The Less Glamorous Side
Travelling is absolutely the best thing I’ve done with my life so far, no question about that. But as with everything in this world it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. I’ve been to the Whitsundays, Great Barrier Reef, some absolutely magnificent places that no matter how many photos you see, not one can do any of them justice. But travelling can be ugly as well, I’ve had to say goodbye to people I could talk to for hours and hours, I’ve been setback many times, been so broke I’ve eaten only rice for a week with only $6 in my wallet, and just completely defeated. But when you’re in another country and alone, you don’t have any other choice but to keep on keepin on. You either wither away, curling up into a ball and die, or suck it up and do what has to be done. Life keeps going and you can’t just sit on the sideline holding onto the moments you want to, and let go of the ones you don’t, it doesn’t work like that. You just have to be thankful you’ve been lucky enough to have those moments in the first place. Some people I’ve met when I was travelling I absolutely loved, comedians, intellects, experienced, and others I couldn’t get away from quick enough. The people I liked I tried to stay around longer, and the people I didn’t I was often forced to stay with for a while. A while, not forever. There have been trips I would do over in a heartbeat and some I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. I’ve had to take cold showers for three weeks, stay in hostels with no fans, ac, or outlets, and wear the same clothes without showering for days against my will.
The point is, life sucks if you want to look at it that way. You can look at how a whole civilization lies hidden just a few feet below and how you may never see it again in your life, or how it smells like puke and it’s pissing rain. You can look at how long you’ve been stuck at this motionless traffic jam or look at the enthralling acrobatics of the birds effortlessly dodging the natural hurdles of the rainforest. You can look at how someone you appreciate and respect and have known for a month is going home, whom you may never meet again, or how much they’ve taught you about their history, their life, and yourself.
So although travelling has the most phenomenal, heart-stopping days, the days that are ugly, rotten, and just plain distasteful can be gloomy and dire if you let them. I have simply refused to let anything as such ruin my days. They may not be fun, they may not be pretty, but I go and make stories. My friend and I wanted to go to Royal national park, so we planned to go the next day around 9:30. She missed the bus to the train station, so we missed the train at 930 and 1030. Strike one. So it was decided to get the train at 12:30, so we just sat around talking until it was time to go. Getting on the train it was an hour until the stop we needed to get off on, and we missed it. Strike two. Getting off at the next stop, getting on another train, getting off, and running to the bus stop we missed the bus by less than three minutes. I thought for sure there would be a bus within the hour, but no, it wouldn’t come for another two. Strike three. We could either sit there sulking about the day that was lost, since there would be an hour at the park before it got dark, or go make something out of it. So us travellers headed off to explore whatever there was to see in that tiny town. Taking back roads and walking by shops and hassling flocks of cockatoos was enough to kill more than two hours. We caught the bus and checked out the beautiful mountains without a map hoping to get lost and stumble onto hidden treasure. Walking more than 4 1/2 Kilometers, down many steps, and my knees aching for rest, we came to a dammed lake with people fishing. It was a nice place but darkness was approaching and we needed to go. We couldn’t figure out where the closest bus stop was, so I figured we would just walk all the way back, while my friend went asking people. There wasn’t a bus stop for miles in any direction.
There was less than twenty minutes of light left after the sun had set a few minutes ago. Strike four. But her persistence in asking people landed us a ride with a nice guy. Yes I was careful in reading the situation. He drove us more than thirty minutes to the train station. That’s how far in the middle of nowhere we were. We thanked him many times, and caught a train soon after. We took a crappy situation and made fun of how terrible it was, not moped over it. Complaining is contagious, but so is a good attitude. She never complained once and shut me up before I could even say we might want to head back. So surround yourself with people that bring you up and make bad times fun and even though travelling can suck at times, travelling itself isn’t bad. Everything is what you make of it, so to be honest, I have found every second of this trip full of sunshine and rainbows simply because I want it to be.