A Short Rant from a Weary Traveler

by Erin Kelly
July 9 2010

Traveling is hard. People often forget the troubles that come along with being on the road. Of course exploring new places, meeting new people and learning about other cultures are wonderful experiences – experiences everyone should have. But sometimes, traveling can really beat you down.

The hawkers that won’t leave you alone. The language barriers. The scams. The relentless staring. Being ordered around and then being expected to give a tip. The loss of personal space. The lovely combination of traveler’s diarrhea and food poisoning. The different sense of hygiene. The broken camera. Your taxi driver taking you to a destination that was not your choice. The smells. Having a cold in a hot climate. The ridiculous transit visas. The constant negotiation. Dealing with security – over and over again.

You are faced with these things every single day, and after awhile, you grow weary. But you also learn to cope and adapt to the situation. You find inner strength that you never knew you had. And you grow.

I have personally experienced all of the things listed above, and many within the last few days. And I admit, I have grown weary. But then I also look at those around me, and I feel so fortunate that these are the biggest problems I am facing in my life. I do not have to crawl around on the floor of a filthy train station, begging for money to survive. I do not have to walk over piles of sewage everyday to get to school. This is why you travel – to see these things and appreciate what you have. Yes, I am tired. But I’ll get through it and I’ll be that much stronger for it.

0 Responses

  1. Tom Kelly

    Hang in there you two. Your perspective is good and you’ll grow from the experience. Learning to be grateful for that which you do have in your life, for the experiences that leave an impression on you and for those people that are in your life, is one of the keys to happiness and fulfillment.

  2. Mark Green

    Hang in there is right.

    I have been worried about you guys…. undertaking this in a continuous fashion is a huge undertaking. I’ve been reading between the lines, and this posting does not come as a shock.

    Wish there was something I could offer in the way of Zen wisdom, but I think you already know. Maybe just to know you have people that are praying and rooting for you, perhaps that’s a bit of comfort.

  3. kathusitalo

    Whew. I have been wondering how you are handling the challenges as well as the rewards.
    With perspective, of course.
    I don’t see it as a rant —more a confirmation of your humanity.

  4. Cheers to you and thank you for perspective and sharing courage I can absorbe without judgement.

  5. Be strong. Be safe. Cheers.

  6. Susan

    Hang in there Chica. You will be a better person because of these experiences.

  7. Dear Gail.

    I am so glad you never had in mind traveling to my country of origin, Venezuela, or it’s neighbors, Colombia or Ecuador.
    As much as there are amazing, surreal and beautiful stories and fantastic people who almost make miracles out of thin air in those lands, the social tensions are so big that , by this time, you would have all your equipments stolen, all your video footage lost, and even at risk of compromising your physical integrity, so whatever has happened to you, so far, is still manageable.

    Come to think of it, did you have a plan to regularly mail back-up copies of your footage back to the US or some trusted address in Europe?

    Knowing how meticulous you are, I am sure you have . Your material is now invaluable from every POV and deserves as much safety as yourself and your daughter do.

    Take good care of you two, and best of luck!

    Jorge

    • Hi Jorge,

      You are right – it can always a be worst. Erin (who wrote this post) had a tough week with food poisoning etc. But she’s better now with spirits boosted and so we continue to the hill tribes of Thailand tomorrow.

      Health and safety number #1 priorities – material secured and gear guarded – close second.

      Gail

  8. Zan

    Sorry to hear your going through some challenges, though you’re facing it like a trooper.
    We hope the rest of the journey will be as smooth as possible. Myself I can just get tired
    of living out of my backpack too long, even in comfort.
    I think being On the Road gets to everybody sooner or later.
    Glad you’re able to keep in touch. Brava for your and your Mom’s work
    with Maggie. And remember to breathe!

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