Week 36 & 37: The downside of travel

May 17, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

For the most part, we’ve avoided talking about the difficulties of long-term travel. There’s sort of an unwritten rule among travelers that you just don’t talk about the bad stuff. Sure, it’s ok to bitch about lost luggage, a missed flight, or being ripped-off by a taxi driver, but no one really wants to hear that traveling can be tedious and stressful. Most people prefer to imagine our lives are nothing but poolside piña coladas, and endless Saturdays. Unfortunately that’s not always the case.

I think for most travelers, there comes a point when the romantic idealism wears off and the reality of long-term travel sets in. For us that point was last week. I can’t really pin it down to a specific moment or event, but rather the culmination of 9 months in Asia. Cultural differences, language barriers, and the challenges of living this type of lifestyle have become more and more apparent, and it’s been a difficult couple of weeks. What’s culturally charming on a two week vacation can become remarkably frustrating after a few months.

That’s not to say that we’re having a bad time, it’s just a reminder that with all the amazing experiences we’re having, there’s bound to be some low points. We’re trying not to let those low points get to us, and continue to remind ourselves that it still beats sitting in an office staring out the window as the rain continues to pour in Vancouver.

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese


Posted by: Kelly

2 Comments so far

  1. Arun May 18, 2009 11:44 am

    Quiet true, according to my own experience. Having felt pretty much so, I try to alternate between travel and home. I spend 2-3 months on the road and come back home. And then, I spend a few months at home doing short journeys or just staying home, and then take off again. The charm never dies.

  2. Rachelle May 30, 2009 1:09 am

    Great reminder that the romantic notions of travel do wear off. Good to know that I can expect those same feelings at some point during our time away. Guess there is something to be said for having a home and the comforts of familiarity! But what a wonder it is to experience new things.

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