I have just realised that I’m homeless. I actually am a homeless person, that is to say, a person with no home. I am sans domicile and without casa. I have no abode. This sobering realisation just hit me in the face like a branch that’s been pushed forward by the hiker in front of you, who has then rather selfishly let go of it. Whack! Homeless! It happened when I noticed that it’s only a week until the house owners return from their holiday and will most likely expect me to leave. Panickily, I went on to couchsurfing.com and started firing away some pleading messages to complete strangers, asking if they’d take me in for a night or two. It was at this point that I thought to myself “Hmmm. If someone was homeless, this would be a really good way of getting somewhere to stay. Sleep on a different couch every night.” My thoughts snowballed, as they so often do, and suddenly it became glaringly obvious to me that I am, in fact, one of those homeless people doing exactly that. It was most unsettling.
I have also had to buy a smaller bag, because my next month of travelling is going to be a far cry from the cushty lifestyle that I have experienced in the House Of Luxury, and I cannot possibly carry that monster of a backpack around with me without causing permanent damage to my back. This means that I really am travelling light, with only a few changes of clothes, a passport, and a bottle of shampoo to my name. Add to this the fact that I have no confirmed places to stay for the next month, and that several nights are likely to involve roughing it, sleeping at airports, crashing on couches, or as a very last resort shelling out more money than I can afford in order to share a dorm with 15 other people in a smelly youth hostel, and you’ll see I’m really no different from the guy curled up outside Tesco with his bag of belongings and dependence on the kindness of strangers.
Anyway. I’m trying not to panic about it, because I did say I wanted to see the world, and until I can afford to stay in fancy hotels and have people carry my cases of designer label clothes around, this is the only way I can do it. Did I tell you about the Ryanair sale? At a fiver per flight, it was a lifesaver! And so, my plans for the next month are as follows: get a lift to The Netherlands and spend a few days in Rotterdam, a few in Amsterdam, and a few in Utrecht, working my way around by train and eventually catching a flight to London (because that was the easiest place to go in order to get flights to further afield… not because I’m suddenly missing the UK or anything). Then it’s off to Balaton, Hungary. No real reason. Is the “but the flight only cost a fiver!” thing enough?! Will check out Budapest, of course, and then on to Vienna to catch a flight to Stockholm.
I’ve always wanted to go to Sweden. Partly because my A Level history teacher was a bit obsessed with the place, and his enthusiasm rubbed off, but also (less understandably) because I absolutely adored an obscure song entitled “Sweden” by the Divine Comedy at roughly the same time. Months of tunelessly howling “I would like to live in Sweden… Sweeeeedennnnnn….!” to the funky orchestral music must have brainwashed me a bit, because I want to go there more than could reasonably be expected from my limited knowledge of the country. Anyway. It’s not quite living there, but a few days is a nice introduction. And did I mention that it’s only a fiver to get there?
Then on to Latvia, where I will catch a bus and make the six hour journey back to Tallinn – which somehow seems like home to me now, when I think about it. After that, who knows? The world’s a big place. And, err, I have no money. But I’m enjoying exploring the various ways of travelling cheaply. If anyone has any other ideas, I’d be delighted to hear them! And until then, does anyone want to buy a huge, oversized backpack, nearly new, containing several (not nearly as nice) items of clothing?