I love establishing some sort of routine. I find that it gives me clarity and mental space. It actually allows me to be much more creative too I think. It works
I feel like everyone imagines travelling the world to be super spontaneous. With no clear direction and lots of last minute decisions and planning. Whilst I have travelled this way in the past, it absolutely exhausted me. Running around from one location to another sure was very exciting but it was in no way sustainable! Travelling like this left me feeling like a worn out piece of fabric being swept away on a strong current with no way of finding my feet.
My introverted self needs time to pause. I need downtime. Setting up a long term lifestyle for myself on the road means I crave the familiar lull of routine to keep my mind at bay. I need something regular to ground myself to. It is my support system. The base to which I can live on and feel my best.
So travelling long term just has to be a little slower. There are of course jam packed days with super early starts. There are of course days where we wake before sunrise to see the beautiful colours of dawn at the top of a volcano. We still do really only plan a couple of weeks in advance max, but in general our days have a pattern to them.
We’ve established the perfect blueprint for the perfect day.
And the backbone to this pattern is sleeping early and waking early. I really don’t think my sleeping pattern has ever been better!
The sun rises around 6am here and sets around 6.30pm. Unlike the UK where these times are in flux throughout the year, this seems to be a constant here in Indonesia. Which is such a blessing. We tend to wake very naturally around 6.30-7am just as the light shines into our room, wherever we may be. We’ve often not closed the curtains so we can wake gently to that beautiful pouring of light as it seeps into our room making corners hard again, shapes real again and giving colour meaning again.
By about 7pm, the sun is basically completely gone and we are back in darkness. We tend to retreat to our room at this time after an early dinner. Getting into bed around 8pm with a good film or documentary and falling to sleep by 10pm.
It really is the perfect routine for me. It means we’re up in the morning when it is cooler. We try and do an activity during this time. Go out and see something or just explore. Between 2pm and 4pm we’re often back at our accommodation to hide from the heat of the day. We both have projects we’re working on, so I guess this is our work time.
Around 4pm, the light starts to turn that gorgeous honey yellow colour. It starts casting those beautiful long shadows that seem to lure you out like a long beckoning finger. We then head out to explore some more but more importantly find the evening’s dinner spot. It is such a different life living on the road. I do miss my kitchen and I do miss cooking my own food but somehow the process of wandering around the area to select our dinner venue makes up for not being able to chop my own vegetables and prepare my dinner…
Slow travel is enriching in so many ways. Slow travel makes me fall in love time and time again. I feel so connected to the places I visit and they become home for a few days. It allows me the space to breath the air deeply and allows the atmosphere to bury deep into the pores on my skin. We only ever stay somewhere for about four days yet having that sense of routine allows those four days to shape into memories that last so much longer in a mind that feels so much calmer.
Finding routine in slow travel is good for my mind.
You can read a bit more about Slow Living on the Go here.