Travel Outtakes: The not-so-peachy moments of travel

Penguin soaking up sun

Penguin soaking up sun

This month’s blog linkup is all about the not to peachy moments of travel. Having travelled the globe and blogged along the way I usually try to keep it upbeat — because who really wants to hear me moaning about all the hard times when I’m travelling places many can only dream of?

Well time to share a few realities…

FootprintsGetting ill or injured on the road

I must be the queen of this. It’s always when I’m travelling solo and have no one for support (story of my life in many ways). It’s not usually out of being clumsy or doing something stupid, it’s pure chance.

Hospital visits in Thailand and New York were due to sudden sickness that wasn’t my fault. The visits to hospitals in Ecuador were due to eating food prepared by others and drinking water I thought was filtered. The military one on the edge of the Amazon was definitely an experience to say the least… Hospital visits in Colombia were due to a rouge sea urchin spike that didn’t come out with the other dozen in the Galapagos… okay maybe that one was my fault – not being careful enough while snorkelling.

Outtake:

Either way sometimes you’ve just got to look at the situation and say ‘Shit Happens’ if I’m in pain at least that means I’m alive. Anyway every time something bad happens it makes for a good tale right?

Loneliness

Here I was thinking this only really happens on the road when you’re spewing on a double decker bus for 14 hours going around countless corners on the way to Nascar. Yet, I’ve learnt it’s not limited to the road.

Yep there’s times on the road where you don’t meet people, where you are completely alone and it isn’t eye opening and oh so powerful seeing what you can do and experience on your own. Sometimes you just want a good friend to be with you.

Friends in Rome

One of my best mates from when I studied in Austria, four years on in Rome

Outtake:

Keep busy and keep in touch with family and friends whenever you can. Try help them understand that you need their help through communication… (do as I say not do as I do right)

My backpacks pre-Africa/South America journey back to NZ

My backpacks pre-Africa/South America journey back to NZ

Carrying over half your body weight on your back (and front)

Backpacking may seem very intrepid and ooo yea you shouldn’t take more than you can carry. You REALLY shouldn’t.

Those moments when your backpack gets thrown out of the bus onto the ground and you’ve got you’re 10kg+ camera/valuables bag on your front… you look around for a bench to drag you’re backpack to, like all those other times so that you can squat and get it on your back… but no, theres no benches, no curbs… and there is no-one around to help.

Outtake:

Pack light and learn to squat real darn good and don’t get a foot or leg injury (it just makes it harder). Failing all that, be quick in looking/begging someone to help lift your bag, don’t wait until the driver disappears before you jump for help.

The days where you really can’t be bothered lugging the camera

See the nice photos? Would you be so inclined to read my blog minus the photographs? Well there’s definitely days that the camera hasn’t come along. When I’m busting my guts lugging rocks around on the edge of the Amazon, or picking up baboon poo in Namibia while volunteering… these days I skipped the camera. However, more and more in recent years the camera has stayed at home too. It’s a bit sad, but for me the place I’m visiting needs to be pretty darn special to justify the weight of my DSLR, otherwise images are limited to my iPhone. It’s not just the weight either. Every photograph I take is in RAW, which means it needs processing before it can go on this website. This all takes time and energy – even when I’ve captured a great shot that needs no touching up. It still takes time to just process and resize photos for the web.

Me with my camera in Russia

Me with my camera in Russia

Outtake:

Balance photos during travel. Travel isn’t fun if it becomes a chore to take a camera along. Be picky and appreciate the moments, but also make sure you at least have a backup smaller camera or phone.

Stuff breaking on the road

That brand new Go Pro, all sorted for 8 months of backpacking… stops working within a month.
That once in a lifetime chance to see Deadvlei in Namibia and the memory card that corrupts.
The multiple backpacks with zips that break.
The clothing that you just can’t get clean, get holes or also have broken zippers.

Outtake:

Stuff breaks, test it out well before your travels and just make sure you have money for replacement gear during the trip if you need it before insurance comes through.

Not knowing the public holidays in a country

Yeliseev's Food Hall-room, Saint Petersburg

Yeliseev’s Food Hall-room, Saint Petersburg

Yup nothings open, you’ve got no food, just arrived. These are the moments you rattle through your bag for that bruised apple for dinner.

Outtake:

Don’t underestimate the power of research when it comes to travel, it will allow you to eat. Research when public holidays are so you can at least pre-buy some food so you don’t go hungry.

Gez.. with all these not-so-peachy moments, why would I travel?

Because of these sort of moments….

Buddas in a Bangkok Temple

Buddas in a Bangkok Temple, Thailand

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood, Russia, 2014

Cappadocia from above, Turkey

Cappadocia from above, Turkey

A baby elephant being fed at an elephant orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya

A baby elephant being fed at an elephant orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy, by night. A dreamy spot to relax.

Standing in front of the Pyramids of Giza

Standing in front of the Pyramids of Giza

Mostar bridge

The pretty town of Mostar

Cathedral, stage and Easter markets in Prague

St. Patricks Day amongst Easter Markets in Prague’s town square

American side of Niagara Falls, at night

American side of Niagara Falls, at night

Agia Anna beach, Naxos

Agia Anna beach, Naxos, Greece

Gullfoss waterfall, just out of Reykjavik, Iceland

Gullfoss waterfall, just out of Reykjavik, Iceland

Northern Lights

Northern Lights, Tromso, Norway

Breeding herd of elephants running

Breeding herd of elephants running, Etosha National Park

Baby Baboons

Baby Baboons, Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

Me standing in front of Perito Moreno Glacier

Me standing in front of Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

Southern Right Whale (head), Puerto Piramides

Southern Right Whale (head), Puerto Piramides

La Boca area of Buenos Aires

La Boca area of Buenos Aires

Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Machu Picchu, view from the top of Machu Picchu Mountain

Me at Machu Picchu

Male Red Frigate Bird, Punta Pit, San Cristobal

Male Red Frigate Bird, Punta Pit, San Cristobal

Standing at Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park

Standing at Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park

If you’d like to hear more lessons learnt while travelling check out another one of my posts ’11 Lessons Learned while travelling’ here »

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