Life on the road

New towns, new train stations, new buses, new hostels, hotels and Air Bnb hosts. New faces. New receptionists. New people to share a dorm and a bathroom with. New personalities and characters to get to know, be polite to, get along with. New languages to master, new sounds and cultures to tune in to.

Something new every week, every third day, every day. Nothing has the time to get old. Nothing is given the chance to grow.

But then three times a year I lower the volume. I give places a few months, let myself become a familiar face. I set up routines. Work out the bus schedule, find a yoga studio if there is one, find a vegetable shop, a supermarket.

I get to know the Açai shops in Campo Grande in Brazil or where to have a decent cappuccino in Buenos Aires. I small talk with café owners, answer questions on where I’m from and what I’m doing in town.

I find out what cafés I can work at; where it’s quiet, where they let me sit for the whole day. Where they have decent wi-fi.

I might even have a favourite yoga teacher and a time table for the bus.

But there are no five weeks paid holiday or annual membership at the gym. No ties longer than a month.

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