Because Travel isn't Always Fun
I'm not in love with the title of this post, but I hit a blank on how to sum up what I'm trying to say here. I also *really* wanted to do a top ten style post because time. There just never seems to be enough time in the day to blog anymore because baby. And podcast. Okay, enough of the millennial style non-sentences. Let's dive in, shall we?
I've never really thought of myself as adventurous. In fact, I was painfully shy growing up, until I hit my teens really when I became a wonderfully hellish she-devil. I'm also very anxious by virtue of the fact I suffer from generalised anxiety.
But I also chose a life of travel. Which for some, is the epitome of adventure. I'm inclined to agree because as much as I love to travel with every bone in my body, it's not always easy. And for me, that's worth it. But for lots of people, it really isn't worth it. It's annoying and uncomfortable and causes unnecessary stress and ultimately isn't at all enjoyable.
But those people don't talk about it too much do they. Because to prefer 'a life less travelled' is considered.....well, wrong. It's thought of as an underachievement. As a 'waste' of a life.
For me, a life less travelled isn't an option. Whether it's more challenging now we've had a wee baby I'm yet to experience, but hitting CenterParcs because it's easier isn't really an option for us (although, anecdotally, CenterParcs does appear to be every parent's idea of paradise so ......yeah, I'm okay with that). But you know what I mean right? I'd prefer to be in India basically.
When I wrote about our travel plans a few weeks back, I felt excited about them of course. But I'm also feeling anxious because travelling with a baby is totally unknown. I know by now that regardless of how and where I travel I always love it more than not travelling if that makes sense. But I think it's worth noting that sometimes travelling is shit. Sometimes it really sucks balls.
I'm pretty sure we've all had crappy moments when travelling. come home from a lacklustre holiday to an underwhelming destination right? But I feel like I never read about these times at all. And I'm not talking about the old: 'this is the reality behind my pretty Instagram' type posts either - although I love those too. I want to be honest about the reality of travelling. The sometimes super crappy parts that nobody talks about and we all forget instantly when we land back at Heathrow and remember how HIDEOUS PASSPORT CONTROL IS.
So why don't we ever admit it? I know I'm terrible for painting a rosier picture after a trip. Not on purpose, my mind just tends to remember the positive parts blurring the negative into oblivion. India is a really good example of this -- the lows of India are seriously low, but the highs are SO deliriously high most people come away LOVING India. Oli and I always tell people it's our favourite country, and that's true, but I remember many, many times I was really sick of cows getting in my way, of being sold to, of the smell. Dear God, the smell.
Still, I can't feel anything but love and nostalgia for the time I spent travelling through India. Same for almost everywhere else too. Myanmar was the most interesting country, but pretty irritating too. Thailand holds the fondest memories for me because I lived, worked and got engaged there.....but jesus, sometimes Thai people are really mean. And, oh yeah - that time I lived on a tropical island paradise? Erm, well.....it's more like the Costa del Sol packed to the rafters with self-important Brits who've made the place their own Little Britain in that way only us Brits do. But I still think of it with love and sentimental sweetness.
I've spoken before about long-term travel and why it's not something I wanna do again. Yet I find myself wistfully longing for the days and weeks spent with nothing more on my agenda than finding more yummy street food. In fact, I often think seriously about the day I can pack my family off to travel the world again because I think that's way more important than anything nursery will offer Anaïs.
And yet. I *vaguely* remember the days I was bored. OMG SO BORED. I remember the days we had to wait for hours for a train to get us somewhere we didn't know we'd like. And when I say hours, I mean....like TWELVE hours sometimes.
And those times I felt so confused as to who was trying to rip me off I presumed everyone was.
Those times we were sick of the sight of each other, but even less inclined to make small talk with yet another backpacker.
Feeling grubby and sweaty with no way of getting clean for hours because OMG it's travel day.
Living out of a suitcase......a tiny one.
Becoming completely and utterly addicted to 7-11 toastie sandwiches and feeling utterly revolting after eating six in a row.
Anyone with me?