- A car full of thugs intimidatingly pulling up to me repeatedly in Christchurch, New Zealand, forcing me to prepare for a fight for, what I felt like at the time was, my life
- Getting kicked off a train in Italy and escorted to a police station in Italy because I accidentally purchased a train ticket for the wrong day
- Landing in Tel Aviv, Israel, using a different approach path so our plane would not be confused for a missile by the Israeli Iron Dome defense system, only to be informed that a bus had been bombed elsewhere in the city
- A lady frantically walking up to me in Spain speaking some sort of Roma language while a circle of kids surrounded me and started walking towards me, hands outstretched (a classic pickpocket scenario)
- More hilariously, getting to Easter Island and negotiating for a hotel room in the local currency (Chilean Pesos) before realizing I never looked up the exchange rate from Chilean Pesos to US Dollars
Travel is not easy. It’s not supposed to be easy. It will not always go your way. You may plan that epic once-in-a-lifetime trip to Rome only to have your plans be ruined once you arrive. Travel is supposed to be an adventure, a daring journey to take yourself out of your comfort zone and experience another world on its terms.
I get lots of reader mail (you’re always welcome to email me at andystraveblog at gmail) asking about what to do in each place to an extreme degree. I have news for you, it’s never going to work out like you want! And honestly you probably don’t want it to. You don’t grow when things go the way you want, you grow when you put yourself in a vulnerable place and sometimes just have to hope that things will work out (you’ll find they often will).
Now, this isn’t to say you should be reckless with how you plan a trip, not by any means. Have a good idea of what you want to do and feel free to research the heck out of where you want to stay and what you want to do. Just know that it may not all work out that way and that’s ok. You’ll learn more about you when things don’t go your way than when they do, and isn’t that what we’re all looking for anyway?
It’s a quick post, I know, but it’s a point that’s really important for all of us to understand, and it’s probably about much more than travel if I’m honest. Travel, and life itself, isn’t supposed to be easy, it’s supposed to be worth it.