The Dark Side of Travelling

darker side of travelling

I believe in my heart of hearts that travelling is the best gift you can give yourself. It empowers you, challenges you, it teaches you so many lessons and because of it, you grow as a person. There is nothing that compares to being on the other side of the world, alone and not being able to understand the language to bring out the best in you, to get where you are going to continue your trip and journey as a person.

However, as much as travelling opens your eyes and helps you develop new skills in so many ways, what goes up most come down and there is a dark side to travelling. It should never stop you from doing it, but you shouldn’t walk into it with your eyes completely closed either. Here are some of the less enjoyable sides of travelling the world to look out for.


If you are doing an excessive amount of travel on the other side of the world by yourself feeling lonely at some stage is inevitable. Even for the most extroverted person, there will be times that you’ll feel like the only human left on earth. Sometimes you won’t be able to find a common ground with people, sometimes you just won’t be able to understand them. And sometimes you will just be going through the daily grind all by yourself with no-one else to share it with. This can be even more common for introverted individuals.

When things are getting you down just remember its only temporary. If you can’t find something in common with the people you are with here now, remember it’s only one step in your big journey. And don’t forget your family and friends are only one Skype away at home to talk to.

You’ll Miss Important Things

Lonely Traveller

Unfortunately, when you’re on your journey travelling the globe everybody else’s life won’t stop because of it. And I think it’s safe to assume that when travelling you won’t have a huge disposable income to fly back home at a whim. Missing important events like weddings, christenings, birthdays and more is bound to happen. You’ll miss milestones in the lives of your family and people that you love and you’ll get all the information about what’s going on in people’s lives secondhand.

Keep in mind your family and friends will understand that you are on the other side of the world and they won’t hold it against you that you can’t make every important event. You’re not going to travel forever, and when you’re back you’ll get to participate in all of these things and more.

You’ll Be Disappointed

There will be times during your trip where you will end up sad and disappointed. It may be because a destination that you’ve been dreaming of your whole life is nothing like you imagined. You might see the worst in people along the way, you may have such culture shock in a particular place that you just can’t find it enjoyable.

Hey, this is the point of travelling. These things happen. For every location that you’re underwhelmed in, you’ll find a spectacular destination you never knew existed. For every time you witness the worst in a person, you’ll find someone willing to give you the shirt off your back and then you cook you dinner as well. And each time you’re in a place that gives you such culture shock, you’ll learn to appreciate how good you have it at home.

You’ll Get Sick & Tired

solo traveller at sunset

At some stage during your travels, you’re going to sick and tired of everything. Whether it’s at a two-month itch, a year or three years you’re going to get sick of living out of a bag. Of not having any sleep in a shared hostel, of constantly being on a train or bus or plane. Of having to make polite conversation with people all the time. Of not being able to have a fluent conversation in your own language.

This is the point where you need to make a decision on whether to continue or not. You need to decide whether this is just a bad couple of days that happens to everyone, or whether you are truly done with your journey this time. There’s no shame in what you decide. Travelling is supposed to be enjoyable. Apart from the exceptions above, there is a point where you just need to go home. And there’s no shame in that either way.

Bought to you by Vanessa Tobias at the Canvas Factory! Turn your magic memories from your trip into beautiful canvas prints!

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