12 Things People Hate About Traveling

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Long-term travel is a mental marathon. It has its ups and downs and when you are down –  boy are you down.

When you travel solo you can’t direct your anger at other people, it just festers inside.

Instead of hating the person you’re traveling with, you hate the world and you hate yourself.

Yesterday after a 17-hour race to Colombia to avoid being robbed on a night bus I was overtired and stressed and walked right through the wrong door by going online.

When I left for my trip I had some unresolved issues – don’t we all. But instead of them going away they just morph into a new beast, one that you can’t deal with directly because you’re on another hemisphere.

Going online when you are overtired and cranky only ignites the ticking time bomb.

Traditional Colombian Food

And while being in a foreign land often helps give you perspective, 12 hour buses give you too much time to over analyzeย everything.

It’s true: You can’t run away from your problems.

In fact, leaving just exaggerated mine.

So yesterday sucked. Today I woke up ready to explore Popayan but it turns out all that suppressed anger turned into a big ball of rage.

And everything that has bothered me about travel came to the surface as I angrily took photos walking around town.

Popayan, Colombia

Finally I returned to Hostel Trail hostel, accepting that I wasn’t enjoying the morning. I am writing this post with hope that expressing the negativity will release the beast. So here are 12 things I hate about traveling:

1. I can’t understand Colombian Spanish. People keep telling me it’s the cleanest Spanish but all I’m experiencing are a bunch of mumblers who are possibly using vocabulary I don’t understand, all at lightning speed.

2. Hey dude on the street, if you want my attention how about saying hola instead of trying to touch my arm. I don’t find it endearing and instead I wonder if you are contemplating assaulting me or simply stealing my camera.

3. Why are the buses so f’ing cold here? People should not need one set of clothes for their daily lives and one set of clothes for the bus. I’m from Canada so I’m used to it being cold, but really does it need to be 0C in the bus when it’s 40C outside?

4. My favorite pair of capris from Old Navy have a hole worn through the ass, now I am in a race to find new pants before people point out they can see my undies.

5. I miss Central America. It seemed familiar/safer/nicer/cheaper. I felt like I belonged there. Here everything is so much harder.

6. I still have no idea what I’m going to do when I get home. Where’s the big epiphany? I sold everything so I have nothing to go home to: no job/apartment/boyfriend. Just a backpack of stupid clothes that have holes in them.

7. No one ever wants to sit by me on the bus. I’m like the plague, locals get on the bus with a panicked look wondering if they can find another seat. They can’t? Okay they’ll stand.

8. No wait some people do want to sit by me, they are 300 lbs and when they sleep they did their elbows into my body. Great.

9. Sales girls who follow me around the store. I just told you I was only looking and that I was fine. You don’t need to be two steps behind me. I know I’m wearing pants with a hole in the ass but I swear I’m not going to steal the clothes here.

10. No one respects a line up and thinks it’s okay to step in front of me. I’ve tried hissing at a few people. It doesn’t work.

11. Sometimes I’m really lonely and I wonder what the hell is wrong with me that I’m 33 and I can’t seem to be happy with a normal life like everyone else. Am I missing some DNA that would allow me to have a life without needing to wander around the world.

12. I hate being an ungrateful complainer. People would kill to do this and I’m whining about petty things.

Today I am grateful for this hostel. It has a massive video library so I’m going to watch Team America.

And while I don’t want to wallow in self-pity (okay I do today, but I swear only today) I hope those who are reading will share the things they hate so I don’t feel like such a privileged jerk.ย 

I promise if you share your ridiculous complaints I’ll pull myself together and write a post about all the things I’m grateful for.

Traveling isn't always fun, here are 7 things you need to watch out for.

Join the Conversation

  1. I think days like that are normal and some places just don’t agree with us for whatever reason. A good venting and some relaxing quiet time usually do the trick. Good luck!

  2. Haha…after living in Colombia for just over a year so far I can honestly say I have absolutely hated all of the above things at some point or another. There are a lot of frustrating things about this country that are just very different from what we consider the norm in the U.S. People still follow me around stores here! All the time. And it is obnoxious! And hardly anyone knows what they are doing when they finish the adventure they are on right now. Don’t stress – you will figure it out when you least expect it ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know if you get to Cali!!

  3. I’m glad you’re having your down in Popayan. You’re staying at the hostel trail hostel, right? The Scottish couple are awesome (whose names I’ve totally forgotten at the moment) and will snap you out of it – plus he’s a photographer so you’ll have lots to talk about.

    It’s not just you – I never understood Colombian Spanish. Too fast I think.

  4. I think you should sit down now and make a list of 12 things you LOVE about travel. That will help you start smiling again!!! Pobrecita! Remember you have to experience the lows to appreciate the highs. Go dance with a sexy Latin man haha. Te mando un beso enorme.

  5. Globetrottergirls says:

    I think there’s not a single traveler out there who hasn’t got days like this… But it wouldn’t be a challenge to go on a round-the-world trip if there weren’t any obstacles at all, right? I hope you’ll find some awesome pants soon, that will raise your mood for sure ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Grant Lucas says:

      Exactly! I still get down days on traveling much even worse. But try to look in another picture. The lovely moments and beautiful places you’ve been. It will make up for those bad and down days you’re experiencing.

  6. Definitely all of us have these kind of days. Someone recently tweeted a quote about how travel intensifies emotions, and it’s totally true.

    I was giggling while reading this because since I have been in Colombia for 3 months, I obviously have had a couple days like this. Although this is hardly a country to complain about, the sales girls in the store really annoy me. One day I was practically running around a store trying to ditch this chick like we were playing cops and robbers or something. And don’t worry, once you get to Bogota the Spanish is easier. There are a lot of regional dialects, especially Paisas, that make it a bit challenging but entertaining after awhile.

  7. I guess this is life, it doesn’t have much to do with traveling. I guess some things just bother us no matter where we are, even at home. I hate freezing buses. The trains in Spain are the same. You need a jacket even if outside are 35-40ยบC

  8. Michael Hodson says:

    Sorry to hear you are down in the dumps. It’s gunna happen to every long-term traveler, but it sucks when it does. Trying to remember what broke me out of it the 3-4 times it happened — having a really nice meal for a change, reading a great book, walking around and getting 2-3 photos that I really liked. Always was something small, but more importantly, always happened. And sometimes frankly, you just don’t like a country — if so, move on. And Team America today…. kick ass!!

  9. Michael Hodson says:

    ‘O yea — and sharing. Here are some of the things I don’t like about travel also.

  10. What I hate about travelling is when you beat yourself up for having a down day because you know you are on the trip of a lifetime and shouldn’t be sad. Truth is no one can be upbeat 365 days of the year no matter what they are doing. Have a brooding day or 2 – then get over it.

  11. Thank you for sharing the downs about long term travel! I love it when people tell it like it is! I’m sorry your favorite pair of capris have a hole in them! maybe you can get someone to send you a new pair?

    Hope you feel better!

  12. Sounds like someone needs a hug; ask the 300 pounder, they seem to like you…

  13. I, too, felt guilty whenever I wasn’t having an ‘awesome’ time but, it’s true, it’s about the whole experience…the good and the bad. If it’s really bad then take stock of what it is you need to snap yourself out of the funk and do it…treat yourself, or move on, or give yourself a talking to, or find someone to hang with. Good luck…I’ll be thinking of you.

  14. Hope you’re feeling better quickly!

    Some of my little travel annoyances (and yes, I am more than a bit spoiled).

    For me, I hate packing and unpacking. I just want my stuff to magically appear.

    I hate not being able to get online when I want and having to wait until I’m some place with a wi-fi signal.

    I hate high exchange rates.

    I hate bargaining for something instead of just getting a fair price.

  15. Oh chickita!

    I agree with Miss G., nobody can be up 365 days of the year, that includes long-term travel.

    I can be a moody gal, and relate to this. Things just get to us and there’s nothing wrong with your or having those feelings.

    It could mean Colombia is not your kind of scene or you just need to stay put and not “travel”. Pamper yourself in a few small ways as Michael (Moblelawyer) suggests. I always seek out some spa time (a pedicure), a patio side cafe, a good book or an easy going companion.

    As for my peeves,

    The packing thing sucks, agreed (Joel).

    I find language hard, other than my own!

    Long travel days sometimes suck!

    You’ve come this far, so keep at it. A trip of a lifetime does magnify things, and yes, you can’t run away from your choices. The upside is you now have the chance to alter those choices with a clearer mind, your former life can’t mute it!

  16. Hey Ayngelina
    So sorry you are having a bad day! I think this calls for a bit of shopping.Go and buy yourself something beautiful to remember the country you are in.Don’t be concerned about the price, just buy it!!Everybody has down days,and I think you just need a little treat to make yourself feel better!!!Hang in there!You have beautiful pictures to take just over the next mountain…..

  17. There are going to be times when everything seems to fall apart and we are left frustrated, confused and just plain old angry. The good news is that this is your adventure and you can create it as you see fit. If things are not working out in one country, you can always move on to another or return to a place that you already visited and loved. There are no rules!

    Hopefully after you wrote this post things started to turn around for you and perhaps you can now laugh at the frustrations you’ve experienced as of late ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I just had a good laugh. Sure, we all have our “dark clouds” days on our travels, but you’ll see that eventually you will laugh all about it.

    As for the spanish, my first language is spanish and I even have trouble understanding some South American accents sometimes. We tend to speak quick and regionalize a LOT of words that throws you off any conversation.

  19. Ay Mija, I am sorry that you are having a day like this! I havent been on a long term trip but I am sure it is bound to happen to everyone. Like they said abouve no matter what you are doing you can not be happy all 365 days of the year (its just impossible)!!!

    This is what I suggest you do: Splurge a bit on your self!!! Get a mani and pedi and go out there and find you some cute HOLEless clothes that will make you feel amazing!!!

    Go on do it & you will fill great its retail therapy on a budget and on the road ๐Ÿ˜‰


  20. I can feel your frustration in your post. I think sometimes we forget that traveling is not vacationing, it too can become quite frustrating. You need these shitty days so that you appreciate the goods ones!

    The buses in South America are freezing!! I remember the first time I did not come prepared – I thought it would never end. Apparently its to keep the drivers awake at night so they don’t fall asleep after 15 hours of driving…. yikes!

  21. If you had a better time in C.A., maybe you can come back and spend some more time, and then skip some of the countries below Colombia. You didn’t come to Costa Rica, did you? It’s nice this part of the year (if you prefer a little rain instead of hordes of tourists all over that we have the rest of the year)

    Even though I am not the kind of person that comments a lot on websites I read, I have been following this one since the beginning (I came here link hopping when I saw this awesome blog name on somebody else’s travel blog), I had the faint hope to meet you on your way down here (maybe a ‘Have you met alf’ post?), or at least give you a couple tips on the local street smarts in Costa Rica.

    I am planning to start my trip next year, and your experiences have been immensely enlightening about how I will feel (like this post), and what things might happen (like Belize City or getting robbed in Quito, it’s not all a walk in the park).

    Hang in there, I can tell you’ll feel better pretty soon.

  22. Have heart! You arent the only one with feelings such as this. While I was living in NZ, I wrote a diary entry (not online) on things I hated about New Zealand (even though I really did love being there). I was tired of being foreign, alone, lost, not knowing the rules and just needed to VENT. I cant imagine how hard it must be feeling that way in a place I dont know the language. So, chin up! This too shall pass.

  23. For me one of the best things is finding a ‘recharge’ place. A place with some creature comforts, a nice place to sleep with some privacy (or more social) if you’re looking for that. Recharge for a week or 2 then hit the road again.

    Here’s one thing that got to me while on a long trip. I found that I was merely an observer of the world rather than a contributing member of it. I’d be watching how people in other cultures go about their daily lives, seeing them going to work every day, and being interested in the differences between them and me. TUrns out the main difference was that they were, in fact, going about their daily lives, and I no longer was. Thinking at one time I was like them – a part of the world – instead of standing on the outside watching them, thinking, what the hell is my part.

    There are good and bad things in everything.

  24. I know that for myself, dumping out my thoughts and emotions help immensely. We all have times when we question why we’re doing what we’re doing and we’re just so sick and tired of the little annoying things that happen on a daily basis on the road. I’ve found that staying still for a bit and just indulging in stupid things like food/TV/culture/books from home help to find balance again. Good luck! You’ll get through it. And, remember that you don’t have to like each and every place you visit.

  25. Carmie Brogan says:

    I could so hear your voice in my head as I read this blog. It made me laugh and brought a tear to me eye all at the same time. I am not sure who you will be at the end of this adventure. I just know you will be still be a wonderful version of yourself. And I loved Bud’s comment…cause humour is wonderful medicine and you have a great sense of humour…you get that from me!

  26. Jonathan Evans says:

    I feel your pain – we made that exact same 17hr trip from Ecuador to Popayan in April, for the exact same reason! And no, we didn’t get robbed, but the bus driver nearly killed us on every corner, so robbed would have been a slight relief (not moving at least)!

    And don’t worry about the shop assistants – they do that everybody, enough to drive you mad. “Si, buenas. A la orden!”

    Hope your day gets better!

  27. Your day might have sucked, but your writing doesn’t. Nice post Ayngelina. I’d find somewhere you do like and try and have a “holiday” for a few days…

  28. Just remember that living an imperfect life is more memorable than a life where everything is figured out. I’m also trying.

  29. Sorry to hear you are feeling down. Like everyone says, it happens to all of us and sometimes the worst part can be feeling guilty as we know we are lucky to be travelling. It definitely helps to stay put for a while somewhere comfortable and just chill out. Hope you feel better soon!

  30. Tandem World says:

    Travel really seems to magnify experiences โ€“ both good and bad. Rest assured that even in your frustration, you are in good company (as the myriad comments above demonstrate in both content and quantity). We have all had the same kind of day.

    Here is to less trying days going forward and to uncovering your next big thing (answering question #6)! Your on the right track.

  31. Camels & Chocolate says:

    Brilliant idea for a post! I think it’s occasionally OK to wallow in self pity =)

    I’ve never been on a RTW but I’ve done quite a few month-long trips (this year alone), and by the end of them, I’m so ready to not be living out of a suitcase and changing hotels every night!

  32. Don’t worry about it, girl, all of those things happen to everyone, even when you’re travelling with your best friend.
    Colombians use A LOT of slang, so just ask them to talk slower and they’ll usually become more formal and easier to understand.
    Enjoy the chill-out time watching DVDs.
    Hope you find some nice pants soon.

  33. As weird as it may sound, sometimes it’s good to experience the lows as well as the highs because you are fortunate to feel something. You’d be surprised to see how some people go through life feeling very little….they become indifferent because nothing in their relatively mundane lives create passion…positive or negative. I know….I’ve been there and it only changed when I decided to pursue the things that excited me. Consider yourself lucky that you are inspired to feel crabby/happy/sad/elated while you are doing something that you evidently love.

  34. Margaret VanBlarcom says:

    I’m sure you must feel a bit better now to have all your feelings out in the open. I admire your honesty. Remember “this too shall pass.” Keep smiling and looking ahead and remember there is always an extra place set for you at home.

  35. I don’t think you’re missing DNA, I think you are one of the lucky ones. Not many people could give up their life (especially a good one) and travel the world with only a backpack for a year. The whole time I was with you, I was in total shock that you do this mostly on your own. Anyone can lead a normal life, itโ€™s the interesting people that choose their own unique path.

    p.s.I always tell people about your journey and they ALL think you’re ten times cooler then you really are ๐Ÿ˜›

  36. I really hate to echo everyone’s comment but seriously, you are uber-lucky to be doing what you are doing.
    However travelling is never easy and the path you have chosen is in many ways harder than a “normal” person’s life. You just have to accept the fact that there will always be ups and downs. The difference is that your “ups” are going to blow our “ups” out of the water. Remember that the next time you are staring at something beautiful and magnificent. We all wish we could be seeing the world through your eyes right now.
    Be happy. We all wish you the best.

  37. Hey – look at all these comments from all these fantastic people in your life, from both your past and your present. I agree with Ryan – everyone I tell about your life thinks you’re very cool too. I always thought you were amazing, always will. OK – here is my trick to beat the travel blues, but I warn you, it’s not at all cool. On a really dark day around Christmas in Taiwan, Jacob and I retreated into the familiar sacro-sanct walls of a Starbucks, ordered grande something something Lattes with extra foam, hid away from the pollution, noise, stink, mold and confusion in a wonderfully oversized cumfy chair and pretended- just for an hour or two – that we were home. Kenny G never sounded so good. Sorry – I wish my remedy was cooler than a sterile, cookie cutter chain store that is set to take over the world.

  38. Caz Makepeace says:

    Ha Ha! Perfectly normal to have a travel is hard rant, because it is! That’s why so many people can’t do it long term- you spend every day being uncomfortable and sometimes that gets to you.
    I totally understand the cold buses things. That has to be one of my biggest pet peeves. I hate experiencing indoor winter during the summer.
    And I totally understand the feeling of what is wrong with me why can’t I settle down. We have not long arrived home and are living with the in-laws and own absolutely nothing and so am constantly questioning my judgement lately. Soon to be 35 with a 3 year old and another on the way, but then I think of all the memories I have created and I realize that is worth so much more than any couch could ever offer me.
    I always say that its better out then in. Now you are cleansed for the next couple of months and you can enjoy yourself again!

  39. We all have bad days on the road! I laughed when I read this because I can totally relate to my experience in South America.

    Sometimes I hated being different. Everyone stares at me and the men talk dirty to me… It got annoying. Can I please just walk down the street without some guy saying he wants to EFF me? Everyone watches you like a hawk expecting you to do something crazy at any moment… so sometimes I gave them that little crazy. (I had to have a little fun!) Cheer up. Go treat yourself to something and realize that you’re amazing!

  40. Christy - Ordinary Traveler says:

    Don’t get down on yourself for feeling bummed at the moment. Maybe you are feeling a bit of homesickness. I know when I travel for more than a month, I start to crave some sort of familiarity, especially when I’m traveling solo.

    I have to say, I completely agree about the bus temperatures though! And trying to sleep on an overnight bus is nearly impossible for me when I’m freezing!

  41. Animo Animo! We all have good and bad days whether at home or traveling… Sure you’re also allowed too! On bad days any insignificant thing can spoil the whole day! Thinking about how much I do hate my work colleague saying every morning “Morning Naomi” instead of Noemi ARGGGHHH!!! Nothing I can do about it!!! =)

  42. Aww, I wish I could give you a big hug right now! It’s so easy to glorify travel, but it’s refreshing to see you talking so candidly about how effing hard it can be. I’m sorry to hear about your pants with the hole! I wonder if you can find someone there to sew it up for you instead of having to buy new pants.

    I also hate too-affectionate strangers. Had one guy in Istanbul who kept hugging me and touching me (mostly in an attempt to get me to eat at his restaurant) but it was so creepy. I have also struggled with language barriers–I know only about four phrases in French, and I was in France solo two summers ago for a few nights. Hardly anyone would or could speak to me in English. I got hopelessly lost on my way from the train to the hotel, and apparently I was close because taxi drivers refused to take me there (one said in broken English that we were too close for it to be worth it for him). It was a Sunday so nearly everything was closed. My backpack was heavy and I was tired. I walked in circles forever with a horrible map. When I finally found it and entered my teeny shoebox of a room with no AC in an unseasonably hot summer, I collapsed on the small bed and cried. So don’t worry. I’m sure we have all had moments of travel defeat. It will pass ๐Ÿ™‚ Treat yourself to some things you enjoy. And it’s awesome that you have this blog to vent and get encouragement!

  43. Dave and Deb says:

    Enjoy wallowing. If you need a few days take it. We have all been there. Travelling is tough. We spent 5 days in Jaipur just hiding in our hotel room watching movies. You will feel better in no time if you give yourself a break from travel. Just know that you are not alone, everyone that travels long term has these feelings at one time or another. Hope you feel rejuvenated soon!

  44. I’m surprised the hissing didn’t work. Hmmmmm. You are a funny girl and I love your posts.

    It always really satisfying when you’re in a bad mood if it rains – its like the weather agrees with you. Fingers crossed that you get a really shitty rainy day so you can stay in and watch the boob tube without guilt.

    Love you! T

  45. I agree with the airconditioning on busses thing.. I think I wore everything that was in my bag when I went to Bogota.. Hope tomorrow is a better day!

  46. Buck up little camper ๐Ÿ™‚ Look at all the love coming your way. I laughed while reading remembering some of my own bad days on the road. It’s easier to from 60-0 when traveling, but thankfully, the reverse is even faster.

    As for #11, ditto, but as hard as this can be, it occurs to me from time to time that I really wouldn’t want it any other way…

  47. I hate the last day of a trip because all I can think about is returning home and I still have all the traveling to do.

  48. Oh, have I had days like this! Feels good to get it off your chest, doesn’t it?

  49. number 12 is what I ry to remember when I get pissed off, it doesn’t work though. It’s good to get angry sometimes, you get to laugh at yourself about it later.

  50. Another one to add…

    When people in hostels turn on the lights at 3 am in the morning (rather than use a flashlight).

  51. Travel is a psychological minefield. Sometimes you put one foot wrong and BLAM, you’re on your back, wondering how the hell you’re going to survive. And despair on the road is the very worst – because you can’t even get out the house to clear your head, you already *have*.

    In Greece, I went into a mild decline for 24 hours because I spilt olive oil on my favourite t-shirt and it just wouldn’t come out. Scrub, scrub, dry on a windowsill, and in the morning, there it was again. A few days of this tipped me over and I stomped around grumpily all day, wondering if I would ever amount to anything in life….

    Needless to say from these 50+ comments, there’s a lot of people that hear you. And wish you well. And would happily sit next to you on the bus…

  52. Take a deep breath and know that you aren’t the first and won’t be the last long term traveler to feel this way. We felt this way bunches of times on our year long RTW, and I know how frustrating it can be.

    You just have those feelings of “I am doing the most amazing thing in the world but right now I am hating it and I don’t know WHY?!?!?!”

    Believe me, I’ve been there, and it does indeed suck. Maybe go through some pictures or old blog posts from your favorite part of the trip?

    Since you’re in Colombia (my fave country in the world, you will LOVE it, I promise), maybe head to the beach? Go to Taganga, a sleepy little fishing village, where you can just relax and forget about your worries. Or maybe Tayrona National Park, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been?

    Just know that this will pass. It may take a few days, maybe even a week or two, but it will pass. And know that you don’t have to beat yourself up over how you are feeling. It’s totally normal.

    Now that we’ve been home for almost a year (YUCK!), I long for the trip, even the bad days. Believe me, being back home and working (even though I LOVE home) SUCKS compared to travel. Remember that, and remember why you’re doing what you’re doing.

  53. This post just had me clapping and laughing outloud – I’ve so been there and felt ALL these things. You’re definitely not alone, and these things will pass. I didn’t have a chance to read all the comments, but I totally think you should watch all those movies, seek out some comfort foods from home, and indulge. Oh, and Popoyan wasn’t my favorite town, and a friend had his camera stolen while hiking to a church in the hillside, so I think you’re doing the right thing flinching from those dudes in the street.

    Oh yea, AC on the buses in Colombia SUCKED. The movies are also often horrible and loud, but there are some super comfy buses. Going into South America from Central was a total downer for me too – it has a very different vibe. That said, I totally fell in love with Colombia, and the sweet people – CouchSurfing has lots of them.

    Oh, and my clothes that also have holes in them are also stupid after wearing them too much. But, now, after a few years they’re also sort of like my blankies that are overstretched, stained, and I can’t part with them.

    Hang in there!

  54. Try cutting people in line…. Its fun… Learned it in annual trips bolivia
    I have started to like how disorganized it is there… Anything goes

    Theres a few things i hate about traveling: red eye flights, constantly worrying that someone will steal my camera or valuables, rain all day at the beach, shower in cold water in cold weather, and of course mosquitos!!

  55. Hugs! While I’m sure that all of these other 50+ comments offer up some great tips all I can say is – if someone says it doesnt happen to them, they lie.

    There are definite ups and downs and not every country jives – consider either jumping countries or hunkering down and wandering the same city for a few weeks to get some normalcy back (and to give you time to find some new pants).

    Hoping that Team America gave you some ridiculous laughs ๐Ÿ™‚ xo

  56. Your post made me laugh so much! I hope that doesn’t make you hate me. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously, ranting is underrated. I loved yours. Hope you are feeling better today and just know that you made my day better and put a smile of my face.

  57. I liked your post because it was honest. It was not a well, I have to fluff up my day and make it look good for my readers. I can emphasis the most with point number 5.

    I have been to places and wonder why I just ain’t feeling the vibe. I used to wonder if it was me, then I decided that if i don’t feel the vibe it is because I am not meant to be in that place at the time.

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  59. hahaha… I found Peruvian Spanish is the easiest to understand. I know the feeling though, I was lost when I got to Argentina. quรฉ? quรฉ? quรฉ?… no entiendo

  60. I like your honesty. You obviously wrote this while you were still angry – or else you did a great job of bringing forth your anger once again so you could write an emotional post. It does suck, sometimes, traveling. Especially when you’re in the position of absolutely needing to buy something, like your pants or take care of something back home. Everything has to be put on hold, even though you might have had the world’ most perfect day planned out. Forget it. I hope the sun is shining brighter for you now!

  61. LengthyTravel says:

    I can relate to some of these, especially the cutting in lines. If I ever end up in a Latin American jail it wil
    l undoubtedly be for beating the snot out of some idiot who walked right up in front of me in a store when I was CLEARLY waiting my turn ๐Ÿ˜‰

    No problems with the cold on the buses here in Ecuador but I remember vividly my freezing experiences on buses in Colombia. And, EVERYONE, including locals, complain about it so it makes you wonder what the heck is wrong with all the idiots running the bus companies. BTW, you didn’t mention my biggest Colombia annoyance, the fact that there aren’t fixed prices for the buses. You have to haggle, which I suck at, and they often try to screw the foreigners.

    Having ranted myself, I absolutely loved my 3+ months in Colombia!

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  63. Oh, wow, I’m so happy I’m not the only one wandering around foreign countries with my panties hanging out of my pants! Wallow away, sister… some days, a good wallow in self pity is exactly what you need (along with a new pair of pants… and maybe some chocolate).

  64. hey there! i’d just like to weigh in and say that you’re awesome for doing what you’re doing- takes guts and i admire you for it. i’m an avid traveler too! i also live in Toronto, and if i’d known you were doing this, i would have come along. one day, i’d like to do the same…take a year…travel and explore. it won’t be perfect, and some days are going to be pretty tough- but you’ll come out better for it. congrats on this amazing experience! PS- the street car today was as cold, dirty and smelly as ever- i’d trade that for a freezing bus in SA any day. Deanna ๐Ÿ™‚

  65. Im glad that you realize how lucky you are and admit that you are whining ! most people would love to travel around the world, but likely don’t have the courage to pick up and leave everything and every one! Hopefully things will be there for you when you get back. why wouldnt people want to sit with you? And why is a seat to yourself a bad thing? I would much rather the space!

  66. Pingback: Learning Colombian Slang | Seattle With Kids
  67. Uggh, totally understand the whole line cutting thing in Latin America. Bugs the crap out of me. And it’s always men!

  68. Thanks for the sweet comment about my blog. Made my day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  69. I travel for work (shooting weddings) and honestly I’m probably one of the luckiest people in the world to get to do so. But when we’re on the road, I still hate living out of a suitcase. It’s so inconvenient and my clothes are always wrinkly. That drives me nuts!

    PS. Nothing is wrong with you for complaining. It’s normal. Nobody, not even permanent long term travelers are happy all the time.

    PSS. Are you coming to Chile?

  70. 10. No one respects a line up and thinks its okay to step in front of me. Iโ€™ve tried hissing at a few people. It doesnโ€™t work.

    Lol, Don’t hiss, just speek up ‘Disculpa, yo estaba primera’

    My experience is that they’ll feel embarrassed…

    It’s something I’ve learned here in Argentina: to stand up for myself and demand my rights (cause if you don’t do it, knowbody will – different from my european way of life haha)

  71. Oh. Thank. God. I’m not the only one. I have been feeling negatively towards life abroad in Spain (it’s been 3 years…). Frankly, I am tired of it. But I’ve been feeling like the biggest as*hole for having such negative thoughts because I know people might kill to be in my shoes. My friends back home say, “HELLO. You live in SPAIN,” as if it is some sort of a never-ending vacation (which realistically cannot be so). Many don’t realize that, sometimes, being immersed in a culture and language/accent that are not your own often require a full day’s effort on a daily basis and constant awareness of your surroundings. You are re-learning most everything you’ve ever known, which can be exhilarating, but sometimes you do need a break in order to re-charge.
    But at the same time, we wouldn’t change this priceless cultural experience for the world.
    It is who we are – restless and sometimes fickle travelers who are 100% allowed to have a bad day every once in a while. After all, this kind of lifestyle take cojones.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I’ve learned to embrace the down days, after all sometimes we hate life back at home too. But somehow the scenery that I hate is nicer here.

  72. Not just Colombia – those 12 happen everywhere! Sometimes you just need a little room of your own to get away from everyone. As an Aussie, I normally resort to Muriel’s Wedding. ๐Ÿ™‚ Then the next day I just sit and watch life going on around me rather than trying to be part of it, and by the day after am raring to go again.

  73. Dearesr Ayngelina,

    *hugs* first of all, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. i love love love the way you write, and the things you share.

    You are absolutely normal my dear, as i am 33 (ok, technically its 34 this year :P, but since its not my birthday yet :P:P)

    i do not dare to say i know exactly how you feel, but somehow when i read about the things you write, instantly i feel a connection, i nod my head in agreement.

    Sometimes, we have 1 or 2 days when we are angry at ourselves, the worlds etc… its normal.
    cause i have those days too.

    *hugs* & keep on your amazing effort.

    btw, its my 3rd day being a vegetarian. 27 more days to go ๐Ÿ˜› so far so good.
    no pork withdrawal symptom yet ๐Ÿ˜›

    take care, hugs.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I was surprised to see so many people felt the same way in their travels and then I learned it comes and goes and not to worry about it when you are miserable.

      I’m on Day 4 and things are pretty good. I don’t miss beef at all, except for last night when they had steak tartare on the menu. But I guess I can have it in 26 days ๐Ÿ™‚

  74. I think you have a really negative attitude. And I’m sure that Colombians see you like a plague because you show that, and you probably didn’t know. I love Colombians, they are really nice people, and I think that if you don’t like Colombia, you don’t like anything, even your own family
    Peace ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:


      You are absolutely right. When I wrote this post I had a really negative attitude. I had been traveling for six months and just hit a wall. The good news is that I snapped out of it and stayed in Colombia for two months. It is now one of my favourite countries and I recommend it to anyone. I completely agree with you that Colombians are really nice people, and probably the friendliest I have ever met.

  75. Why in the world did you go to Popayan?
    Small towns in Colmbia (and more the south ones) people aren’t that “educated” or whatever, of course they were not going to sit beside you, as a general no-knowledge they probably saw you as a “gringo” there are two options, they didn’t like you or they just felt afraid…

    In most populous cities in Colombia, and the middle ones, or northern, people are more used to see foreigners and speak with them and be more kind of civilized in a sort of way…As well I think the weather is nicer…anyways, sorry you had a bad time, hope you don’t create a missconceptions of a whole country for a bad travel. Cheers ^^. Yes, I’m Colombian but half Spanish

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I was coming from Ecuador and did not want to take the bus at night to Cali so I stopped in Popayan over night. It’s quite a pretty city.

  76. Some of these really remind me of China, especially the sales girls following you around the shop. I used to hate it so much I ended up walking off within a few seconds when they started doing this. It’s as if they thought you were gonna steal and they needed to look at everything you do very closely to avoid that :/.


    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Yes it also happened to me in the Philippines, customer service is completely different in other countries.

  77. Austin-Lehman Adventures says:

    Something I hate…When Im just not in the mood, is someone saying oh my god your so lucky. I get it, it’s amazing to live in a foreign paradise, even cooler to just travel the world. But your 7 day vacation is NOT what living here is like. And what does luck have to do with it. I sold my car at home, gave up my amazing apartment, haven’t dated in months because i’m always on the go, work just as hard if not harder to make less money, and I miss my friends and family. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world but it can be irritating when all people see is puppy dogs and rainbows. ๐Ÿ™‚

  78. This was a wonderful read. I’m also doing a year’s solo hike through Latin America (South) and have had many of the moments you described above, before promptly thinking “you are living your DREAM, you know people who would sell their left kidney to do the same, SHUT UP and just ENJOY.” But, we’re human, and WE come with us when we travel…some days will be just like they were before you left, you’ll feel tired, hungry, over it. And that’s great too.

    I’m very much looking forward to reading more! Beautiful writing.

  79. I totally understand! I’m in Spain to study abroad and there are so many things I can’t stand – like how everything is done on paper and takes a month to accomplish instead of one second; that to dry your clothes you have to hang them up, which again takes about 4 times longer and then they sit and stink until you wash it again; the constant rain; how all the food is covered in tuna; how far it is from home; how nobody here speaks English (which is good and bad but the longer I’m here the less interested I am in speaking Spanish)… some days are better than others, though, and it goes by quickly. Good luck!

  80. This is a time capsule! I hope you had your epiphany and stopped being such a tight us!

  81. Thank you for writing this! I’ve had so many days like this in my travels, and I always have to give myself a major pep talk.

    “11. Sometimes Iโ€™m really lonely and I wonder what the hell is wrong with me that Iโ€™m 33 and I canโ€™t seem to be happy with a normal life like everyone else. Am I missing some DNA that would allow me to have a life without needing to wander around the world.”

    #11 spoke to me in particular. I’m missing that DNA, too. Keep it up, for yourself and for all of us mustering up the bravery to do it too!

  82. Trace@TravelEggs says:

    *sigh of relief* so glad to know I am not the only one who has days like this. I get so angry because I have usually worked so hard to get to that faraway beautiful destination and then stuff like that happens…along with inevitably stubbing my toe or something stupid like that:(

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