Okay. So admittedly when we take and post photos of our travels, it’s usually composed of all the good things. Ya know – blue skies, great food, happy smiles, the perfect sunrise and all that stuff, no? But travelling ain’t all about the glitz and glam. It has, unforch, an annoying and dark side of it. Here’s a few things I hate about travel.
1) Travelling to Travel
You know that “If you had one superpower….” question? My answer has always been teleportation. I get impatient with travelling in the literal sense. I usually dread getting to the airport because it’s rather draining. Plus the flights themselves are rather tiring, especially whenever I go back to the Eastern hemisphere. When it comes to boat rides for island hopping, I love being in the water but can only tolerate up to 40 minutes until my sea legs give up.
2) Airport Time
These bag drop counters don’t actually help.
Some of you may know that I’ve been an expat for a while now. Though I have UK residency, I have a Philippine passport which means I still have to go through the non-EU queues at border/immigration control which often takes forever. Unforch, the Philippines isn’t eligible to apply for the Registered Traveller service which would’ve made things easier. It also doesn’t matter if I fly first, business, or economy. It’s rather inconvenient, particularly after a red-eye flight when all you want to do is dive in your comfy bed and refresh from your travels.
My Philippine passport only allows me to travel in a number of countries visa-free so everything else requires having to apply for and renew visas. I got denied a US visa renewal which really annoying as a ticket has already been purchased and plans were already made. The paperwork and the waiting can be tasking, particularly as they require biometrics these days – meaning that’s extra time off work you need to take to process all that. Oh. Well.
4) The plane ride
For last month’s travel link-up post, I mentioned that one of my travel fears is flying. It still holds true as I get clammy during take-off for fear of some technical issue happening and nervy when we pass through some sort of turbulence. Also, I hate it when you get stuck in a plane with crying babies or kicking toddlers, snoring neighbours, or bad entertainment (I once went on a long haul trip with a broken AV set on a full plane and I nearly went bonkers. My consolation was a tub of ice cream.)
But really and truly, I hate public toilets and plane toilets are definitely the worst for me.
5) But I wanna take it home!!!!
Gone are the days of magnets, trinkets, and t-shirts. Souvenir-shopping has gone to a different level, because I love ‘practical’ travel souvenirs I can use within my home. Like a rug from Marrakech, or a bowl from Essaouira, or a vase from Barcelona, or placemats from Philippines. You know? There are, however, so many things that I’ve seen and want to take back, if only not for customs and shipping costs. I would really love to bring some plants and furniture back in Londontown!
6) Petty Thieves
I’ve got a lot to say about thievery, as they come in all sorts. From taxi drivers in South East Asia who are rather notorious for not starting the meter and charging a one-off instead, to the hotels in Paris who charge you full price on top of your already paid-for booking, to tourist pricing and fixed-rate currency exchange rates, to the airlines who charge so much more tax than the flight fare itself. Gah. There are so many common scams floating about and as much as we have to always be vigilant… can’t we just have worry-free travels and breaks?
Check out this pretty cool infographic from Just The Flight with some of the travel scams you need to watch out for (this isn’t an ad, by the way).
7) Bad Weather
Grey skies in the tropics: it’s not fair that the only thing dry in this photo is my martini.
Let’s face it, us Londoners travel to escape the grey skies and often dream of sunnier climes. I’ve had my fair share of “It’s too dangerous to go up the tower,” or “Oh, the fire dance is postponed cos of the storm,” or “Oh, let’s just get room service as the rain is heavy”. Needless to say bad weather can often ruin months of waiting for that one big escape, and all the swimwear you’ve packed and bought remain untouched in your suitcase.
8) The “Alpha” and “Beta” Travellers
People say travelling can test relationships between people and I can completely attest to that. “Alpha” travellers are those who are so rigid with itineraries and get super aggy when things are off-schedule. I mean, okay. I myself have a spreadsheet and a planned itinerary for breaks (and I’m seemingly the only one who can read maps)… but isn’t it fun to get lost every now and again and just go with the flow?
“Beta” travellers are those who test your patience. Where’d you like to go? Anywhere. What do you want to see? Anything. What would you like to do? Up to you! Let’s take a photo! I don’t want to. What we doing tonight? I think I’ll go back to the hotel to Skype with my boyfriend. Everything’s “okay” with them. Everything’s “up to you”. Total killjoys.
My family’s a bunch of Alpha-Betas, but we do travel well together 🙂
9) The un-packing
One of my travel quirks is that I actually love packing. In fact, my friends know how notorious I am by packing two weeks in advance so as to not touch any outfits I want to wear whilst travelling. But I hate hate hate unpacking. The idea of having a big load of stuff to wash is often daunting so sometimes it actually takes me a week (or a month, heh) to open my suitcase.
10) Holiday blues and the desire to do it all over again
Yep, we’ve all felt it. You’re back at your work desk needing to catch up on emails and piling more stuff on your to-do list. Yet you find yourself daydreaming about sunshiney days and eating some sort of exotic fruit for the very first time. Your eyes glaze over spreadsheets and pivot tables, as your mind treks back to the time you’ve hiked for three hours only to arrive at a spot with amazing waterfalls and meeting happy smiling people. It only lasts until a work call breaks your reverie. Sigh.
But you’d do it all over again, won’t you? Because most of the time, the destination is always worth it. Seeing the world always is.
What do you hate about travel?
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