2015 will always be the Nomadic Christmas I was fed by Muslims in Catholic Portugal. That’s one of those weird travel experiences you can’t foresee. I walked over three kilometres last night (Nomadic Christmas Eve) and every place I went was just closing up, so I couldn’t dine. Then, like a shining beacon of hope on the horizon, I saw a crowd eating outside of the kebap shop. Aha! Food! Redemption! A platter special! The glory of a Nomadic Christmas miracle in a Muslim-owned shop! What a great thing, indeed.
They’re open again today. I dream of tahini.
I’ve seen the sun come and go today. I meant to go explore. Really, I did. But then I napped. And then I napped again. I’m thinking I’ll go see a movie tonight but it’s taking some convincing. I kinda do need to go see if Katniss Everdeen saves the world, though.
When Closed is Open Again
Sun promises to return tomorrow and I’m looking forward to that change of pace and a day where Everything Is Open and I don’t have to work and I even have my new back-up batteries for my camera so I can have a total day away from home with no fear of electronics dying on me.
Laziness is needed even by us nomads. We’re not on “vacation.” I’m told often by people to enjoy my “vacation,” but in truth, this life is more demanding than life at home was, because I not only have to fit in my work life, but I also need to find a way to see All The Things every time I change over to a new town.
The Nomadic Christmas (And Life) Challenge
I walk around 6 or 7 kilometres every day here. Seldom do I have down time of any real value because it’s not my home and I feel guilty if I sleep in too long. I don’t know when I last sat on a comfortable couch, since they don’t seem to exist in the AirBNB universe. When I “watch Netflix,” it’s in a wooden chair at a desk with my computer. But that’s the travel lifestyle for you.
Take today, for instance. To see a movie means a train I haven’t taken followed by a 1.6km walk in a part of town I haven’t seen, to a mall that’s unfamiliar to me, in the hopes of seeing a movie I’m only 90% sure is showing. It’s all new to me, it’s all a gamble, and that constant newness is as much awesome as it often is tiring.
The Uncomfortable Christmas?
The concept of “comfort food” being where I am, abroad, comes down to eating in the same restaurant twice. I can’t get the pizza I used to have every Friday back home, or order a big bowl of poutine and get a food-hug from it. Facebook today has me with sad-face every time I see a picture of a Yorkshire pudding or a roast beef. I’m honestly wondering if I can somehow make a roast and Yorkies if I splurge for an “entire home” rental in the Azores. Apparently they have the best beef in the world, if you’ll believe some of the well-travelled opinions I’ve heard.
The travel life is weird. It’s sad, it’s ecstatic, it’s heavenly, it’s lonely, it’s a dream come true. It’s all of these things.
Today I’m grateful for the life I lead, curious about the life ahead of me, and happy that a shawarma shop is open for business. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll go see me some Hunger Games.
I hope whatever today is for you that you’re enjoying it, you’re happy, you’re healthy, and are excited about your year ahead. Thanks for being a part of my journey.
Thank you for sharing Stef 🙂 Merry Christmas to you! You are creating such wondrous experiences for yourself; life is too short not to grab on and live it. Nice to read your adventures as it reminds me of my past travels and reminds me to do it again. Cheers, Janine
Napping is a good thing. The life you are leading now takes way more energy than a 9 to 5 routine. You have to keep your personal batteries as good as the ones in your camera. Happy Christmas Day, Steffani.
Merry Christmas, Stef! Your journey sounds so amazing and you’re just at the beginning, still. I look forward to reading how you spend the many coming holidays of 2016. 🙂
A belated merry Christmas to you too, Kelly! I look forward to what foreign holidays I experience and how they’re celebrated. 😀
I like how you say that comfort food is eating in the same restaurant twice. I know all too well what you mean. I was able to eat at Furg Burger in Queenstown NZ twice and now I feel like a veteran of that restaurant.
I have had a “regular haunt” in every city I’ve stayed in for more than two weeks. This time it’s Cafe Loreto. There was a joint called Bisteka, I think, in Zagreb, that made these heavenly eggs on brioche with cream cheese and arugula. Even now I swoon.