The pictures we paint online are often the most ideal parts of our lives; what the world sees are the perfect moments we capture that have cleared our self-inspection and of course, numerous filters.
But the true reality isn’t always what ends up getting depicted, in fact, it’s quite often the opposite. Our social media feeds may not accurately reflect the entire experience we’ve had on our travels.
Many see the beautifully timed photo of the sun rising, but they don’t know the numerous missed turns and scrambling that you went through to get that shot.
So, what do you do when your best laid travel plans go awry, or when your dream destination just somehow doesn’t meet expectations?
1. Let Go Of Expectations
The first is possibly the most straightforward yet most difficult concept to come to grasp with.
Much of our disappointment comes when we realise that our actual travel experiences greatly differ from what we had pictured in our minds. Our expectations leading up to the trip are drummed up, by way of social media and breath-taking photos, prompting us to look forward to an unforgettable trip that we imagine will fulfil all our wanderlust.
When it’s time for us to actually experience these seemingly wonderful places for ourselves, it somehow doesn’t quite measure up to par. We start to become forlorn that the destination we were so incredibly hyped up for turns out to be lacklustre, through no fault of its own.
The following disappointment tends to taint the overall mood of the trip, putting an asterisk on what would probably have been a perfect trip.
Expectations are what bring us up, make life exciting, and make us look forward in general. But it can also be the single most crippling factor when reality deviates from our expectations.
Learning to let go of such expectations may help to curb travel disappointment.
Explore with an open mind, take heart with what you see and experience, and focus less on what you imagined it to be. You’ll probably come away feeling more appreciative and refreshed.
2. Accept the Effects Of Tourism
I remember tabbing Hokkaido’s Shirogane Blue Pond as one of my must-visit sites when I was touring near the small town of Biei.
It popped up on many recommended to-do lists and even Apple uses it as one of their background options for their devices. Safe to say, I was incredibly sold on visiting this popular place.
And, we’ve all been there, finally reaching our dream destination only to find out that there are thousands of others like you. And true enough, to my dismay, there were busloads of tourists, a swamp of people squeezing their way along a narrow dirt path that leads to the Blue Pond.
There was no “unspoilt paradise”, or any of that tranquillity when the crowd is jostling to get the Internet-worthy they so crave.
It was a torrid affair, one that I still harbour slight regret till this day. The lake wasn’t even that blue.
But, that’s just part of the reality of travel today. The world has become so globalised and societies around have become so affluent that travel is rather commonplace, aided greatly no doubt by the advent of budget airlines.
Large crowds of tourists have increasingly become part and parcel of the modern travel experience, especially if you’re talking about famous landmarks and attractions.
You’ll have to be prepared to brave the massive crowds during your travels; try to find the silver lining in the entire experience and planning around crowds may help to cushion the travel disappointment.
3. Find A Sense Of Familiarity In The Chaos
We travel for new experiences, it’s at least a part of why we yearn for exotic, far-flung places. But finding an element of familiarity could do you some wonders when faced with less than ideal travel circumstances.
This may sound a little counterintuitive, but it may be what you need to get your mind off the travel disappointment. On days where things don’t seem to be going great, falling back onto some habits you do back home can provide calming element.
It could be as simple as sitting in a café having a cup of coffee which can help to evoke similar senses from when you typically sit at the café on the corner of your street. This seemingly inconceivable thing could very well be a stabilising force when your travel plans seem to be falling apart.
That sense of familiarity and comfort could help you to reflect and relook at how best to gain the most from your trip.
So, how do you deal with travel disappointment? Do you agree with our tips? Share with us how you deal with your own disappointments when you travel!