a cape.. on most nights). I use "homemaker" loosely because, family or not, still have to do the same things(Cooking, cleaning and, organizing all the fun stuff). On the weekends, different roles are assumed.No multiple personality disorders,yet... I do not claim to be a traveler, haven't gotten that far (an image of Johnny Depp from pirates of the Caribbean vividly pops into my head, I do look like him some mornings, don't judge me!) I indulge in this activity more frequently than most people. A bucket list of sorts to be seen before 'I kick the bucket', so to speak. Yes I have a penchant for making lists, passed the hobby on to my niece. Five year old has a pretend list she takes to grocery store;)(so proud of her!).Okay! Back to the topic.
   Some weekends road trips are on the agenda(cheap and best) when the mood strikes and weather is good. Exploring the states of Washington, Oregon or to Canada(which has been anywhere from 4 hours to 2 depending on where I was living).In the Pacific North West(PNW), weather actually takes priority over the mood. Since the latter is dependent on the former. Posting pictures I click(not just selfies mind you),I invariably get the response "you probably have a lot of money or you are lucky to have the freedom to travel." You don't have to be rich or single to travel. Priorities change when you have commitments. You may still travel, maybe not as often. Travelling is not a competition,it's a passion(although facebook would beg to differ). Shopping is a pleasurable sport for some. I for one, don't own a TV. I am not poor, just starting a trend;)! Watching Netflix on laptop suffices the need for mindless entertainment. I prefer to spend on making memories.
     One learns a lot when traveling, emphasis on cultural anthropology. Understanding the history or geography of the place. Books and travel guide you to the path of enlightenment(wow!that was deep... even for me). Since I travel more often, budgeting myself is essential. No shying away from bunking on a friend's couch, occasionally splurging on a room with a view. Dining in classy restaurants to a hole in the wall places or food trucks, provided the food is good. Always trying something new, one of the perks of travelling.
      What people miss is behind the scenes effort that goes into travelling. Especially since I am single. First and foremost is picking the dates and applying for leave. Being the only PT at my work place, I have to plan ahead of time for a replacement. Then comes choosing the destination(depending on the season)and looking up the right flight. I sometimes do end up paying for convenience of finding a flight to fit the schedule. Next task is hotel/ Airbnb booking. If it's a new city, lone traveler, then commuting comes high on the list, figuring out transportation from the airport( hotel shuttles, Uber, public transportation - available in big cities only or rental cars if long drives are involved). During the next few weeks the list of "must see places" in the city gets formulated(I did mention I had a thing for lists),which evolves constantly. Sometimes I don't even bother and don't look up details until after I reach the place.(There is something called too much R&D)
  Fast forwarding to the week prior to departure, constantly looking up the weather to figure outfits to pack, which might still not be appropriate for the plans or destination.
Not talking about matching accessories here, just the basics(I would be happy if my jacket matched my clothes.I have gone to Hawaii with too many clothes and New York with not enough). Books, camera and music are a must and take priority over makeup kit(might be a stretch to call it a kit!),all paraphernalia to be stuffed into the cabin baggage. At work I catch up on my paperwork,Good part about working in US of A is, no one bothers me on my day off(Unless, its absolutely necessary and then they can't seem to stop texting).Patient Initials are used to protect identity, gets worse when two patients have the same initials and I am struggling to make sense of the query. When on vacation I am ME, not a PT (I have to occasionally remind myself to not introduce or sign my name with PT at the end). Couple of nights prior, I start on all the household chores that would normally be left for the weekend, like laundry(most likely driving back home around midnight with enough energy to turn down the bedding and sleep).
  On the day of departure, I am up at the crack of dawn(I don't like to make that a habit), heading to work early(almost giving my co-workers a heart attack). My eyes on the clock, praying(rare occasion when I do remember that the supreme power controls me,I don't mean my manager).I Break out in a sweat at the sign of an ambulance. It's like the Murphy's law, any time one wants to leave early there is always something to delay the process.Once out of the facility doors, I breathe a sigh of relief. Time to go home, get ready and, drive to the airport. Always way ahead of time, just in case something goes awry.I am a very positive person.(Ahem! I don't always imagine the plane crashing and erupting into flames). I park my car at the airport and take the shuttle to the terminal. Finally,I start to relax and get into my holiday mode once my flight takes off(80% of the time my flight is delayed). Thus, embarking on another fascinating journey to a new unexplored destination..( There is a good possibility plane may not land, but that would be another unplanned fascinating journey, although I may not be able to blog about it!)   

Photo clicked from a ferry to Friday Harbor (San Juan islands) WA.

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