News & more!
My trip reviews
My travel photos
Trip planning
Destination guides

Escape Hunter Planning Illusions, Disappointments of Naive Travelers

Illusions, Disappointments of Naive Travelers

May 5, 2014
October 3, 2014

Naive travelers get slammed by the reality of traveling, which only reveals itself when they're already on the road.
You only get to feel the real thing on your skin when you're deep in the experience. The grass isn't always greener on the other side, you know...
Traveling is not all joy and fun, it can be dreadfully disappointing.

Dreamer traveler

Source: © iStock.com/belchonock

One shouldn't just buy a plane ticket, reserve hotel room and leave with a guidebook in their pocket hoping for the best.

Traveling is not always like living in a fairy tale.

Within this article, I tried to include the most oft-heard disappointments that travelers complain about. And I also included some from my personal experiences.

#1 Attractions less impressive, smaller...

Retouched "too perfect" photos of trendy travel destinations seen in brochures, on travel agents' sites and in TV commercials might not reflect the rough reality.

The top attraction requires a lot of restoration work, the supposedly impressive buildings are a lot smaller in reality or they're located in a cramped place with ugly buildings and cable around - which makes taking photos difficult.

This contrariety can be terribly disappointing if you allow yourself to be conquered by illusions painted by commercials, photoshopped images...

#2 It gets scary...

When traveling, you get into contact with your destination's worst sides: the slums, the street creeps, hookers, the rats and stray dogs...

The "urban fauna" can freeze your blood of fear.

Barcelona is a wonderful city with dreamlike attractions and a beautiful beach, but... it has vast slums and gangs of thieves.
While its beautiful side has captured my heart, Barcelona's shady side gave me the creeps.

#3 The dirt, the filth, the pollution

Some cities are very clean around the main attractions and cultural areas, but dig just a little deeper and you'll discover the filth.

Cities like Rome, Barcelona, Athens, Brussels and even Vienna shocked me with their run-down filthy ghetto-like scary areas.

Port cities and the ones with vast defunct industrial areas tend to have terribly ugly areas.

Pollution of air and water is another thing I encountered every now and then.
A sewer-smelling filthy river is not only ugly, it also spreads diseases.

#4 Hotel is a lot worse than it looked in the photos

On my first trips I used to get repeated shocks like this, but then I've gotten used to it...

The hotel booking sites show a retouched, shiny unreal version of the hotel rooms. Or, the photos are decade-old and the venue has been run-down since...

From my experience: hotels are almost always a lot uglier in reality than on the photos.

Make sure you read many reviews before hitting down upon a room.

#5 Hotel is farther away from everything...

They said "it's a 5 minute walk away from the beach" and it takes 45 minutes to get there...

"Shopping centre in the area"... and you have to travel 3 subway stations to reach the nearest one.

"Close to the city centre"... and it's 3 km away from it.

"Subway station nearby"... but it's 5 blocks away and takes 40 minutes to walk to it.

Sounds familiar?

#6 Distances are bigger than on the map

It all looked so small on the map, everything seemed so near... You already imagined how I would get around.
You had it all planned in advance, targets pinned on the map with the best routes pre-planned.

But, in reality it takes a heck-of-a lot more walking time and effort.

It happened to me and it still keeps happening... it's almost impossible to imagine the distances correctly. Despite the available measuring tools in map programs.

#7 Hey, there are hills and abrupt slopes!

All maps are flat, right?

Surprise: reality is 3D!

The first city, which surprised me with its slopes was Rome.
It felt a lot harder to drag my luggage uphill and I realized I haven't taken slopes into consideration (in terms of effort and time consumed).

You will have very little idea about the slopes, where they are and how the infrastructure is covering the geography of the area.

#8 "Traditional food" inedible

In some parts of the World I had the bad luck of receiving inedible food labeled as "traditional".
It's often terrible, gross, improvised and you'd rather starve than eat it.

#9 Your money is melting away

You look inside your wallet and you have a bunch of banknotes there. A few days later most of them are gone.

"How did that happen?" - you ask yourself.

Money melts away. Just like that.

Even if you plan yourself a budget, you can still run low on cash.
To me, what happens is: I'm surprised by how much more transportation costs and how much more food I require. Nice eye-catching souvenirs can also rob you of a few banknotes.

Escape Hunter

About the Author:

Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...


comments powered by Disqus

Escape Hunter's Facebook Fan Page Escape Hunter's Twitter Channel Escape Hunter on Google Plus Escape Hunter on LinkedIn

About | Copyright | Advertising | Terms & Policies | Partnerships | Sponsorships | Contact

Copyright © 2012-2017 All Rights Reserved - EscapeHunter.com