“This is a low, but it won’t hurt you” – Blur
I was recent lackpacking in England. Basically I wanted to get my backpack and go out and explore then I got what seemed to be a never ending migraine and infection. It meant I didn’t leave my mates flat in Bournemouth for 9 days (except for hospital, doctor and chemist visits). It got me thinking about how amazing it is when we are healthy and fit and can go anywhere. In my pain, apart from taking the prescribed drugs and resting, I came up with a top 5 for lackpackers, which is basically the name for a backpacker who wants to be backpacking, but lacks the energy or the strength to move due to health reasons. These are my top Lackpacking tips, not that I ever want to be a lackpacker again or wish pain on anyone, but sadly sometimes it happens.
“The drugs don’t work they just make you worse but I know I’ll see your face again” – The Verve
When you travel sleep is for wimps. You get up early, you go to bed late. You sleep in 365.25 different beds every year. In fact some of them are buses, airport floors etc. So now that you have become a lackpacker it is your chance to get some serious sleep. I tried to get about 10-11 hours sleep a day when I was lackpacking. Makes a change from the 2 hours on a bus, 6 hours in a hostel, 8 hours if I’m lucky enough to get my own room/bed for a night.
“Leave me where I am, I’m only sleeping” – The Beatles
2. Watch Sh*t TV
Just because it’s a chat show or a quiz show doesn’t mean you should turn the TV off. I have still never bought a TV in my life. But being ill, you can’t move so you might as well have the TV on. I specialise in Gameshows from the 80s to the present day now. In the last month, I became a Millionaire on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, I got Brucie’s Bonus, a GoldRun on Bloackbusters and I cracked a load of conundrums on Countdown. It definitely sharpened my knowledge of 80s pop music and 90s politics by being ill.
“Can’t make head nor tail of passion oh my love” – Right Said Fred
3. Drink Loads of Tea
I’ve always been a fan of tea but when I was ill I was drinking a shipload of the stuff. My favourite is Earl Grey, but on this occasion I got into the flavoured teas, Lady Grey and good old English breakfast tea. Instead of 10 pints of beer on a day shift, I was making up to a dozen cups of the Earl. It helped ease the headache and I’m sure it got me thinking sharper. I gave up alcohol a few weeks back and aim to have three months without an alcoholic drink.
“Sit and drink Pennyroyal Tea” – Nirvana
4. Write Lots of Notes
Get your notepad out now that you are a lackpacker and write about 20 articles a day. Even if they’re shit. Once you have recovered, when you sift through them there is some decent stuff in here.
“The pen is mightier than the sword” – Someone
5. Enjoy Being Offline
OK so you’re ill and you feel like death dug up, you don’t even have the energy to turn your computer on, so don’t waste your time or energy. Actually enjoy being offline, Twitter tweets can wait, Facebook won’t disappear and just let your readers know you’re unwell and will be back as soon as you can.
Seriously you have to make the most of the bad times too. Don’t stop living and take it easy.