(This is the beginning of a series of diary entries I wrote during my solo backpacking trip to Europe back in 2013. All posts are made in chronological order)
April 10th, 2013 - On the West Highland Railway, Scotland
While there are many perks to solo travel, sometimes it can also really suck, so here are just a few things that we can learn to cherish when we're out on the road.
1) You booked an awesome hostel. We never actually know what the hostel is going to be like. We've all stayed in terrible ones, but sometimes we arrive at the front doorstep and it's amazing!
2) Getting the best bed location. Bottom bunk in the corner right by the window?! And I have my own little personal space to be as sloppy as I want with all my stuff?! Perfect! Because otherwise you could’ve also gotten the worst placement AKA right by the main entrance/toilet with absolutely no privacy.
3) Getting seated right away at a restaurant.
4) Meeting an awesome new friend.
5) Finding free Wi-Fi!
6) Finding an outlet to charge all your electronics!
7) A lamp that works properly and is also situated right by your bed. Scrambling all over the place in the middle of the night looking for something is no fun.
8) A shower that isn't tiny. I've had to shower in some of the smallest shower stalls.
9) A shower with proper temperature control. Being able to take a nice hot shower at the end of a long day of travel is probably one of the most essential things a traveler needs.
10) Nobody snoring or drunk people stumbling into the room in the middle of the night? Score!
11) Having the whole hostel room to yourself. Awesome!
12) A proper lounge area in the hostel? Yes!
13) A reception that's actually helpful and tells you exactly what you need to do, see, eat, and how to get from A to B. Thank you so much, you just saved me hours of confusing research.
14) A hostel bathroom that doesn't stink.
15 A hostel room that doesn't reek.
16) Complementary breakfast and dinner.
17) Finding a toilet just when you need it.
18) Any form of transportation that isn't packed.
19) Any form of transportation that runs frequently and on time.
20) Meeting fellow travelers open to help you and tell you everything you must know!
It's interesting how depending on the immediate circumstances we're in, our priorities can shift from camping out for the latest iPhone to simply wanting a nice hot shower. If there is any benefit from traveling, it must be how the road can jolt us back into appreciating the simpler things in life lest we ever forget.
by Jason Lam