The art of doing nothing, is in fact an art. Hard to perfect from some, easier to come by for others. Like most arts, it is hard to appreciate unless you cannot do it.
I have found whilst being away, that i struggle to do nothing. Well I can sit in a cafe or sit whilst having dinner, but I need to be sipping something, eating something, walking somewhere. Why, can I not, just sit?
It is a hard balance to find, you cannot sit all day because it is not everyday that you are in an European city. But you also can’t spend everyday running around because burn out, even on a holiday, is a very real thing.
At first I thought my long travel days counted as rest days, because I’m sitting. But I began to learn that they come with different stresses, instead of wondering what I am going to be doing that day, or if I am doing enough. I’m worrying about if I’m going to miss the next train, what is my next destination like, will the people in my hostel be friendly… They aren’t rest days. Just because you are sitting, doesn’t mean you are recharging.
So between marching around cities, to surfing trains, how does one get rest. In the hostel at night?
Yes most of the time that is true, but sometimes the bed can be awful, or roommates can be loud. Travelling… backpacking for a long time does become tiresome. (I don’t know if I have been backpacking long enough to offer up advice, how long to you have to be walking the world before you can?)
I was talking to someone in my hostel about it once and they put it perfectly, this isn’t a holiday. A holiday is in Bali with a cocktail in hand, sunshine and a bikini, beachside. This is what you call an adventure, it’s on the go, with your whole life packed in the bag that is slung over your back. I took that on board, because it is true. Yes I have had such a huge break from work and school and study, but the stresses that I have ran into on this adventure are probably more so, than the ones I would come across day to day slinging coffees and taking notes from a professor.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love it.
I love being a mystery, the ‘Aussie Backpacker’, “wow you’ve traveled so far”, “wow you’re from down under”. It comes with so much excitement and it makes being from Australia just a little bit unique.
But the art of doing nothing, I am struggling to do.
Today, on day 50 of my trip abroad was the first day I sat on the beach and did absolutely nothing besides lay in the sun, drinking wine and eating chocolate. This was purely because I had to wait for my night bus to come and I couldn’t be bothered to do anything else to fill my time.
At first I though to hire a bike and ride the coast line, but at some point everything just became too much effort, so I bought a bottle of wine and marched towards the beach. Where I ended up finding the rest of the population of Nice.
Which made me wonder, do these people have jobs, are we all in fact travelling or is everyone just unemployed and sleeping in the sun.
I didn’t know, but I didn’t care. I just joined.
That is another interesting thing about people, you don’t know anybody else’s story. I have met a lot of people in these 50 days abroad, and my horizons to the general struggles of life have broaden immensely.
I have also crossed paths with a lot of solo travellers like myself, and it has genuinely been such a beautiful experience to meet people with the same values and beliefs as myself.
Getting back to the point of this, today as I was drifting off into my siesta, was when I began to write this in my head. The art of doing nothing. I drew conclusions profusely as I began to drift, maybe it was because of the general overstimulation of my generation that I couldn’t stop my brain from ticking over, or maybe it was because I just over think as a person.
I don’t know. I respect people that can do nothing, and I would like them to inform me how to do nothing on such a jam packed adventure.
Today I did nothing, on a beach, in Nice, France.
Side note, I am writing this at a pub, passing the time before getting my night bus, and I may be drinking the worst mauled wine to be served yet. I shall in fact, stick to beer.
Wish me luck on my night bus, I am planning to get just drunk enough before it so I drift off into a nice sleep, waking up just in time for our bus to ride in to Barcelona.