So in the last few months I’ve been extremely lucky and had the opportunity to travel to some amazing spots. Cannes, Monaco, Ibiza, Marbella, Istanbul, Guadeloupe, Lebanon… you name it. You probably think I’m living the dream and yes, while I have experienced some really cool things, I just want to put it out there, things aren’t always as they seem on social media. Oh yes you’re privy to the instagram posts of the fancy hotels, luxury spots and to-die-for beaches. But what you don’t get to see is the ugly reality behind the photos. No one publicizes the shitty parts of traveling. But I’m here to give you some of the ugly truths about travel.
- Spontaneous travel isn’t always fun:
Recently in Paris whilst at a club at 3:30am on a Friday night we realised it was going to be 30 degrees in the middle of Autumn in the South West of France the next day. So we came home, packed our things and embarked on a six-hour road trip from Paris to Sud-Ouest, with no sleep and after a few too many drinks (thank god I wasn’t in charge of driving). Sounds fun, sounds cool, sound spontaneous, right? Well the reality is no sleep, shitty petrol station food that causes potential food poising and really sore butts. We ended up sleeping in the car on the side of the road at about 6am. NOT AS FUN AS IT SOUNDS. But at least we made it to the beach!
2. You don’t always look hot and cool whilst travelling:
I certainly don’t look great when traveling to the airport with my grumpy-precoffee-nomakeup face on. Last semester I simply refused to waste money on check in baggage. I remember one such time when I was travelling to Paris, sweating profusely in my massive fur and a thousand layers underneath, wearing my heaviest (and highest) heeled boots, all whilst carrying two ridiculously heavy, overflowing country road bags. My arms felt like they were about to fall off and at one point I actually considered sitting on the floor of the airport and just giving up on life.
3. Sometimes you can get lonely:
Take for example the time in Croatia when instead of going out to party with all my friends I was forced to stay in a creepy little hotel room by myself with a TV that was only playing late night specials of really weird naked Russian girls dancing, or the news which made me feel like the world was about to go through some sort of an apocalypse, purely because I was worried that if I spent too much money I wouldn’t last the rest of summer and will have no choice to retreat onto a plane back to parents house in Australia.
4. You may find yourself in potentially dangerous situations:
One particular time I am referring to was when three old, bald, overweight creepy men tried to pick us up in a club in Mykonos. Naturally we blatantly ignored them. But at 8am in the morning when we we’re outside the club trying to figure out how to get back to the hotel with no taxis in sight, who appears in a car with spare seats… the creepy men! So like silly girls begging for trouble, we get in and ask them to drive us home. Risking rape for the sake of saving time and money on buses and taxis. That’s what you call staying SAFE AND SMART.
5. Your eating habits will get weird:
Eating out is expensive. I would much rather not eat out and put that money towards travelling to another destination. But this doesn’t mean what I end up eating is fabulous. Take for example the canned tuna with mayonnaise on rice crackers that I ate for dinner three out of the four nights I was in Hvar. Not so tasty three nights in a row. (However the one night that I did eat out I got a mouth watering squid ink risotto for 30€ from Lungo Mare that was actually to die for).
I can also remember in Mykonos desperately wanting to go to sleep after coming home in the morning from fabulous nights of partying, but the hotel buffet breakfast was on! Despite definitely NOT being hungry, I strategically knew if I forced myself to eat now, I wouldn’t have to pay for lunch! So there we all were looking like balls after a night out, still in our little skirts and sexy tops, sitting at breakfast forcing down eggs, surrounded by joyous families ready to embark on their adventures for the day.
At the very start of my adventure when I arrived in Milan I had never lived out of home and had never really cooked anything other than cookies. I decided I needed to eat something easy, cheap, and delicious. So as a large packet of gluten free pasta was 1euro (unlike Paris where its 4euros) my diet consisted of gluten free pasta… for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try not putting on weight when all you eat is pasta.
6. But in the end it’s all worth it:
Yes there can be times when travelling isn’t as fun as it sounds. But I wouldn’t swap the shitty parts for anything. Because that’s part of what makes travelling so fabulous. Unless you’re a prince, or an heiress, theirs times when we all do it tough. You end broke but with an unquenchable thirst for travel. We’re forced out of our comfort zones and into situations we would never usually be in. We have no choice but to adapt, and what results, is usually some sort of an amazing experience that we never could have envisioned happening. How can we ever grow and change if we’re always in the same comfortable situations, with the same people doing the same boring things? “But I’m happy this way!” you say? Well how do you know that you are happy doing the same mundane things you’ve done your whole life if you have never known anything different? Never really experienced life through the eyes of another culture?
There is nothing more satisfying then sweating it out for an hour in the blistering sun, trying to navigate your way through some foreign island and eventually getting ripped off by a taxi driver, getting told off by a local for doing something wrong, to finally arrive at a magnificent hidden beach, where you strip off all your clothes and dive into that amazingly soothing salt water. Sometimes we have to experience a little bit of turbulence, to arrive at our destination and really appreciate life’s breath taking moments of pure bliss.