Tuesday, 25 July 2017

10 Reasons NOT to go Travelling

British Passport and foreign money flatlay

While we know that everyone’s Instagram feed is just a highlight reel, there’s nothing to stop that pang of jealousy happening when you see another photo of a perfect beach scene, or another amazing sunset in some distant location that’s thousands of miles away from your dreary office.

Not many people like to reveal the not-so-nice parts of travelling. Mainly because who wants to remember being delayed in an airport for five hours or having their passport stolen? I, however, believe that there’s nothing better than a good moan and that sometimes shit things can happen even if you’re in the most beautiful of locations.

So, here’s a warts and all view at some of the reasons you might just want to stay at home. Some of which may or may not be based on some of my own experiences...

10 Reasons NOT to go Travelling

1. Vaccinations

If you’ve got a phobia of needles, it’s probably best you stay closer to home. Heading out on a big trip to some far-flung exotic location means that you’re going to need some vaccinations just to ensure that you don’t get worms burrowing into the soles of your feet. Parasites are one of God’s more cruel creations.

2. Poops

You will get the poops. Eating a whole new range of foods along with drinking alcohol every night and less than perfect sanitary conditions is going to play havoc with anyone’s digestive system. You’ll be knocking back the Imodium like nobody’s business and someone will rename your group ‘The Bum Dribblers’. It seems funny now but it wasn’t funny on the seven hour coach trip without a toilet on board. Or the time someone almost shit themselves on a kayak.

3. Trips to the Hospital

If you’re planning on heading out to some far off distant lands, bear in mind that that country’s medical facilities may not be as high-tech as you’re used to. A trip to the hospital is scary enough, but having to do it in another country where not many people speak your language can make it extra scary.

Or, you may find the exact opposite and find that the country’s health care is top notch and you’re seen really quickly, patched up and sent back out on your way before you know it. And then you see just how much excess you have to pay on your health insurance. That is if you’ve actually taken out health insurance…. Take out health insurance, please.

4. Expectation vs Reality

The Japanese categorise this as ‘Paris Syndrome’, where the ideas or expectations you had for a place don’t actually fit the reality of it. It’s so called because a lot of Japanese people idolise and romanticise Paris, but upon visiting they find that it isn’t the magical place they dreamed of. The Mona Lisa is actually quite small, and the Eiffel Tower is usually packed full of tourists and you have to wait hours in the queue to get to the top.

Sometimes you can build something up so much in your mind, that it’s never going to live up to those massive expectations. Better to set your standards low and then you’ll always be impressed. Right?

Girls in front of waterfall

5. Not Being able to Drink Water from the Tap

Travelling definitely stops you from taking things for granted, or at least makes you think twice. Like being able to just turn the tap on and drink the water. Or use the water to brush your teeth. Carting two-litre bottles of water from the corner shop to your hostel and having to fork out on bottled water while you’re eating out gets really tiring and expensive.

6. Bugs

I’m not that afraid of creepy crawlies, but when they’re coming at you from all directions on a sleeper train through Vietnam you’re bound to get a bit antsy. Pun definitely intended. I wore so much Deet that I actually melted a blue plastic chair to my legs.

7. Windowless Hotel Rooms

I did not know that this was a thing in some countries. It’s bizarre to wake up in a pitch black room thinking it’s 4am and it’s actually 9am. But it keeps the prices down!

8. Toilet Habits

Travel into Asia and you’ll find squat toilets, which, as you’ve guessed, you squat over rather than sit on. Apparently this position is actually much better for your bowels, but it can be difficult to navigate when you’ve got a bad case of the Delhi Belly (see No. X above).

You can also enjoy what’s been dubbed a ‘bum gun’ which is kind of like a shower head for your bum which you use instead of toilet paper. Better for both the environment and your bum!

The best toilet I’ve ever used was actually at the top of a mountain in Laos. You enter the cubicle, sit down and just look out onto a beautiful mountain range. Who needs their phone when they have a beautiful view to look at instead.

9. You Are Not Harder Than The Sun

If you have white skin, you will get sunburnt if you don’t wear suncream. I don’t know why white guys seem to think that their skin is literally harder than the sun and that using suncream is seen as being soft. Sunburn is no fun for anyone and it looks terrible too. Plus, you’ve got the whole skin cancer thing, too.

Apparently some suncreams in Asia actually contain some bleaching components to keep your skin extra white, so make sure you check the ingredients list if you buy any while you’re out there. They tend to idolise white skin while we obsess over getting a tan, so you’ll probably see that it’s mostly Westerners with their skin on show when it’s the hottest part of the day.

10. Money Troubles

Travelling long-distance is expensive and your savings will take a hit, unless you’re planning on working while you’re travelling. You may be forced to revert back to your student days of eating cheap convenience food and saving all of your cash for booze. You may also find that by the time you get to your last stop you actually won’t have enough cash left to do some of the amazing experiences you had planned. I’ll conquer you one day Sydney Harbour Bridge!

And that’s it! 10 reasons you might want to lock yourself in your house and never step outside your front door ever again.

Which would be ridiculous, because obviously despite all of these not so great experiences it didn’t take away from all of the truly great experiences I did have while I was travelling. I just wanted to show the #nofilter side to what some of the travel guides or blogs might say. Not everything is going to be just like you imagined or how you planned, but like the rest of life, you sometimes just have to go with the flow and embrace it.

Have you had any similar experiences while travelling, or something that didn’t live up to your expectations?

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