Travel Reality

Travel sounds great, but can I hack this?

Everyone loves a good vacation. Whether it's with family, or just your significant soulmate person/dog; getting away to the beach, resort, the mountains, or to a cozy cabin in the woods is often the ideal tonic for a weary and over-worked soul. Even full time travelers need vacations.

 

Vacations allow you to put  everything on pause for the most part. If you are on a cruise ship, everything is taken care of. Your only responsibility is to decide what to eat from the buffet and which deck you want to kick back on in your cool shades. Sure, you can work and check email (thanks smart phones) but you probably don't need to. With travel, you do need to do stuff. You have to shop, pay bills, and make a myriad of daily decisions about how to accomplish things. Travel is more like real life. It can be tedious and tiring.

And sometimes, it don't come easy. Sometimes it can be hard. There is no gain, without some pain.

We've, generally, been extremely lucky over the years. The vast majority of places we've been have been safe. We've been healthy. The people have been kind and decent. And we've had one amazing experience after another. But we've had our share of pain too:

  • I once caught amoebic dysentery in Varanasi India. I was so sick I couldn't leave the hotel room. Lori had to go out into the dark tangle of tiny streets where you could smell the dead bodies being burned on the funeral ghats next to the Ganges river to try to summon a doctor. I survived, but not by much.

  • We had a sizable chunk of our traveling funds stolen from us once while trying to change money on the black market in Mumbai.

  • In The Republic of Congo, we once spent 3 days on a narrow, sweltering forest road, miles from anywhere, crawling on our bellies under our overland truck. We dug in the hard-baked mud with hand trowels, sweat pouring down our faces as giant insects attacked us from all angles, all in an effort to get our truck out of a mud bog it had slipped into when trying to allow another truck to pass us. It rained so hard at night our tents flooded with 4 inches of water and we spent the night huddled in the truck that was listing at a 30-degree angle.

Yet, at no point have we ever questioned whether we wanted to travel. Every experience, even the hard ones, have enriched us. And 97% of our days have been pure happiness.

So is it for you? The best way to find out is to travel. Dip you toe in the shallow end and see how it feels. Take a trip, don't have a definite plan, and see what happens.

If you're a couple, and one of you is in the "hell yeah, let's go" camp and the other is in the "not on your life dear" camp. Check out the Reluctant Partner page.