The reality of travel

How it really looks travel for a long period?

It sucks! Sometimes.

If you are traveling for a long period probably you’re doing on a budget, unless you’re rich. If you have a lot of money, well, good for you, and at the same time, I’m sorry for you, because (probably) you’re losing a lot of things.

Dollars on the ground.jpg
Money don’t grow up on the ground

So, this post is about the kind of travel which presupposes backpacking, low daily budget and a lot of desire to explore new cultures and countries in a not common touristic way.


You open Instagram, Google, Facebook or whatever social media you use and you find tons and tons of perfect pictures about perfect places with perfect happy people around the world and you think travel is so awesome. Well, the pictures that travel bloggers (me too, I admit it), photographers and agencies show are just a few moments of traveling, most of the time extremely studied. And it’s quite normal, (almost) nobody wants to show “to the world” a bad thing happened, so social media are full of lives that we would love to live but it’s impossible to have… but this is another topic.

Instagram feed.jpg

Let me tell you one simple thing, travel is not like that. TRAVEL IS DIFFICULT. You don’t believe me? Probably you never tried to hitchhike for hours in the cold under the rain or walk for kilometers with 14kg on your back or sleep in a park with homeless or “sleep” in a smelly bus for a lot of nights or eat bread and fruit for breakfast-lunch-dinner or take a shower in a dirty place; I can continue for a while, but I think you got it. Travel can mean being dirty, smelly, nervous, tired, sick, angry and hungry and every kind of bad emotion you can think.

Okay so, why you travel like this? Simple math: you can travel for a week and spend 1500€ (or $) having lunch and dinner in restaurants in the main square of the old town, use taxis, sleep in a comfy bed in a beautiful hotel room, take tourists bus to see the city etc. Or you can spend 1500€ in one month or two, but, obviously, you’ll not do the same things in the same manner. It’s a simple choice and like in everything else, there are downsizings in each of them. There’s no right or wrong, depend on you. Just don’t judge when someone chooses something different then your choice, everybody is different in this world. But I don’t want to go off topic, if you would like to read something about it, I wrote an article analyzing the differences between a “traveler” and a “tourist” HERE.

You could probably tell me: okay, I understand about money, but so, why you still do it if you are complaining? First of all, I’m not complaining, at all!! Just trying to help people who never experienced why I love so much travel like this. Yep, sometimes it sucks, but it’s a part of the game, and personally, I enjoyed everything, the best and the worst part (yes! really!). I mean, when you have a goal to do one thing or have something, is it better just have it because of some magic is happening or work hard to have it and gained properly? Feel that you have earned it is very important to personal satisfaction, don’t underestimate it.
I loved when I waited for hitchhiking for 2 hours under the rain in the cold, why? Because after I met amazing people who I’ll never forget, I had an awesome chat or a profound silence. I love to sleep in a not-comfy couch in my host’s house, why? Because before going to bed he/she showed me a local place where to take a particular beer that I can find only there or because we shared a deep talk about life meanings. And so on and on and on… Believe me, these experiences, are priceless!

Hitchiking.jpg
With that face, nobody will pick me up!

Generally speaking, people say “oh I will not do this thing ever in my life” just seeing or picturing in their mind the situation; they feel that is not good for them. I have a suggestion, just try!! A bit, at least! If you have tried you can say “yes I did and I didn’t like at all” and at least you have a new funny/sad/strange experience to tell in a dinner with friends. But if you don’t do it, actually…you’ll never know it! (And you have fewer things to talk about!)

Because travel like this is really hard not everybody feels comfortable at it. The secret that I recently discovered is to find a balance that suits you. When I started backpacking in Europe I simply said “yes” to everything, with everybody. Did you see the film “Yes man”? Yep, exactly like that (if you didn’t see it, it’s a nice movie with Jim Carrey). I’ll give an example: I arrived tired as a hell in the evening at the house of my host of that night. I spent the last 2 days without sleep around central Europe and my host asked me “I just finished to work, and we work hard but we play hard!! Tonight is the night, I’m going to party crazy, you’re very welcome to come” and my answer was yes, of course. In this particular night I had a craaazy night, one of the best of my life, maybe one day I’ll write about it, but maybe is better to not do it 😀
First, I was saying yes to everything, now I’m still saying yes to most of the things that life presents to me, but I’m doing it with a judgment, that before I didn’t have it. I just wanted to experience as much as possible, without caring about the consequences. I was afraid to not have the possibility to have this particular experience again. Now, because I traveled more and I experienced more, I know that yes, it is true, this particular experience in this particular place with these people will never happen again. But c’mon, there are so many possibilities out there that is impossible to experience everything (if you want to live long, at least). I have to listen to myself, what I really want to do and what it’s better to avoid at that moment. The thing is that:

When you travel, amazing things happens! Aaaaaall the time 🙂

If you noticed, traveling I discovered something new about myself. It’s incredible how much you don’t know about yourself.

Travel is the best way to learn who you are

It really is! But about this topic, I’ll write another article. Stay tuned 😀

Take care and always safe travel!


Always curious, keep exploring, Wo/a\nder

Francesco

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