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Lessons of a Cold Shower - The Traveling Alphabet

Lessons of a Cold Shower

Bolivian Hostel

Shower Floor

By Audrey Gillette

The photos looked cute. I have made a lot of reservations and read enough reviews, to know that cute does not mean comfortable. The room in the cinder-block building did not have heat, the shower required flip flops and the beds were lumpy and creaky. For all of you who have said you wanted to come with us, this place may have made you think twice.

This is what our life on the road looks like. We stay in 3-star hotels, hostels and Airbnb apartments. Generally, the Airbnb options are the best, as we have space to spread out, a kitchen where we can cook and a home-like feel. But even in many Airbnb locations, heat is not an option.

What I will write in my review of the cute cinder block building is that, when we asked, they brought us a propane heater for the room. The shower looked sketchy, but it did have a trickle of not freezing water and the beds, while lumpy were warm. The owners were friendly, helpful and did what they could to maintain what they have. The more we travel, the more we are overwhelmed with just how much we have.

Peruvian House (Inside)

Peruvian House (Outside)

On our trek in Peru, we visited the home of one of our porters. The walls were stone, the roof was thatched and the floor was dirt. There were no windows, interior walls or a front door and the single naked light bulb provided a meager amount of light. The interior of the roof was smoke-stained black, as a fire was their stove and source of heat. I saw no running water and based on the look of the lady of the house and her child, showers, let alone warm ones were nowhere to be found.  She welcomed us without embarrassment, as this was all she knew. She cannot even begin to imagine how we live.

Many people, myself and my boys included, could not have envisioned how this family lived. My laments of cold rooms and frigid showers seem insignificant.  Shortly before we left in June, I awoke one morning, in my comfy, cozy bed and had a moment of panic. What were we doing!!?? Why were we leaving all we knew and choosing to be uncomfortable? Because, with discomfort comes growth, understanding and appreciation.

Audrey Gillette

Audrey is a stay-at-home mom and perpetual volunteer at their children’s school. In order to prepare her to manage two boy’s schedule’s and active lifestyle, she was a Corporate Meetings & Event Planner. Managing a 2,000-person event for a demanding clients now seems easy compared to raising two growing boys. She has traveled extensively to over 50 countries and lived in Germany for a year. Audrey is an avid swimmer, runner, and cyclist and Ironman Canada finisher.

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. And perspective …. I think that the more experiences you have, the more your perspective changes. Your experiences shape your perspective, your perspective shapes your opinions, and your opinions determine your actions. What kind of person do you want your kids to be? Someone that can understand different perspectives and take those perspectives into account when making their own decisions. So I think this is an amazing opportunity for your kids to become amazing world citizens!

  2. […] A quick trip to the pharmacy and a $3-dollar medicine bill, we were told that things should improve in one hour. Almost to the minute, Decker was back to his normal self and asking for a piece of pizza from our angel’s restaurant. All was good in the world except for the fact that we were staying in a place that was overpriced at $30 / night. (See: Lessons of a Cold Shower). […]

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