7 Deadly Sings of Travel
Disclaimer: a little bit of sass & a whole lot of #feelings are involved in this blog post.
Here it is- All my travel rants combined into one lengthy blog post (woohoo!)
This is my version of the 7 things NOT to do when you’re traveling because we all have room for improvement (and I am definitely guilty of all of these things).
- “They look like they’re having so much fun!” Nope, stop, don’t say that. Don’t let yourself compare this trip to another trip or your trip to someone else’s trip. The old cliche of “the grass is always greener on the other side” is definitely true, especially when traveling. That friend who looks like they are having the time of their life in Greece is not relevant to your adventure. Don’t let someone else’s “ perfect” Instagram ruin your feeling of living in the now and appreciating what it right in front of you. Remember, you only remember the good stuff. You rarely remember the early wake-up calls or the communal bathrooms in your hostel. Don’t let yourself succumb to the sin of comparison because you will be missing out on what is right in front of you. Every adventure is different and every adventure is an opportunity to learn, grow and explore.
- Don’t say ew, don’t panic, it is okay. If you are comfortable, you are not growing and you are not learning. We travel to grow, to mature and to learn. So sit in that feeling of uncomfortableness and seek out that feeling because in that feeling you will realize how much potential you truly have. Those times you’re sitting in a train station at 2 am sitting next to the homeless, that moment will help you be more tolerant. Trust me. Those moments where everyone is talking in your 15-person hostel room at 4 am? That moment will help you become more patient. That time your flight is delayed for two hours and then you sit on the tarmac for another hour? That moment will make you comfortable flying alone. Sit in the moments where you are uncomfortable. Skills come from the uncomfortable moments, not the moments where you are drinking wine in Tuscany.
- Stop complaining. Be intentional about being positive. Life is a whole lot better when you seek out positivity. While it is harder and it takes a lot of effort, no good ever came from sulking. If you find yourself being negative then be intentional and find something to do that you can’t be negative about. Try a new restaurant, eat dessert three times a day, go to a museum by yourself, find something worth your excitement and do it. Don’t think about it. Don’t ask other people if you should go. Just go. Find a thing in every place you go to and make it yours. Most of the time that we spend being negative is because we are either scared or trying to find a connection with the people we are with. Reject that negativity and force yourself into doing something that will make you happy, even if that means doing it alone.
- Yes, you are being rude. You are visiting another culture, they’re not visiting you. You don’t know the rules here so don’t get mad when things don’t go your way. Your waiter messed up your complicated gluten-free, peanut-free, dairy-free, meat-free order with sauce on the side? Be kind. There is never a justifiable reason to be rude, to anyone. Kill them (all) with kindness. Your friend is taking too long to get up because she/he is jet lagged? Be kind. You think your taxi driver charged you too much? Say something but be kind. Your flight got delayed? Be kind to the airline workers, it isn’t their fault. Take a deep breath, a really deep breath, smile and be kind. Respect is the game, and kindness is your answer.
- “We go home in 30 days, 5 hours and two minutes.” Delete the countdown app, I promise it’ll be okay. Stop the texting, put the phone away, look up and be like “oh shit I’m in Morocco.” You are away from home so let yourself be away from home. Put down the phone and engage with your new surroundings. You will miss them. There is no point in wasting time thinking about what people are doing at home or wishing you were there because you can’t change that. So be engaged with the present. Save the “I miss you” and “I wish you were here” texts until after the day of adventuring is over.
- But I have to see everything! You actually don’t, especially if you don’t want to. Don’t let yourself get caught up in needing to see every major monument in every major city. Some of the best memories are made by wandering around aimlessly in a new city or your own city. While guidebooks are nice and recommendations are helpful, there is something to be said about stumbling upon something amazing by chance. Let yourself wander and do not let yourself get stressed because you didn’t have time to “see it all.”
- Phones, pictures, social media, oh my! At dinner, stack all your phones in the middle of the table. Delete Snapchat if you want. Be present, be engaged with the moment. Pictures are fun but pictures don’t compare to the memories you make when you are not taking pictures. Travel is about the memories. Travel is about the present. It is a skill that is difficult to grasp in a world where you are constantly being notified on five different social media apps by ten different people, it is difficult to put it all away. But I promise, the more you look up instead of down on your phone, the more memories you will make.