Thursday, 22 September 2011



If you are a traveller ( or a man) you are probably VERY likely to be willing to stop reading now.
If you’re a male traveller you can skip this and pretend you have read this post when we meet later. I am very tempted to stop reading myself. But since I’m the one who’s writing it I’ll stick around a little while longer if you will.

‘’ So how long are you staying?’’

You might as well ask me if I want to marry you. This question freaks me out.

Simple question hey . But travellers usually hear is something like ‘’ what else are you going to give up if you decide to stay for a while’’

So we usually play our best card. The I don’t know card. I recently came up with a new good one

‘’ No plan is good plan mate’’ ( +wink)

Cool huh.

Commitment .

If I ever committed to anything ? Don’t be silly…. Of course I did.

Me , an engagement ring, a perfect boyfriend ( yes he did cook ) new furniture from Ikea , a house in the French countryside ( romantic music playing) a semi commitment to the French education system . Been there , done that ( I left him the tee shirt. And the furniture. Least I could do huh)

Happy ending ? Hell yeah. I moved to a 6 bed female dorm in Kipps Canterbury backpackers in England. I swapped my teaching skills to develop cleaning skills. Then I lived in a tent in the garden, then I had a full time job as a duty manager there. Later I lived in the cupboard on the third floor. I did. I swore you could put a mattress in that cupboard. Almost fit.
I could almost stretch my legs while sleeping. For 6 months. My legs still hurt. It was 2 years ago.

You know you’re a traveller when your room key is a padlock key.

How many guys did I pick up saying ‘’ wanna visit my cupboard darling?’’

Not so many. But still. Okay Yank , I told you you’d be in my book. There you are !
It was cool to live in a cupboard.

No commitment. No rent to pay , no bills , no 3 months stay minimum, you know all that crap travellers ( and men) are terrified about.

So yes. When you’re a traveller you live in a backpackers hostel. You end up living there for far longer than what you should but it’s YOUR choice.

No commitment.

Living in a backpackers hostel is cool. You hang out with Kiwis for breakfast, have dinner with Aussies and go out drinking with… what was their names again? Dude I got so drunk. Glad they checked out today , saves the embarrassment.

But some of them never check out. The hostel gradually becomes a house share.

With no commitment.

A perfect home for a citizen of the world .

That ‘s what me and Dwight we were talking about the other night. Yes the dude I was chasing around Bangkok last August.

What? Yes I found him in the end! In a Thai restaurant . In Brighton. Of course.
We had a nice meal. The first waitress answered ‘’Tokyo’’ when we asked her what part of Thailand she was from. The second one did not even try to hide her Eastern European accent.

But that’s what we love. Diversity.

With no commitment.

Ok. Now. Truth?

Travellers also get attached but don’t want to face it. Female traveller do still see themselves in their wedding dress ( with the coolest backpack attached to it) We still dream of freaking romance and fishing trips on Sundays. That must be in the DNA… right?

Travellers also cry their eyes out listening to love songs ( gay travellers and women especially. The other ones pretend to have a mosquito in their eye)
My last time? I was sort of… drunk. With my boss / best friend who was sober ( btw what’s YOUR excuse to listen to love songs darling?)

Here , in Kipps Backpackers Brighton we call it ‘’ Celine Dion moments’’ . Picture me on the floor staring at the ceiling , again trying to breathe and my gay manager vacuuming the whole hostel singing :

When I was young
I never needed anyone
And making love was just for fun
Those days are gone
Livin' alone
I think of all the friends I've known
When I dial the telephone
Nobody's home

We don’t want the commitment but we want the connection. What you call a date , we call it dinner with a friend

Friend is the ideal name for everyone when you’re a traveller. It’s like playing the ‘’ I don’t know card’’

‘’ he’s a friend’’ ( risk assessment 0. Commitment 0. )

Our ideal partner would be someone who appears from nowhere to share good times and great conversations for a while and drives us to the airport when we decide suddenly that we want to go to India next week.

‘’ See you next time darling, Have a great time, I love you for ever’’


Deep inside we would also love the ‘’ darling I’m home’’ sort of life. But without the house and the dog.

Given how many homes I’ve got, how many darlings do I need?

But do you know what ‘s worse than commitment?

No commitment.

Taking no risk. Hang on to something that’s no longer there. Missing out on new experiences , people…

Stay when you could go. Go when you could stay. Ignore your feelings when you could just love.

Because guess what. Nothing lasts anyway.

So you’d better commit to every minute of it

Before it’s gone.

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