Traveling, it is a thing in life which let you see and experience everyday something different.
Now, what happens if life goes on like this more than three months or maybe your entire life?
More than twelve weeks without a home, car or anything else than that one backpack on your back which you packed weeks ago. - That is my situation right now.
A little overview on how the "normal" everyday-life moments work for me:
Time is relative while traveling. Albert Einstein proofed that feeling we all have, moments of one minute can be incredible long and incredible quick. So far I am traveling more than twelve weeks and when I think back to the start of my journey it feels like ages ago.
Every day is long. Every day.
You wake up, try to set your day for that new environment with right clothes, hygiene and food. Every day you experience something new, like you will hitch hike and you meet the greatest person on you trip and you stay with him for days or you get to know all friends and family of where you are or you climb a mountain which takes your breath away or visit a city, take pictures, eat a crazy meal, then you sit on the beach and suddenly are surrounded by crazy people and sit in the middle of a huge beach festival. Everyday you will feel tried, confused and happy when you remember where you have been yesterday and where are you now. You stand in the Caucasus with one backpack, which is all you have for the moment and you are the only one who knows how you could have made it there without a car, home, money, languages skills or anything...actually just with your two fit feed, your smile and the courage to trust people.
Of course one of the best things about traveling is the local food everywhere. But sometimes on your journey you are forced to prepare yourself with food. Being a traveler over time takes your energy. So give it back to your body. Best to eat on the go are fruits like mandarins, apples, little cucumbers and - if you able to be careful with your backpack - bananas. Or you grab nuts and seeds, which is also always a great thing to share with your hitch hikers and Co.. Actually I just counted what I had while I traveled east. What I really mean, grab some local fruit and give your body some natural sugar.
Germans tent to bring themselves sandwiches, but they will figure out that this is not possible with the bread everywhere. If you look for cohlehydrates you could grab cookies, I noticed that local cookies in any country are a great thing to try!!!
And of course bring water! Even in countries with a Çay culture - you won't be able to have a drink all the time. Traveling forces you to be spontaneous and you sometimes just have to hurry and then in the end you just land in the middle of nowhere...So bring your bottle of water - we all know that this is the essential.
When I packed my rucksack, I packed three pair of underwear, three pair of socks, (which I all lost by now), two jumpers, two shirts, one dress, one trousers, one leggings and one pair of warm tides. With these clothes I traveled through Turkey from north to the warm south, going rock climbing, to the hot and conservative, more Islamic east and back up to the cold north, passing the border to Georgia, skiing in the Caucasus mountains, passing the contrast-full Armenia with the shabby, broken countryside and the pompous, fancy Yerevan as the main capital, and then entering Iran covering myself with Hijab and Manto, leaving Iran and entering Goa in main season with more then 30 degrees.
So one thing is for sure, this wardrobe needs to be flexible, thought-through, resistible and not to heavy. Every morning you need to be a little creative to choose something which works well for the area you are in - and also for the one where you are going to - and last but not least it is your task to find something, which is not kind of dirty.
Hygiene is something you have to be flexible with. For me the greatest hygiene luxury goods are a pair of flip flops, my toothbrush, a roll of toilet paper and an incredibly nice smelling soap I brought in Turkey.
The standard of living in Germany is very high and you have to get used to the fact that toilets look different, the bathrooms you use will not always be clean and the cloths you wear are dirty anyway. But I figured out there is always a way not to feel dirty.
So I kept my German habit and tuck a shower every two days nearly anywhere. And if you have to sleep in a dirty smelly place than cover your head in one of your clean clothes and you will be fine.
Soap is great because it also can be used for washing your clothes, flip flops save you from the bacteria on any floor and a shower you will be able to take anywhere where is water. That can be a sink, a bottle of water or a river.
So don't panic, you will find yourself clean if you really care about it.
One thing, which always stops you at one point is that you getting tired. And you have to sleep. Specially hitch hiker know that sometimes you don't land anywhere where is a bed available. But to sleep there is no bed required, if you have nothing else then a sleeping bag, you will survive. But I will take you through all options for spontaneous sleep overs:
It's a little bold to ask super spontaneous, but if you explain honestly your situation you will find someone to help you, that's what this platform is for. Make it a quick and clear message like "Hi that's me, my situation, I am sorry for being so spontaneously, will you help me?"
You can try, but this often doesn't work. Private people are not going for that business like they do in a hotel and they often can't be bothered to let you into the flat at uncommon times.
Greatest deals, especially when you are an off-season traveler. Specially at night lots of hotels put an special offer online which is definitely worth to check.
Another option is always to hang around with people, get in contact, explain your situation and most of the time there will be someone who helps you or someone how knows someone who can help you. Actually that is my personal favorite option, because you get to know someone before you decide to stay with them.
If you travel in summer you shouldn't worry anyway there will be one tree saving you from rain, even though tents are always nice, specially because of animals...well, sleep with your pepper-spray.
Public beaches are mostly ok to sleep on and comfortable, just check how far the water will come and tie your shoes up. Even when it is not ok to sleep somewhere - the guard will come in the morning when you woke up - fine, then you leave.
In winter it gets a little more difficult, but not impossible, still better to have a tent. If you carry a tent with you and you have to sleep outside cover your tent floor with different layers. First plastic then wool. A rain cover of your backpack with some clothes you don't need might work. Also sleeping behind the backpack protects you from some wind - I am a big fan of less space but more heat. If there are two of you it is always good to try to connect your sleeping bags. Humans are the greatest heat, so cuddle like the penguins.