The Grateful List: Learning to appreciate the little things post travel

Sometimes whenever I find myself in a bad mood over a silly reason back home in Australia, I refer to a note on my phone that I made during one particularly long bus ride in Europe.

In it is a list of everything I missed about my ‘regular’ life during half a year backpacking and the things I had taken for granted in some way or another at a point in time.

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While long term travel is amazing there are times when you realise the normal everyday things you were perhaps never grateful for before have escalated to the category of luxury, compared to life of the road.

Here is my personal list of gratefulness – if you have something else to add to it from your own travels leave a comment down below!

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Drinking water from the tap

In countries where the drinking water is not safe, having constantly to remember to buy water is not only a hassle but also damaging on the environment if refill stations are not available.

Not that it is usually much money either but buying water all the time is an additional cost to keep in mind too.

When I got home I walked straight to the kitchen sink and drank from it – so much appreciation for this!

Clean clothes and wardrobe choice

Were there tears of joy the first time I opened my closet after 7 months of living out of a backpack? Maybe.

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Travel clothes, a love/hate relationship

I don’t consider myself an overly superficial person and rarely go shopping but gee was there nothing so good as being able to toss my travel clothes in the wash and fold them away not to be looked for months until I got to wear ALLL of the items I had left behind in my wardrobe.

Honestly, I don’t think I wore the same outfit for a few weeks I felt that spoiled for choice!

Home cooked meals

Tasting new cuisines on the road is probably my favourite part about travel but the feeling of coming home to a plate of pasta made with a sauce from scratch by my Italian mum simply can’t be beat.

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Street food in Barcelona

Even just being able to make a cup of tea or grab a snack from the pantry or fridge when you want is such a nice feeling!

Bathroom breaks at will

On a bus for more than 4 hours with no breaks?

If you’ve been there too you’ll appreciate the ability to go whenever you want – and in a clean bathroom no less. Paradise.

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Transport can be tough..not so much in Venice though

Hot (and clean) showers

Along the same note, my own shower.

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Showering on a boat everyday in Croatia, the views made up for it

I may have spent an hour in there the first night I was back. Knowing it will definitely give me hot water and not require me to wear flip flops.. there is nothing better.

Your own bed


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Lucky some hostel views make up for their beds

The privacy of no snoring roommates which meant being able to sleep in sans any noise was a welcome and familiar feeling that took no time getting used to again.

Being understood when you speak

Going to the shops or ordering food in English and having the person you’re speaking to understand you first time round? A strange feeling.. especially when paying in your home currency again (seriously why are Aussie 50 cent coins soo big?) too!

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Getting by in Spain was particularly difficult but the beauty here is universally understood

While I do enjoy the random hand gestures and my poor efforts in speaking other languages abroad, knowing exactly what I will be getting at a restaurant is sometimes a nice relief.

Reliable internet

Of course this is not a necessity in any way but when you need to send a message or Skype and don’t need to scale the entire hostel for the strongest signal point or hunt down a nearby café to do so.. that’s a bonus.

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While I will always miss these things when traveling I know that I can safely live without these little luxuries for months and months because the excitement of exploring new places will at the end of the day, always be worth more to me!

And when I am home, I make sure to never forget how valuable these aspects of everyday life are and appreciate them more than ever.


9 thoughts on “The Grateful List: Learning to appreciate the little things post travel

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