Many wonder how I work, travel, write, build a patio, maintain a garden, spend time with my family, maintain a (limited) social life, and many other things – even though I wrote my Elmer Fudd guide on how to live a balanced life.
I’ve stated before that I really need more hours in a day. However, that is just part of the problem. I love my family but am far from perfect. I can get easily frustrated, a little too emotional, and sometimes lazy.
With that said, forget about all the flaws in my personal life for a moment. However, I do have some travel confessions to make. Some of these may surprise you and some may not. In my opinion, travel is one of the most meaningful and life changing events we could ever choose. However, I don’t always do it well.
My travel confessions
Many people have read about my travels, travel tips, and have had me share my somewhat strong and passionate opinions on various travel topics. However, here are some surprising things you may not have known about me when it comes to traveling.
And once you’ve reflected on these confessions, check out even more with Travel confessions part II!
I don’t like tourists
First off, there is a difference between tourists and travelers. Tourists are the ones who are loud, inconsiderate of other cultures, stick out rather than fit in, and are inconsiderate of other people. Travelers are those who want to fit in, want to learn about other cultures rather than question why others do things like we do back home, and are considerate of other people – both locals and tourists.
I don’t like the loud Americans I’ve met in various restaurants. I didn’t like the horde of Japanese tourists who practically ran over me in Versailles just to take some photos. I shudder when I see shorts, tennis shoes, a fanny pack, and a camera around the neck. When I am a visitor to foreign places, I try to be discreet and fit in rather than stand out and act however I want. I think it’s rude.
I am easily frustrated and not very flexible at times
The best travelers are those that expect the unexpected and can go with the flow. I completely agree with this – but this isn’t always me. Both at home and when I travel, I am not a patient person. When I think things aren’t happening quickly enough, because someone is just being selfish or just not paying attention, I get irritated.
When I was in Barcelona, I got frustrated a number of times. When we first arrived, I was so angry because we didn’t have good directions to our hotel and we spent nearly an hour trying to find it. I was fuming and very irritable blaming the stupid guidebook and poor directions. On a self-guided walk in Barcelona, I was once again angry because the directions for the walk were wrong. Again, my guidebook felt my wrath. When things don’t go according to plan, I do get irritated. Don’t believe me? Read about my frustrations in Barcelona and about things I did and didn’t like in backpacking through Spain and Portugal.
I am easily guided by my emotions and feelings
For many years, I would have never even stated this. When it comes to dealing with the world around me, I am probably the most unemotional, rational, and logical human being you have ever met. Based on the logic of someone’s statement, I could think an argument is completely stupid – with no ill will towards the person who said. If something doesn’t make sense, I don’t get it.
However, I react to what is happening to me based on my emotions and feelings. If I am angry or happy, the people close to me know it. I don’t hide this well at all and it can be hard for me to get over things. When a trip is going well, I can be a lot of fun. When things aren’t going to plan, I can be a pain to travel with. Ask my wife and see #2.
I am not very outgoing and social
One of my biggest tips for creating the best travel memories and experiences is to connect with locals when you travel. Honestly, it is very hard for me to just walk up to people and talk to them. It doesn’t come natural for me and it can be quite awkward. Sometimes it can be rather easy. It all depends on how comfortable I am and what my mood is.
Last weekend, I went to the Sacramento Scottish Highlands Games and Festival and was so excited to be there. However, it took me nearly 15 minutes to get the nerve to talk to someone about the games. After a fascinating conversation, it still took another half hour before I got the courage to even say something to one of the athletes. I am so glad I did! However, it doesn’t come easy.
There was that time I talked to a naked guy on a nude beach in Portugal, met girls at a bachelorette party at a club in Florence, and hung out all day with a Lebanese girl I met at a McDonald’s in Paris and spent the rest of the day with. However, it takes a LOT of courage for me to connect with other people. Sometimes I honestly don’t want to and would rather keep to myself. However, I know that connecting with others makes the travel experiences that much more memorable.
I have a love/hate relationship with cities
Ever since I was a little kid, I was fascinated with big cities. On my first trip to Atlanta, I fell in love with it. I loved the tall buildings and the many places to see within the city. I love the diversity, being able to take various transportation systems, and just walk around. Even when I haven’t particular liked a city, I’ve still had some great moments (even in Venice – one of the most overrated cities I’ve ever visited).
However, if I am an honest, I much prefer the peace and quiet of the countryside. It’s why I love places like Tahoe and why I enjoy hiking. Quite honestly, I like being away from people. As an introvert, I get my energy from time to myself and there is no better place to do that than in the beauty of nature. Some of my favorite places are Lake Bled, Lake Tahoe, and anywhere with mountains and a lake. I am not the most outgoing person and I don’t always like being around other people. So getting away from the city is very refreshing.
I am very detailed but have poor organization skills
I have so many ideas and plans when I travel and write. I admit that I need more hours in a day. A more accurate statement is that I don’t get as much done as I would like because I don’t organize my time well. I procrastinate, don’t like lists, and do what I feel in the moment. This doesn’t always work well when I travel and it definitely doesn’t work well with a travel blog. But I’ve confessed it and hopefully this is something I can definitely improve upon.
Maybe this has something to do with my travel mid life crisis.
Family travel scares me
I am not even sure that I should admit this one. When I travel, it’s hard enough to deal with the frustrations that come with traveling when it’s just me. However, bring two little kids into it and I can be a worrying, overprotective father. I desperately want my kids to experience the world but it can also be stressful.
As I mentioned above, I am not always the easiest person to travel with. I like when things go according to plan and I have confidence that I can take care of myself. It’s scary to deal with the unexpected when you have others to look out for. Quite honestly, it can be stressful. I want to be a LOT more laid back about things when I travel and just trust that everything will be OK. This is one of the things I am really trying to work on right now in my life.
I don’t like technology when I travel
Ironically, I work in IT, I couldn’t do my job without a computer, I write about travel online, I spend many hours on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media, and wouldn’t be where I am in life without it.
However, when I travel, I really like to simplify. My cell phone is 7 years old and allows me to text (which I rarely use) and talk – and that’s it. Never considered an iphone or any phone with any type of data plan. I’ve never used GPS. I’ve never used any type of app for a cell phone.
(EDIT: I do have a an Android phone and do use apps now. I have also used GPS. However, I still don’t let these technologies run my life)
I don’t have HD anything and the “big” TV in my home is 27 inches. Even my travel journals are written with pen and paper. Travel is the one chance I have to simplify my life and really enjoy getting away. I honestly take very little technology with me when I travel.
I don’t travel as much as I used to – and that’s OK!
For many years, I had plenty of money, no debt, and no responsibilities and took 2 to 3 trips a year to various places in the US and around the world. Now my life has changed and I don’t have the time or money to travel like I did before. Do I envy those who take off to travel for 3 or 4 months at a time, quit their jobs to travel, or have been traveling around the world for years? Sometimes, yes.
It doesn’t mean I still don’t travel. I can’t do what I did before but honestly I live in one of the most beautiful areas of the country here in northern California and there is so much to see and do. San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Napa, the central valley around Sacramento – all within a few hours. I still have a lot planned but it definitely costs me a lot more to travel these days in both time and money.
Yet all the experiences I have had traveling can’t compare to the joys of being a dad. One day my kids will have the chance to see all the places I have seen. I will make sure of that. However, people have no idea what it is like to experience places with kids. That wide-eyed excitement and enjoy allows to you experience places like you’ve never experienced before. You don’t even have to go far to do that either. One of my favorite trips ever Fall is the annual visit to Apple Hill. I don’t care where you’ve been or traveled – there is NOTHING like traveling with your family.
After all, I have learned that travel is a mindset – not a destination, how far from home you travel, or how long you will be gone.
Don’t we all have travel confessions?
So these are my travel confessions. Some of these may be surprising but all of them are honest. I am not always the best traveler, don’t always like to be around a lot of people when I travel, can find it hard to connect with others at times, and there are even times when I am content with not traveling.
Yet it is the love of travel and my experiences that drive this passion to travel. There is no way I could do this day after day, week after week, or month after month if I didn’t love this. Many of the things I have learned about myself have made be a better traveler but have also confronted my weaknesses. At times, I am different than other travelers. Without a doubt, my travel confessions make my travel experiences unique – father, family travel lover, budget traveler, and all.
What travel confessions do you have?
Filed Under: Traveling Thoughts