There are endless reasons that can describe my love for traveling. It is enriching, exciting and allows you to try things you’ll never get a chance to experience back home. I’ve had plenty of memorable travel experiences, but it isn’t always fun and games. Often in our enthusiasm to share our adventures, we exclude many of the hard truths and realities of traveling, especially for longer trips.
So here are 6 things no one tells you about traveling.
1) You lose touch with your loved ones
As much as you try keeping in contact with your friends and family, you will lose touch eventually. There is only so much skype and instant messaging can do to make up for missing all those milestones and shared experiences back home. It doesn’t help that both yourself and your loved ones will want you to be making the best use of your time traveling. It is pretty inevitable, but I also believe that with good communication, commitment and understanding, this can be managed.
2) You spend a lot of time in transit
We spend a surprisingly long amount of time in transit. From long-haul flights to intercity buses or trains, the time spend traveling from spot to spot can be staggering. The common saying is that the beauty of traveling lies not in it’s destination, but in it’s journey. No doubt the journey is important, but there can be only so much soul searching one could do.
3) You start living with less
Long term travel forces you to pack light because it is impractical to be lugging around your life. From hanging on to a few core pieces of clothing to doing without your hairdryer, you’ll be surprised at the things you learn to live without when you have to make a choice. Meeting other travellers who travel light also inspires if it doesn’t amaze.
4) You will get low points
Everything that goes up must come down. There will be plenty of low points between the highs, times where you be fiddling with your phone more than anything else. Times where you wonder whether it was worth making such a trip in the first place because everything doesn’t seem to be going according to plan. We’ll have to learn to manage expectations because definitely your friend’s pictures mainly showed the high parts.
5) You change
Travel will change you. The things you experience and not experience (back home) will change you. Like talking about sensitive topics with fellow tourists or seeing poverty in many of the third world countries. You will be in positions that pushes you to do things you usually won’t and it’s ok. But embrace this because it is alright and change is constant. After all there must be a reason why everyone says that you discover yourself while traveling.
6) Things will go wrong
No matter how much you plan, things will go still wrong. From minor vehicle issues to missing your flight or activity due to the weather, accidents and mishaps will happen whether you like it or not. I’ve lost my bags, almost got mobbed and missed my train but still enjoy traveling. I guess the key is just to embrace and accept the uncertainty that shit happens.
What other hard truths are there? Drop a comment below!