As we all know, traveling is not without challenges. Especially when you’re traveling in a country where you don’t speak the language. Especially if you’re traveling in a country where you don’t speak the language during the off-season.
And somehow, we’ve adapted. No longer do we expect the daily comforts we’ve left behind (for example, our hotel in Giron had a toilet seat cover and we were ecstatic). We don’t ask for much anymore (as you will see).
And traveling has also made us grow an appreciation for the little things we’ve been taking for granted before. The little things that lately manage to lift our spirits and put smiles on our face.
1. A shitty morning that turns into a beautiful afternoon
It’s not that we ask for consecutive days of sunshine. In Ecuador’s rainy season, that would be asking too much. All we ask for is a respite from the rain to enjoy our afternoon in relative dryness.
Like today, for example.
Can you believe that just that morning, up until 9:30 am it was grey, foggy and rainy?
2. Finding a decent coffee shop within walking distance
Asking too much would be finding a funky coffee shop right next door with a cute barista who draws flowers on our milk foam and puts a little cookie to go with our fair-trade coffee.
But one can hope.
Finding real coffee in South America so far has been a challenge but that simply makes a discovery such as Cafe Hood or Jesus Martin felt like such an accomplishment.
I don’t even grumble (at least not too loud) about the fact that Baños’ Cafe Hood doesn’t open until 10 a.m.
3. A really hot shower
Asking for a really hot shower AND a good water pressure would be too much. All we ask for is a hot shower as promised. Even if it’s just a pitiful stream down the showerhead.
Mind you, not lukewarm, not slightly warmer than the river water, but hot. As long as it’s super hot, we’ll count ourselves blessed.
4. Finding hooks in our hotel room
There’s no such thing as too many hooks in our opinion. We do a little jiggy dance when we do find them. See, we don’t ask much. It’s not that we’re asking for more hooks than we know what to with. Just enough.
To be able to keep things off the often-questionable floor is a great feeling.
Bonus point if the hooks are strong enough to hold our backpacks. But even that is not necessary.
5. Avoiding dog poop on the street in the last minute
This is a big thing in many Colombian pueblos and even in Baños. So many dogs on the street mean that there’s no such thing as a casual saunter on the sidewalk.
Even then, a few times we almost stepped on of those dukers. There are some serious big dogs here in Baños.
Luckily so far we’ve managed to avoid them in the last minute (unlike in Guatape). Not ending up with stinky footwear always makes us feel super awesome!
Whether it’s avoiding poo at the last minute, having a dorm mate who doesn’t snore, or bumping into a friend you’ve met before in a different country, I swear most of the times it’s the little things that make traveling so exciting.
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The Swing is thrilling and is located at the End of the World in Casa Del Arbol, at the mountains of Ecuador and it could accurately be the end of you, as this dangerous attraction lets thrill-seekers swing over an abyss without any kind of safety measures. More Photos: http://www.worldfortravel.com/2013/08/25/the-adve…
My recent post The Adventurous Swing at Casa Del Arbol – Ecuador
[…] Jack and Jill Travel essentially read my mind in their post about their 5 Joys of Travel. One should never take a good cup of coffee or a hot shower for granted. […]
Hilarious and true. Last month my boyfriend and I hiked in sleet, 70 degree sunshine, pouring rain, and snow in the same DAY in the Alps. Gotta love the variety. 🙂 Great blog btw!
The dog poop still get me. Actually, I think my sandals still have some stubborn bits from Cuba. *cough*
Love it! Funny, the things you quickly get used to on the road and think nothing of. Wet toilet seat … oh well, I'm just glad I have tissue to clean it. Hot shower but crappy pressure … oh well one out of two is OK. Local restaurant that wouldn't even go close to passing a health inspectors visit back home … wait, what I didn't even notice, was too busy enjoying cheap food! And funny, I was just looking in the bathroom in the house we've just renting in Malaysia and realised there are like 20 hooks. I did a happy dance. I can't think of the last time I had enough hooks … now I have surplus!
There was no flower in that coffee… but the swing looked awesome!
I got a good chuckle out of reading this post. I love the first point especially – turning the day around. I've found sometimes when traveling I can have the best & worst moments all within the same day making for a bit of an emotional roller-coaster. Avoiding stepping on shit applies for any day – travel or not…LOL
For me it would be a mattress on the bed (unlike a place we stayed a few years ago in Koh Chang, Thailand!) and
a hallway free from motorbikes – with their engines running! (experienced in a hostel in Chinatown, KL).
Liked your post – thanks!
Ha! Fun post. I've gotten pickier with age, so when I travel, I really want a place that has a decent bed, hot water, and a comfortable temperature inside. And I need to have access to coffee in the morning. Those are my staples, and beyond that, everything is a plus, I guess.
I completely agree with the true bliss that is nearby, good coffee. When I found a cute cafe close to my new place, I started to visit frequently and now have become a regular. The waiter gives the barista a heads up on my order as soon as I walk through the door. Every time this happens, it makes me feel like I have finally adapted and made a "home" in my new country. Keep looking for those positives!
Fun post! I'm not very picky about these sorts of things, either. Any place with a bed soft enough for me to sleep and no bed bugs is a joy 🙂
I will pay extra for a good shower…haha! Though I think I'd choose water pressure over hot water.
You know how much I love hot showers… wrote an entire post about it!
We just used our first washing machine in weeks. It's high on my list of travel joys.
As crazed as I am for great coffee, nothing beats a hot shower. This is a great list with unexpected results.
So funny! I too am ecstatic when I have hot water, decent coffee, and avoid stepping in dog poo. It was true in Ecuador, and it's true now in Buenos Aires 🙂