Traveling is not all sunsets, champagne, and breathtaking vistas. It can also be Er visits, neck rashes, and countless hours in an airport with no wifi. Don’t misunderstand me. I LOVE travel. I am a ravel addict. But it can be misleading when we are only exposed to the rosy side of travel in a bombardment of social media.
Merriam – Webster Definition
attitude: a feeling or way of thinking that affects a person’s behavior. the way you think and feel about someone or something.
attitude: a choice. my personal and intentional process of reaction towards others I encounter and circumstances beyond my control.
Travel is full of surprises. Some are great and some we would rather forget. It is easy to wrapped up in the moment and let the negative experiences influence the remainder of a trip. My travels are no exception. What are some travel set backs I have experienced? What are some ways to battle the traveling blues?
5 Things That Could Make You Hate Traveling
1. Lost Time: Many of us have not had the luxury of traveling the world for months on end. Sometimes you only have a week or two to soak up all a country has to offer. When something happens that feels like a huge “waste” of time, it can be endlessly frustrating. One time my travel companion and I spent 7 hours sitting in a tiny airport in Sabah, Borneo…………….with zero wifi!
pic: stuck in Sabah, Borneo airport with no wifi. (didn’t know when our tour would end, booked later flight………wouldn’t let us change plans.)
2. Failed plans: I am not the best at planning ahead, but when I do it is extremely disheartening when they fail to materialize. Research and scheduling will fly out the window in the face of The Universe. Sometimes no matter how well you think you have an excursion mapped out, the universe will throw you a curve ball. It is unavoidable and happens to us all sooner or later. I once had the grand idea of viewing the Busan Fireworks Festival from atop a majestic Mountain. Instead I almost found myself blown to pieces by landmines.
3. Encountering health issues: This issue is especially difficult to stomach. Not a single human enjoys being sick, especially when on vacation. I think many of us have been forced to make an impromptu run for the nearest bathroom, or had to miss out on an attraction while we lay moaning in our hostel bunk.
Thanks to my less than stellar immune system and sheer bad luck, I have experienced more than my fair share of travel bugs. When I was sailing off the coast of Greece I was bitten by a mysterious insect. The bite proceeded to erupt and left a trail of red pustules down my neck. I ended up in the Corinth ER. I have also had my fair share of ER visits and doctors office charades in Korea as well. Whether experiencing a three day fever in Dubrovnik, Croatia, or surviving severe sunburn in Malaysia, health troubles can be the cause of serious travel troubles.
4. Getting lost: I have the world’s worst sense of direction. I frequently get lost in my home town and am notorious among family and friends when it comes to finding my way. While I am directionally challenged, getting lost is not always my fault, and sometimes is completely out of my hands. A friend and I slept for a few hours at the Lake Bled train station, in Slovenia, after our night train from Rome. We proceeded to walk for FOUR hours trying to locate our hostel. Eventually we were informed that this hostel advertises their location incorrectly and it is only possible to get to it by car. Needless to say, we stayed somewhere else. We were tired and agitated after an overnight train from Rome, collapsed at our new hostel, and slept until the next day.
5. Fairy tale Dreams Shattered: After I graduated high school, I moved to Germany with a friend. I decided to work abroad at a Guest House for a year before heading off to university. I had lovely visions of myself pleasantly serving beer while looking fabulous in a dirndl as a gorgeous German man fell madly in love with me.
As it turned out, my place of employment was not well supervised and my contracted 8-hour work days slowly turned into 12-14 hour days. My body could not handle the work load plus, became ill, and could no longer stomach the verbal abuse from my supervisors. I left during my 7th month. I was disappointed in myself. Sometimes our dreams of a fairy tale travel experience fail to materialize and we are left with a bitter taste as our dreams have turned to ash.
5 Ways to Adopt a Positive Travelers Attitude
– Nurture and grow an attitude of humility
It can be really easy to get wrapped up in “MY PLANS” what “I WANT” and how I think things “SHOULD” be. This attitude is detrimental to your own experience, but also to how others perceive you. Whether we like it or not, all of us are representatives of our countries. It is our responsibility to conduct ourselves in way that reflects positively on our nation. Not only will this effect how you are treated while traveling, it will also influence how locals treat future travelers they encounter.
– Plan carefully, but be flexible
You can research, plan, and scrutinize the minutia of every moment of every day on your trip. What can happen is as we get so wrapped up in the details we forget to look around us. What street art, beautiful smile, or picturesque scene did we miss while scouring our guide book? Plans are good, but sometimes the unplanned will surprise and delight you.
– Let go, sometimes its simply out of your control
Shit happens. No trip is perfect and people get lost or contract the stomach flu, even in paradise. Sometimes all you can do is breath, embrace the situation, and get through it with as much grace and humility as you can muster.
This might be the most important aspect of traveling, or even living life in general. I have often been surprised by the doors that are opened at a simple smile or friendly greeting. There is also the idea of “fake it until you make it”. When events are frustrating or looking bleak a smile might do you more good than anyone else.
– Get through it and look back
It can be wonderful to flip through old photos of this amazing experience and that awesome sunset. But travel isn’t always about the good. I often find that it is through the “bad” times that I learn the most about myself and others.
Was my experience working in a German Guest House terrible? Yes, it was. However, did I discover my love of languages while listening to the lovely Deutsch speakers surrounding me? Yes, I did. Would I change the experience? No. It was awful, but it shaped and molded me into who I am. I have to remember that sometimes the NEGATIVE can actually become a POSITIVE. We just can’t usually see this until down the road.
Was this helpful? How have you learned to deal with the unexpected while traveling?