Travelling is exhausting. The countless long journeys and lack of sleep, caused by a mixture of excitement, partying and people snoring in dorms, are the main reasons for feeling fatigued.
The Cure: Head to a beach destination and chill for few days.
2. Saying Goodbye
You meet so many awesome people whilst travelling. Saying goodbye to somebody that you have spent an intensive period of time with, and somebody that you only have good memories of is extremely difficult. So often do wish you could spend more time with certain people.
The Cure: Time. It gets much easier to say goodbye to people over the course of your trip. In the first few weeks it may be very emotional, with the exchanging of email addresses, promises to meet up, and so forth. By the end of your trip you get so used to meeting people for a short period and then moving on that you find a simple “have a good one” is a sufficient goodbye, but of course there are still some very difficult farewells.
3. Living Out Of Backpack
Having the entire contents of your life in one bag is liberating for some, but the majority of people find it a pain in the backside.
Struggling to find your camera charger buried at the bottom, wishing you had more belongings and space to put them in, keeping your dirty clothes away from your clean ones and constantly unlocking and locking your bag are just some of the annoyances.
4. Not Having Enough Money
At the start of your trip you are likely to have plenty of money and you will be spending it left, right and centre, but as time goes on budgeting becomes a lot more important. You will find yourself unable to do certain things or visit some destinations you planned on solely because of a lack of money.
The Cure: If there is something you really want to do, or somewhere you desperately want to go, make sure you either do it early on, or have reserved the funds for it later. Follow our money saving tips to help your money go further.
5. Missing Home & It's Comforts
Most of the time you are having too much fun to think of home, but there are times of reflection when you yearn for home. For many people friends and family are the main things they miss from home, but even missing trivial things, like the pillows on your bed or your favourite home cooked meal can get you down.
The Cure: A quick skype call is usually enough to cure homesickness. Time is also a great treatment; don’t throw in the towel and go home, because you will regret it – as time goes on, living as a backpacker becomes the norm, and feelings of homesickness occur less frequently. Read more about Dealing With Culture Shock & Homesickness.
6. Basic Accommodation & Lack Of Personal Space
Sharing the basic facilities of hostels isn’t a highlight for any traveller. If you haven’t been to University, or experienced something similar before, you may find it harder than others. Uncomfortable beds, inconsiderate people, queuing for the bathroom, snorers and having no room to cook in the kitchen are just some of my pet hates.
The Cure: Take a break; get a private or hotel room for a few nights - in developing countries it won't damage your budget too much. Remember not all hostels are bad – look for reviews online before booking. Read more about Living In Hostels.
7. Long Journeys
At the start of your trip you may enjoy the long journeys – looking out of the window can be very inspiring and rewarding. However after a while lengthy rides can become very tedious, tiring and in certain countries, stressful and frightening. Waiting in airports and other transport terminals can also be a painful experience and add even more time to your journey.
The Cure: Plan an itinerary that limits long journeys. If you can afford them, flights are an alternative to long bus and train rides. However you are bound to have some drawn out trips, so have plenty of music/ movies to keep you occupied, and maybe a travel pillow. You should keep a diary – they are great to read, and writing one takes up a lot of time on these journeys.
8. People Wanting Your Money
As a tourist everybody is after your money, particularly street sellers, scam artists and beggars. You can even struggle to cross the road without people pestering you to part with your cash.
The Cure: Prevent attracting attention by not acting like a tourist. If approached, keep walking and avoid conversation.
9. Finding Food
I hate finding food. At the end of a long day all you want is a meal put in front of you. Even worse is waking up in the morning and not having breakfast readily available.
In developed countries, you usually have to visit a supermarket and cook for yourself, and on a backpacker’s budget it is typically pasta for dinner. In developing countries the difficulty is finding a place to eat that looks hygienic. If you are a fussy eater then you are going to have even more problems.
The Cure: In developed countries, research the major supermarkets before arriving and buy food in advance to avoid having to shop whilst hungry. In developing countries get tips from fellow travellers on where is good to eat.
10. Returning Home
Most people are excited about returning home, but as soon as they arrive, they wish they were back travelling. Being back in the real world sucks and you can’t help but reminisce about your travels. Nothing has changed back home and after a few days your friends and family won’t be interested in your stories and it’s like you have never left.
The Cure: Save up and go again!
The last point is very important to remember. Of course backpacking isn’t all fun, but all the downsides are insignificant to the good times. All of the above points are small sacrifices to pay for the best time of your life. I’d much rather be on a 12 hour bus ride to a new exotic location, than on the same busy commuter train every morning!
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