I recently spent six months traveling around South America and had an absolute blast! I went to Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru, where I saw amazing landscapes and beautiful, welcoming people. However, if you’re anything like me and travel within a specific budget, you know it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies!
I believe when you’re traveling on a budget, you automatically force yourself into situations you wouldn’t otherwise — and you should! Hey, I have nothing against people staying in all-inclusive five star hotels, they just don’t interact with the locals in the same way we do. It’s their loss.
The little things you treasure when you’re back home probably won’t be there when you travel. That full English breakfast, the bus leaving on time or even the hot showers will be just a distant dream.
But that’s exactly what you wanted — the different! If you’re expecting to find everything you have back home, you might as well travel in your own country! You want the language barriers and the laughter that comes with them. You want some uncomfortable experiences, because they’ll make you think about and value what you take for granted in your country.
In light of this attitude towards traveling, I’ll share with you the things that really got on my nerves when I was traveling around Peru, but at the same time, made me appreciate what I had back home.
No Toilet Seats
The first time it happened was in Cusco and in a decent looking hostel. We had checked in and when we got to our rooms, the toilet didn’t have a seat. We thought at first that someone might have broken it and shrugged it off.
But it’s really hard to shrug it off when you feel the cold ceramic touching your bottom! I mean, if it’s already cold — and believe me, Cusco can get super cold — you don’t need the extra chill on your backside.
However, if you’re by the coast, where the weather is a lot more agreeable, the gentle frigid touch could actually be desirable. Did I just write that? Yeah, if the temperature hits the thirties and you’re sweating just by existing, it’s not too bad a feeling!
To be honest, I think the guy who introduces shower curtains in Peru will become a millionaire! Seriously, you’re better off expecting not to find one and in case you do, you should celebrate, as most budget accommodation doesn’t have them.
The problem is how quickly your toilet gets messy when you don’t have a shower curtain. Water gets everywhere and unless you have a dirty rag to wipe it up, it’s going to be wet for a couple of hours.
To minimize this, you have to take your shower in extremely creative positions or build a makeshift curtain with your towels, but why bother if it’s going to get messy anyway?