“They say the left side of the brain
Dominates the right
And the right side has to labor
Through the long and speechless night
And in the night
My father came to me
And held me to his chest
He said there’s not much more that you can do
Go on and get some rest
And I said yeah
Maybe I think too much”
I took a little time away from the blog to A) clear my head a little bit and B) to work on some other projects. Like anything else, sometimes you just need a little break. Anyway, I’m still DrayDreaming and still excited to share with you some of the random things I think.
Since my last DrayDreaming post, I was in Amsterdam where I spent loads of time wandering in Vondelpark, one of my favorite places in the world. I also got to connect with some of my extended family which is always exciting for me since I don’t get to see them all that often. From there, I spent a week in Singapore and I’m now settled into the final stop on this journey, Bali! Needless to say, I’ve still got lots of random thoughts going through my head so here’s the latest installment of the completely random things I think!
#1: Smiling is Contagious
On several times throughout this trip, I’ve been reminded how contagious smiling can be. Most recently, I’ve been affected by the overwhelming positive nature of the Balinese people. They are happy and smiling (despite the fact that incomes in Bali are incredibly low) and I think that’s a huge part of what makes Bali such a desirable tourist destination. I’m generally a pretty happy person but I can’t honestly say that I usually walk down the street with a smile on my face. Maybe I’ll try this when I get back to Philly. Maybe we should all try to smile more… it’s most definitely contagious!
#2: Instagram Rant
There are loads of things about Instagram that annoy me. But hashtagging has got to be the worst. First of all, it’s mostly pretty pointless. I mean, when was the last time you searched for a hashtag? Maybe you get a slight uptick in exposure by hashtagging properly, but looking at my Instagram insights, it’s not worth the time and effort I put into coming up with the hashtags in the first place.
Second, I find myself constantly stressed by the decision regarding which version of each word to use. On my Instagram account, I’m trying to connect with fellow travelers, so I struggle almost daily with the endless decisions I have to make about how to incorporate the word “travel”:
#traveler or #traveller?
#traveler or #traveling?
#traveler or #travelers?
#solotravel or #solotraveler or #travelingsolo or #solo #travel?
And I haven’t even started with the other variations that are widely used like #travelgram, #traveldeeper, #travelblog, etc…
But wait, there’s more! Don’t forget about #wander #wanderlust #tourism #destinations #vacation #nomad and about a million other variations.
#3: My Million Dollar Idea
I wish there was an app where you could see what the people around you are listening to. I was walking next to this guy the other day and he unplugged his headphones but the audio on his phone didn’t stop. He was listening to some clip about a Fortnite competition. Not at all what I would’ve expected… but wouldn’t you like to know what other people are listening to? You’d probably be surprised more often than not.
#4: Non-Alcoholic Beer
Non-alcoholic beer is actually becoming more popular! It wasn’t so long ago that the idea of drinking non-alcoholic beer was almost unheard of.
But things seem to be changing, especially in Europe. Not sure about this source, but it claims 60% of beer buyers in Spain prefer non-alcoholic varieties, with Germany (47%) and Italy (29%) also higher than you’d think. Given the different culture around drinking, I’m not sure it would ever catch on in the USA but it’s definitely an interesting trend!
#5: Unnecessarily Complicated Bathroom Signs
I’m all for artistic expression but I don’t like going to bathrooms and having to spend five minutes trying to figure out which door to walk into. Am I a pineapple or a watermelon?
#6: AirCon Overload
The A/C in Singapore was very intense. Why is it that extremely hot places feel the need to cool their buildings to arctic temperatures? If it’s 100 degrees outside, I don’t need it to be 58 degrees inside in order to feel cool. In fact, I imagine even 80 degrees and a cold glass of water would be quite refreshing.
#7: Productivity and the Ideal Work Week
There’s a bunch of research coming out about how long the ideal workweek is. This article suggests that people can only work for about three hours a day… which is roughly what most people do. Maybe Office Space had it right:
However, while I’ve been traveling, I’ve continued to work on my research and I typically put in about 3 to 4 hours each day working at my Airbnb or at a cafe. What’s amazing is that while I’m having the time of my life traveling around, the last few months have been the most productive period of time for me in several years. I get very few emails since most people know I’m gone, I’m not interrupted by meetings, and I don’t have any of the other distractions that are typical when you’re home (i.e., TV, errand running, etc…). All of this has given me the opportunity for very focused work in very short periods of time… and I’m accomplishing a ton! Once I return, I’m committed to being far more efficient with my time spent working.
#8: Tipping on Low Prices
In Bali, the prices are so incredibly low. I got a one-hour massage the other day for around $6. I’m obviously really happy with this price and the usual ~20% tip here seems inadequate. What’s the rule on tipping when prices are well below what you’re used to paying?
I gave her double and she refused to accept so we negotiated a backwards negotiation and finally agreed on around a 50% tip… still around $11 for a massage. Best deal ever!!
#9: Coffee or Coconuts
Back home, if you want to meet up with someone, you might say: “Do you want to meet for a coffee later?” Here in Bali, drinking coconut water straight from the coconut is quite common (like it probably is in most other coconut producing areas). So rather than meeting up for a coffee, most people say: “Let’s grab a coconut later!” I love my coffee but I think I’d generally be more excited to meet someone for a coconut.
#10: No One Likes Billiards
I was sitting in the hotel lobby in Amsterdam and there was a pool table in the corner. A group of guys started playing and within minutes, they started arguing. I wasn’t surprised because this always happens when people play pool. Everyone has their own set of rules that they always play by (even though most people only play pool a couple of times per year). Is it a scratch if you miss the ball completely? What if you hit your opponent’s ball first? Then, what happens when you actually scratch? Can you put the ball anywhere? Does it have to be behind the line? Can you shoot backwards? Do you take a ball out of the pocket?
Why isn’t there a universal set of actual rules? Maybe each pool table should be required to list the “house rules” next to the table. Just to make sure that people stop fighting!