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?
I met many people, who decided for a life like this. So the "every-day"will come, no matter how you and your surrounding changes.
I am more than twelve weeks without a home, car or anything that would not fit in the backpack on my back, which I packed twelve weeks ago.
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, 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 single day.
You wake up and you dont know where you will be tonight. Every single day barries the chance that in the end of the day you have seen an entire new world. Seen, felt and experieced things you didnt know that they existed this morning.
So you wake up, try to set your day for that new environment with right clothes, hygiene and food. Every day you experience something new, you will hitch hike and you maybe meet the greatest person on you trip and you stay with him/her for days, you get to know all his/her friends and family, you understand by any moment where you actually are or you climb a mountain, which takes your breath away or visit a city, take pictures, eat a crazy meals, learn new ways of cooking and using ressources as food, then you sit on the beach and suddenly you are surrounded by crazy people, wonder why and suddenly realise that you sit in the middle of a huge beach festival in Goa.
Everyday you will feel tried, confused and happy. When you remember where you have been yesterday and where are you now, you dont understand how this is possible in 24 hours, while your life has past 20 years with half of that amount of experiences.
You stand in the Caucasus with that 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 you literally just have made it there with your own two feet, your smile and the courage to trust people.
Time is long, when you learn, experience and reflect. Appreciate this. You are a moving particle in a world where a million diffrent things happen in the same time and just because you constantly move, you are allowed to see so many of them.
Of course one of the best things about traveling is the local food everywhere to try. 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 count what I had while I traveled East, because this is what was available. What I really mean, grab some local fruit wherever you go every day 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!!! (Max is not amused, but I am.)
And of course, bringing water! Even in countries with a Çay culture - you won't be able to have a drink. 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. Every stop that makes it possible, I ask for a refill of my bottle.
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 went 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 India during the 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 I need to be a little creative to choose something which works well for the area I am in - and also for the one where you are going next - and last but not least it is a task to find something, which is not too dirty. So I basically wash all three days in any kind of sink or suitable water I find.
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 hygiene standard 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. So I figured out a way not to feel dirty.
First, I try to racionally understand the behaviour of the locals in a dirty enviroment. It is really something like, questioning "how do they go to toilet here? How do they wash their hands? What else than soap and water might kill bacteria?" Watching beaviour of locals you always find a reason that gives you a "makes sense here"-feeling.
Next step is smell: 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 to carry with you, because it can be used for washing clothes, your body and sometimes maybe a little bit a room. Flip flops save you from the bacteria on any floor and a shower you take anywhere, where is water. That can be a sink, a bottle of water or a river, but be part of where you are. Shampoo in a river is not so nice.
So hygine is something I watch out for wherever I am. Because taking a real shower once in a while gives you a good feeling for a long, long time.
One thing, which always stops you at one point is that you getting tired. So every-day life includes sleep. Specially hitch hiking is something, you don't know where you land and dont know where a bed is available. But to sleep there is no bed required, if you have nothing else then a sleeping bag, you will survive. I am trying to tell myself this everyday. To do other things than worry all day about it. Being on the run for quite a while, makes you more routined in trusting in lucky coincidents or getting over not so comfortable experiences.
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 who 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.
Remember you are a human, a strong, flexible living object on this planet. Sleep was possible before houses and beds were build. What you need is a state of mind.
In winter it gets a little more difficult, but not impossible to sleep outside, 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 might work. Also simply 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.