To all those who live the suitcase life, why don’t you share your experiences. What follows is my take:
For last couple of months, I am back to living out of a suitcase. It’s almost a decade and half back that I used to do this.
Back then I was obviously lot younger. Therefore, things were lot different than they are now.
Airport lounges, aircrafts, hotel lobbies, coffee shops and of course the hotel rooms. Life now revolves around these areas. In the past there used to be night outs almost every night while travelling. Not so much now. And this perhaps is the biggest difference that leads to loneliness while travelling.
While waiting for the flight, sitting alone for breakfast or dinner, spending time alone in the claustrophobic hotel rooms (the rooms are not small but the walls do seem to close in), the loneliness gets to me.
It is strange that I don’t usually talk even when I am with people close to me. I have been called a snob, reticent, cold and bereft of emotions. But I always feel comfort in the fact that I have people around me that I can talk to when needed. Does sound a bit selfish, doesn’t it? So it shouldn’t bother me when I have no one to talk to when I travel… right? But bother it does.
I have started looking for ways to keep myself busy. The walking up and down while waiting for the flight to be announced, keeping up with my step count (did 2500 steps today while waiting), I smile and strike up random conversations with people. That guy who is also walking. The person serving coffee. Guy at the bar. Chef at the coffee shop. Person serving my food. People at the reception desk of the hotel. The cab guy.
Hitting the hotel gym on a regular basis (sometimes in the morning and evening as well), watching stuff downloaded from Netflix and amazon prime, music, books, those few minute calls back home in the morning and at night.
There are people who envy this lifestyle. There are people who tell me am lucky to get so much of “me” time. But trust me, it isn’t fun.
Travelling is fun and I do enjoy travelling. Cities and people in those cities, one can learn a lot about what’s happening in the world just by observing them. But the heavy baggage of loneliness, I guess that’s something I didn’t sign up for.