Common problems of a seasoned traveller

They say that to every seasoned traveller, a trip home is a like a holiday. Where most people would go abroad for two weeks, lie on the beach, go shopping, or enjoy other typical holiday type activities, when we go home we use that opportunity to veg on the couch for 2 weeks! Although I left home to experience more of life, when I need a break I go back, catch up on some good telly, enjoy the privacy of my own bedroom (you’ll understand this one if you’ve ever stayed in a hostel), and eat a whole lot of junk food while tucked up on the couch under a duvet beside my mum! Travel makes you understand more about the world and yourself, but it also makes you appreciate the little things you take for granted back home too! I thought it would be interesting to share some of the common problems I face daily on the road that you wouldn’t necessarily face back home, and see if anyone feels the same…or am I just going mad!? 🙂

Annoying room mates

I don’t remember ever getting annoyed by any of my hostel room buddies when I first started travelling. So either I’ve got a selective rosy coloured memory, or I’m just getting more irritable the older I get. Possibly it’s a bit of both! Either way, I do seem to find this from time to time while I’m travelling that I get stuck in a room with someone who is particularly annoying. Either they turn the lights on in the middle of the night, have an alarm that goes off first thing in the morning, decide to wake me up while they’re drunk (I’m sure I’ve probably done this to other people too, but doesn’t stop it being annoying!) Or possibly they are the infamous plastic bag rustler! A common feature here seems to be waking me up from my sleep. A good friend of mine once told me that I save up all my grumpiness for when I’m tired. Any other time of the day and I’m the most care free person you’ll ever meet. Wake me up from my slumber however, and I may just throw a shoe at your face!! (Note: I have actually done this to people.) 🙂

Missing home. Then realising 2 days after you arrive you should never have come back!

Long term travel can make you very reminiscent of home. Eventually all those things that prompted you to leave slowly fade in your memory, and all you can see are the things that you loved from back home. It’s good to be reminded that where you come from isn’t all that bad. You should never forget that while out on the road, because if the shit hits the fan it’s your family back home who’ll be there to catch you if you fall. Or the fact that you come from a bureaucratically stable country that may get you out of a bad situation abroad just because you have the right passport. It’s something to be very grateful for. I for one know both of these things only too well. Yet, I always fall into the predictable phase of wishing I was home for a bit, getting there, then wishing I was away again! If only we could teleport, and money wasn’t an issue. Then we could travel and come home on impulse, and head out on the road again…

Needing to pee, and not wanting to pay for it!

I don’t know if this is just me and the stingy Scotswoman coming out in me, but I have a real pet hate for having to pay to use a public toilet! It wouldn’t matter if it cost 10 pennies or 10 GBP, I don’t want to have to pay to do a pee! I don’t mind so much when it’s toilets outside, where you may get people using them for purposes they shouldn’t be, and therefore they need to employ an attendant (which costs money), but when it’s in places like museums, tourist attractions, or in one case while I was in McDonald’s in Amsterdam, then it really grinds my gears as you’ve usually already paid for entry already or bought something out of their shop/restaurant! I’m sorry, but if I’ve just paid for a McFlurry (the only reason I go to McDonald’s other than for the wifi) or I’ve purchased something out your shop and I don’t think I should have to pay to then use your facilities which you have to have available for health and safety anyways! I do laugh at myself though for refusing to pay 10p or whatever it is where I am to use the toilet. I even get really petty and start using 3 times the toilet paper, and using up way more soap than I need to, plus standing for ages under the hand dryer just so I can get my monies worth! Does anyone else do this while travelling or is it just me?? 🙂

Relationships

Relationships can be hard at the best of times. Trying to have one while you travel, either long distance or as you both travel together can be even harder! The people who make it work make it look easy, but for every one relationship that I see work well on the road, I see another 10 that fall by the way side. That being said, a lot of these relationships may have ended anyway. A lot of travellers are very young, so they may not be ready for something serious anyway, but it certainly doesn’t make things easier for them when they try to travel long term with their partner. It really is the test of a relationship. For a me as a solo traveller though, I find forming relationships even harder than keeping them. I would love to travel the world with someone that I loved and share that experience with them, but how do you even find that person when you’re on the move every week? I always feel that just as I’m beginning to make a connection with someone, either I’m moving on, or they are. You’re never there long enough together to know whether it’s something which would have been worth re-routing your plans for. If you love someone you will make it work, but not being in one place long enough can really make it hard to even form a relationship in the first place, and actually get to that question of what you’ll do to make it work together.

Spending too much time on work.

This one is probably more for the travel bloggers and digital nomads out there, but one of the most common problems I find on the road is spending far too much time on work, and not enough on travel! You’re travels rely on you earning money, so it can be so easy to get caught up in that cycle, but it’s really important to set time aside to do the things you went travelling for in the first place. For me in particular, when I’m focused on something or completely passionate about something I’m a workaholic. There are not many things that get me completely focused and/or passionate, but travel and travel blogging is one of them. I enjoy my travel blog immensely, and sometimes found it as a source of escapism back in the early months of it’s creation when I wasn’t travelling much. Yet, my best ideas come from when I’ve actually took time out while travelling, and done some things that are just for fun, and not for the sole purpose of this blog. The same could also be said about those on a Working Holiday Visa. I know a lot of people who when working during a Working Holiday Visa, can feel really down, as they don’t really feel like their travelling or on holiday anymore. If you didn’t like the 9 to 5 back home, then you probably won’t like it abroad, but sometimes in order to have the money to keep travelling we need to do it. Just remember to take time out, and so dome travel related things too. Even if that’s just having lunch by an inspiring monument or view nearby. I remember while working in Sydney for a while in the city centre, and just sitting down for lunch at Circular Quay gave me the biggest smile. It was so beautiful, and just reminded me why I was there. It remains one of the happiest times of my life just having lunch down there everyday, and although it’s a time I’ve moved on from, it still remains one of the most amazing, yet simplistic memories of my life.

What are the most common problems you experience on the road? Are any of them similar to the one’s I have mentioned here?

3 Responses to “Common problems of a seasoned traveller”

  1. Monica says:

    I can totally relate to EVERYTHING in this post! I never thought that paying to pee would bug me so much, but it really does! Particularly when you have to pay to use to a horrible, dirty toilet!
    And I’ve been away for 18 months and the thing I’m looking forward to the most is a veg out on the sofa, watching all the crap TV that I hated while I was at home.
    I really hope that I havn’t idealised home too much, but I’m really excited to go back. All the things that I wanted to get away from are the things that I’m looking forward to the most!
    Another problem is never having clean clothes! I’ve found that through Asia, your clothes are either washed by hand or with cold water so they’re never properly clean. I never thought I’d miss a washing machine!

  2. Katherina says:

    haha I totally can relate to the one on not wanting to pay to pee !!! It’s so disturbing! Specially if its a case where you have to use one particular coin. What if you don’t have it?! What if you have two smaller ones summing up the same amount? It’s ridiculous.
    It’s actually the case in the airport of Geneva, Switzerland. If you arrive with the train, and go straight to the toilet, you have to plug in something like 1 CHF (which by the way, is far too much!). I realized afterwards that by just walking 200 meters and actually getting into the airport itself, there’s a toilet for free. Does that make any sense?

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