1 April 2015

Sometimes I Just Hate Travelling

Anyone that’s donned a backpack, packed their malaria pills or taken a twenty two hour bus journey through the outback of Australia thinks they’re good at travelling. I've packed up my life and headed on the road three times now and I’m still terrible at travelling and sometimes it’s just not for me. Each trip I seem to pack more shit than I have previously done, I crave pizza and Cadburys after a week out of the UK and sometimes all I want to do is sit in an air-conditioned room and catch up on any series I've missed. So am I a shit backpacker?

I wrote this post after wandering around Pai in northern Thailand. Six weeks into a goodness knows how long trip. It was hot, dusty and I had just given up on a bike ride and left my friend because I couldn't hack it. Some readers may think I'm being selfish, stubborn, a spoilt brat. I'm lucky to be travelling, I'm lucky to be able to move from place to place at the drop of a hat. But sometimes, I just want to curl up in the foetal position and hope my mum brings me a pie and a cup of British tea.

Travelling can be annoying. As much as I love backpacking, and I really do otherwise I wouldn't be doing it, sometimes I just think I’m a shit backpacker. It annoys me when I meet people who say I should be roughing it, that I should throw away my Lonely Planet and that three ‘night’ outfits is too much. Well screw you. I'm pretty sure we're all very guilty to judge other peoples travel habits and to think, “oh, how I'd do that differently, like a real traveller”, but who are we kidding. No one wants to admit to the hippy in the middle of India that they're suffering without Wi-Fi and that they've craved a decent cup of coffee since they arrived. We all like to think we're living the nomad, backpacker life, but at the same time we want to go on Facebook and Instagram and make our friends jealous of the $1 frozen margaritas we're drinking on the riverside bar in Peru.

As much as my biggest passion in life is travelling, some days I don't want be carrying around a 15kg backpack, in a hot, dusty country, especially when I haven't been to the toilet in three days, wearing a sweat ridden shirt with mosquitos knawing at my legs. It makes me question, can I live this gypsy backpacker life? But I say embrace your hates when you travel, don't feel bad because the weed smoking hippy hitchhiked across Afghanistan with three t-shirts and a toothbrush to his name. We all travel differently and as long as you're happy when you’re travelling, then what does it matter?

Reading back on this post a few months later after I'm no longer in the heat of Thailand, and I'm now in Australia staying with friends, families and great people, I do feel like a spoilt brat (mainly because I’m still waiting for my mum to hand deliver a pie.) But there are times amongst your travels where you won't be having a blast, where you'll want to stay in your room all day and avoid sweating and every other Tom, Dick and Harry travelling through the streets. But overall, I think those days are needed as they make the great days even greater. Don't feel as if you have to travel like everyone else, and do your own thing and have those days where you want to hibernate from the world, cause face it, if you don't then you might end up punching the next person you see with ten friendship bracelets down their wrist screaming at you to chug the goon they have dangling from their hands.

I'll keep my Lonely Planet, I'll choose a particular café because of its Wi-Fi access and I'll wear the clothes and jewellery to make it look like I'm a hippy gypsy who feels a close connection to the locals, where in reality I'm questioning how far the nearest 7/11 is. Be your own traveller, don't judge others with ten more outfits than you, and don't feel judged by those who have eaten with the locals every meal and are therefore fluent in the dialects of Mongolia… Happy travelling!

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