Saturday, 2 July 2011

and so begins the drifter's summer

I'm currently in Leeds working and drifting between various friends' houses.

Our student house tenancy ended on June 30th, and since then I've had (and for the next few days will have) no fixed residence. Some may argue this situation is less than ideal, and in ways I'd be inclined to agree; the constant planning of where I'll be tomorrow / next week, which stuff I need with me, where the rest of my stuff will be stored, etc, is more stressful than I originally imagined but it's definitely manageable for the time I'm required to do it.

I'm grateful that the time I'm required to do it is short, though; it's probably not a realistically sustainable lifestyle.


It's been two nights so far, the first of which was spent Couchsurfing after a local student accepted my short-notice plea for a bed somewhere in Leeds. Couchsurfing in a city you're familiar with is a weird notion; part of the idea is the cultural exchange, learning about a new place through someone who lives there, and so arriving at my hosts house with at least equal knowledge of the city subtracted somewhat from the usual dynamic. Instead of discussing local history and landmarks, we discussed last week's Apprentice and debated whether animal charities should be allowed to exist (my viewpoint is yes, they should).

The second night was spent staying with a friend in his new student house. This was when I realised that the hardest part of the 'drifter' lifestyle was being a burden on those around you. I like to think in this case, my staying with him doesn't pose a particular problem; we get on well, it's been a while since we've chilled together, and I was able to lend a hand moving stuff between his house from last year and his house for this year. There's definitely potential for gaining a reputation as a bum though, which is something I want to avoid at all costs.

Luckily I've got plans for travel between July 10th and 15th, so on those days I'll be camping / hostelling around Scotland with a good friend of mine. After that I'll be taking up temporary room-mate status with another good friend who's moving up to his Leeds accommodation for parts of the Summer. Then I'm probably off travelling again (America / Canada this time) for most of August, and moving into a house of my very own in early September, so the short-term drifting is nearly at an end.

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