10 Things I Can’t Get Used To after Travelling in South East Asia

For the past few months my blog has kind of been put on the back shelf. I told myself I’d keep it going throughout my South East Asia travels, but who was I kidding, it was never going to happen! The past 4 months have been a crazy whirlwind adventure of buses, tuk tuks, motorbikes, long tail boats, packing and unpacking, bag lugging, sweating, hotels, bed bugs, monks, temples, villages, rice terraces, street food, beer tasting, adrenaline activities, and cultural madness. So I decided to leave things until I got back.

And here I am, back home in sunny Northern Ireland (it hasn’t stopped raining…), so I’m sure I can get back on track. To ease myself back into blogging I thought I’d start with 10 things I can’t get used to after travelling in South East Asia.

1) Every time I use the toilet I pause before putting the toilet paper in the bowl. I still haven’t got my head around the fact that it’s ok to flush almost anything down the toilet in this country.

2) When I go shopping I have to resist the urge to haggle for everything.

3) When I see a dog my first reaction is to keep my hands well away, but then I remember it’s ok to stroke the dogs here, they don’t have rabies.

4) I never realised how happy getting into a bed with freshly washed, cozy, warm, bed covers could make me. 1 week later and I still go to sleep every night with a big smile on my face.

5) It’s a bit scary talking to people from home again. They talk so fast, they use words I haven’t heard in years, do I use those words enough? Do I even sound Northern Irish? I’ll need to get myself a Norn Iron dictionary.

6) I am no longer a gypsy. I don’t have to pack and unpack a bag every few days, and it’s now normal to sleep in the same place each night.

7) All of a sudden it matters what I wear. My faded, suncream stained singlets don’t really cut it anymore and it’s probably a good idea to check my reflection before leaving the house.

8) When meeting up with friends it’s hard not to start every sentence with ‘When I was in Australia/Thailand/Cambodia…’ I’m sure they don’t mind hearing the odd story but lets be honest, they’d rather talk about who’s getting married or having a baby.

9) Every time I see a wispy fly floating around my instant reaction is to cover myself in deet, but then I remember that Northern Ireland seems to be one of the few places in the world where you don’t get mozzies.

10) Since arriving back I’ve heard nothing but complaints about the rain and the lack of summer. And yes, everyone is wearing jeans, jackets and scarves. But when I think back to the past 8 months and how I’ve been constantly covered in layers of sweat, suncream and insect repellent, I’m finding this whole cold thing a novelty. Although that said I seriously miss wearing flip flops. Shoes suck.