The sides to traveling you don't hear about
First I want to say, seeing the world for yourself is powerful education, and one of the most rewarding experiences you can have in your life. This information isn’t meant to scare you or turn you away from the thought of traveling, I just want to be honest about the reality that goes on behind the Instagram photos. It’s not anyways afternoons in bikinis on picturesque beaches, but I promise the journey has ALWAYS been worth it because, these are the factors to traveling that create hilarious stories in the end.
Here are my least favourite travel moments that are anything but, crystal blue waters and perfect sunsets.
The quality of transportation in foreign countries
Personally the most unattractive thing about traveling to me 😑 Imagine this... A 8-hour PACKED bus ride with no toilet and poor air conditioning (EVERYONE has their hand fan out, including me.) This is a point in time where being first on the bus is a major priority. As you can probably tell I've learned that a few times the hard way.. No matter what I always arrive at my next destination feeling like a greasy-slime ball.
Acclimatizing to the heat
I feel confident in putting it out there that I have had my fair share of over-the-top sweaty-ass days that make me cringe thinking about it. Such as the time during this past summer when I trekked 30 minutes to the bus station in Mykonos with my 2 pieces of luggage it was 36-degrees outside and I was covered in my own sweat by the time I got there. Only to be getting on a ferry for 6 hours, followed by another 4-hour bus ride with no A/C, Oh, I was feeling sooo sexy! 😉
Repeatably getting lost
Losing my way is always frustrating, but when I’m traveling and unfamiliar with everything, it’s EXTRA for sure. It usually happens when I’m scootering around and can’t remember what road back home is, or when I’m searching for my apartment for the first time in crowded streets where no one can help me because they don't speak a word of English #MeSpeakNoEnglish
Spending an entire day traveling
If you’re traveling over the course of a few weeks or months, there’s going to be times where you spend the entire days commuting to your next destination. It’s never “fun”, but it’s the way it goes... Overnight buses are a real part to traveling that no one will say they enjoy, just be prepared with a few Netflix offline downloads, MANY tasty snacks, and a comfy outfit.
This one makes me giggle! No matter where you go or who you are, you are not above mosquitos, ants or cockroaches! Some places will have insect problems, and there's not much that can be done about it, don't be surprised when your picnic on a beach is intruded by a couple of annoying wasps.
Having my bank account deactivated
Luckily there has been only one occasion where my debit account was violated. I was alone in Bali, which makes it worse because I didn’t have any one to spot me cash if I needed. Thankfully, I still had an operating credit card to get me through the remainder of my trip! If this happens to you, contact your bank straight away, and don't use any of the cash dispenser you were using again.
Struggling with a language barrier
I like to think my abilities to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak a word of English, is not too shabby. I've solely perfected this through practice, but I still find it difficult trying to explain myself when I want to modify a meal, or ask for specific directions I can understand. I’ll never forget the time when I struggled with a taxi driver when asking him to take me to a lookout point for sunset. UGH! Lets just say 80€ later I finally made it. 😬
Getting travel dates mixed up
I swear I’m not the only traveller who has mistaken the dates for flights they’ve booked. My current record is three missed flights, and four missed bus rides because I had the dates wrong. It’s more realistic than you think, I genuinely rarely know what day it is when I’m travelling!
Tip: Once you book something, add it to your phone calendar to avoid these silly situations.
If you're traveling alone, YES, you will feel lonely at times (that's totally normal) You will only met people if you put yourself out there. The easiest way to get comfortable with being alone is to embrace the day ahead of you - wake up, plan a day of activities and make a goal to connect with those around you. Most travellers are open-minded people too, and want to make friends just like you.
Being self reliant
No one can understand how dependent on yourself you must be until you realize it for yourself. Whether you make the most of the day and explore, create new friendships, or even booking a place to stay in the right area of town.. that's 100% on you! Hell, even deciding what direction to take the train can be awfully complicated sometimes! 😅
If you're looking for advice on how to travel alone or what to expect during you're first time alone and abroad you will probably enjoy my story on How I started traveling and the life lessons I learned. 😘