I think I’ve gone soft

I used to be an awesome traveler. But, as mine and Matt’s trip gets closer, I’m starting to second guess my travel skills. It’s been five years since I’ve done any travel that required a flight other than business trips and I think I’ve gone soft.

On business trips, I usually get put up in a posh hotel and I can often finagle AT LEAST one steak dinner out of the whole experience. But, for our trip to Europe, our budget is significantly smaller than my employer’s. We’re going the traditional young traveler route and staying in hostels most of the time. We don’t have a whole lot of spending money and plan on taking advantage of the kitchens in our hostels so we don’t have to eat out for every meal. We do have an apartment to ourselves for our stay in the Scottish Highlands, but most of our trip will be spent in bunk rooms.

On my last travel adventure, I spent 4 months in India and I grew accustomed to staying in accommodations that left a lot to be desired in the comfort, cleanliness and safety departments (also pretty much every other department, for the record). In once place in Pondicherry, we squished 5 to a room and everyone got bed bug bites. In another place in Rajasthan, I paid $1/night for a bed in a 12-bed room with one shower and a hole in the floor for a toilet. I also got used to squat toilets, carrying my own toilet paper and having showers using a bucket and a plastic cup (I even helped a friend dye her hair with this bucket/plastic cup method. Why someone would dye their hair while in India is a story for another day).

In fact, I once stayed in an actual shanty (sort of):

But, I have decidedly gone soft. Travel nowadays means business travel where I get my own hotel room in a reputable hotel with lots of fluffy white towels and room service if I so choose. I get a king size bed to myself and once, I stayed in a hotel that had those fancy sleep number beds where I got to play with the controller making the bed softer and firmer while I watched the Real Housewives of Orange County.

I had this view of Vancouver when I traveled there for a conference last year:

And now, I’m off to Europe and I don’t know how well I’ll handle bringing my own towels and bunking with 10 other people. I’d like to think I can still cut it and carry my backpack like a pro, but I worry that I like 400 thread count sheets and free wifi WAY too much for my own good.

But, I think getting a once in a lifetime chance to ride an old steam train through the Scottish Highlands (Hogwarts Express!!!), see Buckingham Palace and drink beer in an Edinburgh pub makes up for the fact that I may have to back some ear plugs and sleep in a dorm room.

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2 Responses to “I think I’ve gone soft”


  1. 1 ria May 18, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    wow india, that is awesome, i’d love to hear about it sometime! we stayed at a hostel for the first time in dublin. we had our own room with a bathroom but i don’t know if i’d do it again. good luck you will have an amazing time!

  2. 2 michelle May 17, 2011 at 5:05 am

    First I’d like to say… If you can do India for 4 months, then you can do anything. I have a lot of faith in you. Second, Europe, even on a small budget means great food (well not too sure about the UK but in France it would :P) Third, consider yourself a outdoor cat that’s been kept inside for too long.. those survival skills are still there (meow). The only thing i will seriously try and avoid in my future travel endeavours are bed bugs. I’ve had my share of them in australia..
    And soon enough you’ll remember, outdoor cats have way more fun (and great stories to tell after) can’t wait to hear all about this trip. maybe you’ll even get a steak in once or twice 😛
    miss ya!


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I'm Claire. I like to write about ridiculous things.

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I often wish it was socially acceptable to wear glitter before 10pm.

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