What You're Never Told About: Travelling

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

Jen Coughlan
Article written by
Twenty-something year old coffee drinker pretending to have a grip on life. On the road to becoming a teacher yet can't seem to shake off the travelling bug. Quite partial to a glass or ten of pinot noir, not that I'd class myself as fancy by any means....

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