Traveling is Glamorous” — said no one who’s actually traveled ever.
If you have ever traveled abroad before you know this to be a false statement. Unless you are the lucky few who can afford fancy hotels, rental cars, and to eat at the best restaurants every night it can be far from it.
If you’re not one of the lucky ones there are most likely a lot of long train rides (like the 6 1/2 hour one I am on to Amsterdam right now) and interesting logging arrangements which result in some pretty interesting stories. For my friends and I these stories include ones like the time in Vienna, Austria when we shared the same hostel room with three angry Brazilians and a bearded lady. (She literally had a beard, no lies).
Anyway my point being, travel is not as glamorous as it may appear on social media. But our generation is obsessed with it so you do what you gotta do. But if you are planning a trip, you better be prepared for some weird stuff. Stuff like your hostel in Berlin smelling like Sauerkraut and weed or being asked super uncomfortable questions like “youre not one of THOSE who voted for trump, are you?” (The Germans REALLY don’t like him).
On top of the just plan awkward that may arise at any moment, there is what I like to call “foreign country eating anxiety”. Trying to do something as simple as eat dinner brings a whole new set of problems. Do you go up and pay? Do you just sit down at any table or wait to be seated? What if you can’t figure out what anything is on the menu? Do you stand and drink your cappuccino or pay double the price when you sit? Will I be able to communicate what I want to eat? My best advice is to take advantage of those around you and people watch and when that fails, don’t be afraid to be the foreigner who doesn’t understand and ask first.
I sorely wish travel was as glamorous as it looks on instagram. But on the other side of the phone what you don’t see is the vulnerable human beings. You don’t see us getting on the wrong trains, not being able to wash clothes for weeks at a time, getting a 24 hour flu, and being so sick of Traveling that you almost hop on the next flight home.
Yes, traveling might not actually be instagram fabulous but don’t get me wrong, it is amazing. It is amazing to see all the sights, try new foods, and meet new people. It’s amazing to truly see what you can take, how you get through the tough situations… it’s those things that you learn along the way that make it so amazing.
So whenever asked to travel, always say yes! It won’t always be easy but it WILL always be worth it!