Travel is a rollercoaster, emotionally and physically. One minute you are high as a kite, riding on adrenaline having the time of your life, then at other times you are in tears, despairing at something awful that has happened (yes yes these things always seem worse at the time!).
This year my biggest learning has been that you can’t have one without the other. Life would be bland if everything was just ok the whole time.
You can’t have the highs without the lows and we just have to accept that.
I find it so hard to ‘let go’ when something bad happens. For example, in the last week I lost my £350 iPhone, I’ve had my only two bank cards swallowed by ATMs, I lost my flip flops (more annoying than you would think!) and paid for a £45 plane ticket which turned out not to be on the airlines booking system when I got to the airport.
Although these things may seem small when I write them down, or in comparison to other bigger world issues, but when they happen to you, at the time, it feels shit. I cried, I wanted to scream, I even wanted to go home. When you travel solo these feelings are even worse as you only have yourself to work through the issues with. But as shit as it feels at the time, we move on. We try and put the loss into perspective and eventually its forgotten (well maybe not completely but mostly).
These bad times make the good times even sweeter.
Ying & yang … The good goes hand in hand with the bad, and together life is never boring
It’s hard, I’m not going to lie… For me ‘letting go’ and not worrying is really difficult. I’ll dwell on the shit things and they’ll stress me out for weeks BUT I’m learning, I’m trying. Then I remember how lucky I am, that all this over stimulation is something I’ve chosen because I can, and I need to appreciate that more than perhaps I do.
Shit happens… And a cuppa tea will always make the world work again 😃
So be prepared people, here are a few tips for trying to avoid as much of the ‘bad’ as possible:
– Get travel insurance! And if you are taking any expensive electronics, even a smart phone, then get the extra cover… You’ll be glad for it but read the small print… And save all your receipts!
– Don’t take anything travelling you don’t NEED or aren’t prepared to lose
– Leave your phone and any other valuables you don’t need in your hotel/hostel on a night out
– Take spare memory cards and maybe even an external hard drive if you are taking a laptop – back up often and don’t keep all your photos on your camera/phone
– I would recommend upgrading to a bigger iCloud account or Dropbox to keep all your photos stored somewhere safe
– Pay attention at ATMs… In the UK for instance you get your card back BEFORE your cash, this is not true of indonesia (and other places in sure!) TWICE I’ve fallen foul of this and left bank cards behind in the machine! I think the cash machine swallows them after a little while so you can always check with the surrounding shop or someone to see if the bank will open the machine to retrieve your card for you but it’s a long shot!
– Always keep an eye on your bags!
– Take a Pacsafe Travelsafe to keep your valuables in (like your passport) when you aren’t using them
– Be careful if buying transportation tickets through travel agents. Get a reciept that says you have paid and take their phone number!
– Actually I’d recommend buying all flights over the Internet rather than some random travel agent!!
– A good tip for not losing things, have a system where you always keep things in the same place. So for example your camera always lives in the front pouch of your day pack. ALWAYS put it back in the same place. As soon as you start mixing it up your be having mini heart attacks left right & centre!
– Travelling is stressful because you are constantly having to worry about your ‘stuff’ so the less you bring the better!!!
I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank a very kind and helpful Indonesian tourist guide (Fidel) who, when I was crying and shouting in Flores airport (yes I was THAT tourist!) after finding out my ticket back to Bali wasn’t valid for some reason he totally restored my faith in the Asian people. He helped me beyond the call of duty and made me feel a million times better, and wouldn’t take anything but thanks and a awkward hug from me in return! I had to pay for another £85 flight but his kindness went a long way to help me ‘move on’ and the original travel agent has now offered me a refund which I’m sure is down to his persuasion … If you ever find yourself in Flores then look him up (Bali Komodo Wisata – email@example.com)!
Have you ever had a meltdown whilst travelling? I bet you have..feel free to share with the group in the comments below!