Sure the nomadic life is the ultimate lifestyle. However, it comes with a few ugly truths most don’t take the time to consider. These 10 truths about traveling can make or break trips, or even worse, stop you before you even get out of the gate.
Planning – Planning a trip can be frustrating and even tedious. We just want to be there already, sipping on Mahi Ties on the beach as the sun begins to set. But instead you are researching how to find a decent Wi-Fi connection, find out how to get there, what to do when you are there, and which is the cheapest way to get there. A trip can take hours, days and even weeks to plan. If you are about to plan your next trip, here are some resources.
It’s Exhausting– Backpacking from place to place, hostel to hostel can mess you up. You need a break. Being on the road just tires you out. Exhaustion can prevent you from remembering what you saw where. After a while, if you don’t rest and take your time, it all blurs together. I consider it a disaster to have spent all of this money on a trip and not remember the nuances of each place. It can also be exhausting trying to find a decent WiFi connection to upload any work you do on the road.
Getting Sick – If you pack your itinerary too tightly, combined with the lack of sleep, questionable food and zero downtime, you are going to eventually get sick. Nothing worse than being in some exotic location with an abundance of sunshine and all you can do is pull the covers over your head. Taking care of yourself all along the way is essential.
Travel Time can be Tedious – Waiting for bus after bus or flight after flight can be tedious. There are endless hours spent in transportation terminals and getting from place to place. Here are a few ideas if you get bored while waiting.
One Bag Living – This can be novel for a month and even liberating (less is more). It’s nice to everything you need in one place. But soon the ugly truth about one bag living is that you have to unpack and re-pack constantly. Here are my essentials for international travel. Also, here is my minimalist packing list.
Bleeding Bank – We all know traveling can be expensive. Sure if you have the luxury of parking it someplace for a while you can seek out all kinds of budget accommodations, markets and modes of transportation. But traveling from place to place can bleed your bank account dry. I have a minor panic attack every time I check my balance.
Food – Sometimes you just get sick of having beans and rice or noodles every day. Sometimes you want a big fat spread of all kinds of delicious delectables. Eating the same thing over and over can spoil the fun of discovering a new place, especially if you are staying in the same place for a few weeks. Nomads often tighten their budget belts when it comes to food to squeeze more bang out of their buck, so luxury meals are a treat.
Chuck the Chitchat – Let’s get real. Chitchat can be boring. Introducing yourself and telling your story over and over can drive you crazy. It’s one of the ugly truths about traveling you can’t prevent unless of course, you decide you want to be that ugly American. At some point, you will become sick of the sound of your own voice (and sometimes others).
Friends – An experience isn’t nearly as fun as it should be unless you have someone to share it with. Building memories with your friends is a bonding experience. If your friends back home can’t share your experience, making new friends to share a travel experience with can make that event a whole lot better. Sometimes doing things on your own just isn’t that fun.
Homesickness – Sometimes all you want to do is to talk to your family, hang out with your friends, curl up in your cozy bed, take a long hot shower and eat a hearty home-cooked meal. There are going to be times when all you can do is fantasize about being home.
In spite of all of the things that can be uncomfortable about traveling, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. It can be life changing and educational. It broads your perspective and teaches you lessons you might not have otherwise learned. For those who love to travel, the joy of travel far out ways those times of discomfort.
What “ugly” truths have you discovered about travel? Share with us in the comments below. Please like and share this post.