Traivelling is not always fun and games. Most of the time it is, but not always. We have been away for almost 3 months now and the past couple of weeks have been a constant drag.
Inevitably when travelling the world, visiting distant shores and sampling local cuisine, you will become ill. Those that know me well will know I am not a sickly person and the only thing that will stop me going to work is being stuck with my head in a toilet. So to be stuck in bed three times in the past month has been quite a surprise, very boring and a little depressing. Since arriving into Cambodia 9 nights ago only two days have, between myself and ed, we not had to spend in bed. Of course, this has put a bit of a dampener on the Cambodian leg of the trip and made us long for a bit of home comforts.
When you are stuck in bed all day, by the third day you do question what the point is in all this travelling, and forget the reason why you are away.
Which leads me to the point; what is the reason? Is there a reason? Some might give you a cheesy cliche about wanting to find themselves or some other nauseating term, others might be taking a gap year but what is the real reason? To experience culture, different people and lifestyles? If this is so, then why do so many travellers spend their time on tours surrounded by absolutely no locals, or why do they stay in expat run guesthouses and party with their western friends in a western bar? The whole concept of travel to me has highlighted itself as a very self-indulgent one and it’s a fact I find tricky to digest. The continuous, lingering feeling of being a tourist has been with us of late, and it’s not a good feeling.
No, I am not on a quest of self-discovery, I’m not looking to find ‘the inner me’ – I know full well who I am, I have been living with me for almost 24 years after all, but I am on a journey to learn and appreciate and the more I see the far too common ignorant nature from other travellers the more this journey has become difficult.
Sometimes travelling can be truly rewarding, for both the traveller and the local people, but other times it can highlight an ugly side to human nature and quite often there is no happy medium. I believe we are suffering from the three month dip. It’s impossible for travelling to be a constant high so the inevitable low has to be expected. I am longing for more than just moving from one place to another and doing the same things. Whilst we try to support the local communities as much as possible, things have become a little tired and, frankly, samey. Which is why we are looking forward to our arrival in Siem Reap next week, which will become our base for 6 weeks as we volunteer and slow down.
Ultimately, travelling is a wonderful experience and should you get the opportunity to experience and explore the world I suggest you take it, though do exactly that. Don’t forget why you are travelling and remember it doesn’t always need to be about you.