LONG-TERM TRAVEL WOES

Everybody thinks that long-term travel is a fairy tale dream come true. It is true in a way, what with the alleged non-stop party and carefree life that people think it entails. What they don’t know is that there is also a grim, non-glamorous side of it. There are some stressful and sad days behind every Instagram-worthy pictures uploaded online.

I’ve been traveling non-stop for a year now and I’ve experienced countless stressful and sad days too, that I kept to myself for fear that my family back home will worry about me. Here are some of the travel woes I came across after being on the road extensively for a long time.

HAVING NO PRIVACY

Local Romanian room at Muzeul National Dimitrie Gusti
Local Romanian room at Muzeul National Dimitrie Gusti

It is inevitable that I stay in hostels on my long-term travel in order to stretch my budget. This means that I won’t have privacy since I always share the room with fellow travelers. As a natural introvert, this affects me because I need my alone time in order to think well. To combat this, I now mix my accommodation between a private room and a shared dorm in order to get that feeling of privacy again.

MISSING FAMILIAR THINGS

The day I cooked Kalderetang Manok and Sinangag for my Brazilian friends

There are some things back home that I now crave to do or eat. What I would give to eat kare-kare, dinuguan, fried bangus, and lumpiang sariwa again! These Filipino dishes are hard to replicate here in Latin America due to the difficulty of finding the necessary ingredients. For now, there is nothing I can do but suck it up. Anyways, I just enjoy everything I can find in my current locality, so it’s still a win for me.

SURVIVING IN A DIFFERENT CULTURE

Fez Medina

Living in a country that has a different way of life from what you were used to can be stressful. Luckily, I don’t have much difficulty here in Latin America because we Filipinos share some cultural similarities with Latinos. Besides, I also speak Spanish and Portuguese so I can easily connect with locals. However, I got overwhelmed when I stayed longer in countries with a huge cultural difference such as in North Africa and Asia. Nevertheless, it made me more adaptable and tolerant in the end.

BEING SICK ON THE ROAD

Street food can be a hit or miss – this one at least was really good – Taco de oveja

I feel that the world is against me whenever I get sick on my travels, especially since I am on my own. Luckily, complete strangers helped me in times of sickness, making recovery better. I subscribe to the belief that travelers should always look out for fellow travelers in times of need. I make sure that if I come across someone sick, then I do my best to help because I know that they will do the same to me too.

SAYING GOODBYE CONSTANTLY

Filipino friends I met in Medellin. They are the best!

It is inevitable that you will say goodbye to the people you meet on the road, and I said more goodbyes than the average person. It is possible that you will cross paths with some of them again, but in most cases, you won’t. That is part of travel, just be thankful for the happy memories you’ve shared in that specific moment, then move on.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Long-term travel is not for everyone, let’s be clear on that. You need to be used to being alone most of the time and be extremely flexible. If you still feel like doing it after reading all these travel woes, then do so, as the benefits you will reap from an extended stay overseas far outweighs the negative aspects. It truly is a life-changing experience that everyone needs to try at least once in their life.

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