5 things I won’t miss about travel (nope, not one little bit!)
I’d like to get one thing straight … travel is not a holiday! I feel that often it is perceived that when you are travelling for extended periods of time that this is the equivalent of going on the world’s longest holiday. Travel is almost like a job. You are constantly planning, learning, adapting and all the while trying to enjoy yourself at the same time. You need to have an awareness of your environment that just isn’t necessary when on your home turf. Put simply – travel is exhausting!
Of course, like anything in life that is hard, the rewards speak for themselves and by no means is this meant to be interpreted as a complaint. Given the option, I wouldn’t change a thing! However, this does not mean there are certain aspects of backpacking that I could quite happily never have to endure again. And with this in mind, I bring you the 5 things I will not miss about travel or put in a more positive light, what I will be super grateful for once I stop travelling!
1. Lack of personal space
As an introvert, personal space is about as necessary as oxygen to me. However I have had no space to call my own for over 6 months. My own apartment has been replaced by crowded dorm rooms, travel buddies (sorry I love you – but a girl needs space), long overnight buses, shared bathrooms & kitchens… no time to simply exist solo!
2. Travel ‘towel’
I don’t know what else to say about the travel ‘towel’ other than it in no way represents anything remotely towel like. I basically dry myself with a dish cloth each day and the dissatisfaction of this can only be matched be the preceding shower which is usually the equivalent of someone dribbling on me. I look forward to the day when a shower brings some pleasure to my life once again.
3. Travel by bus
You know something is not right when you start thinking thoughts like “Great, only a 12 hour bus to <insert city name>”. I have spent more time on buses in the last 4 months than I have accumulatively in the rest of my 28 years on earth. Mastering the art of sleep contorted on a bus was never on my ‘to do’ list. Worse still it appears the key selection criteria for driving a bus in South America is something along the lines of … ‘Must be able to master top speeds whilst hurtling around the edge of cliffs, whilst driving at night into oncoming traffic’. 24 hours of near crapping my pants? – this I can happily forgo for the rest of my life, thank you!
4. Ham and cheese sandwiches
Apparently the bottom of the food pyramid in South America has had the large cereals and grains section replaced with ham & cheese sandwiches. Any opportunity to receive catered food will inevitably be the aforementioned sandwich. Should you decide to take a more expensive bus or tour, you will be happy to know the classic ham & cheese sandwich is replaced by a slightly better quality ham & cheese sandwich. This dislike is matched only by the inevitable dulce de leche biscuit which is the staple breakfast option. On what planet is a caramel biscuit a breakfast?!
5. Packing a bag
One of my most hated chores in life is to pack my belongings into a bag. So backpacking, in some respects is my own personal hell. The best look you can possibly hope for whilst backpacking is the ‘I just rolled out of bed’ look. Every item you own has been crinkled with so much exertion that it cannot possibly be de-crinkled. Not to mention the art of squashing everything in just right so that you are able to pull the final zip closed. Of course, my absolute favorite is when you have finally packed everything in perfectly only for the weather to do a complete 180 and everything you squashed into the bottom now needs to immediately be brought forth. Packing a bag is an almost daily, thankless chore.
Of course, none of these are irritations are enough to stop me from travelling. They just make me even more grateful for that amazing meal (without ham or cheese) or that incredible shower or those few days or weeks in the same place where I don’t have to squash my worldly belongings into a backpack and strap them to myself like a pack mule. What these irritations do is create gratefulness. And there’s nothing bad about that!