I’d like to say EVERY single moment of the time I have spent travelling have been all fun and rosy but that would be a lie. I have had a few not-so-great experiences and I’m not talking about the time I became a corporate beggar in Florence and Rome, or when I thought my hostel roommate was going to strangle me in my sleep. Nope, I’m not referring to any of my solo travel horror stories.
I am referring to some of the moments that don’t make it on to social media. Some of the moments I wished I was home with my family or some of the times I really wished I had someone to share my experiences with. So here goes;
Up until recently, 90% of the trips I have taken have been solo and I have enjoyed them for the most part but there were times when I got very, very lonely and borderline depressed. For example, in the summer of 2015, I took my first solo trip to explore some parts of Europe. It wasn’t by choice as my sister was supposed to join me.She couldn’t make it, so I found myself all alone and I think this might have been the reason why I didn’t enjoy my stay in Barcelona at first.
As I mentioned in this post where I talked about ways to deal with loneliness while traveling solo, the feeling of being alone is bound to creep in and often doesn’t make it to social media. But let’s face it, I am not going to take a crying selfie and post it up on Instagram. It’s not that I am trying to project a false life but aren’t pictures the last thing anyone thinks about when they’re feeling down?
Anyway, I am thankful for the lady in the picture above who kept photobombing me (she was responsible for my first truly happy moment in Barcelona). I am also thankful for the hostel receptionist who came downstairs to get my bag and for the party animals I met at the hostel who inducted me to Sangria and made sure I joined the party at Las Ramblas after Barcelona won the Champions League that year.
Another thorn of my travel journey has to do with money. Despite several weeks and sometimes, months of planning, I sometimes still fall into tourist traps and make stupid spending decisions. I buy something I shouldn’t have bothered with or get cheated into paying more for an item or service.
I had a lot of these moments in South Africa, where I visited with my sister. On our first day, we mistakenly booked a “premium” economy ticket and bought an adapter for three times the price, setting us back by more than a thousand rand. For us budget travellers, that is a lot!
It was also in SA, I parted with my beloved Galaxy Note 4 (be gone with your Note 7 jokes!) and I was definitely not all smiles about that! But I am thankful for the hotel staff who gave us a ride from the Kruger NP area to Hazyview (2 hrs away) when we were too broke to pay for a cab and for all the wonderful people who we met along the way.
Lastly, there is the tendency for me to get sick while travelling by road. Land transport is my preferred means of travel but unfortunately, I struggle with severe motion sickness.
Shortly after taking this picture in Lavasa, India, my friend and I got into a car and headed back to Pune. We didn’t get far when I started to feel uncomfortable. There was an illegal party going on in my head, my stomach was churning badly and I could barely keep anything down. Our driver had to pull up twice to allow me throw up by the side of the road. Needless to say, I almost ruined that outing for the both of us.
I have since had to find ways to manage motion sickness, I wrote an article about that here and also make it a point of duty to never travel without proper medication.
So, no, I haven’t had it all rosy but every moment and experience has been priceless and I wouldn’t change a thing! Nah, scratch that… I will go back and not buy those “premium economy” tickets!
Anyway, I am happy to be sharing this journey with you and I hope you go on to make your own adventures too!
I would love to hear from you… please share some of your travel experiences by leaving a comment.