Wanderer Neha

"i haven't been everywhere but it's on my list."

The Reality Of Travel Lifestyle

Inspiration to write this struck me when I was talking to a fellow travel enthusiast who didn't quite enjoy his recent trip to Spiti Valley. I was shocked! All this while Spiti seemed like a dream destination. But was I really that shocked? 

Because it's true, I have been let down quite a few times in my travels too. It is something I learned very early on in my stint that traveling will bring its share of disappointments just like everything else in life. 

white town pondicherry
Picturesque town of Pondicherry usually swamped by tourists

The world out there will print a rosy picture and compel you to build your bucket list. Ask yourself: Why is it that you inherently travel? Are you ready for a setback?   

Every frame is not Insta-worthy

I love taking pictures. But sometimes, I catch myself under tremendous pressure to find the perfect shot for Instagram. I want to capture the beauty of my travel moments to share with my friends and family so that they get to know about my unique discoveries. Here's the truth - you can't capture everything with the camera (even DSLRs & GoPros) and that's OK. Sometimes you just have to leave your phones and cameras aside and feel those moments.

After my recent trip to Kerala, I came home with barely any pictures. And it was one of my best trips. I truly lived every moment to tell the tale. 

Good pictures do not necessarily equate to a good trip.

You encounter shitty people

India or abroad, you are going to meet shitty people and they can completely mess with your mood. You will be catcalled, you will be overcharged, you will be made fun of, you will be provided bad service. It could range from annoying tourists to uncooperative hosts. 

Is that going to stop you from exploring though? Simply pack your bags and move on.

Also, read: Why You Should Choose Airbnb For Your Next Vacation

There is more trash than you think

I thought only Mumbai was a garbage city but other places are relatively dirty too. Don't let the pictures fool you. Or rather don't believe in any pictures. It's quite possible you'll reach the destination that you were planning for months only to be welcomed by trash everywhere. Do your bit for eco-travel but don't expect every place to be clean especially not in India.

You need to compromise on food

Just like people and the weather, food could play a spoilsport too. When you go offbeat or countryside, not a lot is written about the food of such places. And not everything will satisfy your taste buds. It could turn into a game of hit-and-miss. Be prepared and don't expect to be served local delicacies the moment you land.

Your budget can go haywire  

Budget destinations can sometimes turn into a nightmare. If you are visiting during holidays or long weekends, don't expect to rely on your bargaining skills. A lot of places hike up prices with the influx of tourists. I have on few occasions overshot my budget. Let this not dishearten you.

But be ready to take the blame too

Most of the bad things mentioned above can be avoided if you do your research right. I'm all up for impromptu plans but they are the ones that leave you dissatisfied at times. I like to be prepared. I read up a lot and dig deep into the reviews. There can be just one bad thing that could probably tick you off completely. Join travel groups and talk to fellow travelers. Find out whether the place meets the requirement of what you are really looking for.

Also, two people can have completely opposite experiences. I have loved certain places while my friends have disliked them and vice versa. On the other hand, a place can provide you different experiences on two different occasions. So don't be scared to revisit at your own pace. 

Ultimately, in spite of all the hurdles, I'm always looking forward to my next trip. Traveling is something that leaves me completely exhilarated. Once you discover your travel style, once you know what you are looking for - the positives just overpower the negatives. There are many places left unexplored and new experiences awaiting you! Just one advice: Plan well.

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