The luxury of being bored

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I don´t know about you guys, but I certainly consider boredom a bit of a luxury. It´s one of my favorite things about travel, about choosing to stay in tiny villages in particular.

At home I often feel obligated to fill my ´down time,´especially if I am at my house. Sure, I will sit and watch a movie, but never ever ever do hours upon hours pass where I am bored. In villages, you fill your time with boredom it seems. You are allowed, and expected, to slow down to the pace of molasses, a snail, the garden growing around you.

At home, I ask myself why I would want to be bored. But then I sit on a bench outside my host family´s home in the tiny town of Pucara, Ecuador, and I can easily see the value and luxury of boredom. It´s the way you get to know a place. When you slow down, your senses perk up. I sit there and I greet people as they walk by. I watch buses and trucks barrel by, feeling the ground beneath me shake with the speed. I listen to the roosters and the pigs and, once in a while, hear the tremor of a hummingbird that seems to like the tree with the orange flowers. I hear lunch sizzling as our host mama, Inez, cooks us up chicken and papas fritas. I watch the clouds hug the mountains tighter and tighter and feel the wetness settling in. I look at the moss growing from the mud and the scraggly but productive garden that surrounds the house. And eventually it all starts over. And maybe an hour passes. And maybe I get up to go to the bathroom or walk in the garden or see if I can help with lunch.

Ultimately, I am bored. I am still for those times. And it feels good 🙂

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