We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.
Upon returning to the hotel after a rough day of touring and having little leisure time, I am in a quandary over how I use that one precious hour…
…before it is time for dinner and more sightseeing.
Do I lie down and rest?
…read and study the travel guide about the following day’s itinerary?
…read for pleasure the book I brought… and end up falling asleep midway through one page.
Do I write in my journal, knowing that to put it off, I will get further behind?
Did I say soak my tired feet and wash the day’s grime off?
It is frustrating.
To be a writer, one must keep a notebook and pen with them at all times, to jot down an incident or unusual expression just heard or to record the guide’s explanation that is interesting and noteworthy at the time.
I regret I have not always kept up that discipline. The trip takes a toll on you physically and mentally. Because of the continuous visual, auditory and aromatic stimuli, it is easy to lose one’s exact recall of the moment.
*Taken from my journal while in Hanoi, Vietnam. I was so weary after touring museums, temples and much walking that I reflected on and wrote about one precious hour instead of indulging in the above choices.
Lesson learned. Build in leisure time.
Refreshed from a hot meal we now head for the water puppet show and a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake, beautifully lit. A satisfactory way to end a day…except for my shower that awaits me and a soft pillow to rest my traveler’s head.
I have recently realised that my raison d’être in life is to make people lazier … you sound like you would be a tough nut!!! … 🙂
I seem to have an uncanny ability to cram in all I can on a trip. You’re right. Lazy is not me, although I admit, I am slowing down. 🙂
Ha ha ha!! I do that pretty often too!! Just when I have so many things to do in just a little time left, I will decide to do something completely unnecessary for the hour, because I would not be able to decide what to do and where to start from!!
I suppose we all approach that on hour differently, but I love your comment…doing something unnecessary. Sometimes that’s all we can do, mentally and physically.
Hugs to you too, Sumithra.
We visited Hanoi (and then travelled the length of Vietnam) earlier this year. Great memories!
It’s such a fascinating country to explore. We loved our time there and plan to go back. Glad the post(s) have brought back pleasant memories.
I’ve also found it’s important to build in some downtime, instead of rushing from sight to sight, from activity to activity. A bit of time just to absorb the atmosphere of the place, watch the rest of the world go by, or even just have a nice hot bath back at the hotel.
You are so right. If not, traveler’s fatigue sets in which has an overall affect on the trip. Thanks for your comment and well wishes to you as Denise discovers.
I can imagine the exhaustion after a day filled with color and sound… Wish I were there. TY for stopping by my blog today, your comment cheered me up! 🙂
It’s you I should thank. I felt a surge of mental energy required in reflecting on Achebe’s writing. Thank you for your comment.
Love your musings Lynne. Great picture of you two!
Thanks, Randy. The writing has been such a joy and yes, I have to admit, it is one of the few pictures of the two of us that is good enough to put up.
Vacation can be, and often is, really exhausting. 🙂
Yes, it can be, but we tough gals catch our breath long enough just to head right back out to the streets. Don’t want to miss a thing.
I’ve enjoyed your Hanoi posts and the beautiful photos–never been there but your travels make it an attractive future destination.
Am pleased you have connected with them. I could easily visit Hanoi again.Thank you for your comments.
I love that quote and your post. Yeah sometimes you go to relax and seek adventure and you just come back exhausted from vacation. I always plan one day of nothing in between all the tours and museums and water sport adventures. And you’re right sometimes you’re so tired that you can’t even pick up a pen, but sometimes that’s when your trusty mini recorder comes in handy. Just let your thoughts roll and you can always transcribe on the plane … it’s good down time. 🙂
You’re right about the recorder and I have resorted to that. I just need a new one. TY for finding my post and your comments.
Funny, because my idea of a perfect holiday is to go to one place. And stay in it for a while (I’m not a good tourist, in other words). But like that, I will never see a quarter of what you have, so I guess it’s a trade 🙂
It is definitely a trade off. To keep to an itinerary is to stay busy…see everything. I would love to build in extra days to rest and reflect. TY for your comment.
I love your Anais Nin quote. Yes, it’s difficult to find time while traveling to do anything but relax and absorb. It looks like your trip to Vietnam is wonderful … I too saw the water puppet show and Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi. Fun times!
The trip was in 2010 and hope to go back, eventually. Ideally, I would love to spend more time at fewer places…then I can really absorb the area. Helps with the traveler’s fatigue. My age is catching up with me.
I know what you mean for sure. I packed in way too much in Greece as well; next trip I want to linger more in a place, establish a kind of routine and get to know the locals more. I wish we could to to a place for at least a month and just stay in maybe 5 different places. Need lots of money and time for that though!
We used to be guilty of that too Lynne. But we are getting better with every trip 🙂
I’m determined to pack it all in and need to slow down a little. Hard for me to do, unless I can build in extra time in a special locale. 🙂