How is travel different from vacation?

We are on the road for exactly one month. On March 24th in the morning we started with a loud noise (and somewhat moist eyes) at the Bowling Castle in Erding; now we sit in our rented apartment in Odessa and think about whether we should run down the 192 steps of the Potemkin Stairs and back up again before dinner. To whet our appetite, so to speak.

Between the two moments are 31 days and 3876 kilometers. We have seen 14 countries, some with a lot of time and leisure, others rather fast. We had accommodation for one night, but also for 5 (in Bulgaria at the Black Sea) and even for 16 nights like here in Odessa, which is mainly due to the partly booked out ferries.

The main difference to our previous vacations is mainly the aspect “time”. Our vacations so far have taken place within the framework of our annual leave as employees, so we have put a lot of activity into little time and had correspondingly little leisure time to simply “sit and look”, as Astrid Lindgren would put it. In addition, both of us were mostly still working on job-related topics in our subconscious, so that real switching off was always a challenge.

In contrast, our current life is very quiet. We have a little more than half of our time in Odessa already behind us. We have seen most of what we wanted to see. Today we slept late, had breakfast, read. At some point we took a shower and went out for coffee. Walked down the stairs and up again. Looking for a coffee store, sitting in the sun and drinking cappucino. On the way back I bought bread, milk, toilet paper and chocolate in the supermarket. I sit at the computer and write, Wolfgang reads. We have just decided on a restaurant for tonight – to celebrate the day, so to speak.

If this would have been a vacation, we would never have stayed so long in Odessa. But this way we enjoy our life with leisure – “slow travelling”.

Of course our trip will not always be so “slow”. We will drive longer stages, put up the tent in the evening and take it down again the next morning. We will have to make thousands of small decisions every day: turn right or left, break or not, where to get something to eat or drink, is this a suitable place to camp and much more.

We are looking forward to it – and if it gets to be too much, we will simply stay again for some time at a place where the main decision of the day is the choice of the coffee store.

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