Azure lakes, tropical settings, tasty beverages and tonnes. That’s what we all see on social media these days when it comes to travel.
While everyone likes to talk about their recent travel experiences, in their Insta-perfect pictures, there are ugly truths no one is talking about when it comes to travelling.
To experienced travellers, travel is not all fun and games.
Here are some specific ugly scenarios based on several experiences:
If you are not a big fan of flights, then you may get easily bored or lose your mind when there is turbulence. When there’s trouble and that consumes a lot of energy, you’d get stressed, trapped and anxious. Not to mention that your eyes could get really dry in aircraft – another addition to the “why do not like to fly” list.
The fear of flight is very common. I consider nothing relaxing in the middle of nowhere in heaven to be stuck in a dumbbell.
2. It’s tiresome
Whether on a budget or a luxury package, spending hours on a bus, plane, car or train can take its toll on you. You don’t have a clean or comfortable bed or nothing to lie in at all. You lie awake sometimes and have nothing to do. In a long journey, you will also be bored with the act of thinking and gazing out from the door.
3. Language Barrier
It is possible that speaking only English would not suffice if you travel to most western European countries. I have had difficulties obtaining information at Madrid Barajas Airport because nobody can talk or understand simple English. I assume that was my first real cultural shock.
It was a shock to me because I thought English should be fluent in the so-called civilized countries. They. Are. Not. Surprisingly, Eastern Europe is doing much better at this chapter.
4. You will long to be back home
I know what it’s like for travellers (especially long-term ones) to feel homey and to want almost anything that recalls your country, including things you haven’t even thought about missing.
You will miss your family, your dog and your bed, and not even the pictures you have of them in your phone make you feel better. Not even the morning and evening chats you have with them.
Others say it’s part of growing up, of learning to be more independent and of the many wonderful parts of travelling. But you also discover that maybe you’re not ready. That you’ve been reading travel blogs and guides by the wrong people and simply jumped to the conclusion that you can do it at the moment.
Racism is everywhere, even though we’re not thinking about it so freely. It is such a sensitive topic.
In the one hand, I can agree that there must be a lot of schooling, but on the other, ideally, it will become more accepting than older generations.
Technology makes it so, so easy to have access to information, knowledge and it helps us communicate faster every day. Feeling discomfort or hatred towards someone from a different country shouldn’t be an issue anymore.
6. Overpriced Products and Services
A short while ago, Venice cafes and pubs were involved in a huge scandal when a tourist exposed how they were overhanging for their services.
Probably most of us are aware of the fact that restaurants around very popular sites will charge more, simply because they can. And the ugly truth is that no one makes you go there and pay 40 euros for a coffee and a bottle of water.
While some of us might be aware of this, some will think it the ‘norm’ for a coffee to be so expensive near the Colosseum or any other ridiculously popular site. The truth is, they won’t charge “extra” if people won’t buy their service, so we can dictate the supply/demand cycle.
7. Despite all the preparation, some things still fall apart
You spend months or even years of planning. You have your Excel sheet containing the places you want to visit, the ideal day to visit each of them, your budget per day and the restaurant where you’ll be eating.
You already filed for a five-day leave and got an approval from your supervisor. Everyone in your circle knows about the trip and they’re all happy to send you off at the airport. Even then, one little mistake or an incident beyond your control ends up ruining the entire trip.