Travel Travails


Do you like the feeling of being in an alien country, bumping into strangers and pretending to like their culture even if it is in complete contrast to your ethos? For those of you who didn’t understand I was talking about travelling.

I can suddenly sense lots of my readers just go, “Ooh I love travelling. Travelling is my passion and ….”

And by now you might have a slight feeling that I hate travelling, so let me clear that up for you. I hate travelling. There’s just one thing I hate more than travelling and that is listening to others relate to stories of their travels. I don’t mind looking at pictures and all but some most people have no knack of telling a story especially one that involves normal people.

A few days back a friend of mine came back from Maldives. Such was her enthusiasm about her trip she immediately called on the the whole group to assemble at the local coffee shop so she could see the envy on our faces when she narrates the tales of her (mis)adventures. I wouldn’t have bothered to go had I known this is what she intended to do but..
Everyone: So what up?
Her: I just came back from Maldives. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaah! Just wanted to tell you how it was.
Everyone: GROOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAN!!
*Someone has a heart attack in the background*
Her: I must tell you all, it is the best place I’ve ever been to. It was astounding, amazing, awesome and all that you could ever imagine a place to be.
Sami: Use of free alliteration is a crime I tell you. A crime!!
Her: And soliloquy is reserved for characters like you.
Me: That is such a communist view. Think you boarded the wrong plane.
Others: Aww, shucks Sami. Let the girl have her moment. <Turning to her> So what did you see in Maldives?
Her: It was beautiful. There were people and buildings and beaches and fancy restaurants……

Now what among those things can’t I see in my own back yard? It surprises me that people are willing to risk getting broke, jet lagged, sea sick and not to mention food poisoned to see buildings.  Buildings for God’s sake.
Jet Lagged
Then there’s the attraction of historic places and monuments. I am immune to them too. An excerpt from a recent conversation.
Friend: What do you think of China?
Sami: It’s alright. Good economy and stuff.
Friend. No, not like that. I was thinking, maybe we could go there after our graduation for holidays. Perhaps we could see the Great Wall.
Sami: The Great Wall? I’d rather not.
Friend: But why?
Sami: Waste of time. It is after all just a huge wall.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I am that conceited, it is just that I don’t like going to far off places to see stuff. Especially if a tour guide has to hold my hand and show me around.
Also because I have the internet to show me anything I want.

So what do you think about travelling? Do you like it as much as the next person or are just another hater like yours truly?

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10 thoughts on “Travel Travails

  1. Have you ever watched An Idiot Abroad? If not, you must! It’s fantastic. Your part about the Great Wall just reminded me of when they sent Karl to go and have a look at it…

    ‘Are you having a laugh?… It’s just badly done’

    My feelings about travel are pretty much the same as yours, although the best place I ever visited was Berlin, but that’s only because I have this morbid fascination with the Cold War period. The greatest building I saw there was the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (no, seriously, look it up!)… it’s this wrecked church that was damaged during WWII, and they’ve just kept it as it is, as a ‘reminder’. Now, I’m not really into buildings either, but when they have massive gaping holes in them, they somehow become more interesting 😀

    • ‘This is pretty shit..’
      HAHA! My sentiments exactly.
      I don’t mind seeing stuff as long as it doesn’t involve me having to spend money, get sick and feel tired which is kind of an impossible task in itself isn’t it?

  2. I hate traveling with a passion. I stay home and watch the dog and cat while my wife goes. My wife went to China a few years ago on a cultural exchange. She spent two days traveling there, with 18 hours on planes. When she got there her credit card number was stolen, she ate nothing but fish heads and weeds, and had to pee in big holes in the floor. They did have a McDonalds, but even that was missed up. She said she’ll never go again.

  3. Personally, I love an adventure! I’ve not had the chance travel abroad, being poor and all, but even traveling within this giant country of mine is fun. I don’t mind the lack of flushing toilets and the dubious food, they are small portions of my day that are utterly eclipsed but standing on the rim of Grand Canyon of Yellowstone in the middle of a snowstorm, sitting around the campfire getting shitfaced with my dad telling each other stories and actually living in the scenery.

    There is no comparison to laying in the middle of a field in Nebraska, staring up as the Milky Way goes spinning by, no camera can capture it, no words can contain the feeling of how small, insignificant and totally magnificent we are in that moment. Daily life is a bore, only when in transit do I feel really alive.

  4. I think Google Earth is for people who don’t like to travel. I can say that I’ve seen the Taj Majal without flying in coach for 15 hours and going through customs. All I did was click and voila … I don’t like traveling either.

  5. Haha when I saw this I too was going to recommend you watch Idiot Abroad, someone showed it to me a couple of days ago and it’s pretty funny. I also hate when people come back from traveling and have nothing good to say about it other than ‘it was amazing and you missed out yadda yadda. I usually keep my travel experiences to myself, and I keep a travel journal while I’m away. Some of the best moments of my life have happened while traveling, and these are all personal experiences that i cherish but keep to myself and others who I was with.

    I’ve seen terrible poverty, people without legs begging for money, landmine victims and war survivors, and yet I’ve seen people in these conditions with smiles on their faces; despite their shit life they appear to be happier than most people I see wafting around in my home country. I’ve almost been attacked by a snake in Cambodia, bought weed off a blind woman in Saigon, almost died in Thailand, saved a cats life in Indonesia, watched an old dog die peacefully on a quiet street and then helped some locals bury it in Thailand, saw ducks crossing a road in Amsterdam, got mugged outside of the Eiffel Tower… These are all experiences that I had because I put myself out of my comfort zone in another country, I ejected myself from my home of routine and placed myself somewhere far from home.

    Traveling doesn’t have to be about seeing ‘the sights’, more often than not the sights are not worth seeing because they have already been seen by a thousand eyes. When I saw Angkor Wat for example, I rocked up at 5am for the sunrise and there were literally thousands of people waiting with cameras, it was a big joke. Travel for the new experiences you can have, you can easily say to yourself you can have these experiences at home, but it simply isn’t true! I’m actually flying to Japan tomorrow, I’m excited! I assure you I’m not a travel snob, just letting you know how it is on the other side! Change your perspective and you can grow to love and find happiness in absolutely anything.

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