I have just wandered around the house looking for a place to sit and write. This is a new house to me and it is the first time I have been able to walk around it by myself because either people are out or they are still in bed. It is also an open plan house which means there is no place to sit and be undisturbed. After doing a circuit and a pause for thought I decided to sit in a room to the front of the house overlooking the street but to my surprise I find my son already occupying this position and so I have retreated to the other comfy sofa area next to the kitchen. The problem here is that the background rumble of the air conditioning impinges too much (for me though hopefully I will develop a filter) and that it is inevitable that someone will come in and want breakfast.

I need time to myself. I need time to process my experiences. I need time to clear my mind.

My head is too much full of experiences. Two days ago was our last full day in Vancouver and it was jam packed with activities preceded by a very stressful returning of the hire car. And even as I write that I feel overwhelmed. I just want to vegetate and do nothing but at the same time I know I need to write the experiences out. I want to hit the reset button and feel less confused, less edgy and less like crying. I want to be able to let it all go without any effort but I don’t seem able to.

There are noises in the background and there is movement. Now I am on edge for the imminent “invasion”. It is my daughter wanting to discuss the price of trips to other Canadian cities. I resign myself to listening and to dealing with the issues later. It turns out to be information giving which I am grateful for, but decisions will be needed soon.

I feel the need to look up hire car costs because the train tickets are quite expensive, probably the price I pay for not being able to plan further in advance. I felt I did so well with the plane tickets. That was stressful enough for me to organise and buy, but the further details like booking accommodation on Vancouver Islands or visiting these other cities was too much detail for me to handle and now I am here there is literally a price to be paid in money but also a mental price too. My wife worked hard trying to find some accommodation on Vancouver Island which fitted in with what we wanted to do but when we arrived at the place, it was basically a motel for people on business passing through. I found it thoroughly depressing because it was soulless I suppose, but also because there was nowhere to hide. I need my space. I need to relax. I need to feel safe from interruption. It is a theme I recognise from Barcelona.

I don’t know what to do. I am grateful that we are able to stay with our cousins because on a wider viewpoint this house does provide space, relaxation and security. Our presence here is not without a cost either. My family has taken over two of the children’s bedrooms which means the three local kids are in one room. That has got to be stressful. We will consume food and drink. I think I feel guilty about the imposition but how much of that is my stuff? How much am I projecting my own issues onto our cousins from my own reactions to people coming to stay in my house? And at the end of the day I usually enjoy the company even if I find the visits at home disruptive to my life. A family of five though is a big group to accommodate, doubling the number of occupants. I think I need to relax.

The question still remains though. How do I travel and fulfil my needs so that I do more than endure the experience? I can’t help thinking there is a need for a network of accommodation that caters for people like me, people who have ASD but I also wonder if that is possible when the spectrum is so wide. What would be my ideal setup?

Something like this:

  • A bedroom with en-suite bathroom (I hate disturbing others and other disturbing me)
  • Another quiet sitting room with a calming view for reflection and relaxation
  • Ideally an internet connection to keep access to support network
  • Rooms situated in a quiet home setting so that I can take meals with the owners and learn about their life and town
  • Walking distance to frequent transport network so I can get around independently
  • People who understand the stresses I might be feeling
  • A small fridge and a kettle

There are now three more people in the kitchen and I can’t think straight anymore. I will try to finish this later.

And later it is. I decided not to join the rest of my family to go sightseeing in Toronto and instead went back to the bedroom to let my thoughts and dreams unravel. I don’t want to miss out but I have to pace myself better so I can keep going.  I am trying to picture how I would setup a suite of rooms in my own house that satisfy a fellow autistic traveller like myself and I don’t think it would be easy. It is a lot to ask for. A separate apartment might be best but that could be so isolating and lonely. Perhaps I can’t travel by myself but even if I didn’t I would want to meet local people and share a meal with them. It would seem to be the combination of private accommodation and meeting locals that is the challenge.

Now I am curious to hear from you my reader. What facilities do you like when you travel?