After some saving up I bought my first little laptop. It was a fantastic feeling to be able to take it with me on a trip for the first time and be independent as far as communication with family and friends, blogging and writing were concerned. It was also nice to share it when my sister and I were in Tokyo and type away on it during my trip to Iceland.
Now that I’ve name-dropped a few fancy destinations I loved visiting, let’s get to the topic at hand. Laptops are great for travel, but they are also great when you start writing outside of home. This has been a bit of a learning process for me, because, surprise, surprise, it took a while for me to catch up on offers besides Starbucks or build up to writing in a café in the first place.
I walked into my chosen café today and stopped to do the usual scan of the perimeter – it’s later in the morning and I’m slightly worried every table will be taken, but I’m in luck. There’s a free one by one of the large floor-length windows. A long couch seat spans the width of the window and three tables are placed alongside it. One is occupied by a girl in headphones who is immersed in her own little laptop – bless her. The next one is free as well, but there’s a newspaper lying on the tabletop, so I leave it and take the table I spotted first. I put my coat down to mark my territory and start deciding on a beverage, when there’s movement to my side and chatting.
A middle-aged man has arrived, smiling and clearly thinking he should say something to everyone nearby. It’s OK – I just don’t want to join! I smile politely, get my drink, sit down and start silently setting up, because he settles down, shifts around in his seat, grunts, says “Well…” at every page turn of his newspaper and I just know that if I don’t plug my headphones in NOW, I’ll lose precious minutes of the morning I’d been looking forward to for several days.
I love writing at home – there are no distractions, even though there can be, but everything is so familiar that it blends seamlessly with my concentration. I can write in my PJs, I can write at the desk, on my bed, on the floor, I don’t have to watch my stuff and the fridge is (usually) stocked. I can take a nap when I need to and I can be as introverted as I like. Obviously this all differs a little depending on your household, but in general it’s true.
BUT, and there is a but, I do need fresh air and people watching, because otherwise the writing won’t be authentic and a change of scene is always invigorating both for concentration and inspiration. Writing in a café also takes you slightly outside of your comfort zone, if you’ve been used to writing at home or enjoy being a homebody, or, rather, it trains you in finding your comfort zone anywhere and making adjustments if something doesn’t feel right. It’s also a good solution until you get that dream writing office with an exit straight into a beautiful garden whenever you need a break…and definitely a good place to dream.