As you may be able to tell from my recent run-in with an old Vietnamese lady on a boat, sometimes the road get’s me and for a few minutes, I just really hate travelling.
Here are my top ten eye-twitch inducing travel facts:
1. Sheeple and Crowds
Sheeple can be found in every cultural background and every country and like to descend on a place like the plague of locusts. Their habitat is the tour bus and they have made the herd mentality their own. Characterized by carrying huge DSLR’s that they don’t know how to use, firing flashes at buildings half a mile away and wearing socks in sandals, they seem to have forgotten that they are actually individuals capable of rational thought and making their own decisions.
2. Nasty Toilets
I’m a big fan of the bush toilet (aka peeing behind a tree), because public toilets, if they are even available, are just that nasty. Nothing makes my bladder retract towards my armpits more than having to roll up my pants and wade through an inch of piss to even get to the hole in the ground.
3. Sweat and Grime
Oh god, hot and humid climates. My hair is a frizzy, tangled and dirty mess that makes me look like I lost a fight with a lawn mower, my face produces so much grease that I look more like an oil painting than a person and then there is the sweat that just starts pouring out of my pores as soon as I leave the house. Sometimes, I feel like my body is trying to end the misery and just drown me already.
4. The Noise
I seem to possess the supersonic hearing of a megabat and all the disadvantages that come with it. And it isn’t just the incessant honking, yelling and hassling that can sometimes be overwhelming. I’m convinced that certain countries just suffer from a collective hearing loss. There’s simply no other explanation to how some people seem to be able to sit through hours of blaring, cheesy Asian music shows, where girls with too much make up make sounds that remind me of a panicked cat being slowly dunked in a bathtub over and over again.
5. Touts and Scammers
Touts and scammers are drawn to major tourist attractions like flies to a bad smell. Getting swarmed by them as soon as lifting the eyes an inch off the ground or sticking a toe out of a public bus, is a daily annoyance in many parts of the world. I hate having to be on guard all the time and it’s emotionally draining not being able to trust anyone. Back when I still believed the world was a consistently good and happy place and unicorns were prancing around in meadows, I thought that maybe, one day, someone would come up to me on the street and strike up a conversation simply because they are friendly and not because they plan on ripping me off in one way or another.
6. The Lack of Queuing Ability:
I was brought up respecting other peoples personal space and adhering to the general rules of queuing. Britain’s really nice, some other countries are ok at it, but in most places, I have to toss any sense of common decency out the window and get ready to use my elbows. I’ve had people nonchalantly step in front of me, and members of certain cultures like to literally squeeze up to each other nut to but. Seriously, babies are made with more room between people. Stop it.
7. Mosquitoes and Bugs:
I’m writing this while an ant trail slowly makes it’s way across my bed towards my luggage and with two big, fat mosquito bites from last night on my face. Enough said.
8. Judgy Travellers and Accommodations:
No matter what you do, to some people you are never good enough. Carrying a backpack into a fancy hotel? Are you lost Miss? Drag a suitcase through the common room of a hostel? Oh look at her, she’s not a real traveller. Come on guys, lets just be nice to each other, everyone’s different.
9. Pollution and Trash
After only a few days on the road, I already wanted to go and hug some trees really hard. By now, I kind of want to plant a whole forest. The amount of trash that gets carelessly thrown into ditches, rivers and oceans (I’m pointing my finger at you Asia), is terrifying and makes me seriously worry about the future of our planet.
10. Animal Abuse
Be it a boy beating a horse in Jordan, starving cats and dogs on the streets of Indonesia or taking baby elephants away from their mothers, torturing and hitting them for weeks and breaking their spirits for tourist elephant riding all across Southeast Asia – animal abuse is everywhere and if you travel outside the western world, you will notice that a lot of people have very little regard for anything but themselves. It is incredibly depressing and, apart from supporting animal rights groups and shelters, you can’t do much to stop it.