– I am tired. – I told him.
– Then go to bed and take a nap. – he answered.
– I don’t mean it like this.
– I know.
And so with this short statement, our conversation just ended and the problem stayed unsolved.
But once – a not too long time after the conversation above – I had a strange feeling. I just felt that I had to get out of the hostel, but right then, straight away to somewhere. Anywhere!
I’m sure you Guys have already had this feeling at least once in your life.
When someone asked what my problem was or if I was alright, my answer was just like
- Yes, I’m alright.
- Yes, all good.
- Everything is fine.
- No worries, I am just tired… and such.
And all was true.
The thing is, that I couldn’t recognise my problem. I still can’t. And how could I, if it seems I don’t have any.
If you are a traveller, you don’t have any problems – they say -, because, well, you are travelling which is always so much fun. And it is indeed, but like every kind of lifestyle – let it be a permanent or a long-term lifestyle -, this one also has some disadvantages.
And you will feel down.
And it is ok!
Recently I asked you in my story on Instagram that message me if you are ready for a short interview about travel with anxiety and/or backpackers problem.
And you answered.
So many of you answered.
And I do appreciate it, not only because I can finish this post, but because I feel I am not alone. Even if I do not know you, or just barely do, we had the connection – again.
Thank you so much!
Well, anxiety is a far more complex question than the latter one, so let me handle it separately and it will be discussed in another post really soon. So this post is about backpackers’ most common and most hurtful problems.
I would like to highlight, that I don’t have the solutions.
I am trying to find them and sometimes it works, sometimes not.
But probably… maybe… some of you can gain some inspiration or idea on how to solve yours. Or if you have the ultimate solution, please let us know in the comment section below.
Let’s help each other!
I made more than 10 interviews – alright I know it is not too many, but I did my best, or at least all that my free time allowed me to – and did my research on this question and although I came across some very surprising, even more, a little bit funny problems – like leg shaving –
Oh, come on, really?! Shaving your legs? Grab a raiser and just shave them… –
but there were also 6 problems in the package repeatedly in most of the stories. I also experience them from time to time.
So let’s see them.
Travellers’ problems NO 1.
Missing the family and friends
You have a blast on the road and you love it, but a strange feeling, somewhere deep inside just can’t shut up.
It would be amazing if it could because it constantly says that new, amazing people or not, you really want your family and friends to live through the same as it has given to you.
You will tell them and send loads and loads of photos. And they will be happy because you are happy. But it is just not the same. And you are missing them so bad.
The bad news is that it won’t change.
You will miss them.
Wondering about the good news?
They are happy because they know that you are doing exactly what you want, what you like the most and you are happy where you are, even when you feel down sometimes.
Travellers’ problems NO 2.
Always answering the same questions
Most of us are staying in hostels, which is amazing because you have a chance to get to know other people, who are in the same or at least similar situation just like yourself. And such a great conversation starter to ask one of the following questions – instead of saying hey.
- Where are you from?
- How long have you been here for?
- How long have you travelled?
- Where is next?
Oh… and because we are talking to each other for hours… What’s your name?
Always the same from day to day.
Sometimes it is exciting and you are really into it – Does it make any sense? Can a person really into answering a question? -, but sometimes it is just tiring.
Then a point will come when you don’t want to know their name, nationality or the purpose of their travelling. You just want to have a proper conversation which is not small talk, but something more. About anything… Universe, feelings, how the World works, nature, culture, pink fluffy unicorns with a rose bucket on the back, or anything.
And sometimes you will find a person or even more people who you can talk to. It lasts for a few hours or a few days.
Or if you fall in love with a city – such as it happened to me just recently with Melbourne. Ah, such a nice and lovely romance that we share – you will have some people around who stay a bit longer there and then, you will have a proper conversation with each other.
And if you are lucky enough you will travel together for a little while but you are both travellers with your own plans and aims, so you have to say goodbye.
Travellers’ problems NO 3.
Always have to say goodbye
Although there are some cases when you will stick together. Because falling in love with someone in a hostel is a thing. Really a rare thing, but a thing. And if you – or one of you – are flexible enough to give up or at least change your plans, you can create new ones. Together. I wish it to all of you – I mean, if you want it -, but it is really-really, but truly rare. But it can happen.
But back to the heavy part, because it is just so much fun. Eh not really, but it is a thing that you have to deal with – so do I -, so we should talk about it a bit.
Making new friends is amazing and some of them will be more special to you than the others. You will feel the connection. It is a special thing, but strangely it can happen very often if you are open enough.
Although you will promise to each other that you will keep in touch and try to stick to it at the very beginning, you won’t be on the same page anymore and the daily messages will reduce.
The weekly messages will be monthly.
And finally, you will message each other eventually – like on birthdays – but you don’t have anything to share anymore.
And it is alright.
But knowing it and experiencing it from time to time can be hurtful. Do not mistake my words, please. I do not want to say that you shouldn’t make new friends or you should keep the distance. It would be silly so don’t do this.
You will learn how to handle it.
And some of these friends or at least one will be the one who you won’t lose.
I’m lucky enough to say I have a friend like this. Do you remember the lovely German girl who was an important person in my Kotor and Bar posts? Well, I am incredibly lucky that I still have her in my life.
And I am also so grateful because I was lucky enough to say I met so many amazing people during my life. Knowing them and keeping those beautiful experiences and adventures in mind is just incredible. So finally it doesn’t matter how long we have involved in each others lives, because these memories are treasures for a long time.
So that’s why you should always say hello, even if saying goodbye can be hard.
Travellers’ problems NO 4.
As a backpacker/traveller/shining unicorn – yes, I am 27 years old and I still do love unicorns – we are all willing to forget from time to time that our purse is not a never-ending story.
Running out of your money is always so much fun! Well, at least it makes it interesting to manage your everyday life.
Thanks to our beautiful World, there are so many things out there that you can enjoy free of charge. Go to the beach, go and enjoy nature, try to talk with someone like properly while you are wandering around the city and exploring its most hidden parts.
But an even better strategy is if you do not allow yourself to run out of money (clever advice, thank you). Reducing your daily spending is not as difficult as it may seem. There are so many useful tricks and practices, so let’s see only a few.
First of all, try to track your expenses.
Every single item. Yes, I know that this coffee costs you only a few bucks, but still, just put it onto the list.
Try to reduce the treat yourself days.
I’m not talking about a huge shopping day or a ridiculously expensive activity. I’m talking about the little things. If you buy your coffee at Starbucks, then go to a restaurant for lunch and finally grab some beers in a bar it definitely is a treat yourself day. Try to make your coffee, your meal at home/hostel/or wherever you are. Go to the grocery store and try some interesting ingredients or exotic fruits and vegetables and so on. – Just to be honest, I’m the person who is a kind of treat yourself day queen, so I don’t look down on anyone.
Work for your accommodation and/or food.
There are some websites like helpX or WorkAway. Jump on them and find a place where you can work for your food or your accommodation. To be honest, it is an easy-peasy job most of the time, like 16-20 hours/week when you have to do the check-in, check-out, preparing breakfast, washing the dishes or something similar. Fair enough.
Own a refillable water bottle.
I am serious. It doesn’t seem like a very important thing but it is. Just try to count how much money you spend on water. Not too much? You probably should drink more water! (It barely works in India, Thailand, Morocco, etc. – check if the tap water is drinkable.)
And there are so many more! I think I will write a post about it. Sounds useful, huh?
Travellers’ problems NO 5.
Now I’m staying in a dorm that I share with 15 other people. Although there is a curtain around the bed – thank God it is more and more common in hostels – I wouldn’t say I feel I have my privacy.
Referring to the very beginning and the very end of this post, just happened recently that I needed some privacy so badly. I just wanted to be alone, cry a bit and that is all. But I didn’t find a place in the whole hostel where I could do this, nor in the city, so finally I was just like: Ok, I don’t care! And I ended up in the nearest alley and let all of my teardrops fall down and even didn’t care how many people passed me – not too many by the way.
Although I really like the people around me – as most of the travellers do so – sometimes it would be so nice to have a private room. Only for a few hours.
But who the heck wants to pay for it?
Travellers’ problems NO 6.,
when you go home, they won’t understand you.
I have limited personal experiences, but as I was told about it by some of you. Read some articles here or there and also as I have some phone conversations back home I would describe it like this.
Everything is the same back home.
The same problems – probably in another frame, but still the same -, the same people, the same places, the same questions, the same life.
And they won’t understand because you’ve changed.
Maybe they have also changed, but compared to them, you have changed dramatically. You are not the same person anymore. Not the same person, who left the country a couple of weeks/months/years ago.
It is not a thing that you can change. Or you should change. It is a thing that you have to accept and be grateful and happy that you could experience some awesome things on the road.
Back to the very beginning of the post.
When I first felt that I have to get out of there, I went out, walked a bit, visited my favourite bar, had a glass of wine – really just one… alright, I can’t lie to you guys, it was two – walked a bit more and the feeling faded a bit. I couldn’t get rid of it but at least it went to the very back in my soul.
When I felt it the second time, I tried the same and although it wasn’t as effective as it was at the very first time, it still worked.
When I felt it again, just a few days ago, I knew it is the end. Even though I tried to apply my strategy and even more.
So I will leave Melbourne in a week.
I have been here for more than a month now and until this point, I felt comfortable – nearly like at home. But I don’t feel it anymore. So I will leave.
Except if I change my mind…
And this freedom is that makes me so happy even if I have some hard days. I am able to control my life and I am also able to make any decision on it. And I do not need more.
Maybe this strategy – leaving everything behind – is not the best one, because my realized and hidden problems will come with me, but I will do this while this – let’s say – the solution can bring happiness into my life.
But, because it is not the best end for this post I would say that if you have to face a problem, just try not to sit in one place and feel sorry for your own self for too long – sometimes it is important, but try to keep it amongst a normal time frame, like one day -.