Passenger got it right with this one.
I’ve only been blogging for about four months now, but already I’ve noticed that blogs are showing the transparency that outlets such as Instagram seek to manipulate. With a strong interest in travel, it’s no surprise I see a lot of Instagram accounts showcasing idyllic, picture-perfect locations that are cropped, filtered and optimised to evoke the viewers jealousy; but that’s not what travel is about. Yes, a lot of my posts have images of stunning foreign environments, but if you read the words, you will see that everything isn’t hunky-dory all the time. Traveling is tough: bags are heavy, money dwindles, you share your living space with strangers and sometimes you just take it all out on your other half.
But back to the point, I’ve seen that a lot more bloggers are showing us their insider secrets to how to manipulate images to suit their branding or writing about their personal issues, and I love that. I love reading and seeing the real you, right? Isn’t that why we use social media, to be nosy and watch others from a far, without getting too close.
Blogging’s changing that.
Now we crave the real, to be satisfied that our lives is the same as yours. I think that’s why I stopped watching Youtubers, I don’t want to see inside your £1m house or the latest technology/gadgets that you buy each week or the £600 table you’ve bought and recommend to me. No. I can’t afford that.
With that in mind I wanted to tell you how, from my personal experience, a time when I struggled to deal with being on the road, despite what my images might portray.
We had done eight days in Thailand and had got our very lengthy and confusing bus through to Cambodia, crossing the land border. Then we had a further 4 days in Siem Reap which proved to be challenging (read how we were abandoned in a Cambodian Crocodile Farm here) before heading down to Phnom Penh for another few days. We had splurged a little on our hotel in Cambodia and treated ourselves to one that had a spa, jacuzzi and massage service. And it couldn’t have come at a better time – we were dying to spend our night relaxing and catching up on sleep we had lost through jet lag, early morning tours and long bus journeys.
When we arrived at our hotel, it looked a little dodgy from the outside, we were taken up in a cab to the main entrance, but it seemed to look like we were at the top of a parking garage that had no cars in it. How strange. Check in was quick and easy, and we had a decent bed that we quickly dropped ourselves on to.
We thought why relax on this bed full of sweat and dirt (from pollution) when we could go downstairs and do the exact same in toasty pampering bubbles. But that wasn’t as easy as we first thought, it was separate spa’s for men and women. Already being in a dejected mood, I just wanted to go back to my room and sleep. Hopefully a long nap would sort this mood out.
Instead of coming back up to the room with me Jamie went to the gym (he’s an athlete, so was desperate to keep up his fitness while away); so I went up alone. I curled up on the bed and cried. I didn’t even know why I was crying. Was it because I couldn’t share a jacuzzi with my boyfriend while we were on holiday? No, it was because the stresses of the strange and unfamiliar had finally taken its toll on me. I wanted my mum. But she was in Glasgow and I was in Cambodia, lying on a bed in a hotel at the top of a random parking garage.
At that moment, I dawned on me that we were totally alone. I could suddenly see the world in its entirety, and it was humongous. I was on one side and my mum was on the other, with to no quick solution to resolve this dilemma.
But with it being 2013, the hotel had wifi. I emailed my mum and she answered straight away. I didn’t tell her I was feeling home sick, I don’t think I even told Jamie when he came back up from the gym, it was only a speed bump in the greatest adventure of my life so far. We chatted back and forth, I listed all the amazing things I had done so far on my trip and that made me see how lucky I was that I was living my dream of visiting Asia.
I was happy again, grateful even, that I had/have people in my life who can help me when I think I’m losing my mind.
So back to that Passenger lyric – “You only hate the road when you’re missing home.” – sometimes we just so caught up in expectations that we forget reality. If you do feel that you are starting to hate the road, just think of why you started our journey in the first place and look at all the amazing things you have done so far from taking that risk.
And of course, your loved one is just an email away if you need them.
Have you ever been home sick? How did you get over it?