The photo below is a typical example of one of the tiny, perfect segments of a travel experience usually deemed ‘sharable’.
Flat lays of Barista coffees, sparkling wine and passports, or departure boards with boarding passes held up in the foreground are Instagrammed seemingly every second from airports across the globe thanks to free WiFi.
But travel is not all as perfect as it looks and you can count on a whole lot of less than perfect travel outtakes which are not photographed and shared.
I actually took that photo at least 5 times
I changed the contents, set up, angle and focus. Then I cropped it and did some basic editing using the Lightroom app on my phone before uploading it into another app and deciding I actually didn’t want it in my Instagram feed. Perhaps I would tweet it instead? And what to say..?
Meanwhile my coffee’s going cold, I’m not getting any work done, I’m yet to start my breakfast (not shown) and there are people looking at me in a weird way. It’s times like these I’m grateful I chose to become a blogger and not a vlogger: at least I’m not talking to myself.
My continual hunt for wifi
In real life I basically have my phone in my hand from the minute my alarm goes to the minute I shut my eyes. With the exception of when I am looking at a computer screen.
When I’m travelling and don’t have a local SIM card I struggle to adjust to life without continual internet.
McDonalds, Starbucks and large department stores are generally pretty reliable for WiFi which means if I’m out for the day, I can’t pass one without hovering outside for a bit to see whats happening in my emails and on social media.
As I’ve pointed out to more than one frustrated travel companion, for all we know the world might have ended without us knowing about it.
Challenging Taxi drivers
Taxi drivers can be hit or miss at home when they speak the same language as you.
I was basically high-fiving myself when I successfully explained to a Marseille taxi driver in poor French that we wanted to go to the cruise terminal. He surprisingly understood what I meant by ‘le grand bateau’ and delivered us there.
But one night in Milan I was with three friends and awaiting the late arrival of another who’d had to work in London that day. Between the bottle of wine which cost a Euro and a bar offering ‘all you can drink for 5 Euro’ (it tasted like gasoline) we were feeling pretty happy.
We told Caitlin to tell her taxi driver to go to the needle (massive statue near the train station, surely a landmark to all?) to meet us but this clearly did not translate well in Italian. After several stressed phone calls poor Caitlin eventually spotted us. There was then a further row with the taxi driver when more people than there were seatbelts for tried to jump in the cab (seems Italy has rules about that too) and two of us had to walk back to our accommodation.
When your roommates are actually the worst
If you’re staying in hostels you’ll no doubt at some point strike someone who returns drunk in the middle of the night, turns on all the lights and makes a racket for far too long. Then there are the snorers, the couples who are a wee bit friendly despite being in a public forum, and the ones who either sleep through or snooze their ridiculously early alarms, waking everyone except themselves up continually.
Mostly I accept my roommates won’t be there when anyone I’m sharing my experience with visits and only share how cute/ clean/ comfortable the establishment was.