Travel – the worst part of travelling

by Kirsty on October 1, 2010

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The worst part of travelling so far has to be the travelling, I’m loving being in new locations every week, it’s like going on holiday over and over again, the only problem being you can’t just click your fingers and arrive, you have to do actually travelling in between.

The first couple of journeys we did in China we’re interesting and exciting to us but now that’s wearing off a bit and they’re becoming a bit more painful.

So inspired by Ayngelina’s post on what she hates about traveling over at bacon is magic and sitting here in Guangzhou train station waiting to get an overnight train to Guilin, looking up to see everyone staring at me thinking “what the hell is he writing” here are my hates about the travel in travelling.

Firstly it’s long, boring and sweaty, simple as that, all words that don’t come close to fun. Every train we’ve got off in China we’ve been almost knocked over by the heat, before having to wonder around in it with our backpacks to try and find our hostel or book more tickets.

Secondly there is the problem with queues, now we know it’s like this everywhere in China (Asia?(World?)) but people love to push in. The problem is when travelling to somewhere there are so many more queuing situations, queue for the bus, then the metro, the security check, your train ticket, getting on the train and exiting the station. If you’re lucky enough to be doing a long journey you may even get to repeat this over again. It’s fine normally and any other day it doesn’t bother us but after a whole day of people pushing in it’s easy to get pissed off.

If you’ve managed to get to the train station without killing yourself on the bus and metro you still have to battle through the crowds of people desperate to get you into their taxi or hotel, it’s like being back in Chungking Mansions.

Chinese train station - Xiamen

Crowds

At least there is that one high point, dehydrating yourself all day has worked and you don’t have the urge to visit the literally shitty toilets. High Five!

I’ll add in the waiting here as well, it seems only natural as I’ve been in this room an hour now and have the same amount of time to go. At least everyone in here has got other the fact I’m writing now, not even the chap sitting next to me is interested anymore, maybe he can read English? Now they’re all just wondering what a lad like me is doing on their public transport!

Don’t worry about my entertainment though a tour group has just walked in , all complete with matching yellow caps and their tour guide who will spend the next hour shouting through a megaphone at them.

This post, as it says, was written on an actual travel day and therefore does not reflect my usual sane views. Looking back now it was actually a very easy day of travelling but things always seem better when you look back, forgive my sweaty tantrum – I love what we’re doing and all the people involved – for perspective I suggest reading this post: What Travel is Not and what it Is

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Nick Laborde October 1, 2010 at 5:57 pm

At least the traveling in between traveling gives you time to write. I think I’m going to travel slower to avoid the stress of getting to one place to another.
Nick Laborde´s last blog post ..Why Do You Do What You Do

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Poi October 7, 2010 at 7:52 am

Do it, more time to experience great places and less time sitting on trains/buses – sounds good right!?!

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Jaime D. October 2, 2010 at 12:31 am

This is something I have actually thought about. I think I am going to hate the actual “travel-ing” part. I am learning so much from all you of you RTW-nowers. This is going to help make sure I spend at least a week in each place cus I know I couldnt handle it & that is also why I want a small backpack…lol!!!
Jaime D.´s last blog post ..Minor set back… or not

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Poi October 7, 2010 at 7:51 am

It’s a good plan, we can’t bare to do the one night stops that many people do, so far the least amount of days we’ve done somewhere is 4 waiting for a visa!

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Andi October 2, 2010 at 2:18 pm

You gotta look at each travel day as time to reflect on what you’ve just seen and experienced. Also, you never know who you might meet while you’re traveling, kind of exciting right?

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Poi October 7, 2010 at 7:50 am

It is! Most of our journeys so far have been overnight so we haven’t witnessed t much, dark outside and everyone asleep inside!

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Jenny October 2, 2010 at 11:48 pm

Yeah the actual travel part of traveling can be trying at times. Dirty buses, buses that are extremely cold, uncomfortable, not on time, missing them, worrying about luggage, omg the list goes on forever.

The one thing I really enjoy about the traveling part is getting some alone time with my thoughts. These are the moments that you really get to know yourself and who you are.

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Poi October 7, 2010 at 7:49 am

I’m glad you can find positives even with all the concerns, I’ll have to spend the time getting to know Kirsty even better by keeping her awake with lots of annoying questions 🙂

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Mike October 3, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Great post. I did a lot of train travel in Taiwan. waits are long and trains are far from comfortable. I would take the time to write in the journal.

Happy travels-

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Poi October 7, 2010 at 7:47 am

Thanks Mike – nice to see someone agreeing that it’s horrible!

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Candice October 4, 2010 at 1:54 pm

The journey is actually one of my favourite parts of travel! But I haven’ t crammed into a sweaty Chinese train, so maybe I’ll reconsider. 😉
Candice´s last blog post ..Dirt Angels and Tidal Bore Rafting in Shubenacadie- Nova Scotia

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Poi October 7, 2010 at 7:46 am

The chinese trains are actually quite nice – I don’t believe for a second you enjoy every journey though – but if so you’ll have to ley us into your secret.

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Caz Makepeace October 7, 2010 at 12:48 am

Hey thanks for the link back to my post! Everyone has their bad travel days, so don’t worry about your travel rants- even the seasoned travellers will still have them 🙂
You have the right attitude- you see it as being just another challenge. Soon you’ll be able to relax into it. Some of our best travel stories have come from the journey.
I love how they queue in Asia, particularly China. I always say when in Rome… so start pushing in too guys. I remember one day losing it in Africa with the queue jumping so I actually nominated myself the police controller and got everyone in line and directed them onto the bus. LMAO the things you do!
Caz Makepeace´s last blog post ..Travel Photo- Craig &amp Caz Hiking Mt Fansipan- Vietnam

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Poi October 7, 2010 at 7:45 am

I’m sure we’ll have some good times experiences with travelling that we’ll enjoy.

Thats sounds awesome – next time I’m getting annoyed with the queues I might have to try that out, I’ll probably just get trampled on though…

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Gillian October 7, 2010 at 3:31 am

I love travel days!! I love the people watching, the act of moving forward and the chance to stare out the window for hours on end with nothing to do but think and dream. I agree, it may not always be comfortable, but I always feel I’m actually getting somewhere!

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Poi October 7, 2010 at 7:43 am

I’m not very good at sitting still so I find it hard! I wish I could enjoy them as much as you!

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Ayngelina January 13, 2011 at 9:41 pm

How did I miss this post? Where was I? I have to say the line thing really bugs me, why do we have to act like children!

I may never get over that one.

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Kirsty January 14, 2011 at 11:26 am

haha, it’s sooooo true…. we always want to be the first!!!

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