Friday, 17 February 2017

10 Travel Outtakes; OR, How I Fail At Travelling

I'm quite well known within my circle of friends as someone who goes travelling a lot. And I do, it is one of my favourite things to do by far. However, I've noticed my friends are often under the impression that since I do it so frequently, I'm the master of travelling without things going wrong. This couldn't be further than the truth, at least three things manage to go wrong on every single trip - here are ten of my most frequent travel misshaps!

001. The best views don't want me to see them
That time that we drove the entire length of the coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles to see the beautiful ocean views and the pretty beaches? Yeah. The above photo was our view, THE ENTIRE WAY. Our view of the Golden Gate Bridge was exactly the same - we saw about a quarter of it for a period of about three minutes, and even then I think that was a fluke. All the famous volcanoes in places like Ecuador, Iceland, the Galapagos Islands? Never seen them. They're ALWAYS behind a layer of cloud. I am just not supposed to see any of these famous views!

002. I have a habit of going to places on public holidays
I once managed to book a very late flight home from Nairobi, thinking that that would give me an extra day in the city since I hadn't scheduled much time there. WRONG. It was a holiday. Everything was closed. I ended up getting to the airport a grand total of 9 hours early because there just wasn't anything to do and I figured at least the airport would have some shops or cafes I could sit in. WRONG. Everything there was closed too. In fact, they wouldn't even let me through security at that time, so I was literally sitting on the floor for about 6 hours of that time. I also consistently manage to visit Muslim countries during Ramadan, and always when I am at my most hungry.

003. Money exchange rarely works for me
When we booked our road trip across the west coast, I decided to just place deposits on all the hotels and pay in full when we were there. WRONG. Of course, the British pound tanked and I ended up paying literally hundreds more than I would have done if I had just paid the damn money at the time I booked it all. Particularly when I travel across multiple countries that use different currencies, it always works out that the money has changed to be against me and I always end up massively going overbudget despite always being extremely pessimistic when I make the budget in the first place!

004. The SatNav is the devil
Particularly in America, the SatNav is there to get you into trouble. On our way to Death Valley, it decided that it wanted to take us across a tiny airport, on a dirt road where all the sign posts had bullet holes, past a few brothels and then into completely the wrong entrance of Death Valley than we'd wanted to be going to so we ended up having to skip my poor little rare fish that I'd really wanted to see because they were now completely the wrong side of the park and we didn't have time. It also nearly caused us to run out of petrol when driving down the coast after it assured us that we definitely did not have to pay the ludicrous $8 per gallon for petrol as there were plenty that were coming up. WRONG, there were not, and we very very nearly ended up running out of petrol and had to instead pay $20 per gallon out of sheer desperation.

005. Wherever I go, elephants chase me
It's true, they do. In Zimbabwe, a giant elephant in the middle of the street was already clearly in quite a bad mood, but when it saw me decided to run at me. ON MY FIRST DAY IN THE COUNTRY. A few weeks later in Kenya, a playful baby elephant ran into me and managed to knock me down. And then in Thailand, a big mama elephant also decided to run at me. Always just me. My rate for this is now literally 100% - every time I am in a country where I encounter elephants, at least one of them will chase me.

006. I either disconnect, or over connect.
I used to always refuse to take a phone or anything else with me when I was travelling, as I actually really like the disconnect. I like being at one with the place I am visiting and just having the time to get to know the other people I am with rather than be staring down at my phone all the time. More recently, people have been getting a bit fed up with that and so I've ended up taking my phone along with me. I'm usually good at still leaving it at the hotel but it definitely still ruins the evening. Part of my way around this is to say that I will only use the internet if it's at the hotel and it's included as that way it stops me from ruining the day, but I do find I'll still be short on dinner so that I can spend the evening catching up on everything instead.

007. Most of the time, I don't actually like taking my camera out.
I have a wonderful DSLR that takes fantastic pictures, and I NEVER take it out anymore. I always regret it too - I look back at the photos it takes and they are brilliant. I have the blogger love camera of the Olympus Pen, and sure it's good and it's more convenient but it's nowhere near as good as my DSLR is. I hate carrying a backpack or any sort of bag when I'm on holiday, particularly if it's too a hot place, so the DSLR rarely makes an appearance anymore even though it's so much better. I am also a terrible blogger because I always see an area that I think would make a really good picture, but I still don't actually get my camera out of my bag as I don't want to ruin the moment.

008. But I DO take pictures at the restaurants, and feel like an idiot.
I will always take photos of food, but I often feel very stupid doing it. I am the person who very quickly whips the camera out in a bakery and returns it all within approximately 1.2 seconds. I wish I could be that person who goes and takes amazing dessert pictures or takes in all of the options, but alas, I cannot be.

009. The weather is always the opposite to how it's supposed to be.
When we went to Florida, it was absolutely freezing at a time of the year when it definitely wasn't supposed to be. The news even reported every day while we were there about how freakishly cold it was. I hadn't taken ANYTHING warm with me, except the jeans I'd worn on the plane and a really light cardigan. BUT, by the end of the week we were glad it had been this way as about half way through the sun did come out afterall and it was so mindblowingly hot we suddenly failed at getting anything done. Every time I have been to Majorca there has been torrential rain the entire time I'm there. And I mean the ENTIRE TIME, no breaks in the pouring.

010. I can't take a selfie.
I look stupid in pictures. I also probably look stupid in real life, but I think I look PARTICULARLY stupid in pictures. I've tried taking selfies before ad they are all awful, every single last one of them. You will very rarely see a photo of me with any sort of beautiful backdrop, not because I don't want to but because every single last one of them will be awful.

What are your travel outtakes?

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