The number one thing people don’t tell you about traveling, is that the worse the trip the better the memories.
Remember that time…
Remember that time you couldn’t find your way to the fancy restaurant you made reservations at and dressed up for, and you argued the whole cab ride while the cab driver didn’t speak english and kept driving around in circles as the meter increased, until you finally paid him, got out of the cab in the middle of nowhere and ate at some dingy pizza joint that ended up selling the best pizza you’d ever had in your life.
Yeah, I bet you do.
Remember how pissed you were, how close you were to tears in that cab, watching as your perfectly planned night just crumbled around you, unable to take control and fix the situation.
No, of course you don’t. All you remember is that amazing god damn pizza, and how good it felt to finally eat after being lost and cranky for two hours.
What about that time you lost your bank card in Thailand and spent the first night in your dingy hostel trying to call home to get money wired through.
Yeah, that sucked, but it turns out, losing your card was just the beginning of your story, a story that ends with you meeting up with a whole crew of people who not only helped you out but stuck with you as you the rest of your trip.
You almost forgot how long you were trying to call home, and how much data you wasting Googling information on your bank, cause you still catch up with your buddies from that night over Facebook, going on about how fun it was.
Screwing Up Makes Stronger Memories
There’s just something about screwing up, royally, like losing your passport or breaking your wrist, to make you step back and stop caring. When you stop trying to have the perfect trip or the perfect day or even when you stop trying to have fun and you just relax and let whatever happens happen, that’s when you can really enjoy yourself.
It’s the equivalent of getting your phone stolen, crying about it at first, but finally being able to look up and enjoy what’s around you without your electronic screen filtering it, if only for one night.
Then you go back to freaking out. But that’s normal.
There’s always this tension while you travel, a pressure to get your money’s worth, to learn about the culture, to grow as a human being, to make memories. But to real enjoy yourself, often times you need to break the structure you build your ordinary life around and let yourself be flawed, and let your vacation be a total mess. And that’s when you can really have a blast.
Then again, maybe that’s not you. Maybe you remember that shit vacation that you paid way too much for and wish you never went on. Maybe your travel partner drove you mental and you got sick as hell and couldn’t do anything.
Yeah it sucks, but at least you were miserable and sick and tired in another beautiful country rather than still at home doing the exact same unmemorable thing you do every other day.
Whether it’s the greatest vacation and things go off without a hitch, and all the days blend together into one big blurry photo memory of happiness, or if your trip is littered with stressful and unpredictable surprises that brought you closer to people and places you never opened yourself up to before, there are always good memories to come from travel.
It’s my humble opinion that some of the best memories come from the worst trips, you just have to open yourself up to experiencing them.