We hear a lot about travel – from the dizzying heights of exploring somewhere new, to the awful lows of losing your bags or money along the way.
I’ve come to realise that there are also lots of things that happen when you travel that nobody ever warns you about; things that you can’t even begin to prepare for.
Nobody warns you that you will feel so far away from everyday, ‘regular’ life that it will feel like it doesn’t even exist… and they certainly don’t tell you that this feeling can kick in as early as from the minute you step off the plane.
Nobody warns you about how you can feel completely at home in a place, but also feel like a complete stranger, all at the one time.
Nobody warns you that you’ll grow so fond of people after even the shortest period of time, that you’ll feel physical pain when you have to say goodbye.
Nobody warns you about the lethal combined jet-lag hangover.
Nobody warns you that you will become a walking ambassador for your hometown/country… and that you’ll just have to embrace the stereotypes.
Nobody ever warns you that you will always, always regret not having the balls to just take more pictures.
Nobody ever warns you that sometimes the biggest communication barrier is that which exists between two people speaking the same language.
Nobody ever warns you that temperature readings are almost totally meaningless without knowing what the humidity is.
Minus ten degrees Celsius in low humidity does not feel anywhere near the same as minus ten degrees Celsius in a place with high humidity does.
Nobody warns you about falling in love.
Nobody ever warns you about how much you’ll both have to give up just to be together, or how desperately hard it is to see the other person give things up for you.
and nobody ever warns you about how few people will ever get that.
Nobody ever warns you how much the little things people do to help you out along the way will mean, or how completely inadequate you’ll be at showing gratitude.
Nobody warns you about any of this stuff, because if they did, you’d probably think twice about taking the risks in the first place.
but you should.