I think people need to have the days when nothing happens. Where the room and the bed feel so good. Today is one of those. I visited with a housemate staying here a few weeks and then noticed more people staying here. I think traveling within the US has picked up. When I first got here, I was the only one. Then a young couple from Germany showed up and another retiree from New York. Finally another couple I think are retired and traveling. Everyone has a story and sharing an Airbnb means I get to hear some of them.
I've been here a week now just about and it seems like a long time since leaving Hanoi. In some ways I can't believe it but I also see I will not be going back for awhile and it has let me consider the next steps during this down day. I actually did some planning. Gasp! Well perhaps its making reservations on Amtrak, Airbnb, and booking.com. I had bought the USA Rail Pass awhile back so I started reserving my first segments going east.
First Segment - Emeryville California to Chicago Illinois
This was fun! I booked the train travel almost all the way to Chicago. Now I am at Omaha and will soon book the last stage. In Chicago I kinda decided to stop awhile. I am not sure how long but I'll get an airbnb so it will be longer. Perhaps a week. I have not been to Chicago in a long time so I want to go gently.
Second Segment - Chicago to New Mexico
The second segment goes in reverse but along a different route. This time will go through Kansas to New Mexico over some days. I'll stop in Albuquerque and catch the local train to Santa Fe. I think I will be in New Mexico a few weeks or maybe less or more. I am not sure. Its been a long time since I visited New Mexico and I want the segment to end there and then will travel to Santa Fe.
Then I'm done or so. End of the USA Rail Pass days
From New Mexico, I decided at some point to visit my friend N that lives in Austin, Texas awhile. She and I worked at IBM Global Technology Services together awhile so I will go party with them and eat her good cooking. Her Husband G is a music legend in Austin so I hope to hear him sing and play the guitar and just watch him create poetry and music.
Austin lasts until its over. Then I will leave the US again. In some direction, at some slow pace. I dunno where. Maybe Portugal or Mexico. Does it really matter? No. I cannot see how it does. When its down days I can look with laziness at the no plan plan and it all works because there is nothing to it. I could change parts of it at a whim and it would not really matter to me.
Now I just the down day today to reckon at nothing. Vietnam recedes except in my memories. Time just lets it slip past. My friends message me still asking me when I shall return. There is no telling. It used to be easy to go back. Book the ticket from Phnom Penh or Kuala Lumpur and go. Now the days are different. I don't think it will ever be like it was when I skipped carefree across Asia. Sometimes then I had down days too. I'd sit in a park in Georgetown Malaysia and watch the sun arc the sky or wander Taipei and feel the warm day leading to night down at the Sanhe Market. Where the Taiwanese corn on the cob grew spicy and tasted so good with the cold beer they poured.
Down days. Do you have them? Days when you just decide to not? Sometimes I start in a coffee shop with some intention to do a thing and by the time I sip the ca phe sua da or the latte or whatever, I realize its not really a down day. Its just a regular day in my life where I live this pace. Coffee shops and pho. Small cafes in Kuala Lumpur or Melaka. Noodles and rice and beer.
No down to these days.