Sometimes, travel is proper shit.
Well, not like real-life shit, but just quite annoying. Well, not even quite annoying really. But, nevertheless, I’m going to whine to you about it while you’re cooking dinner, or commuting home on a packed train, or balancing your chequebook if that’s still a thing that people do.
Because I’m THAT awful.
This week I was thinking about Christmas in Colombia because of this post wot I wrote about a failed festive romance, and it made me think about what happened just after Christmas and New Year.
What happened is that I had proper January blues, mate.
A brilliant travel pal had just left, I’d come down with tonsillitis, a boy wasn’t texting me back, and a potential volunteer position had fallen through. I felt so sorry for myself that I had a little cry in the shower one morning.
But the thing is, none of those things warranted an actual bathroom-based breakdown. Travel friends come and go, and boys do the same thing. Everyone gets sick, and as for the job, it’s annoying to be let down but let’s face it: not being able to volunteer in a hostel for a month is hardly going to affect my life on any great scale.
But, when you’re travelling it’s unbelievable how much weight these insignificant occurrences take on. More than once during that crap week in January I questioned what the hell I was doing with my life, and berated myself for being dumb enough to let these tiny inconveniences happen to me.
WHICH IS BONKERS, INNIT.
To top off my actually-not-so-terrible situation, I felt sad that I couldn’t complain to folk at home about this crap (although I know I’m doing that right now). After all, how would you have felt if I’d called you to whine about how I couldn’t bear my completely bearable situation? Imagine me doing this when you’ve just endured yet another day at the mercy of your shit boss at the job that you semi-hate? You’d start to semi-hate me too, that’s for sure.
In an effort to preserve my relationships at home, I’ve taken to venting to the people that I met travelling. They get it, and they do it too. They know how infuriating life can be when you don’t have any real problems so you have to blow minor things out of all proportion to compensate. They’ll mutter sympathetic things, recognising that although having two pairs of knickers ruined by the hostel laundry service isn’t the end of the world in real life, it can be when you only had seven pairs in your bag to start with.
Once, in Argentina, I lost a £7.00 Primark cardigan and I berated myself for a full week about being a complete waste of space. Like, how could I expect to travel the world and not die if I couldn’t look after a piece of budget knitwear? Idiot.
You should’ve seen me when I accidentally paid $50 over the going rate for a visa on a dodgy website. It was like the end of the world had come. Despite having systematically blown at least $50 per week on utter shite for the previous six months, it really felt like I’d ruined my life with that single mistake.
So yeah, travel is annoying, but only in that it’s so incredibly not annoying that you have to find ways to make it annoying so you have something to complain about. You feel me?