Our dull days

Traveling equals lots of quiet places and lots of time to be alone with your thoughts. Those thoughts, regardless of the circumstances at that moment, are not always happy thoughts or questions. Often they pop up in my head the moment I wake up in our van. Why on earth did we go on this journey? Where to go next? What do we do today? Where will we finally be at peace and stay around in one place a bit longer?

Meet the voice in my head. You probably have the same one. That voice telling you that you should be productive and get stuff done. Leaving our home and our daily routine of work, appointments and to-do-lists behind, does not mean it has left us yet.

“Travel is glamorous, only in retrospect”

Paul Theroux

After more than 100 days on the road we have made lots of happy memories. When I scroll down our Instagram account, it is all sea views, sun sets and scenery. And we take it all in, but we have experienced that apart from the wanderlust, traveling is full of dull moments as well. Just like at home, we get dreary and rainy days. On those days our van life suddenly feels very small, while – ironically – we are exploring the world.

Aldous Huxley once wrote: “Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty – his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.” Well, I am not quite there yet. What Huxley describes is definitely the next level of traveling.

The truth is, I hardly know what to do with this ‘excessive freedom’ Huxley writes about. This limitless chunk of time without any particular purpose, restrictions, rules or schedules. One could say it’s pretty frightening actually. Sometimes it seems like we forgot how to play, be curious and follow our interests. It turns out those dull days are probably there for a reason and I need to get through the boredom, to experience this new way of life to the full extent.

Luckily beauty and excitement are always around the corner. When I pick up my laptop and walk to the beach to write down my thoughts, I stumble upon a perfectly shaped pink shell. I sit down on a formation of rocks, which is almost as comfortable as a real chair. The waves quietly roll in and the gentle autumn sun touches my skin. In the distance I hear a kid speaking perfectly French. Totally normal being in France at the moment, but this always lifts me up, small children speaking a ‘foreign’ language. I take a sip of my coffee, already turned cold, and the only thing left to do right now is watching the tide go in…. and out.