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What I DISLIKE about traveling

As much as I love to travel there are plenty of things I dislike about it. Here are my top five:

-Unpacking. While packing for a trip can be tedious and something exhausting, you at least have the excitement and anticipation of the trip to get you through it. Coming back and unpacking, well there’s no more excitement. The trip is over and all you’re left with is dirty laundry and the annoying task of having to unpack a dozen odds and ends (I somehow seem to always end up with articles in every small zipper pouch of my suitcase).

-Never feeling 100% clean. Yes I know, clean is clean. However, when I’m not showering in my own bathroom with my own soaps and shampoos and lotions that I’m accustomed to, I don’t feel “as” clean as when I’m showering at home. And while I’m not a germ freak by any means, deep down I always wonder about the true cleanliness of your accommodations; on the surface stuff seems clean enough but beneath the surface, what might be possibly lurking, not to mention not knowing who stayed before you? So while obviously I shower every day when I travel (including at disgusting shower facilities at a Roman hostel), my first shower back home is always a happy affair for me.

-Delays. I’m pretty sure there is not one person in the world who actually likes being delayed at an airport. Although many of the big airports offer a vast array of amenities (and some I’ve read about that seem incredible, but of course those airports are all located on the other side of the world from me), the bottom line is that having to spend more time in an airport than is necessary is just a crappy affair. One goes to the airport for the purpose of getting to one’s destination, not hanging out reading the wares at Hudson Bookseller or having mediocre food at a sub par restaurant.

-Having to be at the mercy of strangers. Whether in the air, at a hotel, or walking the streets of a new city, a traveler is often at the mercy of others in terms of common courtesy and assistance. When I fly I pray that I will be seated next to or behind someone who doesn’t smell, isn’t rude, and doesn’t recline his seat back all the way into my lap. At my hotel I pray that the people staying on my floor know what it means to be respectful to the other guests by not letting their children scream and run up and down the hallways late at night. And when I’m on the street walking around or traveling on public transportation, I pray that if I need assistance, someone will be kind enough to help me.

-And for a less-serious one, wanting to see and buy everything I come across. When you travel somewhere, you’re almost always there for a limited time, not open ended. I’ve been to a few major cities where I felt I had seen enough (Buenos Aires is one of them). But in cities like Mexico City and Paris, I know there’s much more that I still need to get to. The same goes for shopping. I’m not a shopoholic but I love mementos from my travels. I don’t buy the tacky stuff but rather articles I think look classy and memorable, things I think would be a great reminder of a trip anytime I look at them. When on the Bourbon Trail recently, all of the distilleries had gift shops (no surprise here) and many had wares I would loved to have bought. I know moderation is needed when traveling so as not to go overboard, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have liked that tea towel I saw at Maker’s Mark or the unique cup I saw at Heaven Hill.

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Jo Ann M.
    September 12, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Interesting post! I am kind of a clean freak so I can identify with that. I always wonder how I can avoid using their sheets and pillows. I’m tempted to bring my own!

    Every time I travel to NYC there is never enough time! I always debate on whether I should see new things or revisit the things I love about the city that I had already experienced. Next time I will plan better. . . I hope!

    I think everyone is afraid of feeling “stranded” in an unfamiliar place, however, that is also some of the excitement of traveling.

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    September 13, 2013 at 5:49 am

    Mine is it takes so long to get home – Australia isn’t that close to much, but even a domestic trip I just want to be home already! The trip there doesn’t seem so bad because you’ll see something new! The unpacking isn’t usually too bad for us – we pack light and don’t sort so everything just gets thrown in the washer ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    the red headed traveler
    September 13, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Jo Ann-I’ve read that one should remove the non-sheets from the hotel bed since they’re more likely not to be cleaned every time during a room change versus sheets are stripped and cleaned. Yes, it’s always hard choosing between doing “new” or revisiting “old.”

    Rebecca-Yes, travel (the actual physical part) can definitely count as a dislike! Australia is a pretty pretty big country/continent, the whole nine yards :)I’d like to pack lighter sometimes but have a hard time doing so! I haven’t yet been on a trip where I am constantly on the go so it’s never really been a big deal ๐Ÿ™‚

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