I spent last month travelling around the States, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Now I have a serious holiday hangover. So, to try to make myself feel better (as I sit here in my ‘I ❤ NY’ pyjama bottoms), I’m going to list all the things I do not miss about travelling.
1. Packing. I hate packing. The fact that what is essentially the act of placing items into a container should require so much time and planning – not to mention blood, sweat and tears, even following careful preparation – drives me round the bend.
2. Living out of a suitcase. After finally packing the flaming thing, you’re going to have to repack that suitcase on a mini scale every couple of days (or more often). No matter your planning, the clothes you need will be at the bottom of the bag. Chargers will become entangled in underwear. Things you store ‘safely’ will provoke mini heart attacks when you’ve repacked the bag to turn around and find said item lying in the middle of the floor.
3. Staying somewhere different every night or two. We were living in comparative luxury to the camping group who were travelling the same route as us. Nevertheless, as a person who is slightly neurotic about germs, it was quite a challenge having to adjust to new beds and bathrooms every night.
4. Bugs. One of the good things about the UK is that even many insects don’t want to live here. The USA has a far greater variety of creepy crawlies/flying monsters. We saw something one day that resembled a burned, winged cocktail sausage, and made the mistake of trying to identify it when we got back, only to discover all the other beasts we could have come into contact with in Carlsbad. We were thinking of a trip next year to visit the Aussie members of the group, but there’s a chance that their equivalent of a house spider could scare me half to death.
5. Food. One thing that many people love about travelling is trying new foods. I’m not a foodie, so I don’t really appreciate this enough. What bothered me (only a little bit) was the inability to feed my chocolate addiction. US chocolate is dire. I survived on M&Ms. Apart from that, the basic menus of many states – burgers and ‘fries’ – suited me just fine.
6. Getting lost. It took us over an hour to find our hotel in NYC. Not as bad as Paris though, because the first time I took a trip into the centre of the city I managed to walk back out of it and through three small towns before locating an RER station.
7. Jet lag. Jet lag actually sent me a little insane. I didn’t recognise my own bedroom on two occasions. I opened the window expecting to be near the top of a skyscraper looking down at the street, only to find myself staring at an empty road. Then I remembered I was home.
8. When NO ONE CAN HELP YOU. That’s an overly dramatic subheading, but when I was stuck in the never-ending queues at Newark and realised I was going to miss my connecting flight, and I was going to have to deal with it all by myself because at home it was night-time and my mum and dad would be sleeping and what could they do anyway and I don’t know anyone here and they don’t care about me and now I’m crying, I felt pretty close to despair.
9. Money. It is expensive! There’s the initial cost of flights and accommodation, then if you want to visit places and buy souvenirs you have to budget for that. And you never realise how much money you eat and drink until you don’t have a fridge/freezer and have to think about food every day.
There we are, nine good reasons I should never leave the comfort (zone) of this island again.
The Continent’s not that big of a jump though, is it? Wouldn’t it be great to have a real Italian carbonara? And do the Sound of Music tour? And see what the fuss is about with Berlin? And…?
10. It makes you want to do nothing except plan the next adventure.
What about you? Are there any things you dislike about travelling? Is there anything that’s actually put you off going somewhere? Better yet, how often have you hesitated before travelling, only to go and have the most amazing time?