The VERY REAL side to traveling Instagram isn't telling you about
First I want to say, seeing the world for yourself is A MUST!
Like don’t even question traveling after you read this. It’s quite possibly the most rewarding experiences you will have in your life (at least I think so!) 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 on picturesque beaches but, I promise the journey has ALWAYS been worth it.
Here are my least favourite parts of travel BUT are very real of almost all of us willing to admit it.
The quality of transportation in foreign countries
expectation vs. reality.
Personally the most unattractive thing about traveling to me (ugh!) 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
“Where’s my fan, where’s my fan?!”
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!
Don’t worry I have a list of tricks to avoid being super sweaty & gross in hot climates here.
Repeatably getting lost
“Where the f"*ck am I?”
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
Spending an entire day traveling
“Are we there already.”
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.
“OMG. WTF. IS. THAT?”
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 your bank account frozen
“GTFO!!! Mom, Dad - I need your help!”
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
“Wait, today is the 2nd, our flight is TODAY!”
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.
Claim your free travel planner here to avoid THIS one.
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.
If this sounds like something you might be struggling with in your journey to travel the world more often, you need to read this
Being a solo traveller can be overwhelming
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!
Here’s my best solo travel tips to dealing with this anxiety!
The “Back to Reality” Mindset
“Was it was all a dream.”
If you are like me, you have bills to pay, you have commitments at home, or you have a job to get back to. But it doesn’t change the fact that you always wish this could be your full-time life, no matter how far or long you were away.
“I don’t wan’t you to go.”
You might feel like how am I gonna make friends?! but the real issue isn’t making friends at all, it’s saying GOODBYE to them. I cried like a baby when I went back to Canada after my year abroad in Australia. One of the hardest parts is letting go of the people you meet along the way.
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