It’s tempting to imagine that you’ll become some new, perfect person during your travels. You’ll start running in the mornings, learn new languages and grow as a person. Traveling will make you a superwoman that manages to do everything right.
But planning is easy – doing is harder. What you mustn’t forget is that breaking with these plans is not failure – it just means you’re caught in the moment, in the spirit of traveling. See it less as doing things wrong and more as an opportunity to learn more about yourself!
1) “I’ll stay off social media”
ONE MONTH LATER: Your Instagram account is basically like a live-blog where people can follow your trip, hour by hour from breakfast in the morning to sunset in the evening.
2) “I’ll do yoga every day”
ONE MONTH LATER: You go through security at the airport in Bangkok with two pairs of trousers, a knitted jumper and your lightweight puffa jacket. Everything to be able to squeeze that yoga mat you only used once in India into your backpack.
3) ”I’m going to make so many new friends from different countries”
ONE MONTH LATER: Your best friend from the the trip happens to be from your home country and you became really close after one night where you had deep discussions over some beers about some post reality tv celebrities that apparently are dating.
4) “This is the beginning of my new life where I read each night before I go to bed instead of watching series on Netflix!
ONE MONTH LATER: The new season of Stranger Things came and ruined everything.
5) “I’m going to stay at Airbnbs and cook my own food to save money”
ONE MONTH LATER: You haven’t touched a single cooking utensil even though you’ve stayed at plenty of Airbnbs.
6) “I’ll try to learn the most important bits of the language in each country I visit”
ONE MONTH LATER: You have largely given up your ideas of learning new languages and gone back to your friend Google Translate since that night a taxi driver took you to the wrong village because you apparently pronounced the name wrong.
7) “I don’t need that many clothes – I am a minimalist.”
ONE MONTH LATER: After wearing the same three t-shirts and denim shorts for months you have a fashion-breakdown and buy a whole new wardrobe.
8) “We can Skype and keep contact on Facebook almost every day! You practically won’t notice that I’m gone”
ONE MONTH LATER: You have erased the Messanger and Facebook apps from your phone so you don’t have to feel guilty for all the unread messages you just seem to never get the time to read.
9) “I think I have a very generous budget – I will probably even have some money left over at the end”
ONE MONTH LATER: Thanking god that you’ll be traveling over Christmas and that your birthday is in January.
10) “I don’t care where I stay as long as it’s cheap – I could sleep on the floor just to travel a bit longer”
ONE MONTH LATER: Exhausted and covered in bug-bites, you change your filter from budget to mid-range.
11) “It’s much better to travel with a smaller backpack so you don’t carry around unnecessary stuff”
ONE MONTH LATER: Wandering around clutching two backpacks and one Ikea bag
12) “I’m going to use this time to reflect over my life and find out what I want to do in the future”
ONE MONTH LATER: You feel more confused over your life choices than ever before and now you’re not even sure where home is.
13) “I’ll only eat local food and go to small family-owned restaurants”
ONE MONTH LATER: Fried rice, boiled rice, sticky rice, rice porridge. You order take-away pizza and have the best meal of the trip so far.
14) “No I’m not planning to make this a party trip – this is my time to take care of myself”
ONE MONTH LATER: After your sixth strawberry daiquiri you just about convince yourself that they are practically the same as smoothies.
15) “Yes mum, I will always make sure the taxi has seatbelts and I won’t speak to strangers”
ONE MONTH LATER: Riding on the back of a truck together with some chickens and two new friends that asked you if you wanted a lift.