“You just haven’t lived until you’ve experienced the sun setting on the Mediterranean while sipping fresh sangria.”
“You know that feeling of walking down a quiet Parisian street at two in the morning and you pass a man playing an accordion and everything is just right in the world?”
“Oh my word, you haven’t seen New York in the spring? How are you even remotely satisfied with your empty, pitiful life?”
You may have encountered some of these sentiments whispered in reverent tones by friends of yours who have had the chance to travel.
Travelling is one of those things that’s beautiful and wonderful and exciting, but can quickly be a conversation killer if it veers into humblebrag territory and you’re laughing at your own inside jokes in a room full of people who haven’t had the opportunity to “get away!” And who are therefore planning your swift and silent demise as you ramble on about beaches at sunset and quaint cobblestones and whatever else you experienced abroad.
As someone who has been blessed with the opportunity to travel, I can’t deny it’s awesomeness.
I used to think I was a homebody, immune to the travel bug, scoffing at mentions of wanderlust and being genuinely confused by people who would want to live awkwardly in an unknown place with strangers they couldn’t understand. But then my friend and I went to New York and a year later I got the chance to go to Germany for a semester with a friend. And I have to say, I was definitely infected with the desire to travel.
And as fascinating and epic as it was, I would be lying if I said the whole experience was “aglow with the light of a million fairies.” Things were awkward. A lot. Mistakes were made. Misunderstandings endured. Culture shock. Language barriers. Inability to properly understand train times. These all happened and, at the time, they were pretty awful.
So instead of sharing with you the many wonders I saw in places like Germany, Ireland, London and Paris, I’m going to share with you the embarrassments, the humiliations and the awful little realities of travelling.
Because, let’s be honest, those things are way funnier.