People always mention the positives of travelling; seeing the world, meeting new people, trying new foods, etc.
And they’re right.
Travelling is a life-changing experience and we should all get some mileage under our belts. But before you run out of pages on your passport, please know that travelling also comes with a few negatives as well. I’m here to shed some light on 10 unspoken downsides of travelling:
1.Lice. Yes, you can get lice while travelling and you’ll never quite know when or where they decided to hitch a free ride. Luckily they’re temporary visitors whose worst crime is discomfort. Get some lice shampoo, or use mayonnaise and/or olive oil or a variety of home remedies to get rid of the little suckers.
2. Bed Bugs. Always check your bed before getting snug as a bug in a rug with bedbugs. You can check for bedbugs by pulling back the bedspread and sheets to look at the mattress seams. Run your finger (wear a glove) or a credit card along the seams. If you find dark brown spots then you might have bedbugs. Tell the person running the hostel or hotel right away and change rooms (or find somewhere else to stay).
3. Feeling disconnected without Wi-Fi. I know people say “You don’t need Wi-Fi”, “Live in the moment” and “Take in your surroundings while travelling” – and while I do believe in these statements, it still sucks when you’re travelling without someone you’re close to whether a significant other, a friend, or a family member. It’s especially hard on your relationship if you can’t get quality time to connect because you’re so far away from each other. It. Sucks.
4. Feeling alone. Yeah I said it! Even though you’re meeting tons of new people and having a great time, you can still feel alone. These are all friendships that were forged over a few hours. You might have spent a day or two with your new friends but it still doesn’t compare to the comfortable silence of doing nothing with old friends.
Or the opposite…
5. Not enough alone time. You might feel bad telling the people you’ve met you don’t wanna go with them to do X, Y or Z. As strange as it may seem, I was rarely alone while travelling solo even though sometimes I wanted to be! You shouldn’t feel bad rejecting someone’s offer to do something. Just let them down gently and your relationship should still be intact.
6. Annoying hostel roommates. Some hostel roomies are great but there will be some who are rude and just DGAF. If your roomie is having sex, especially in the bed right next to you, then they’ve crossed the line. Theere are several things you can do if this happens: You can ask them to stop and go somewhere else, leave the room until they’re done, put some earplugs in a pretend it’s not happening two feet away from you, pull out your phone and start recording it or tell one of the hostel workers. It’s against the rules at most hostels for guests to have sex in dorm rooms so just speak up. Your friendship with that person went out the door the moment they disrespected you and the other roommates with their live sex tape.
Missing Things from Home
7. Sometimes you want something from home that is just not available where you are. This point is a bit bratty but sometimes you really just want something and you can’t have it because it’s not there. One example is finding a chip flavour you want but all they have is seaweed or seafood flavours lol.
8. Missing your home cooked food. When I first set out for Southeast Asia I thought the people I met ordering burgers and going to Western restaurants for food were crazy! How could you eat Western food when you’re in a country that has some of the most delicious food in the world?! One month in, I understood. Although the food is awesome, sometimes you just want some fried chicken fingers and fries to satisfy your cravings.
9. Losing your ATM card and feeling like life is over. This happened to me a week before I was to go back home so it wasn’t so bad but this really added a huge expense to my trip. I was limited to taking out small amounts of money and each time I used my credit card for cash I was charged $5 whereas with my ATM card I set up a bank account that waived that $5 fee. Always make sure that you have your ATM card at all times especially after taking money out! I still haven’t found the card so it must be on the streets of Bali somewhere.
10. After a while, you get tired of planning things to do and researching. Changing cities every few days can get exausting! While travelling and exploring new places is tons of fun, it takes work to research the things worth doing and making plans to do them all. Sometimes all you want to do is lie down and do nothing all day but then you realize that you’re in a foreign country and every day is precious and limited (especially on shorter trips). I only had a few days in each city and needed to get it all done. Sometimes you can push through while other times you say “F” it and just sleep. Try to find a good balance and you’ll be okay.
What do you think? Agree, disagree or have anything to add? Comment below! I’d love to hear from you.