Sometimes Travel Sucks
It’s true, sometimes travel sucks. Don’t get me wrong, travel is a wonderful thing, I go crazy when I have too much time between trips, and I will always encourage people to get out there and experience the world. But it’s not all wonderful. As much as I love telling you about the great destinations I’m traveling to and how amazing travel itself is, I think it’s important for you to know the other side of it as well.
Travel brings a lot of decisions
Forget the decisions about when and where to go. I’m talking about once I’m on the trip. At home, if Andy and I want to eat out, we have a good idea of what restaurants are available to us. We run down the list of places we like and pick one based on what we want to eat and what type of atmosphere we’re in the mood for. But when we’re traveling, we have no idea what the options are. It’s fine for a few days, even for a week or so, but eventually I get sick of constantly having to figure out not only what restaurant to eat at, but where the restaurants even are.
Aside from food, we’re always having to decide what to do that day. When you think about it, in our every day lives, we don’t often have to make decisions about what to do on a particular day. Most of us get up and go to work or school, and we follow our routines until bedtime. Traveling usually means we don’t have any routine, so every day we’re deciding where to go and what to do. It’s great to have that freedom, but the constant decision-making can get exhausting.
Travel can mean bad beds
I’ve written about bad beds before, and while I have slept in a few amazing hotel beds, it’s rare to find a bed I like as much as my own. Throughout our Beyond Vacation kick-off trip, Andy and I spent the night in 13 different places: hostels, hotels, apartments, and even a canal boat and an overnight train. Some beds were definitely better than others, but none even came close to being as comfy as our bed at home.
I panicked about this while we were traveling. If I’m constantly dealing with bad beds (and bad pillows!) and I can’t sleep well night after night, I get cranky. I actually started thinking, can I really do this? Can I keep traveling if I can’t sleep well when I’m somewhere other than my own bed?
Um…I forgot why else…
I started this post on the tail end of our trip and the first day or so back home. But after just a few days, I couldn’t remember the other reasons I had in my head. Certainly there are other reasons why travel sometimes sucks, but if I’ve already forgotten them, I think that speaks volumes. I’m already looking at flight prices for the next trip.
Ultimately I know I won’t stop traveling. We will continue to look back on mistakes we’ve made and try to do better next time. Andy and I are going to do things like find out more about the neighborhoods were looking at before we even book a place, that way we know more about the restaurant situation. We also know we need to travel slower. There isn’t much I can do about the bad beds, but I can’t let something like that keep me home.
It will never be perfect. There will always be stressful days on the road in between the good ones. For me, the good outweighs the bad. So much so that I’ve already blocked out most of the reasons why travel sometimes sucks! Travel is such an amazing, rewarding experience, and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.
The next monthly newsletter about our Beyond Vacation lifestyle will be sent out in a few days, have you subscribed yet? Sign up here!
July 4, 2013 @ 4:01 PM
Bad beds are the worst! Especially if you’ve just flown all the way across the world and are exhausted.
July 4, 2013 @ 7:30 PM
I totally agree!
Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
July 5, 2013 @ 2:33 PM
I don’t know why, but I found it so funny that your list boiled down to bad beds & making choices. I don’t disagree with you in the least (seriously, constantly having to think about and decide every little thing is exhausting), but talk about first world problems, right? 😉
July 6, 2013 @ 2:45 PM
I know, right? I did have other reasons, but I seriously forgot them within a few days of getting home. I should’ve written them down in the moment because I was pretty irritable the last few days of our trip. But it allowed me to finish this post in a way even I didn’t expect.
July 5, 2013 @ 8:59 PM
For us it is usually hospitality and tourism providers that cause problems…like bad service, dirty rooms, etc. The time and energy it takes to complain is draining…
July 6, 2013 @ 2:46 PM
Bad service and dirty rooms, stuff like that is definitely a drag. We had plenty of bumps along the way that took a lot out of us, but I guess in the end, we just deal with it because we want to continue traveling.
July 5, 2013 @ 9:15 PM
Oh my list could go on and on: bad wifi, noisy hostels, no hot water, figuring out how to see the sights and still find time for work,etc. But in the end, nothing is bad enough to keep me from traveling constantly.
July 6, 2013 @ 2:47 PM
Yeah, there are plenty of things on the list. I had specific reasons during our last few days of this trip, but they all sort of floated away once I got home. Like you said, nothing that’s going to keep me from traveling.
July 5, 2013 @ 9:31 PM
The only time I really think travel sucks is when something major occurs like the time Expedia screwed up and accidentally cancelled the return portion of my plane ticket and stranded me in the US without hotel, car, or even an apology. But the really bad situations are pretty rare and for me the sucky part of travel is the going home and waiting for the next trip.
July 6, 2013 @ 2:49 PM
Ugh that’s awful! And yes, as much as I’m enjoying my own bed, shower, kitchen, etc. right now, I’m already starting to itch for the next trip!
July 6, 2013 @ 12:46 AM
That is too funny- I almost always forget about the bad parts of my trips as time goes on. My trips are like a fine wine, they get better with age. lol
July 6, 2013 @ 2:50 PM
Hilarious Erik! I know what you mean though, the whole nostalgia thing I guess. You forget about the bad parts and only really look back at the good memories. It’s probably better that way!
Aaron @ Aaron's Worldwide Adventures
July 8, 2013 @ 3:23 AM
Oh I can fill in some of those reasons! Travel sucks cuz sometimes:
-You’re crammed on a train/bus/boat for hours upon hours on end and then it breaks down leaving you stranded
-The weather totally ruins every amazing plan you had
-You lose your camera
-You can’t find a cheap place to sleep
-That visa costs you $130 and costs your Canadian friend $30
-Drunk, obnoxious people at hostels
-I think that taxi driver just ripped me off….
-When the bus just decides to never show up!
-And yes, bad beds do suck!
I too get antsy between trips, but fortunately (or unfortunately?) I’ve been traveling so much for work lately that I’ve spent, oh, 49 days in my bed so far this year, so getting antsy hasn’t been a problem! I could use a vacation though…from all the traveling!
July 8, 2013 @ 11:32 AM
Ah yes, thank you Aaron! Definitely lots of reasons why travel sometimes sucks! But I’m glad I forget them easily, otherwise I might not get back out there. I hope you get a chance to sleep at home soon, I know what it feels like to need a vacation from your vacation!
July 9, 2013 @ 12:17 AM
I have come so close to writing a post like this myself. I guess it’s easy to find things to pick at while you’re travelling and then once your home you look back with hindsight and it’s all fond memories! The decisions and the bad sleep are definitely two things that really get to me, as well as being ripped out for terrible food.
July 9, 2013 @ 5:30 PM
Thanks Julia! Yeah, terrible food is a big one too. It’s amazing how many annoying things we can find about travel, but in the end it’s all worth it. The enjoyment and experiences are worth dealing with the bad stuff!
July 9, 2013 @ 12:24 AM
Sometimes, travels bring bad bedBUGS. And that can be such a daunting thing to face when traveling.
July 9, 2013 @ 5:32 PM
Ugh, I’ve been lucky so far, no experiences with bed bugs for me. Hopefully I can keep it that way!
July 9, 2013 @ 3:15 PM
Decision fatigue! I think it is one of the worst parts of travel. Sometimes I just want someone to say to me “YOU EAT CEREAL FOR BREAKFAST AT THAT RESTAURANT ON THE CORNER.” Man.
July 9, 2013 @ 5:36 PM
Exactly! I know it sounds crazy because we want to make our own decisions and we’d never want someone else to dictate our lives, but the volume of decisions gets overwhelming when traveling.
The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen)
July 11, 2013 @ 2:08 PM
I’m with ya. There’s plenty that sucks about traveling, but ultimately it isn’t going to stop me. It may slow me down, but stop? No.
July 12, 2013 @ 4:16 PM
Exactly! Thanks Ellen!
July 12, 2013 @ 9:18 PM
Haha, I love that you forgot what the other things were that suck! Definitely says something about how much you love to travel!
July 13, 2013 @ 12:47 PM
Thanks Amanda! Yeah, I wrote half of the post and then I was kind of complaining to Andy that I didn’t know how to finish it because I forgot the other reasons. So he said, why not write that?
Apartment Checklist for Slow Travelers - Grounded Traveler
August 24, 2013 @ 8:03 AM
[…] had some good luck and some bad luck with our apartments this summer. We learned that we need to do better research. With so many sites […]
Mary @ Green Global Travel
August 8, 2014 @ 6:27 AM
It’s true that it’s not always amazing in every way, but the good usually outweighs any bad. It makes for a unique experience that you couldn’t get back at home making it all worth it!
August 8, 2014 @ 10:01 AM
August 8, 2014 @ 11:17 AM
At first I could handle a bad bed or an usual sofa to sleep on whilst Couchsurfing, but as of late I’ve noticed my back isn’t so keen.
August 8, 2014 @ 2:42 PM
I feel like I used to be better at dealing with bad beds too, maybe it’s age?