Over the last few days, the 10 Commandments of Backpacking have been revealed to me. These commandments haven’t appeared on stone tablets, rather, the Travel Gods have unveiled them to me in all sorts of symbolic and fear-inducing ways – some of which have seen me leap into the air screaming. I guess it’s their way of letting me know what’s in store for me when I embark on my round-the-world trip later this year.
Here is what has been communicated so far:
Thou shall not scream in the presence of reptiles
It all started a few days ago when I was making my way from the living room to the kitchen. As I strode through the hallway, something on the floor caught my eye; it was grey and it was moving. The world slowed down, I felt my heart stop and once my head caught up with my eyes I let out the biggest scream known to mankind. I then lept up and down like some sort of human kangaroo, screamed a little bit more and made a runner for my bed.
I had just seen a lizard.
A few hours passed and I hesitantly made my way back to the scene of the scream to find that my four-legged friend had thankfully disappeared. I kept a watchful eye out for him for a few hours and hoped that he had found his way back to wherever lizards come from.
Unfortunately, he hadn’t. I discovered him again a couple of hours later and screamed even louder. Considering I will be encountering his cousins in droves once I hit SE Asia, I think this is the Travel Gods’ way of telling me that it’s time to man up!
Thou shall survive off weird combinations of food
As I’m moving out of my apartment in a few days time, I have decided it is a waste of money to buy anymore food from this point forward. So, I’m digging deep into the darkest recesses of my larder and making my way through my dwindling supplies. I’ve discovered that once you decide to scrimp on food expenditure, you begin to believe that strange combinations, such as tuna and couscous, are acceptable.
Long-term travellers save money by cooking in hostel kitchens, which is why it’s probably advisable that I start getting used to badly cooked meals. However, I’ve seen pictures of these places and they don’t look pretty, so I think I’ll try to avoid them as much as I can. As someone who survived off Marks and Spencer’s ready meals at university, I do not feel I’m equipped for the prospect of bacteria and toast, so it’s a good thing I love cheap local food and that SE Asian cuisine is DIVINE.
Sorry, Travel Gods – there are some things a girl just cannot do.
Thou shall survive without the luxury of a car
I sold my beloved Suzie (editor’s note: my car) on Wednesday, which means I now have to make my way around Dubai without a car. Those of you who live here will know that this city isn’t pedestrian friendly; there are barely any pavements, and drivers seem to think that people who are crossing the road are bowling skittles just asking to be knocked over.
Yesterday I had to go to the mall; I would have taken a cab only Dubai Mall is a mere ten minute walk from my apartment – even I’m not that lazy. Now, ordinarily, a ten minute walk is a pleasant experience, but not in Dubai in July. Within five seconds of being outside I felt like I was going to spontaneously combust. And you should have seen me by the time I got there. Not. Pretty.
Oh how I miss my Suzie!
However, I shall have no car during my RTW journey. I’ll be relying on my legs, clapped out night buses, tuk-tuks and the odd airplane to get around. It’s about time I get used to it.
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