Let’s get this straight: We love traveling more than anything in the world. Having been hooked to travel since more than a decade ago, we even gave up our career in engineering for a life on the road. It’s what brought us together, it’s a passion we both share, it’s something we just cannot imagine life without.
But even for travel addicts like us, there are just days when we want to ditch our backpacks and throw in the white towel. As much as we hate to say this – sometimes, we really hate traveling. Here’s why:
1. Delayed flights and missed connections
We love flying almost as much as we love traveling – especially on long-haul flights when we can cozy up under a blanket and treat ourselves to a movie marathon. But when flights get delayed, it almost completely ruins the excitement of flying. Waiting for the next flight wouldn’t be a problem if we weren’t missing my connecting flight chocking up extra expenses and wasting valuable time.
We finally get to this exotic destination about hours of flying and – bam! – we’re hit with this sudden wave of sleepiness, at two in the afternoon. And after days of adjusting to the time difference, it’s already time to head home.
“Come, look at my shop!” You see and hear them in every major tourist destination – from Cairo to Bangkok and Morocco. Unfortunately they’re like a plague that you just can’t get rid of. Steer clear of the tourist-cluttered markets and attractions – those are their favorite hangouts!
4. Too many travelers
Picture Rome without the throngs of camera-toting tourists, or Bangkok without the backpacking hippies with the signature baggy pants — the world we live is now overrun with travelers. According to (WTMO), over a billion people traveled in the year 2012. Perhaps that’s part of the reason why I tend to seek out unconventional destinations – like Madagascar instead of Mauritius, Albania instead of Italy, and North Korea instead of South Korea.
5. Visa applications
As a Singaporean, I rarely need to travel with a visa (thanks to the good ties between Singapore and other countries). But there are still some countries where this kind of formality is still necessary, and it is not always easy to get past it. Long processing periods or a lack of embassy or consulate of the country on your current location can hinder your plans and stop you from visiting.
6. Dorm rooms
Days of meeting fellow travelers, cooking together, swapping stories and partying in the hostel were fun and we still love hostel vibes. But there just comes a time in life when you get too old for dorm rooms. During a recent hostel stay in Ushuaia, Argentina, I had a bunkmate who snored louder than a hippo, another one who couldn’t stop bragging about his travels, and one who was obviously suffering from smelly feet. As much as I can enjoy some company during my travels, there are just some moments when I need some extra privacy and comfort.
7. Sleeping at airports
There comes a time in every frequent traveler’s life when one has to spend a few hours stranded in some airport, far away from your final destination. If you ever had to spend the night in an airport, you must agree with me that it’s almost sadistic the way some of them are laid out. No seats anywhere to be found; and when you finally find one, someone has purposely added separations between each seat so that no normal person can lay down and have some rest. Not cool people, not cool.
8. Feeling dirty
On my six-month trip in South America, we probably spent 20 days or more without showering. Days spent hiking in the Amazon Rainforest and on safari in the Uyuni all involved tons of sweat, plenty of mud, and no showers. By the end of the trip, my hair was developing into a mess of dreadlocks and my skin was covered with layers of dirt – yikes!
We’re all guilty of that. Don’t get me wrong: I’ve got a whole collection of guidebooks – I’ve even co-authored one before, but there is one thing about guidebooks that is not doing destinations (and the travel industry in general) any favor. When everyone has the same guidebook and everyone follows it like a bible, where is the fun of traveling?
10. No public toilets
Ever found yourself with a severe stomachache only to realize that there’s not a single public toilet in sight? It’s a common problem regardless of where you go. Through the years, we’ve grown accustomed to carrying a roll of toilet paper everywhere we go and being able to ‘go’ whether we’re in the mountains or the savannas.
Do you hate traveling at times? Why? Share with us in the comments field below.