I hate to be the one to tell you, but you will regret your next holiday. You’ll hate getting up way too early every morning (and if you are an early riser, you’ll hate the late nights). You’ll hate having cameras and selfie sticks shoved in your face. You’ll hate the construction works that ruin your sunset silhouette. You’ll hate the grumpy taxi drivers – especially if they decide to take an impromptu siesta. Confusing signs; tourist fees; museum prices; bad weather; drunken tourists; socks in sandals… Should I keep going?
Like a Lightning Bolt across the World
But the actual thing you’ll hate is yourself. See, that’s no good. Why do you do this to yourself? I get it, you only have so much holiday. You might as well make the most of your day, cram in as much food as possible at the included breakfast (and sneak that croissant into your bag), run from one sight to the next, crash at the nearest restaurant that happens to be in a tourist hot spot (with hot prices), splurge on overpriced coke because you forgot to refill your bottle, fight over a spot at the crowded beach and worry about your valuables.
It’s all so worth it, isn’t it? No really, is it? I mean, just look at all these amazing photos and the wonder mixed with envy in your friends’ faces. Why travel slow? “Wow, you have seen a ton!” But did you really? Let’s be honest here, I have trouble remembering my entire East Coast adventures in Australia as I had crammed so many new places, sights and road trips into the short time of two weeks that even while I was travelling I could barely remember where I have just come from and where I was headed to next. I put my faith entirely into a little crumbled sheet of paper with barely legible scribbling.
Well, that was Embarrassing. Or Was It Cool?
The embarrassment was great at first. “Where have you been before?” Well, that was… what was it? I literally was there just four hours ago (you have long drives in Australia) and it completely slipped my mind. I remembered a walk by the beach, a pier where I took selfies, a couple of nameless backpackers that told me about Perth and then… nothing. “Wow, you do get around quite a lot. That’s cool!” At first I felt very silly, then I faked how cool I felt about being such a jetsetter and then I doubted myself. Was my brain turning into cheese? Should I maybe travel slow?
But the more people told me how cool it was that I travelled so much, the less I worried. And ultimately I revelled in the fact that I developed ‘travel amnesia’. I had all these pictures to show for, so all was well. I continued to tick off my must sees in Japan, raced from one place to the next and when my regular touristy sights were exhausted (which was rather fast), I researched more edgy and locally popular places to tick them off as well. I had become an addict. And when you travel solo, there is no one to intervene. Add to that the socially accepted glamour of travel and you get constant fuel to your fire.
So the lesson here is to take travel slow. Seriously, there is no need to rush even when you don’t have much time. Would you rather have tons of photos you don’t remember taking or a fond memory to look back on and that’s maybe only in your head (not on instagram)? Think about it.