Traveling Can Be Tough

Don’t think that we have this lavish dreamy life with no problems…the reality is that our lives are not magical. Just like everyone else we thought, not working, exploring, beaches, and pretty pictures sounds like perfection. Traveling should be a happy vacation right? We did not expect to have hard times while traveling, but that is definitely not the case. Bad attitudes and bad days happen on the road just as they do in the working world. When on a RTW trip every week you are looking at logistics of where to go next, how much it costs, can it be done and so on. Traveling constantly takes a lot of planning and that is something we severely underestimated.

Everyone thinks Oh you are traveling the world and eating local food wow thats so great. In reality we walk 1 hour to find a restaurant and sometimes its a hit and sometimes an utter miss. Eating local is pretty hard, when at 2pm you realize you are hungry and have no clue where you are. So you go around the corner and find hot dogs. No way I’m eating hot dogs in Portugal right? So we walk a little longer, find a place that is about 15 euro a plate, and decide that is too expensive. Then find a generic store that has food that won’t fill us up, then maybe we stumble upon another place that is good food at a good price and maybe not. It is not an easy task. So that day is filled with so many decisions…right or left, left or straight, this way, no this way, should we go here…no…yes, and so on. Sometimes we stumble upon amazing places like a family kitchen with 10 euro for a shared good portion for two with great design and great company…and sometimes we think we have found a good place only to find that it is not authentic at all. The tostas are really plain and not filling, so we have to order two more and it doesn’t fill us up and also doesn’t taste good, even though we just spent about 45 minutes to get there.

Going from restaurant to restaurant looking at menus

Going from restaurant to restaurant looking at menus

The constant planning is something else we did not think would be an issue. It seems almost every day you are planning for the next day/week/month. We had to decide where we were going in Portugal three days prior to a reservation falling through. We also had to plan how we were getting to Spain from Portugal and how to buy the bus tickets from an all Spanish website. Maybe we will do a ride-share, that seems cheaper, but the guy won’t message us back…wait, what are we doing tomorrow when we go to the Douro Valley? Are we going to stay in one of the towns, or just stop in two, what vineyards are we going to visit, how do we get to them after we are dropped off, which ones do tastings and which ones don’t? Wait again, we are hungry and need to go eat somewhere.

The constant decision making and planning wears us out especially when they happen day in and day out. We have learned not to plan as much and take more time to figure stuff out on the go. It seems we get better recommendations and we are not spending our day in the hostel’s common room taking up all the wifi. The point being is that traveling the world is not as glorious as it sounds sometimes. With that being said figuring out how to travel is pushing me and Katie to grow in different ways. We both have always been really go with the flow and indifferent. Now we are learning to make quick decisions when we need to and go with the flow when we need to.

Another issue we have come across is our attitudes. Just because we are traveling doesn’t mean we don’t have bad days, argue, have something crappy happen to us, or stay in a hostel all day. We have arguments, bad days, and bad attitudes like everyone else. Traveling or not, these things don’t leave you. I shared a room with some german guy in the azores, and we started talking and he started complaining and complaining about the island we were on. “This hostel is like a prison, its always cloudy. I’m only staying one day and I can’t wait to get out of here and go to this other island.” I thought to myself, wow, such a bad attitude and complaining about what? It made me think that anyone can have a bad attitude or a good one, no matter if you are working or traveling. So no matter what your circumstance, your attitude usually travels with you. So whatever your circumstance make sure your attitude is positive instead of letting the situation dictate you. Regardless of the situation we have learned to appreciate what we do have, rather than complain about what we don’t. When we have to walk 3 miles in the chilly rain, laugh about it, smile and say life is great.

A lot of traveling and life is about wanting to do everything. We want to have a lot of money, explore, be challenged, have everything and do everything. We want more. While we have been on the road, we have had recommendations to go to about 20 other places we didn’t plan on going to, with a lot of people saying you HAVE to go there. Of course we will probably change some of our plans up and try a few of their recommendations, but one of the first things we learned was you can’t go everywhere. Relax a bit and be happy where you are going or where you are. We can not do everything and have everything in life. We are limited and that is the reality. Being happy with our circumstance and saying this has been awesome, we saw some great things and experienced some great things, instead of always thinking we need to see more and more. Obviously you can always strive for your goals in life but you also have to be happy with your situation and realize you can’t have absolutely everything in travels and in life. Traveling the world brings up problems and issues we still face. It is not all lush beauty and watching sunsets while drinking wine. Its important for everyone to realize those things, whether your thinking about doing a RTW trip or not.