Long-term traveling is an amazing experience. The people you meet and the places you see will continually blow your mind. I love traveling and cherish all the incredible memories it creates. But sometimes…
Sometimes… traveling sucks.
Those moments when you have a 7-hour layover at an airport. It’s not long enough to leave and get a room somewhere. So you opt to sleep at the airport on the marble floor. The VERY hard marble floor. I’ve never realized just how hard marble really is until I tried to sleep on it. Sucks.
Pro Tip: Carry a bed roll.
Sometimes you get into a country and your phone dies. You have no ability to call your accommodations to figure out the location. You need WiFi to send an email but can’t find it. And nobody speaks English. And you can’t remember the last time you slept. Sucks.
Pro Tip: Write down important information in a notebook before leaving.
How about when you get lost on a metro, loaded down with heavy packs, and you have no idea which direction you should head. The wrong choice may result in a fair amount of walking. You know that Murphy’s Law of Traveling dictates you will almost always choose the wrong direction. Really sucks.
Pro Tip: Travel lighter and pre-plan better.
How could I forget the times when you get into a taxi and your driver wants to play “let’s fuck with the tourist” and drives up and down streets. And the meter is ticking up at an alarmingly rapid pace. I feel like I am getting ripped off BY THE SECOND. Sucks.
Pro Tip: Be wary of shady taxi drivers and pay attention to what is going on.
Injuries do happen and sometimes in inconvenient moments, like a foot injury at the beginning of a 10-mile hike. Surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Walk of the Gods and all you can think about is throbbing pain in your foot and the blood seeping out of your shoe. And then it gets infected in the weeks to follow and your toenail falls off. Really sucks. (RIP toenail)
Pro Tip: Watch where you are walking.
This is all part of traveling. Things like this will happen. Repeatedly.
My advice on how to deal with these situations?
You need to embrace the suck. Grab the bull by the horns and embrace it. Conquer it.
Look, you have two options in these situations.
- Whine, complain and bitch about your situation. Let it eat you alive.
- Suck it up and carry on. Solve the problem. There are always solutions. (notice the solutions above)
In the end, you need to realize you have chosen to embark on traveling and this is just part of the journey. You put yourself in this situation. You have done so because of all the great rewards traveling has to offer.
Remember, you will get yourself out of the situation. The situation always ends. Your mindset will dictate how uncomfortable you choose to make it for yourself.
Embrace the suck.