People who love traveling keep talking about how magical it is. They write books, blogs, and articles about it. It’s amazing, they repeat. It’s developing, educational, adventurous, absolutely fantastic. Yeah. It is indeed, but like nearly everything, traveling has its downsides too. In many ways, it’s risky. It’s just as difficult as wonderful and as dangerous as safe. Here’s a list of 8 risks of traveling. Look through them, keep them in mind and do never let them stop you from getting out there and exploring.
You can get addicted
Once you hit the road, you might realize that’s your favorite thing. You’ll go for a short trip first: a few days in a capital of a neighboring country, a small trip with your best friends or a short trekking in the mountains that aren’t even that far from your hometown. It doesn’t sound very dangerous, right? But once you get back home, you’ll start planning the next travel – a longer one, to a more exotic place. And so it’ll continue. Eventually, you might find yourself spending all your free time online, looking for affordable flights and exciting locations. Holidays won’t be enough anymore; you’ll want to go for weeks, months, further and further away. You’ll start hanging out with other travelers, even while you stay home. Their stories will be as inspiring as disturbing. You’ll want to do the same, go to the places they’ve described. Planes, buses, streets, and backpacks will start appearing in your dreams, so intensely that you’ll be waking up unsure whether you’ve just come back from an actual trip. Yes, it’s easy to get addicted to traveling, but then, it’s easy to get addicted to many things. Better to pick the road than real drugs, or some other suspicious substances, or the Internet, or unhealthy relationships. Be aware it might happen, but don’t bother too much – just remind yourself it’s supposed to be a passion, not a limitation. Stop for a while from time to time, take a little detox, and then keep on going.
You won’t recognize yourself
Travelling might change you to the point you’ll start wondering who you are. You’ll see the whole new you. Surrounded by new people, in new places, new situations, you’ll behave differently than before. You’ll start realizing there are some traits of your character you’ve had no idea of. Your views and beliefs will be questioned, but despite being scary, questioning is good. It’s amazing. That’s a way to progress. Let it happen and don’t worry, you’ll find the new you, not once, but continuously. Each day of your journey will change or reveal something and each day will bring a new you.
Your family and friends won’t recognize you either
And they may not like it very much. Perhaps they’ll ask you why you are doing this, what is the point, why can’t you just stay still. They might be sad, disappointed, worried. You’ll leave them, after all, and being left isn’t the nicest feeling of all. Be patient though – with time they can recognize the benefits of your transformation. You’ll miss them and thus appreciate more, and they will do the same. First, they’ll say you’re insane, but then they’ll be just so happy to receive an email from you, or to see you again after a few weeks, that they’ll forget why they got angry in the first place. Who knows, perhaps some of your friends will even join your journeys?
You’ll miss many people
You’re obviously not Hermione Granger, and you can’t be in many places simultaneously neither you can be with all of your loved ones at the same time. That means you’ll miss someone. It’s possible you’ll end up in a hostel dorm somewhere in Argentina, watching photos of your boyfriend, and cry a little bit. Your best friend will be getting married, while you’ll be in a mysterious Indonesian village, all alone, cursing yourself for leaving home and missing out on the most important moments in the lives of the people you love. You’ll also miss other travelers randomly met on the road and the kind locals you’ll keep coming across. No kidding here, no lying – it’s going to be painful. Nevertheless, missing someone means it’s a wonderful person. Things can’t be too easy. You get something, you lose it, you suffer a bit, but after all, you realize it was worth the pain.
…And many places
This beautiful beach you’ll spend three days on during your backpacking trip to Thailand – you’ll most likely never revisit it. The fascinating city you’ll go to for your first travel ever – yes, that’s another place you’ll probably only visit once. You’ll miss the sounds, the flavors, the impressions. You’ll want to have them again, but it’s probably not going to happen. Of course, you can always go back to your favorite places, but if you were to do it endlessly, you wouldn’t discover new ones. It’s just another thing to put up with; you simply can’t have everything. It’s not joyful, but with time you’ll learn to accept it. You’ll also start understanding when it’s the time to stop in one place for a longer period and when is the moment to leave.
You’ll spend some money
For many people, money is the biggest obstacle to deal with when they start thinking of traveling. How to combine it with work, how to pay for the tickets, what to eat on the road, how to manage it all without getting broke and homeless. It’s hard indeed. Some venturesome individuals travel with no money whatsoever, but that’s not for everyone. Most people need money to travel. The thing is, you don’t need as much as you think. Travelling doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. Unless you’re dreaming of five-star resorts and drinking Champaign in Parisian restaurants, you can travel cheaply. If you don’t have serious financial problems, it’s all doable. Be realistic about your budget. Accept the fact nearly everything costs money nowadays. Whether you stay home or go away, you’ll spend money. Your new shoes cost something. You pay bills each month. People buy new cars, fridges, and cameras; sometimes they do it even though they don’t need all this stuff. The very same money could be spent on a plane ticket to Europe or a Spanish course in Guatemala. You can find ways to travel cheaply – backpack, use hospitality exchange, hitch-hike, be thrifty. And, most importantly, stop spending money on stupid things while you’re home.
It’ll be uncomfortable at times
Especially if you decide to travel on a budget. A comfy bed won’t always be there for you; a yummy meal won’t always fill your hungry belly. You’ll sleep on night buses and have a terrible pain in your back afterward. Hostels won’t be as cool as they seem when you look at their websites. You’ll take showers in dirty bathrooms and listen to drunken teenagers coming back to the dorm after crazy parties. You’ll feel tired, sad and lonely – from time to time. Sounds bad? It isn’t! It’s neither pleasant nor lovely, but it certainly isn’t bad. Modern societies are way too comfortable, that’s what makes people dull, lazy and ungrateful. After a day of harsh trekking and a night spent in a tent under torrential rains, you’ll have a warm coffee in the morning – and it’s going to be the best coffee ever. You’ll start appreciating little things and realize comfort shouldn’t be a priority. Your limits will expand, you’ll become more resistant and stronger.
Coming back home is going to be hard
Expect waterfalls of tears. Going back from a journey usually isn’t easy. Not only you’ll miss all the people you’ll have met, but you might also have trouble adjusting to your place. Yes, there’s even a name for that – a reverse culture shock. First, you must struggle with all the strange things on the road, then when you get back home, the things that used to be usual are strange as well. You’ll need to find your place again, bring yourself back to the environment you once knew so well. Dealing with all the issues of everyday life will seem incredibly boring. Life will slow down; it won’t be so rich anymore. You’ll be grumpy. Angry. Fed up. Luckily, it shouldn’t last forever. If you’re talented enough (and you probably will be after the travels), you’ll understand your home is just as exciting as all the places you’ll have visited. You’ll be able to see it in a whole new way. You’ll be more experienced, and you’ll face reality with new skills and knowledge.
What about your stories? Have you gone through some hard times while traveling? Let us know! And don’t forget to share this article with your friends.