When Travel Is Not Rewarding
Nowadays, it seems that traveling is the be-all and end-all of life. It can be the perfect answer to a bad break-up or a way to reset your life if you’re unexpectedly made redundant. It’s also deemed as a lifestyle in itself. You don’t need to travel for a specific reason as traveling is already the end goal.
However, traveling can only be rewarding if done the right way. Yes, it’s possible to find solutions to your problems and even a life purpose during your travels. However, that can only happen if you take it seriously.
You Party All the Time
Have you ever met that type of traveler that lives like a vampire? They sleep throughout the day and only wakes up to start drinking before another night out. They don’t seem too interested in the local touristic sites but can name all the clubs and bars in a five-kilometer radius.
While going out every now and then is a fun way to loosen up and meet people, it shouldn’t be the sole focus of one’s trip. To be frank, you can easily party back home. However, you won’t be able to visit amazing museums or see different and exciting wildlife while at home.
Don’t Engage with the Locals
Most travelers visiting a new destination go on incredible tours, sample delicious food, and visit museums to learn a bit more about the local history. However, you can only learn so much without talking to the people who live in the country.
You may one day forget what a temple in Thailand looked like, but you’ll never forget a conversation with a local monk sharing their wisdom.
You’re Only Worried About the Perfect Selfie
When you start a new trip, you must ask yourself if you’re doing it for yourself or the families and friends back home. While social media brings people together, it has created a “celebrity culture”, where uploading the perfect picture is more important than living in the moment.
It’s not that you shouldn’t update your loved ones about your whereabouts. However, some people spend the entire trip taking photos and only really look at them when they return home. So, instead of taking in the surroundings, listening to sounds, and contemplating the details, they just use the destination as a stage for their barrage of selfies.
You Make Silly Mistakes
It’s nearly impossible to travel without ever making a silly mistake that’ll cost you time or money — especially if you’re a beginner. With that being said, there seems to be a class of travelers that never truly learn anything from their experiences or, unfortunately, are just unlucky.
Some common mistakes include:
- Forgetting to check you need a visa for the destination;
- Not buying an onward ticket to prove you’re eventually leaving;
- Not having a passport with at least six months of validity, or;
- Not learning about any local scams.
You Don’t Try the Local Food
It goes without saying that if you have any dietary restrictions or severe allergic reactions, it’s totally understandable why you wouldn’t be adventurous with exotic food. However, for those who are just picky eaters, you probably will never know what you’re missing out on.
Not that you should only eat fried grasshoppers or wood larvae, but you should at least make an effort to try different dishes and flavors. Sometimes, a food you dislike back home might be cooked in a completely unusual way abroad.
You Get Stressed About Everything
Unless you’re intentionally challenging yourself to do something grand such as climbing a massive mountain or doing extreme sports, traveling is usually a time of leisure and relaxation. Some people, however, fret about every little thing and as a consequence ruin their trip.
Traveling is as much as having fun as it is about leaving your comfort zone. So, when stressful situations come your way, just go with the flow instead of getting flustered about it.
You Don’t Go Off the Beaten Track
Imagine a close friend is staying with you for a weekend and it’s their first time visiting the town. Would you just take them to the busy touristic places or show them the hidden gems only known to the locals?
If you only go where everyone is going, you’ll never have the chance to be surprised by something new. So, instead of just ticking items off your list, try to get lost or ask some friendly locals for expert advice.
You Get Extremely Sick
Getting sick when you’re traveling can be super frustrating. You’ve just arrived at your dream destination and can’t wait to explore. Suddenly, you’re bedridden, vomiting your guts out, and wishing your mom was by your side taking care of you.
While you can never be entirely sure about the source of your illness, there are certain steps you can take to minimize the issue. First of all, take all the suggested vaccinations, so you’re not hit by an easily avoidable bug. Also, be careful with stray dogs as they may carry rabies and try to eat at places with a fast turnaround.
You Pack Too Much
One of the classic mistakes that beginner travelers make is overestimating how much stuff they need to take on their trip. They believe they absolutely must take different outfits and gear for every situation. However, in most cases, they rarely use them.
Unless you need a specific type of medicine or gear, you can find pretty much everything you need in any big capital. Instead of carrying 20 kilos and paying to check your luggage in at every flight, just learn to travel light.
You Miss an Important Flight
Missing a short flight on a long trip is not a big deal. On the other hand, missing a long flight on a short trip can destroy your plans.
The problem is not only the flight but also the hotel and activities you’ve already booked and will most likely miss. If it’s the high season, then it can be quite expensive to book everything last minute.
While there are situations you can’t really control such as overbooking or snowstorms, it can be annoying to miss a flight because you’re stuck in traffic or going to the wrong airport. As such, you should always try to get to the airport two to three hours before departure just to be on the safe side.
You Choose the Wrong Travel Partner
It’s not uncommon to talk to travelers and hear different tales from the same destination. Someone hated every minute of it, while the other fell in love with it completely. Sometimes, the disparity can be due to a horrible event. However, it’s usually about the company they had with them.
If you’re going to travel with somebody for a long period of time, it’s essential to go on some short trips together beforehand. You may find out that while you enjoy trekking and the outdoors, your partner loves museums and parties. In order to avoid unnecessary conflicts, pick a partner you get on with.
You Don’t Do Any Activities
There are many different ways to explore a new destination, but some will definitely have a bigger impact on you than others. You’re a lot more likely to cherish the activities that were challenging and taught you something new. For instance, taking a cable car to a nearby viewpoint might be cool, but climbing the peak yourself will probably be unforgettable.