Back in September, before I started traveling, I wrote a post about the things I imagined I’d miss once I hit the road full time – here’s the post . Well now that I’ve been gone for a few months, here’s an update! Listed are the top 10 things I thought I’d miss, with an update on whether or not I miss them. I guess you never know what you’re going to miss! I was sure wrong about some of these!
10) Brushing My Teeth. YES, I absolutely miss my electric toothbrush. There’s
nothing like it and I can’t wait to see that wonderful contraption again!
9) Fake Meat. I don’t miss it at all. The meat is so tasty here in Central America that I love to eat it. It’s almost as good as my father’s steak (said primarily so he will continue cooking them for me). Actually, I miss veggies more. Other than cabbage salad – which I love – I have to work to get veggies in my diet. Central America has a lot of rice, beans, cabbage salad and meat/poultry. No sides of broccoli to be found.
8) Food without Fear. I’m not afraid at all, and I eat street food with abandon. YUM. I do try to eat at places that seem well frequented, but that’s the only precaution and my stomach has held up like a champ!
7) Turtle Patrol. I don’t miss getting up in the mornings, but I do miss my beautiful beach on Boca Grande, and my lovely home there.
6) A Home Base. I love traveling, and I am traveling more slowly than I was ever able to when I had a job. So this is not a big issue. I still hate packing and I think once I stay somewhere for a while, I’ll be happier. But I’m not ready to settle down yet. This one’s a draw.
5) Air Conditioning. I don’t really miss it, or hot showers! I have never been able to sleep with a fan on, but now I don’t know how I’ll sleep without one. The noise and the air circulation are awesome.
4) Jokes. My Spanish is not sophisticated enough to crack jokes. I did make fun of a girl at my hotel and the staff understood! And laughed. It’s a start I guess, but my Spanish continues to be a problem. AND I left my Spanish workbook on the Tica Bus. Sad. Learning Spanish needs to be a major initiative for me because everyone wants
to talk to me – especially in San Salvador where they don’t see a lot of Americans. And I can not always understand them, or reply back in a manner that doesn’t make me sound like an idiot. I plan to stay in Xela, Guatemala and do a Spanish language class with homestay for a few weeks to get myself together!
3) Feeling Safe. I feel pretty safe. I love to travel and I try to take every reasonable precaution. I am vigilant. It’s worth it to see all these exciting things!
2) Normal People. Whatever the definition of normal people is, I don’t miss them. I miss my friends, but not ‘normal’ people. I have met amazing people on the road and I connect immediately. We have the same interest, after all, the love of travel. I have also loved meeting the locals and communicating with them to the extent I am able. This is absolutely something I was wrong about.
1) Clear Communication. I do miss this, it’s true. It’s exhausting having to put together sentences based on the few words in my Spanish vocabulary. And pronunciation is a problem too. People understood me well enough in Nicaragua, but the fast talkers here in the big city of San Salvador have a little more trouble with my accent. Also the lingo is a bit different – for example when something is US$0.50, they’ll say “2 quarters” – in Spanish. WHAT? Took me a while to figure that one out. This has been a struggle!
Other things I miss that I didn’t think about are, clothes washed and dried in a machine, not having to wear bug spray indoors (or at all), driving and being able to make a phone call. I’d LOVE to have a smart-phone here.
But that’s about it and nothing too dramatic. I’m not homesick at all and not tired of traveling yet! My plan at the moment is to travel a bit more here in San Salvador, move into Guatemala on the Pacific Side and then up into Mexico (need to renew the G4 visa). Then I’ll go back into Guatemala, into Belize and down the Caribbean side of Central America. I’m excited!