Many people have asked me how I could just leave my job and seemingly travel perpetually. How can I afford it? How do you find places to stay for free all the time? How do you find places to volunteer? All questions I’ve received by email, and now I’m sharing the secrets in a series of posts about how The Happy Nomad Tour Rolls and what things are like behind the scenes.
I’m tired. It’s a fact of life for me on The Happy Nomad Tour. In some places I’ve been more tired than others. Generally I can’t sleep well on this trip.
I’m a light sleeper. I grew up sleeping in silence and never really developed the skill of sleeping with noise. In college I finally adopted the use of ear plugs to minimize sleep disturbance, but this probably only served to make me a more sensitive sleeper in the long run. Still, I use ear plugs today as well as a mask to simultaneously help me sleep and to give my sleep routine one element of constancy in my nomadic life.
So far I have been able to sleep in quiet conditions in very few places. My inability to sleep well was also grounds for raucous laughter in El Salvador. It was a very rural place and where I learned that roosters don’t just crow at sunrise. They crow whenever they feel like it, and prefer to crow all night when stationed outside my window.
In other places I have had to sleep on the floor. It’s possible to sleep on the floor in relative comfort, but with my bony body I often end up in positions that are uncomfortable through normal tossing and turning.
Oh, and then there are the bus/train rides.. the long, never-ending bus/train rides. From landslides with diarrhea, to crossing northern India over 30 hours, to hitting rock bottom in an Indian train, I’ve had my fair share of long, overnight journeys. Needless to say, I don’t really sleep well on buses, planes, trains, boats, or anything that moves.Apart from all these things, there is just that feeling of “home” I don’t have. Don’t get me wrong.. I feel at home on the road and I am comfortable sleeping in new beds all the time.
I love what I do, but all this lack of sleep probably contributes to me getting sick about once a month. If anyone knows any sleep techniques I could try to sleep more soundly, please share them in the comments below!