Driving along today I was thinking about all the things I’ve realised since our Life Changing Year family travel adventure in 2012. The more I thought about it, the more things popped into my head and I figured I’d share the list here for your enjoyment. Since I’ve kind of made a daily blogging promise to myself for the next month, this seemed to be as good a place as any to start!
Read on to be amazed and hopefully amused!
40 Funny Travel Truths Gleaned From A Year Of Travel!
- Fried bugs taste much better than you would imagine. But they’re really dry and you’ll choke on them if you don’t have a drink on hand!
- Having to mime what you need is mildly amusing when you need deodorant or sea sickness pills. It’s blindingly hysterical when you need to communicate that you need tampons!
- After you’ve shit your pants on a plane you will never again feel shame about anything. EVER again!
- The cinema in Sri Lanka may be closed on certain days without warning. The reason offered will be that it is a full moon!
- Scams are hilarious if you just lose a few bucks. Bump that up to a few hundred and your funny story now sucks balls!
- Travelling hundreds of kilometres out of your way is SO WORTH IT when there’s a travelling family at the other end!
- Spending time with your kids 24/7 is not as gruesome as it sounds! It’s so good that when you come home you’ll get withdrawals from them!
- Online friends are mostly the same in person, except for a couple of crazies. If you think they are dodgy online, they probably are and you should just avoid them! Trust me!
- Online friends that avoid catching up with you no matter how hard you try probably think you are the crazies!!
- A discussion about where to buy fried Tarantulas can be a bonding experience.
- Lollies in the chemist aren’t special ones just for sick people. Your mum lied when you were a kid!
- Squat toilets can be navigated by non squatters! Sure you might pee on your shoe (and bare toes) a few times but that’s what tissues are for.
- Toilets you have to pay to enter aren’t any cleaner than free toilets.
- Even beautiful French women in high heels and fabulous red dresses will squat down over a drain and pee as you wander past!
- After you’ve travelled to a few different tourist attractions you’ll find yourself saying ‘I thought it would be bigger’. Yes, even at the Eiffel Tower and the Sphinx!
- Kids who insist they are absolutely not going to enjoy a year away from home will be the first to skip up the aeroplane stairs on departure day and announce ‘I’m actually a little bit excited!’
- When a local selling anything at all says ‘you give me what you think it is worth’ you should immediately agree on a price or run the other way!
- Temples, churches and whole cities close on the oddest days in South East Asia! Only the locals are in on this special secret and can divert you to the nearest open store, generally owned by their cousin!
- The best laid plans to stay together, not eat any ice and wear mosquito repellent at all times will fall by the wayside after about the first week of travel. To be replaced by sending your kids to water parks on their own in taxis, gulping down any drink you can as long as it’s filled with cold ice and losing the repellent the third week.
- When the family is wiped out for several days with some type of illness you won’t know whether it was caused by either ice, street food or any number of other things you’ve scoffed down your neck!
- French fries will not stop projectile vomiting caused by either ice, street food or any number of other things you’ve scoffed down your neck!
- Those hand held hoses in SE Asian toilets that you think are for cleaning your bum are actually for hosing down the bathroom after a catastrophe caused by either ice, street food or any number of other things you’ve scoffed down your neck!
- Kids can clean up their own green vomit if their parent is unable to get out of bed because of ice, street food or any number of other things you’ve scoffed down your neck! Ok, OK, I’ll stop!
- Travel will bestow on you the awesome discovery that your 15 year old is mortally scared of butterflies! This will result in multiple opportunities to terrorise her.
- When your kid says they have to go, they HAVE TO GO! When they go on the bus they will be remarkably brave and not shed a single embarrassed tear!
- Just because you shit your pants in a hostel in Egypt, don’t expect the bin to actually be emptied and the evidence removed.
- Shitting your pants in Egypt is always funny…
- Egyptian taxi drivers know the answers to all your most pertinent questions. Egyptian dates are a love potion that will make you a ‘power man’. And help you to manage your multiple wives.
- Small talk is hard after a year of travel. People will look at you strangely when you ask personal questions in the first two minutes of knowing them. Hey you might never see them again like all those backpackers last year!
- Americans are nothing like their weirdo governments! They are quirky, fun and interesting!
- Looking in the gun store window in Egypt, wearing your New York souvenir shirt will get you a couple of odd looks. Your husband will continue to do it anyway!
- Your Australian kids will love the giant meteorite site in the US. When they get back in the car and spot a person with a gun on their belt they will FREAK OUT in the back seat! There will be screaming!
- Saying ‘maybe tomorrow’ is a bad idea to a market vendor. Tomorrow they’ll be waiting right outside your hostel looking hopeful and reminding you that ‘you promised!’
- If you don’t pay extra to have your tour guide ‘help’ you with your border crossing visa you’ll often be punished by being put on the slow bus. That bus will then break down and giant ants will bite your toes when you get off to witness the smoke pouring out of the back of the bus. It’ll be fine though because you’ll buy lukewarm cans of drink from small girls who just happen to have a drink stall RIGHT WHERE YOU BREAK DOWN!
- All those scams you’ve read about on blogs really exist. Plus another 100 you’ve never heard about. When it’s your turn you shouldn’t think you are just being mean – they really are trying to sell you fake bus tickets.
- After people have attempted to scam you in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and France, your husband will still believe the guy outside the Egyptian museum who tells you Cairo is closed for prayers! He’ll look surprised when you refuse to follow and walk the other way leaving him with his new friend!
- After all of the above scam attempts you will still lead your poor husband down a dark alleyway at night and through several shady streets to a deserted shop because your guide is a ‘student’ of the store. You’ll be forced to buy lame souvenirs to get out of there alive. Your husband will say ‘I told you so’ all the way back down the dark streets to the market!
- Adult backpackers are amazingly welcoming to kids. They’ll play drinking games (with soda) with your kid and then tell you that you are the parent of the year for taking your kids travelling!
- Wandering through the Pyramids of Egypt will change your life.
- Cambodian kids with no shoes and dirty faces know how to use iPads and iPhones!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my travel truths. I’m sure I’ll think of a dozen more right after I press publish!
A while back my friend Nancy wrote a post called 50 Lessons I Wish I Had Learned Earlier. When you click the link to read it for yourself you’ll see that Nancy is getting pretty wise in her old age! You’ll most likely learn loads more from her list than from mine!
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