Here’s a little secret Instagram, Facebook and all those fancy travel blogs won’t tell you; it’s not always easy being a traveler. It’s actually really hard sometimes.
It breaks you down and makes you anxious and curious about what’s happening back home. About what’s happening where you’re not and makes you miss your comfort zone, like the sea would miss the beach, if it ever went away. It takes your breath away, but not always in that cute, butterfly feeling way, but more like, I can’t breathe today, let me go home, way. You’re across the world, so that option comes to be a little tougher, on those days you really wish it weren’t.
You realize that traveling isn’t always those little cute Instagram pictures or witty Facebook statuses that make you feel like you could conquer the world; it’s tears, confusion and a whole lot of discomfort, sometimes. It’s the days you call home to hear a familiar voice but you can’t get an answer because the time zones conflict or the internet connection is working against you. It’s the days you wish to tell funny stories or talk to someone about more than just what your basic French or Italian permits but that silly language barrier is always too high to climb. It’s when you find yourself craving your favorite food from home but having to stick with chicken and rice because your favorite restaurant doesn’t deliver that far or just knowing that your entire daily routine is nothing like it would be back home. It’s these days, as a traveler, that are really hard because it’s knowing the simple things are difficult and the simplicity of home is really far.
Either way, traveling turns you into a storyteller, that much is very true, but if you’re anything like me, you’re going to leave out a lot of the bad things; the hard, not so great, days. It’s not that I don’t think these days aren’t important or worth telling about because I genuinely do; I think it’s these days that teach you the most about yourself and how to regain your footing towards better sunrises. Now maybe this is just me being an overly positive person but I think some of these kinda terrible days should be left of our stories. That maybe we should stick to the cutesiness of photos and happy words because I would never want to be the reason someone doesn’t go somewhere or do something. I know that as people we tend to cling to the ideas of what others tell us and just because I might have had a rough time or didn’t see all the beauty of a place, it doesn’t mean you won’t see a wonderland in front of you. That just because botflies decided to call my body home, it shouldn’t be a reason for you to avoid Cote D’Ivoire. I guess what I’m trying to say is, every experience is different for every person and you should never avoid a place just because of what you hear from others.
Now listen to me when I tell this: this wasn’t meant to make you think traveling is awful or that I’ve had nothing but terrible experiences along the way because that’s far from true. I have good stories, bad stories, funny stories and “what were you even thinking” stories. So this is not meant to make you worry or feel any type of negativity towards where I’m at or where I’m going because even through the trials, I’m learning. I’m learning about the person I am, the person I’m becoming and the person I am capable of being. I’m using these experiences to test my strength and build onto the person I already am. I’m learning to be even more positive, caring, understanding and even a patient person. Above all else, I’m learning what’s worth enduring and what’s not. That maybe every place and every experience isn’t for me but it’s not failing, it’s just packing up and saying, “Maybe I’ll see you another time, but right now, you’re not the place for me.”