And it still doesn’t really feel strange. It actually feels perfectly normal. Is that weird? Most of my travels in my previous life were for 2 weeks, so we haven’t even crossed that threshold yet. Time is definitely moving slower, though, because we’re constantly having new experiences. It also helps that I’ve mostly lost all sense of time. Wednesday? What the hell is a Wednesday?
This trip does feel different than other trips I’ve taken, though. Because we don’t have a set itinerary, we’re not really in a rush to go anywhere or do anything. When I traveled before, I always had a list of all the things I wanted to do, and I had this sense of urgency that I must do it all as soon as possible. It’s a stressful way to travel. With a trip like ours, there’s no hurry to get everything done or see everything. It’s a calm and pleasant way to go about seeing a place.
I should note that we did have a skeleton plan of things to do here in the Philippines. When we get to Vietnam, we will have no plans at all, and we will truly be aimlessly meandering. Maybe it won’t feel so stress-free then…
Before we left on this trip, someone told me that I have to be honest on the blog. And by that, he meant that I have to talk about everything, good and bad. I can’t just talk about all the fun, exciting things without also pointing out the unpleasant and negative. Since all of our posts so far have been positive, here are some negative things:
It is so hot here. I am a high-alpine desert type of person, and I am so very out of my climate here. In Denver, it can get over 100 degrees in the summer, but that is a very dry heat with no humidity. Here, it is consistently in the 80s with very high humidity (according to locals, this isn’t even the worst of it). When I was playing in the Manila Spirits ultimate tourney, my jersey was completely soaked through with sweat. Whenever I went to wipe my face, I ended up just adding more sweat to my face because my jersey was so saturated. My best purchase thus far was a tank top from the ultimate tourney — I haven’t worn sleeves since.
This weather makes my skin very angry. I have sensitive skin that will break out in rashes when exposed to prolonged humidity. So, I guess I’ll be a giant rash ball until April. Also, I have more pimples now than I did as an awkward teenager. Attractive, I know. Whose idea was it to go to Southeast Asia again…? On the flip side, my hair has never been as healthy. Figures.
I am getting chewed up by bugs here. Mosquitos, ants, bigger ants, fish (yes, it’s true), you name it, they want to bite me. Here in El Nido, we have to sleep under a mosquito net, and we realized on the first night that if you are touching the mosquito net at all, the mosquitoes can still get to you. We woke up with bites all over the parts of our body that had been in contact with the netting. Now we sleep curled up in little fetal position balls within range of the fan. There are also some really scary looking spiders crawling around, which is great since we’re both terrified of spiders.
Sleep has been hard to come by for me since we’ve arrived. Between the jetlag, heat (we only have a fan here), partying, traveling (5am buses don’t even SOUND like a good idea) and bugs, I haven’t really had great sleep. Yesterday, I was so exhausted that I just passed out in the middle of the day and slept through the heat and bugs. I woke up extremely dehydrated and groggy and then managed to sleep again through the whole night. But sleep-bingeing is not exactly healthy or conducive to traveling, and I’m hoping that we’ll eventually settle into a rhythm where I can sleep regardless of how hot and buggy it is.
I won’t say that I’ve already gotten sick, but there have been a few times thus far where my stomach has not been overly pleased with what I’m putting in it. I had a fresh coconut yesterday, a gift from the hostel owner, that did not sit well. And tonight, I’m again feeling a little discomfort, but nothing bad yet.
idealism is dead
Time of death: 13 hours (we weren’t in even in the Philippines yet! We were at Tokyo – Narita catching a connecting flight). Going into this trip, I said a lot of things that have turned out to be complete BS or not founded in reality:
I’m not all that interested in playing ultimate this trip. ~ Dumbass Doan
BULLSHIT because I was so excited to play in their weeknight league in Manila ONE DAY after arriving. And then playing in Manila Spirits a few days later was such a fun experience despite the heat. I guess some obsessions just run too deep.
I want to use this trip as an opportunity to disconnect and unplug from technology. ~ DD
Yeah, that’s really great, Lisa. But you know what else is great? Staying in contact with friends back home and being able to stay in contact with new friends made on the road. While we were waiting for our connecting flight in Tokyo, Matt informed me that a women’s team was looking to pick me up for the tournament. It would have been poor form to make everyone go through Matt just to get in touch with me, so I ended up getting a local prepaid SIM card for myself. It’s hard to turn down when it’s only 40 pesos ($1 USD) for a SIM card, and then 15 pesos for 15MB of data across 2 days.
Truth be told, having a phone is pretty important on a trip like this. So, I was willing to make an exception for that. However, Twitter and Instagram are definitely not essential for travel. Neither is taking a ton of photos and then editing them (coming soon, I promise). And yet, here I am, blogging away. Good-bye, Idealism. Hello, ultra-technology-obsessive-compulsive disorder.
I hate “Wrecking Ball.” ~ Liar Lisa
Apparently, listening to this song a million times over is the key to loving it. Who knew?
All in all, these are only minor annoyances. If Miley Cyrus and having gross-looking skin is the worst of my complaints, I think we’re doing pretty well!