What no one tells you about traveling

I’ve been getting terrible at posting in a timely manner cause it’s so easy to neglect this blog and just travel but I realized when I don’t write things down I don’t spend time reflecting on my experiences and forgot a lot of details. I still have to write down my memories of Myanmar and Phillipines but it’s pretty crazy to think that almost 5 months have gone by. I don’t know where all the time went!

This post is a semi-procrastination post to write about what I went through in the past few months. At a certain point while traveling, there’s a switch in your lifestyle where traveling becomes your life and not just a vacation anymore. It’s a weird change because I didn’t realize it was happening – I was just living day by day but I knew something was slightly off. Looking back at my first few posts reminds me of how I felt and how I saw the world so differently. I was so excited about every waterfall, every cave, every new face, every conversation and every new road traveled. But just like everything else, it’s natural for travel to lose it’s novelty. Don’t get me wrong – I still love this life and would quit my job again in an instant, but I just wanted to offer some advice for anyone else feeling this way.

My family and friends think that my life is an easy beach lifestyle but there are still hard days. There was a day I lost my entire wallet with all my important documents and spent hours backtracking my steps to find it again. There was another day where the bus driver lost my bag with my passport inside. Another day where I missed my flight and the airline crew was so unhelpful, I had to buy a whole new ticket. Another day where my money was stolen from my bag. Many days where I got blatantly ripped off just because I’m a tourist. Many more days where I missed the last bus, last ferry, last jeepney and had to deal with it, find a place to stay for the night, and move on with it the next morning. Hard days suck out here because the only person that can deal with the problem is me. Actually, the world is surprisingly full of beautiful people that offered a helping hand every time I was in need of help, but I still have to assume that I only have myself to rely on. Anyway, my point is that travel lifestyle is not always amazing. There are gonna be a bunch of shitty days. There are gonna be terrible people in the world that ruin your day. But one thing that you can count on is that you will learn to adapt to any situation. You will really understand the meaning of “if there is a problem, there is always a solution.” You will become tougher and stronger than you already are.

But of course there are consequences for these changes. While you’re experiencing all these changes, you don’t actually realize you’re going through them. You’re just living your life. For me, I got really burnt out after three months of traveling so quickly. I was moving from hostel to hostel, carrying my backpack around for many hours, and constantly meeting new faces. For the first three months, I never took the time to relax at one single location and get to know the people and the place. I wanted to see everything that I thought I “had” to see in the country and then move on. For example, I missed the drunk river tubing in Vang Vieng, Laos and I was really bummed about it. I wish someone had told me in the beginning to go slow. Don’t rush it. Let yourself enjoy a place until you’re ready to go. If you really like a place, then just stay – there’s no need to move on. So for all you new travellers out there, move slowly – really, really slowly. There’s no need to rush anything at all. There’s also nothing wrong with doing nothing at all for a day, or a few days, to regenerate your energy. You will have days you don’t want to do anything but watch netflix. Do it! Take a day to reconnect with your friends from home. They’re an important part of your life! Take a day to really get to know someone. There are really good people that can surprise you. Everyone knows something that you don’t know – learn from them! And if you miss a top destination in a country because you felt the need to go somewhere else or if you spent too much time somewhere else, it’s okay! Don’t linger about it. You can go back another time. The time you spent somewhere else means so much more than just passing through another attraction. There are amazing things to see and experience everywhere and where you travel through is your own unique story. And if you find yourself not being as excited about exploring as you once were, think back to how beautiful everything was to you when you first started. The world is still just as beautiful – the only thing that changed was your perspective. You may have seen the most beautiful waterfall and think that all other waterfalls are shit. They’re not! Each waterfall is unique and beautiful in it’s own way. There is always, always something else out there that will take your breath away so don’t stop looking for them! Keep exploring! 🙂

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