I encourage travelling over touristing, simply for the fact that tourists just tick off must see lights and fail to truly immerse themselves in the foreign culture and to get a sense of a different way of life beyond it being “so strange and different.”
But no matter what your style of travel is, along your journey I can guarantee you that you will experience situations that turn your whole trip sour. I have gone through this and by now am pretty good at tackling it head on. Let me share my wisdom with you.
Spot the Monsters that Ruin Your Holidays
Have you ever felt ripped off? Extremely confused? Utterly lost or simply offended during your travels? You are not alone and these feelings are natural. The problem is being in a new surrounding is positively stressful to our system and differences between what you’re used to and the habits displayed in your vacation zone more often than not clash severely and expectations are not fulfilled.
It might be that a taxi driver charges you the ‘tourist price’ and you know it. Or that nobody wants to shake your hands when you extend them in a friendly manner. Maybe shops are closed on Sunday and you are left with your last bread crumbs for the day. These are all things that are annoying but also part of – I have to say it – research you should have done earlier.
Even if the country you go to is similar to your own, you might be all the more surprised in the ways it is not. So asking around for travel advice among friends and family who had been before or scouring the internet is a good start. Just hop on a travel blog like mine (start searching on mine, while you’re at it!) and you will find first hand insights and direct accounts about life on the road in your choice of destination. It certainly helps to get a good overview.
It is ok if you feel like that’s not necessary, but even if you want to take the leap and be surprised, do it with an open mind. Don’t judge. After all, why is it ‘right’ what you do? Why is blowing your nose acceptable in the West but frowned upon in the East? There is no such thing as right or wrong. It’s just different.
How to Deal
So the antidote to all this travel frustration is just one little word. And it is a cheesy one but so true.
- Accept that things are different.
- Accept that often things are out of your control.
- Accept that you haven’t done enough research and organizing and you never can do enough anyway.
- Accept that it won’t be perfect.
- Accept that plans change.
- Accept that things can and will go wrong (hello there, Murphy!)
To just stress my point even more. Here’s an example. I got robbed during my travels. In my room, while I was sleeping. I went to the reception and reported it. They couldn’t do anything. But instead of just ranting and lamenting, I just moved on.
It’s All about the Attitude that Will Ruin Your Holidays
Believe me, it took me a long time to get there and I’m still working on it but what would the other option have been? I would have still been robbed, I still wouldn’t have gotten the money back and I might have ruined the day of the receptionist who wasn’t to blame in any of this. But most importantly, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the rest of my journey.
Ultimately, you cannot change things. And the earlier you accept this, the more your attitude will change and you can embrace your travels with a happier mood. Don’t ruin your holidays yourself! Now tell me, who doesn’t want to be happy? One final tip: If acceptance doesn’t come easily (and it more than likely will not), then try to cheat yourself into it.
Practice it by simply shedding your negative feelings. Say ‘stop’ inside your head and don’t allow your thoughts to go there. Sing your favourite song or replay your fondest memory and feel the fuzzies. Call your best friend and laugh over a silly incident. There are many different ways to get to your ‘happy mode’.
Tell me: Did you ever get so worked up that it ruined your holidays?
Photos found on unsplash.