dimanche 20 mars 2016

When travelling isn't that great.

Travelling is a wonderful thing. The experiences you get on the road, the people you meet far away from home, the sceneries, the food, the knowledge, the historical legacy and a lot more ... are wonderful. They change you and never really leave you.
That being said, travelling can sometimes turn out to be ... not so nice.

The #1 thing that can momentarily (or for good) a trip is sickness. Getting sick while you're travelling is ... really a challenge. A challenge for your organization, dignity at times, and mind. I tend to get slightly panicky, quite scared, usually resulting in a worst state. I have been various sorts of sick while traveling, i've had conjunctivitis, really bad colds (when I was in Japan in 2012 I was coughing every night because of a badly irritated throat that lasted for about 2months, imagine coughing for 2months....), very painful period cramps, and i've also had the typical traveller sickness: the upset stomach and the diarrhea. When I first strated travelling I never bothered with taking medicine at all. But how I wish, I had! I could have used some in Russia in 2011, after faiting twice and spending half of the day in the toilets. 

I was so sick and scared that I didn't see anything of Moscow but the underground, the hotel I was staying at, the supermarket which toilets I used and the venue in which the concert I was attended took place. Such a shame! My stay could have been pretty different if I didn't feel like I was dying every ten minutes.

A shitty mood can also impact your trip in a rather consequent way. Just like back home, when you're abroad things happen. You might argue with your travel partner, you might have a bad encounter with a few locals, dislike the food or for no particular reason be moody. Those things are out of your control. What you can control though, is how you respond to those things. It may be difficult depending on where you are, how long you've been traveling for and other circumstances, but you might want to remind yourself that this is a special time. You might never come back to that place, you spent some money to get there and you should probably try to enjoy the experience to the fullest.
During the same trip than the one that led me to Russia, I visited Stockholm. Most people who visited the city will tell you that they had a great experience! That it was a pretty city, that it was clean and edgy and that they would like to go back!
I had the worst time there, and I wasn't even really sick. For some reason nothing worked out. The staff at the hotel, the people that we met throughout the trip, the weather, the food... and the city, that I wasn't very fond of to start with, ended up losing all interest to me.
I am pretty sure I could have enjoyed the city at least a little bit more, had I been more mature and more experienced, because after all there's always something to be seen and discovered wherever you are!

in the line for the show, numbers for each person that slept outside in the cold....

Last but not least, a serious lack of organization or experience can make travelling a lot more difficult than it should be. When I landed in Moscow, for my first travel experience, I took a cab from the airport to the hotel I was staying at and was charged 130 euros... I also didn't bring any map of the city, or guidebook or had any knowledge of russian so that made every little thing very complicated and expensive too. I also had not checked with my bank what my authorized overdraft was (I ended up exceeding by a lot), I also hadn't printed out some important reservations ... 
When I went to Japan for the first time, I hadn't packed accordingly, I had taken utterly unnecessary stuff and not only was my bag therefore very heavy, but I had to pay an extra fee on my flight back to Paris ( a big one).  Out of few bad experiences I have had travelling, those are the ones I mind the least, but when money is involved it can have serious consequences on the rest of your trip. 
That's why you want to plan things before flying off to a foreing country where wifi might not available, or information as easy to have access to.

If you want to hear more about my worst travel experiences (in details) head over to my youtube channel, where I have uploaded a video sharing some of them. 
& let me know what yours are! There's at least one comforting thing about bad travel experiences : we've all experienced some!

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