I have a pretty tough facade but things get to me sometimes.
I think sometimes there can be some disillusion that travel is a glamorous thing to do. I guess that can be our fault as people who blog/write/report on travel, for portraying travel as this glorious pastime or experience and telling everyone that should go to this place or that beach.
But in reality, it can be hard. It can be lonely. It is expensive.
I want to share some home truths with you about my travel experiences. These are not to make you feel sorry for me. These are simply to let you know that travel isn’t all it can be cracked up to be.
I’ve run out of money on a trip & had to get emergency funds from work – not something I’m proud to admit but on my trip to Europe last year things cost more than I expected and yeah, I ran out of money. Luckily my accommodation in my last stop of Copenhagen had been prepaid for, otherwise I would have been homeless for 3 nights in a city I’d never been to before & didn’t know anyone.
I am a bigger person & it can suck – I hate admitting that, not that it’s not obvious but when you get onto a plane/train etc and you can see it in people’s eyes “I hope that fatty isn’t sitting next to me”.. I try not to let it effect me, I mean I have as much right to travel as the next person. But yeah it hurts. There are certain things I don’t even attempt to do because of my weight – like climb to the top of St Paul’s Cathedral or go on a roller coaster at a theme park.
I’ve been so lonely that I’ve sad in my hotel room and had a good old cry. This is especially hard when you are on the other side of the world and in a completely opposite timezone to your family & friends. When you don’t have anyone to talk to, it can be a really lonely experience.
I don’t make friends easily. This kind of leads on from above. I’m friendly enough and I will chat to people randomly but I don’t make ‘friends’ with people – in fact in all my travels I have never actually got contact details for a person I’ve met. But in saying that, I have made friends on the internet with people who live in other cities and I have met them when I’ve gone to those cities.
I was followed by a creepy guy in London. It was my first day on my 2nd visit to London & it was a crowded down by the Houses of Parliament. I was minding my own business listening to my iPod but I knew something was wrong pretty much straight away. I managed to lose the guy but not before taking his photo & showing it to some police officers but it scared me. I was kind of on edge every time I ventured to that area.
I’ve lost a friend because of travel. I’ve mentioned that last year’s trip to Europe was hard, well because of it I don’t speak to one of the people I travelled with. In fact, she has pretty much erased me from her life. I’m not going to say I was blameless in the situation because a) I wasn’t & b) that’s not fair to either of us but the truth is I thought she was my friend and turns out she never really was.
I’ve learned some things about myself that aren’t really positive. Not really sure how to explain that one further but travel makes you learn about yourself – both good & bad traits.
The good things about travel far outweighs the bad for me but I don’t want to spout on about how great travel is without being real with you. Because that just isn’t fair – to either of us, dear reader.
Yes travel can be rewarding but it can be damn hard too.