“I regret travelling around the world; I wish I’d stayed home instead,” said no-one ever.
I’m not yet 30 and I’ve been to more than 30 countries, seen some spectacular sights, met some amazing people, ate some fantastic food and had my mind expanded, changed and blown so regularly I’d scared I’d lost it.
Through it all I’ve furthered my career more than if I’d stayed home, I’m engaged to marry someone who loves travel even more than I do and I’m already planning my next big adventure, a road trip through the United States of America.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t have a few travel-related regrets from the past couple of years…
Not going on a gondola ride in Venice
I was young, poor and on a three-month adventure through Europe, having decided to see a bit of the continent before I settled in London.
Through most of this journey a budget of 100 euros per day for my partner and I was sweet as – but in Venice we had to decide whether or not to splurge on a gondola ride that would cost at least as much as one day’s budget.
We didn’t (we caught one of Venice’s much-cheaper vaporetto water ferries instead) and now we regret it. We ended the trip under budget but I think a little bit poorer for never having seen Venice by gondola.
Getting robbed in Spain
It was hard enough to write about getting robbed in Spain the first time; suffice it to say this is the travel experience I regret the most.
And who can blame me? My partner and I lost our passports, a netbook computer, a half-read novel, a half-finished bottle of vodka and a Nandos loyalty card with a whole chicken owing on it (that one hurts the most).
Not going to Egypt
I should have visited Egypt when I had the chance, when I lived in Europe and it was a relatively short trip. Now, living in New Zealand, it’s a really long way to go to see the pyramids.
I’d always wanted to travel to Egypt but it just never happened. It’s too expensive at Christmas time and too hot for much of the rest of the year. I regret it now – but I know I’ll make it one day.
Not buying more in SE Asia
It probably happens to all budget backpackers in Southeast Asia – unless you’re heading home soon there is never enough room in the old backpack for all the bargain clothing, DVDs and other knickknacks you can pick up for pennies and cents on the streets of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
I could really do with one of those cut-price custom-made suits that I turned down in Hoi An, Vietnam, now that I’m a working stiff again.
Sure, I’ve made way more mistakes travelleing around the world than you see here – but my philosophy in life as well as travel is you often have to make mistakes in order to learn. For example, check out my post about the Vietnam travel tips I learnt the hard way for information on transportation, food, tours and discounted accommodation in Hanoi and other cities in Vietnam. If I hadn’t been taught a lesson or two in Vietnam the rest of my backpacking trip through South East Asia would have been much tougher than it needed to be.
And with that I’m now going to nominate five of my favourite travel bloggers to name their biggest travel regrets in the hopes that by acknowledging them we’ll all be able to avoid them in the future (their mistakes, that is – not these brilliant travel bloggers).
Show me a traveller who hasn’t any travel-related regrets and I’ll show you a supreme optimist or a liar – so hopefully they’ll take me up on this challenge!