Home sweet home. As much as I adore traveling, there are certainly a few things I’m happy to no longer have to think about. They may sound like silly miniscule details, but I assure you they are huge when you have to keep them in mind constantly.
1. NO MORE ANTS! Or any critters for that matter. I Ziplock bagged everything to keep the creepy crawlers out. I kept dirty clothes sealed away so they wouldn’t attract ants and I kept clean underwear bagged so it would stay isolated. I also Ziplocked my toothbrush in its case so that I wouldn’t end up brushing my teeth with ants. (Yuck!) All food items needed to be bagged so that Dave and I wouldn’t find ourselves accidentally eating bugs. We let our guard down once in Singapore figuring that an unopened package of Mentos was fine in a hotel room in the middle of a huge developed city. We were wrong. While watching TV that night, Dave started chomping on the Mentos without looking at what he was eating. He offered me one and I saw that the candy was swarming with small ants! He had thought the crunchy bits were sugar granules. The lesson? ALWAYS bag your stuff in tropical environments.
2. No more money belt or passport worries! Now, I don’t always wear a money belt when I travel because quite frankly, it’s not necessary most of the time. If you’re aware of your surroundings you generally don’t need one. They are really great for sketchy places and night bus/train rides though. Since I’m home, I no longer have to tote my money belt around in my purse for use in these situations. AND I no longer need to have the constant worry in the back of my mind that my passport might go missing, along with the huge wad of cash in my wallet. My passport might be one of my favorite possessions. It would not only be a huge hassle to lose it abroad, but also sad to lose all of my pages of stamps and visas. I love flipping through it and reminiscing.
3. No more bottled water! Tap water isn’t typically safe to drink while in Asia (with the exception of a few places), so I had to buy my water daily. I hated this because of the plastic waste and because it’s a constant expense while abroad (I know I’m cheap). Now that I’m home, I’ve had to leave the mindset that tap water will make me instantly sick. It took me a week to be able to rinse my toothbrush under the tap without thinking twice.
4. No more wearing dirty underwear! I don’t like to admit it, but sometimes I’ve had to wear the same pair for a couple days. It’s not easy when you don’t have access to a washer and even when you wash it in the sink sometimes it takes a long time to dry. I’ve had to reuse underwear and clothes more than I’d like to admit. But hey, you do what you gotta do, and I always made sure I didn’t smell like a dirty backpacker even though I may have looked like one… Scratch that, even though I was one!
5. No more Deet! This may change in the summertime, but for now I no longer have to use Deet on a daily basis. If there was a single mosquito in the entire world, it would find me and feast until it was full. I attract them like no other and Deet was a necessary poison I had to adorn myself in. I’ll probably get cancer from it, but at least I didn’t catch malaria or dengue fever!