Sunshine, beach, and rainbows. Well, full-time traveling is more than that. And it’s way harder than what it looks like. So, after more than nine months on the road, here comes my honest list about what really sucks about traveling, what isn’t obvious at first sight, and what I sometimes find hard to deal with.
- gross shared bathrooms
- Packed dorms – especially other’s people’s backpacks, clothes and dirty underwear literally everywhere.
- There is always somebody snoring, always someone arriving late and another one leaving early. The following luckily hasn‘t happened to me, but a friend reported about a drunk roommate getting back late, banging doors because he had lost his keys, waking everybody up, throwing up over all that was laying on the floor – clothes, bags, etc. – snoring loudly and after all punching a security guard. I’m still so sorry for your bad night, Gena.
- The bed on the one and the power outlet on the other side of the room.
- Sleeping on night busses and waking up with swollen legs.
- Spending nights on benches at the airport (not comfortable plus you always have to kind of keep an eye on your belongings…)
- Hours and hours of travel planning (deciding when, where and how to get to places, researching hostel’s locations and checking reviews etc.).
- Figuring out public transport.
- Spending hours over hours packed into long distance busses or planes.
- Carrying the backpack at 38 degrees through the sun or at 5 degrees in rain.
- Food poisoning and no own bathroom.
- No German bread.
- Being overwhelmed by new impressions day by day and seeing so many new things in a short period of time that it’s difficult to process them mentally
- Having to adapt to a new environment nearly every day can sometimes be exhausting.
- Wearing the same clothes over and over again until they’re all worn out and you can’t see them anymore anyways.
- Sometimes not being able to have deep conversations due to language barriers.
- Seeing poverty, sadness and despair (and especially kids suffering from it).
- Travel conversations (How-old-are-you-where-from-how-many-countries-visited-where-to-next-you-HAVE-been-there-NOT-been-there?).
- Constantly being around strangers.
- Not being able to meet up with dear friends.
- Talking to friends back home is a challenge due to time differences.
- Meeting the mostwonderful people and become friends knowing you probably won’t ever see each other again.
- And after all: Hardly any body contact. Sometimes you just need a friend’s hug, right?
But, admittedly, the vast majority of the above are luxury problems.
All of this is so worth it:
- Seeing how beautiful our world is. Mother Nature is stunning. All the different colors and shapes she has to offer. Breathtaking.
- Enjoying all the great food.
- Dorms are a great way to get in touch with people from all around the world.
- Connecting to people – travelers and locals – and making friends for a life time.
- Learning about different cultures and ways of life.
- Improving one’s own abilities and gaining new ones.
- Getting so many incredible inspirations.
- Becoming a better person.
- Practicing awareness an a whole new basis.
- Expanding one’s horizon.
- Making memories for a life time.
- Being wild and free.
- Getting to know yourself better.
- Knowning, that you don’t need much to be happy.
PS: I have to admit that it was not easy to find suitable photos on this topic. After all, it’s the beautiful things that I prefer to captured in pictures. Except for the title photo: These are the Rainbow Mountains in Peru – well, behind the snow.