Monday, 12 August 2013


Steve's travel tantrums were getting too much for his friends to take! (source - author)

No matter the level of luxury you travel at, you need to accept one thing in order to have a pleasurable stay in your destination or on your travels.  You are going to have to suffer!  Yes...I said suffer!  Indeed, I am suggesting a little bit of pain on what you might expect to be a blissful break away from the daily humdrum existence at home.  So, what do I mean?  Am I asking you to bear the pain of accidentally treading on a sea urchin or endure a bout of food poisoning from that ropey-looking buffet on offer at the hotel?  No.  When I mean you are going to have to suffer, I refer to the need of the traveller to suspend the standards/norms they might expect at home, particularly when they travel abroad.  One of the quickest and surest ways to spoil your trip is to expect your destination to be just like home; unless of course you are a Brit heading to the Spanish Costas where you will, indeed, find all the comforts you get at home, including the foods, drinks and even language (possibly in an accent and dialect you are familiar with too)!

When you travel it is important to remember that you are in a country with differing cultural norms.  Queueing, for example, might not be as socially precious as it is in your home country.  The standards of service or manner with which you are served in a restaurant may differ from what you are used to at home.  The beer might taste different to your favourite brand back home and the bread a little saltier than you like, but are only likely to be in your destination for a short period of time - so my advice?  Suck it up!  Enjoy the difference!  Savour the fact that you are sampling something out of your comfort zone.  Your bed was not as comfortable as at home - so what?!  Be thankful you even have a bed!  Your room a little outdated in its design or stuffed to the brim with an inordinate amount of religious paraphernalia?  Deal with it!  Besides, on almost all the trips I have taken, the room has simply provided me with somewhere to rest my head.  It is the destination I am there for - not the hostel or hotel room.  Sure, if what you encounter in your hostel or the restaurant is downright unacceptable, I am not advising you keep quiet and endure, but if you find yourself constantly comparing your travel experiences to what you get back home or what you expect your destination to be like - you are going to have a miserable time and not enjoy the destination for all the special things (good and bad) that make it so unique or worth travelling to.  So, whether you are feeling addled in Amsterdam, bothered in Bulgaria or are going crazy in Colombia - suffer!  It will be good for you and almost certainly make your trip that bit more enjoyable.

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