When it comes to traveling, most people think of sunny blue skies, beach days, adventures, and good food. Most people don’t think about things like getting lost, becoming stressed, or just not liking the destination in general! In this list I will describe some of what no one tells you about traveling, so you can be prepared for the good and the bad!
Some of these things might make you uneasy, but don’t let that scare you from traveling! The difficulties and struggles you endure during your travels will only become learning experiences and funny stories later on!
Some of what no one tells you about traveling are unexpected, in a good way! Your thoughts and perspectives will change, and you will appreciate certain things more.
Of course, these lessons will be different depending on where you are traveling too. For example, if you are going to an all-inclusive beach resort, you will probably feel less stressed than if you are backpacking across Europe.
Overall, just keep these things in mind, so if you experience them during your travels, you can feel comfortable knowing they are completely normal, and even expected!
If this is your first time traveling, be sure to check out our list of things all first time travelers forget!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
1. It's Exhausting
Like I mentioned in the points above unless you are traveling to an all-inclusive vacation or somewhere with ultimate relaxation, you are likely to experience some exhaustion.
Traveling isn’t always relaxing. In fact, you can experience your most stressful times during a vacation! There are so many things that can go wrong, so much uncertainty, and many strict time constraints.
From navigating a new city, rushing to get to your plane on time, or not understanding the local language, there are definitely plenty of stresses on vacation.
Even if everything goes exactly right on your trip, you will most likely still feel exhaustion. You might not be getting a full 8 hours of sleep per night, or are experiencing jet lag. Your body will probably get tired from walking thousands of steps sightseeing everyday. Traveling takes a huge toll on your body, so it is important to take care of yourself!
Check out these tips for how to adjust to new time zones during your travels, to help fight and prevent the exhaustion! Additionally, make sure you are taking care of your body while traveling with these health-conscious travel tips!
Don’t let this deter you from traveling though. Yes, traveling is stressful and exhausting, but it is worth every second! You only have a certain amount of time at your destination, so naturally you will want to fit everything in that you can!
Remember to take it easy, and try to build in time for relaxation!
2. You Won't Like Everywhere you Go
Another item on our list of what no one tells you about traveling is that you won’t like everywhere you go.
You took a week off of work, spent more money than you should, and planned for months before you left. When you get there, you anticipate you’ll be blown away and in love with your surroundings.
But, what happens if this doesn’t happen?
Because it will. You will feel like maybe there is something wrong with you like you are ungrateful. How could you be unhappy with a vacation others would die to go on?
Ok, so maybe you won’t hate where you are, or be so unhappy you want to go home (although I’m sure this could happen to some!). But, you might realize your thought of what the place would be like was better than actually being there.
Sure, you appreciate this amazing opportunity to travel! But, especially if you have traveled to many places, you might start ranking your favorite places. It can feel almost sad if your current trip isn’t your favorite, or even close to it.
The more you travel, the more you will understand what this feels like. It is completely normal! Every trip is not going to be your new favorite, but that’s ok!
Appreciate where you are, and the opportunity to explore and see new things. Even if you hate it, you will still learn some valuable lessons, and learn more about the world around you.
Try not to feel like your trip was a complete waste because you didn’t enjoy it as much as you thought you would. There are silver linings everywhere! What did you learn? What did you enjoy about it? Hold onto those positive memories.
3. Its not always like the pictures
You know that worldwide landmark you’ve been dying to see your entire life? Like the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum, Niagara Falls, etc.?
I hate to break it to you, but they don’t look like the pictures- at least not always.
Don’t get me wrong, seeing a landmark like that is breathtaking, and hard to believe you are seeing it in reality. However, if all you’ve been looking at are professional pictures, you might be disappointed.
Most pictures of these things are taken with high-quality cameras, maybe with drones, and no tourists surrounding it. So naturally, they are going to look better!
When you get there, especially during high tourist seasons, you might not even get a clear view of it with all the people. Maybe the weather just isn’t great that day, and the lighting is off. Maybe your camera just doesn’t capture it as you had hoped.
The good news is, the feeling you get when you see it for the first time is exactly what you would imagine. Pictures paint landmarks in their best possible light, but nothing compares to seeing it with your own eyes.
Just know, especially if you are planning specific poses with landmarks for your Instagram, you might have a difficult time. Follow this guide for how to take travel photos yourself!!
Like anything in life, that beach, statue, bridge, etc. will have its good moments and its bad. If you happen to see it flooded with tourists or on a cloudy day, hold onto the feeling you got when you first saw it.
Something I do that helps is looking at real visitor’s photos before I leave. Instagram is great for this, because you can search the landmark as a location or hashtag, and you can see all the recent photos real people have taken!
4. No one wants to hear your stories
Especially if you are a frequent traveler, you can bet most people in your life don’t want to hear about it. You’ll come home and want to tell everyone you see what an amazing time you had and all the things you saw and did.
You will quickly learn that most people don’t really want to hear it. You also might start to feel like a snob, especially if you say things like “oh yea this one time when I was in Paris…“, or “I did that in Rome! Oh wait, or was that Greece?”
Of course, you don’t mean it in a snobby way, but it will definitely come off that way. Don’t let this deter you from talking about your travels though. It’s their fault if they are jealous, right?! Share your experiences and what you learned, and the people who care about you will listen.
If you get home from your trip and feel like no one will listen to you, you might start to feel kind of sad! Make sure you follow this guide of how to combat the post trip slump!
Try writing down all your favorite memories of the trip in a travel journal. Make a scrapbook of pictures of your adventures and ticket stubs. Print out some pictures and hang them in your house to see every day.
Hold onto your memories, and don’t let anyone make you feel like they aren’t valuable. You have just experienced life in a new part of the world, and its only natural you want to share it!
5. You'll see the world differently
The more you explore the world, the better understanding you will have of it. Different cultures, landscapes, ways of life. Stepping outside of your typical everyday life, into a new country or even continent is a big deal!
What no one tells you about traveling is that these experiences will shape how you see your home and the world. You might appreciate certain things in your daily life that you didn’t think about much before. Some things might even bother you about your home town/country that didn’t bother you before!
This is something I wasn’t expecting to happen before we began traveling the world. You will feel as though you know things. Like you just have a better understanding of the world than those around you (given they don’t travel much). It’s like you can feel your brain expanding and opening up to new ideas.
This is actually my favorite part about traveling: getting to know life from a different perspective. It is easy to think that everyone pretty much lives the same way you do and that most things in your life are just regular. You will quickly learn that’s not true at all!
When you see a place on TV or in the news, you will feel you have a better understanding of what it’s like than others. You can imagine being there, and understand what is happening on a deeper level.
There is beauty in having your perspectives of life and the world flipped upside down. Hold onto this as long as you can.
6. You'll feel uncomfortable
Another item on our list of what no one tells you about traveling is that you might feel uncomfortable. Traveling will often put you into new situations and scenarios you have never experienced.
You might feel uncomfortable with the language barrier and trying to speak a new language. Maybe you are uncomfortable with flying in general, or just being in a new environment. You could be trying something new for the first time on your vacation, making you uneasy!
Sometimes traveling can bring culture shock, which can definitely be uneasy! Try to embrace the changes around you, and explore them as much as you can!
While it is not always a great feeling to be uncomfortable, it will be an amazing learning experience! Getting outside of your comfort zone is one part about traveling that makes it so great!
Try to remember traveling is about new experiences and adventure, so don’t be afraid to try something new! Even if it doesn’t work out, it will be a good learning experience (or at least a funny story!)
7. It's addictive
The best (and worst) part about traveling is that it is so addictive! Once you start traveling the world, you won’t want to stop. Something about it makes you keep coming back for more!
You might find yourself thinking about your next trip before you even leave! Or, you might be planning your next trip on the flight home!
Maybe it is the challenge, the adventure, the uncertainty that makes us all keep coming back for more. Once you get a taste of the world you live in, you will only want to know and experience more!
One thing that helps us is always having some sort of trip planned, even if it is just a weekend getaway somewhere close by. Having small adventures in between larger vacations will help tie you over until the next trip! Plus, you will get to explore your own nearby cities and towns in the meantime!
8.You'll leave your heart in so many places
The last item on our list of what no one tells you about traveling is that you will leave a piece of your heart in so many places. Wherever you go, you will take what you learned with you, but you will also leave a piece of yourself there.
After traveling somewhere, you will start to feel at home there. By the end of your trip, you will probably start to know your way around town, know where some good restaurants are and have a better understanding of the culture.
If you were to ever return, you would feel comfortable because you are familiar with it all!
After you get home, you might start to realize a piece of you is missing. The one you left abroad. It is a strange feeling, to become so attached to an area you only spent maybe a week in, but it happens!
With all the amazing memories you experienced, it is no wonder you feel a strong connection!