Travelling always looks better from the outside. Instagram snaps, vivid as paintings. Pithy tweets and breathless postcards. You don’t see the slow travel days, the queues, the trips to ATMs and money exchange counters, the quests for toilet paper or pantyliners.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t give up this experience for anything. But here’s an unvarnished look at some of the least glamorous parts of travel…
You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced the squelch of sweat-soaked backpack straps on bare skin for hours on end. Mmm, moist.
Or perched sideways on the toilet because there’s no room to sit straight on it.
It’s always fun waiting for an hour in the scorching sun for your transfer to the bus. And then getting shunted off that bus later at either a) the border, and only a vague idea of how to proceed or b) in the dark in the middle of a new city with no idea where you are.
A bug’s life
Sandflies swarming your bed. Ants, roaches, lizards and more scuttling around your bathroom. Nothing to see here; move on, folks.
See that light filtering in through the cracks between the panels on the door? The gouges out of the edge on the bathroom door? Ain’t no thang.