Been feeling really antsy the past few days, and we've finally figured out why. We've been in Central Europe for two weeks. Aside from a few fairly calm days in Bialowieza, we have city-hopped. Three days each in Warsaw, Wroclaw, Prague - each beautiful in its own way, but each filled with tourists, and too many things to do each day (with never enough time or energy), and too many ways to spend money.
We are just not city people. We knew this before we left; it was strongly reinforced in metropolitan cities in Canada and on the US east coast. One day - sure, two days - okay, but three days? Three days and we're done. After Krakow and Budapest we will seek out smaller towns.
Add to constant sensory overload: our stays in 4- or 6-bed dorms in hostels where a good nights' sleep is rare; long bus rides where you're crammed in like sardines; not knowing the language; eating whatever you can cobble together; feeling overwhelmed from lack of time to figure out what's next... Well, it's been exhausting. Amazing - don't get us wrong - but exhausting.
The construction estimate rule applies to many things; long-term travel may be one of them. We have agreed to determine how much time we *think* we need in a place, and then double it to allow for planning, rest, communication catch-up and laundry while in that place. We'll test the construction estimate rule in Krakow in a few weeks and see how that fares.
We have also agreed to limit daily outings to 5-6 hours to allow for rest... We have failed miserably there. Too much to see to just sit around! Sigh.
Another challenge: we have not yet mastered the art of enjoying our current place and simultaneously figuring out where to go next. We do one or the other pretty well, but not both simultaneously. We've pencilled out a tentative route for the rest of Central Europe - we want to stay flexible but we only have 90 days here, and we are exploring volunteer opportunities, and we don't want to miss any essentials, so some iota of a plan is necessary. The tricky part is the line between "iota" and "actual" plan. Still working on that definition...
Back to the point of this post - it's time to get back to the "slowly" part of "slowly global" and get some rest. Mental rest, anyway. For the next 10 days or so, while we figure out the details of our next self-guided stop, we will be helping out at the farm and vineyard of a Czech family. Very excited to see how our WWOOF experience translates to European Help Exchange, very curious to learn more about the Czech culture, very interested in being tired from manual labor instead of sightseeing - and thrilled to learn a little something about the inner workings of a winery!