Life on the Road: Adapting

[singlepic=1223,175,,,right]Adapting to life on the road can be a very subtle transition – and in most cases you don’t even realize it until you find yourself in a more familiar situation.  In this excerpt from Sherry’s travel blog, she realizes how much she has gotten used to living out of a backpack and other small adjustments to living on the road.

After 7 months of traveling around developing countries with my backpack I feel like I’ve changed. I used to have a closet full of clothes and shoes, more than I ever needed. I could have clothed some small towns in Cambodia with my closet. Now I have learned the fine art of how to wear the same outfit multiple days in a row (this all depends on the climate that you are traveling in). I seldom wear make-up anymore and normally am walking around in my tattered tennis shoes. Hair conditioner (or any styling products) and a washcloth are a luxury. I have definitely adjusted to not needing much!

However, with this change in hygiene, also comes that feeling that I’m completely frumpy. I used to use the construction workers on my commute to the subway as my gage for if I looked ok that day…if I got a look, then I must look ok. I doubt they would even flinch these days. Hence, I think it’s been months since a guy has ever given me a second look. Gone are the days where I felt hip – now I’m just happy when I get to use a hair dryer. Since I was moving on to Europe for the next few months, I tried to pack nicer clothes and ship back home my fleece and hiking pants in hopes of maybe cleaning up my act and feeling attractive again!

[singlepic=1143,175,,,left]I arrived in Europe with a short layover in Dubai. I was exhausted since I haven’t really experienced jet lag since October. Arrival in Greece also exposed me to something I hadn’t experienced for a long time – there was no arrival card to fill out.

At first I thought maybe I had too much wine on the plane and some how I missed the flight attendants passing them out. But as I looked around I noticed that no one else had one either. Strange – no visa, no arrival card – I felt cheated! I have spent the last 7 months memorizing every bit of data on my passport. I now consider it a special skill that I could put on my resume. It could go right next to the skills of shooting automatic weapons, eating rat, and can drive a manual transmission vehicle. With a resume like that I figure I can get a job patrolling the border of Afghanistan. Who knows maybe that can be my next career.

We’d love to hear from you!

Tell us about how you adapted to life on the road! Share here.

Other comments

2 Comments on "Life on the Road: Adapting"

  1. christine talianis on Sat, 21st Nov 2009 6:23 am 

    i hear you!!! i feel so frumpy, it’s not funny….the other day i got a pedicure at a beauty school and thought i was in heaven…i have looked at my toes today a million times admiring how ‘normal’ they look…..we are in melbourne, australia right now and there are a lot of lovely, beautiful people…..i think it will be easier to be frumpy when we go to s.e. asia…..great to hear, i am not alone, christine

  2. Sherry Ott on Sun, 22nd Nov 2009 7:06 pm 

    Christine – it’s much harder to accept/deal with the ‘frumpiness factor’ in nice big/hip cities. NYC does me in! However you’re totally right – once you get to SE Asia – you will fit in just fine! Good idea to ‘pamper’ yourself every so often so that you feel human again!

Career Break Guide Table of Contents

Meet Plan Go