Travelling..it’s more than what you see on social media. You get what you bargain for!
There’s always a downside to living a nomadic lifestyle. It’s all fun and games until you have to deal with doctors, dentists, insurance companies and banking institutions. Or someone gets hurt and/or arrested. Social media allows you to manipulate and portray that ideal image. We can frame that perfect beach shot on Instagram, but we never post photos of the bad and the ugly.. the thieves that steal from us, the scary robbers that break-in during the night, hole for toilets, frogs in the drain, cockroaches everywhere, dirty shower hoses, homeless nights, not to mention a chipped tooth, stitches, wounds, medical emergencies, corrupt undercover cops, and the list goes on.. Our online presence does a stellar job at evoking emotions such as the fear of missing out (fomo), but would you really feel like you were missing out if my entire news feed was of what’s listed above? Probably not, but it doesn’t change the fact that those things happen.
I’d like to say what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, but the truth is it makes you more patient, more understanding, less reactive, and turns you into a fast-action problem solver. These situations heighten your awareness, making you see things for what they are. You learn that fine balance between having your guard up, but also letting loose and having fun. It becomes second nature to always scan your environment and have an exit plan. You become more aware that these problems run deep, whether they stem from political issues, history, or corruption to name a few. The first time I had my belongings stolen while travelling, I called my mom and her reaction was “Well, I guess they needed it more than you.” There is so much truth to that. It doesn’t make it right, but it helps you understand the bigger issue at hand. I have learned to not let things like this bother me, but what does upset me is that this is a normal environment for many people. Canada is like a sheltered bubble in the midst of the world. Crime, poverty, corruption, and social injustices are so prevalent around the globe, it’s hard to understand it without accepting it for what it is.
Apart from dealing with issues at hand, the most annoying thing for me is having to deal with the aftermath. Looking for the best doctor, all the international phone calls, filing reports, notifying your insurance, and all the other things that cost you time. So did I really want my entire day dealing with my bank overseas, then PayPal, then my bank again..on a crappy phone connection..that I was paying international calling for..on the only sunny day of the week?! No, I really didn’t. I didn’t want to deal with them anymore than the doctors, cops, robbers, and all the other inconveniences that cause you hassle while abroad. What I do know is that it’s a trade off. If I were back in Canada, things like this would be simple. You can make a quick phone call with great connection or hop into an office and get things done. You can make an appointment to see any doctor without questioning the health standards or deal with the police knowing they aren’t going to steal your money.
Would I trade that convenience and standard of living for what I am doing now? Not a chance! If it means seeing the world for what it is, then bring it on! It’s all about perspective. Besides, showering with a frog croaking in the drain will only drown out my singing. It’s all for the better! At the end of the day, all I’m saying is don’t believe everything you see on social media!
“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts” -Albert Einstein