The Great Expectations

The last trip was great. And it was nothing like I thought it would be.

Road sign for a hill in a forest
by Jack

When I travel, I am such a girl. Very easily disappointed, very hard to satisfy. Today, I want to share the list of activities which all together constitute my perfect holiday. It's not surprising that I've never actually had perfect holiday!

On my perfect holiday

  • I relax and read at least one book.
  • The local cuisine is vegetarian and delicious.
  • I spend at least one day beach bumming and swimming.
  • The beach has to be beautiful, pristine, clean, not crowded.
  • If there's no beach, I need camping. For some reason, these two have similar effects on me. 
  • Camping needs to be wild camping, preferably somewhere close to mountains.
  • I am active. I swim in the sea, climb mountains, hike or ride a bike.
  • I am in contact with animals. Elephants are the dream but a dog will do.
  • I communicate with the locals. Views on politics and society are particularly interesting but a small talk about weather makes me happy. Especially in local language.
  • I meet and speak to fellow travellers. 
  • I find at least one crazy amazing spot free of mass tourism.

On top of this list, I'm very impatient. While non-stop travellers know that they get the perfect beach in Indonesia in January, elephant volunteering in February and mountain trekking in March, I always try to cram everything into a couple of weeks I have. Logically, that often results in frustration.

The beach isn't as amazing as I thought it would be but no time to look for better one, we need to hurry up to this best-food-in-whole-country town and then try to squeeze that hike just before we leave for the airport. I usually don't get much sleep on the plane either. I do my best to finish the book before we land. 

Cairngorms National Park Scotland

So far, my best travel experiences have never been "perfect". But they were amazing. A couple of years ago, me and my sister went on a hitchhiking trip in Northern France. I didn't read any book but I swam in the ocean a lot. We didn't meet any other travellers but we spoke to the locals every day (a lot of it in French). We didn't spend any time beach bumming but we camped on a beach. We completely missed the whole French cuisine experience but we found ourselves eating baguettes and cheese on the most stunning places on our own.

What's my balance this time?

There were a few tough days because of reasons mentioned above but they never lasted long. I loved this holiday even though I didn't get the best suntan. Even though I didn't even OPEN my book.

The highlights of this holiday:

  • I learnt a new skill. Diving.
  • I met the sweetest people in the world - Filipinos and the politest people in the world - Japanese.
  • I tasted the best sushi in my life.
  • We met a lot of great and inspirational people - travellers and locals alike.
  • I rode bike, climbed a volcano, swam and dived.
  • I discovered that I am an onsen addict.

But most importantly, it opened my eyes a little bit wider again. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if you spend a day on a beach or not. You spend it somewhere else. And it will be better than you even planned.

Write a comment

Comments: 1
  • #1

    Ivana (Sunday, 20 March 2016 17:42)