14 Nov The downsides to travel
Travelling is amazing. It’s one of the most enjoyable things you can do. But there are times when things don’t go quite right – like when you’re struck down by the local stomach bug or you suffer whiplash after a car accident on roads you’re not used to driving on.
These are some of the more serious downsides to travelling, but there are plenty of other little problems you may encounter when you’re out there expanding your horizons.
Packing – and unpacking
There are so many things to think about when getting ready to set off somewhere new, but most of these thoughts are about what to take. Depending on the length of your journey, you might need multiple seasons’ worth of clothes. Packing these is not one of the most fun aspects of seeing the world. Even worse? Unpacking when you finally get to your destination – or back home.
Airports and flying
Not everyone hates flying. In fact, it can be pretty exciting. After all, it’s the start of your adventure. But that doesn’t mean it’s fun. Plane seats are uncomfortable, getting through security can be highly unpleasant – depending on who’s doing the frisking – and airport prices are seemingly based on billionaire’s spending habits. That’s to say nothing of delayed flights, causing potentially massive inconveniences like missed connections.
Food names you can’t decipher
Street food. Its popularity has gone through the roof lately. There are few more authentic ways to try the local cuisine of the exotic places you’ve been to. The photos of the food make it look amazing But there’s one problem – you don’t know what any of it is. Trying to decipher what your options for dinner are when you don’t speak the language is one of the most common minor frustrations you can experience on your travels. It’s probably worth getting familiar with some of the most famous national dishes so you have a vague idea what you’re ordering.
There’s no escape from it – the struggle of jet lag is real. Going from time zone to time zone can really mess with your sleeping patterns. Jet lag is typically worse for travellers going from west to east, according to studies. According to a UK study, the number of days to adjust when travelling west is roughly half the number of time zones crossed. Meanwhile, it’s two-thirds the number of zones crossed when travelling east. If you’re planning a major trip, bear that in mind to optimise your body’s reactions.
Although these are all real problems – differing on the scale of awfulness – the most unpleasant issue you’re going to have to face is going home. Travelling opens the mind and gives you an insight into new cultures and lives. When that’s over and you’re back home where everyone is still doing the same thing they were doing when you left, life can feel a little boring. There’s always an upside to being bored, though – you can use the time to start planning your next big trip.