A Day In The Life Of A Backpacker

Humans are creatures of habit. I may be on the other side of the world, with no resemblance of what my life was, but routine has still set in. Let me take you through an average day of mine:

6:00-7:00am– I’m usually awake before anyone else, which is how I like it. It allows me to take a shower without anyone buzzing around the bathroom. I get the water warmed up for my first cup of coffee on my way through the kitchen to the bathroom. I quietly enter and exit the room to get my clothes and toiletries, careful not to disturb David or our coworker Narumi. Breakfast consists of toast with jam and a bowl of oatmeal with raisins. Lucky for me coffee is free here and I usually have about two cups in the morning. As people wake up and start their morning I check the news, always unable to avoid the dreaded word “TRUMP”. I then practice my Japanese and follow that up by reading my book, currently I’m reading In The Shadow of Man by Jane Goodall. Depending on how early I wake up I’ll spend some time soaking up the morning sun while stretching.

9:40– This is about the time I make David his breakfast. He likes to sleep in, he only leaves himself 20 min (sometimes less) before we have to head to work.

10:00– We walk across the parking lot to the main office to get our tasks for the day. I’m either paired with Anna or Narumi when cleaning rooms. David is in charge of cleaning the backpacker, where we live. Cleaning rooms is like you’d expect: I’m in charge of cleaning the bathroom, my partner the kitchen. We then vacuum and make the beds. After housekeeping is done I head to the gardens. Getting to work with plants again is really enjoyable. It’s also a treat to be working with tropical plants. A lot of what grows here I used to grow in pots back home, in much smaller form. It’s currently winter here but you can’t tell from the flora. Right now there are vines blooming, Calla Lilies, Birds of Paradise, Clivia, and so much more. As I make my way through the grounds my imagination goes wild with the possibilities for landscaping. But alas, they are not my gardens to tweak. The owner, Lynda, does give me some creative wiggle room, which is greatly appreciated.

1:00-2:00pm– The afternoon is about the time we finish up our work. As you can see we get a majority of the day to ourselves, which is quite opposite to our lives back home. We take advantage of this time to do a whole host of things. David likes to play his PZV2 game (more than he may admit). He also works on burlesque routines and makes sure to call his loved ones often. I like to have a project going (I have many planned in my mind) with the most recent being our homemade Monopoly board. Very often though I will dedicate an hour or two to lounging in my hammock somewhere hidden in the forest. Once the sun starts to set Narumi and I will be dedicating some time to the hot tub to soothe our muscles. Back in Japan, where Narumi is from, it’s very common to spend time in a hot bath daily for your muscles and health.

5:00-11:00– Dinner varies from 5:00pm till sometime after 7:00pm. Going vegetarian has been easy for me, especially because I used to be one not too long ago. I’m surprised how easy it’s been for David though. The only thing he seems to truly miss are Slim Jim’s. Luckily they don’t seem to be very popular here so he’s not often tempted. After dinner the Anchor Lodge crew like to get together and play some games. I introduced them to Liverpool Rummy. For those of you that know me well you will be very familiar with this looooong card game. The Czech couple introduced us to a really fun card game that involves having the least amount of cows in hand (I’ll update the post with the name of the game). Card games make up the majority of our games, but like I said earlier, we now have Monopoly. We also play Pictionary, which can be quite a riot considering the majority of the players do not have English as their first language. David heads to bed no later than 10:30, I sometimes stay up a bit later. David and I share the bottom part of a bunk bed. And with a whispered, “おやすみ” (oyasumi) we head to dream land.

Ethan M.