I know I (and by I, I mean “we bloggers”) often make it look like traveling is always sunshine, and rainbows, and birdies, and joy. But the unavoidable truth is that, sometimes, it’s not. I had a few days where I was not in the mood, or feeling sick or bored, and I had a few days where I was just MAD, or really SAD, or even DEPRESSED.
I hesitated on sharing this with you, first of all because it’s private, second of all because I’m afraid you’re going to think things like “I can’ t believe this brat is complaining about traveling all the time”.
I hear you, I’m unbelievably lucky. But I also want to be honest and give you a vision of traveling that’s as truthful as can be.
So here are five days where, although nothing terrible happened, I wanted to go home, or hide in the smallest hole possible, or punch a wall. Because it happens to everyone.
1. TREKKING WITH A TENDINITIS IN SCOTLAND
I know I already told bits of this story here, because it’s the original, the first “I’m doing shit and want to go home” moment of my travels. I got an ankle tendinitis a few weeks before leaving for this trek in Scotland. I still went, and was still very enthusiastic about it, until day 4 when the pain got so intense that I knew I had to stop. I took the bus to the next stage of the walk and spent a whole day seething in my tiny tent. I was mad at myself for not being able to do this and disappointed that I would not do the entire trek. NOT a good day, for sure, but the trek itself is still one of my best memories!
2. LEAVING ICELAND
It was my last day in Iceland, I had said goodbye to all the people I’d met there and I was walking back to the bus station to go to the airport. As I walked by Reykjavik’s big lake, I saw myself arriving only one week earlier by exactly the same path, completely overjoyed by the discovery of this wonderful place. I realized I was not ready at all to leave Iceland, and I wept in the snow all the way to the bus station. For some reason, I was truly devastated.
3. YELLING AT A RICKSHAW DRIVER IN INDIA
I was in Varanasi after spending one month in the north of India. I was on edge because this was the most touristic city I’d been to and I couldn’t take one step without someone trying to sell me something. I was tired and I just wanted some quiet (which is not what you’re going to get in an Indian street, obviously). As I was trying to go to the station, a rickshaw driver stopped me to ask me where I was going and offered me a ridiculous price (like, really ridiculous, almost four times the price I knew was right). At first, I just told him no and kept going. But he was following me, asking me questions, not letting me go. I was trying to keep calm, told him I didn’t want to do business with him. He kept harassing me and following me, until I exploded and yelled at him that “you would never ask this price if I was not white, you should be ashamed”. Everybody in the street stared at us. I got my control back immediately and walked away, knowing that I never should have yelled at him, and adding some shame to the tiredness and edginess I already felt.
4. TRAVELING TO GERMANY FOR NOTHING
I’d wanted to trek through the Black Forest in Germany for some time. I made it happen by planning a three days trip there (I was still working during the week at that time). I arrived in Freiburg, the gale started, and I came back one day early. The day I spent in the tourist information café in Triberg, looking at the trees outside, hoping the wind would stop so I could at least walk around the lake, and finally making the decision to change my bus ticket so I could go home earlier, was NOT a good one.
5. BEING SUPER SCARED IN TURKEY
I already told the whole story here, and this is still my scariest travel memory! One of the many times where I got completely lost, this one happened to be at night and in very bad weather, and could have ended very badly.
What’s your worst “today, traveling sucks” moment?