Travelling the World: Expectation vs. Reality

Travelling the World: Expectation vs. Reality


Travelling the world is something that many of us long to do at some point in our lives, and we spend a lot of time daydreaming about the adventures we are going to have when we finally get round to it. The thing is, although travelling seems like a wonderful experience, it’s unlikely to be what we expect. That’s part of the beauty of it – the unknown. Just make sure you’re prepared for the reality not to meet your expectations, like the ones below.

Expectation: You’re going to work hard and save up lots of money so that you can afford to visit all the countries you want to whilst living comfortably.

Reality: You’re going to spend all your money paying off student debts, bills, buying groceries and going out with friends, and your savings will be minimal.


Expectation: You’re going to find comfortable hotel rooms for cheap last minute prices in central areas so you can explore the places you’re in to the fullest.

Reality: You’re going to leave it too late to sort accommodation, and your budget means you’ll be sleeping in cramped hotel rooms on lumpy beds, and probably a few sofas too. And that’s just for the nights when you won’t be sleeping on the train/plane/bus. You can save some money, however, by using a flight comparison tool.


Expectation: You’re going to plan everything out well from your accommodation to your daily food budget so that you never get stuck for cash and you always know where you’re supposed to be and when.

Reality: You’ll blow the majority of your money too early, you won’t be able to resist stopping at that little ice cream parlour for a snack and you’ll get lost. Even if you do know where you are, you’re more than likely to end up falling in love with a city and staying there for longer than you intended, throwing off your entire plan.


Expectation: You’ll discover new places you didn’t know existed and you’ll see some of the things that only a few people ever get to see, and you’ll do it all alone.

Reality: You’ll visit places which are full of tourists and when you decide to do some exploring without a map or a real plan (which you inevitably will at some point) you’ll get horribly lost and end up walking around a boring field rather than seeing the beautiful hidden waterfall at the other side of the city. You’ll end up having to ask for directions everywhere you go.


Expectation: You’ll be inspired to start a travel blog and write about your life-changing adventures everyday whilst gaining a wide audience of readers and perhaps a few fans.

Reality: You’ll have no time to write because you’ll be busy doing what you came to do: exploring! Any spare time you have will be spent sleeping, and even if you do manage to get plenty of sleep and fit in spare time, you’ll probably just procrastinate until you come home. Besides, you’ll have so many memories and photos that you can just write the blog in hindsight when you get home… right? Right?? (For those of you who are proactive and actually will start blogging, remember that there are so many travel blogs out there that you probably won’t be becoming internet famous any time soon.)


Expectation: You’ll meet lots of new people and make everlasting friends on your travels who will teach you new things about life and help you find yourself, and then when you come home you’ll be pen pals.

Reality: You’ll meet lots of people briefly, and then you’ll leave them all behind when you move onto a new place. You’ll forget about most of them, and the ones you do remember you’ll add on Facebook and eventually stop talking to. Nobody can beat your friends and family back home who you’ll miss the whole time you’re away.


Expectation: You’ll get home and be welcomed by your friends who will all make time to see you and hear about your travels.

Reality: You’ll come home to friends who are all busy with their jobs and families and realise that you’ve missed a lot whilst you’ve been gone and everyone else has moved on with their lives. You’ll end up meeting up with your friends separately and you won’t see some of them for weeks after your return.


Expectation: You’ll be able to talk to everyone about the amazing places you explored and what you learnt, and show them your picture slideshows whilst they sit and watch in awe.

Reality: You’ll talk about your travels way too much and everyone will get annoyed with you because they’ve all heard the same stories a million times. You’ll end up putting your pictures on Facebook for people to look at when they want to, and you’ll get a couple of likes for the one of you riding an elephant and not much else.


Expectation: You’ll inspire others to travel and you’ll convince your friends and family that the experience was life changing.

Reality: You’ll eventually realise that other people aren’t as passionate about travel as you and whilst they might not be very interested, you’ll have grown as a person and be left with some amazing memories to treasure yourself.