Where before being a crazed fitness fanatic was everywhere you looked (guilty as charged), it seems nowadays everywhere I look there are people blogging about their trek through a rainforest or their holiday on a Moroccan beach. You see posts about breath-taking views, mouth-watering food and fancy cocktails on social media when really, you spent most of your day lugging a backpack through a deserted station in the middle of the night looking like sh*t. Obviously travelling allows us to see the world in a different way, meet new people while making friends for life and get a taste of new and exciting cultures. But exactly what are the things self-confessed travel bloggers fail to tell us about travelling?
1. You miss home more than you thought you would
Of course with Skype, face-time and all these new and improved technologies but realistically it just isn’t the same is it? Not to mention being the technologically challenged individual I am, I can’t often get the f*cking thing to work while I’m slumming it in a rundown hostel with Wi-Fi that resembles dial up back in the day! You see Snapchats and Facebook posts of all your friends having what seems like the best night out ever and all of a sudden you start to feel very, very homesick. But guess what? You WILL see your friends and family again soon. This makes the reunion all the more precious. You learn to appreciate your loved ones much more when you are away.
2. You have too much time to think
After a bumpy start to 2016 I decided I needed to get the hell out of here! When I first announced to my friends that I was going backpacking around Europe solo for a few weeks their initial reaction was that I was running away from my problems. Sure maybe I was but it was something I needed to do for myself. Everyone always tells you that you will meet so many people while travelling, which is true, but nobody ever tells you about the long train journeys alone where you stare out the window and think yourself into a frenzy about the meaning of life! The funny thing about travelling alone is often you have nothing but time and your own thoughts- two very dangerous weapons. I soon realised that I could put miles and miles of land between my problems but that distance does not disguise the hurt and resentment I still felt towards them. I suppose I decided to take on this trip as a way of ‘finding myself’ and all that sh*t. After mistakenly getting on a train to Slovakia instead of Slovenia I quickly realised that there was no way I was going to find myself anytime soon if I couldn’t even find what country I was supposed to be in. Yep, seriously.
3. You realise you are not the Travel God/Goddess you always thought you were gonna be
I would often spend hours on end creeping through images of travel bloggers in incredible locations with stunning backdrops wearing the cutest outfits. I thought to myself ‘that will be me’. Yeah f*ckng right. I don’t know how these people are ‘travelling the world’ with backpacks full of what seems like the entire Asos spring-summer collection casually perched on their backs because that was certainly not me. I only solo backpacked throughout Europe for three weeks and after only being able to stuff a few basic items into my backpack, I quickly realised I would not be the cute and trendy traveller I had aspired to be. No, in fact I resembled something you would see crawling out of a drain. Ladies don’t be fooled; these women we see looking like supermodels while ‘travelling the world’ are wiping their arses with 100 dolla bills and more than likely mooching from daddy’s credit card. They are certainly not staying in cheap hostels or recycling the same outfit everyday hoping nobody will begin to smell the stink evaporating from them. That will be you and that's totally ok.
4. You learn to sleep just about ANYWHERE
I’ve stayed in my fair share of questionable hostels. Word of advice: DO NOT bring someone back to a hostel that you want to have sex with. I am scarred for life after a night in an Austrian hostel where the couple in the bunk above me either didn't know I was there, or, lets face it , just didn't give a f*ck. The place seems to be a breeding ground for creepy predators and obnoxiously loud snorers. You are quick to realise that the showers we once thought were so awful in college are actually pleasant compared to the mold infested bathrooms that occupy most ‘budget-friendly’ hostels. When my own mother came to visit me in Poland during my travels she booked a hotel for the two of us. Initially I remember thinking 'sh*t , this is totally going to cramp my style’. I was wrong. NOTHING compares to a good night’s sleep in a comfortable bed and a piping hot shower to soothe those aching muscles (thanks again mum). I never truly realised how lucky I was to have my own bed at home and being able to step into the shower knowing you won’t contract some sort of fungal infection? Incredible.
5. You miss what makes home actually home
While travelling, you dive head first into new cultures. There is a whole new world of food out there and being the fatty I am of course I had to try it all. In Italy, I splurged on the finest Italian pasta and pizza while sipping away on red wine straight from the Tuscany vineyards (this was until I realised I was in fact poor, leading me to downgrade to one euro cartons of wine and tins of beans)- classy as always! Anyway where was I? Oh yes, so after sampling all these traditional dishes from different countries you suddenly remember your moms specialities. That amazing feeling of having your mother plate up a mound of food higher than Mt. Everest and proceeding to stuff your face with it. As amazing as new countries are around the world, there's just no place like home.
Video: 3 Years of Travel in 3 Minutes (Lessons and Adventures)
Credit: High On Life