Travel confessions

10 Brutally Honest Travel Confessions

I believe we all have our own personal way to travel. What works for someone, may not be another person’s cup of tea. Some like traveling alone, while others only feel comfortable if they are with an organized group. Some like hopping from one hostel to another, while others need their privacy in a luxurious hotel room. Should we feel embarrassed if the way we travel isn’t like the magazines tell you it’s supposed to be? Of course not! I’ve always said it doesn’t matter how you see the world, as long as you go out and see it. So I’d like to share with you a few of my travel confessions today. Some were in my head for a long time now, but I never got the chance to say them out loud or type them.

I truly want to go everywhere

Travel confession - I want to go everywhere

I am a curious person and there are a lot of places I want to visit, this always leading to the question “why would you want to go there”. My reply is always “why not”. I want to take photos in Moscow’s Red Square, get lost in the Medina of Marrakesh, explore the wilderness of Greenland and see the temples of Myanmar. However, I am well aware of the fact that some places aren’t ideal for travel at the moment (whether it’s because of wars, terrorism, or political issues) and others I may never get the chance to visit in this life. In an ideal world, people would be nicer and plane tickets cheaper.

I don’t want to go to London

Travel confession - I don't want to go to London

Still with me? Allow me to explain, since it contradicts the previous point and I can hear your jaws hitting the floor and your eyes popping. A more accurate confession would be: “every time someone tells me how great London is, it makes me not want to go”. I’ve been to London and I’ve enjoyed it very much, but I didn’t left feeling it’s the greatest city in the world and OMG I NEED TO GO BACK, like people tell me. Nor do I feel it’s justified to pay a fortune for a shithole and be okay with it, just because it’s London. If I’m being truly honest though, I’d much rather break the bank for a shithole in Scandinavia 😛

I tend to overplan

Travel confession - I tend to overplan

Being a part-time traveler, my time in a new place I’m visiting is limited and I usually don’t return there too soon (see #1). Thus, I want to make the most of every moment and get a little enthusiastic (that’s my word, others might say crazy) while planning the trip. Now, I don’t have a minute-by-minute schedule (or even a day-by-day one), but I end up with a lot of sights I want to see. And without exception this leads to….

I annoy travel companions

Travel confession - I annoy travel companions

This always happens, whether it’s because I take a lot of photos in one place, randomly stop to take photos, answer the phone instead of looking on a map, disagreeing to visit a sight I’m not interested in, making them wake up too early or getting upset if I miss a place I wanted to see. Wow, I must be awful to travel with!

(When Allane posted her travel confessions I said that it will look like I copied her, because she also has this confession. 😛 )

I want to travel alone at least once

Travel confession - I want to travel alone

This isn’t at all related to the previous point (or maybe it is, just a teeny bit). I want to say I’ve planned and managed entirely on my own in a new place. To walk at my own pace, get lost when I can’t figure out which way to go, or learn sign language when I try to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak English. It can be fun or it can go terribly wrong but either way, I want to experience it at least once. However, I’ve been scared to tell this to my friends, because I fear they’ll understand I don’t want (or like) to travel with them. They’ll probably read this here though, so the cat’s out of the bag now.

I collect snow globes

Travel confession - I collect snow globes
No, not that kind of globes.

Despite my best intentions to declutter my apartment, when I travel I always get sucked into a souvenir shop (or ten!) and I always come back home with a snow globe from the city I visited. While I know that soon there won’t be enough space for all of them, I can’t seem to stop this habit. Is there a snow globe collectors anonymous group?

I hate the idea of spending hours in museums

Travel confession - I hate museums

Look, I’m not an art connoisseur so I’ll never understand the point in spending hours watching and analyzing paintings when there are so many other interesting sights in a city. “In and out, quick like a cat” has always been my motto when it comes to museums. Yes, some are important and shouldn’t be missed, but if I don’t leave after an hour, it’s probably because I died.

I don’t care about bad reviews

Travel confession - I don't care about bad reviews

If I overhear someone saying how great a place is, I instantly want to go. But if someone says they didn’t like the destination they’ve visited, or worse, they know someone who didn’t like it, I’ll completely ignore it. “Surely it can’t be that bad, maybe they had a bad day or different expectations” is what I would say. That’s why I also take online reviews with a grain of salt, especially since I’ve stayed in good hotels with terrible reviews and vice versa. So unless the review has photos of mold and/or spiders in the room, I don’t care.

I don’t want to travel with hand luggage only

Travel confession - I don’t want to travel with hand luggage only

I’ve never traveled with hand luggage only, I’m afraid it will be extremely stressful for me. Is everything going to fit in? Have I packed something I shouldn’t have? Is it too big for the plane? That’s why I always choose checked in luggage, you may have to pay for it, but at least you could bring a nice bottle of wine to enjoy at home. Or a knife, just because you can.

I don’t want to travel full time

Travel confession - I don’t want to travel full time

While I admire the ones who are always on the road, I could never do it and frankly, I am quite annoyed how this whole “quit your job and travel” thing is promoted, like it’s something we should all aim for. I like my job, thank you very much, and I like working 9 to 5 to receive a paycheck that will fund my travels. I believe that once travel (and blogging) becomes your full time job, you wouldn’t enjoy it as much as before. Jumping from one place to the next, not having time to truly enjoy the city you’re in. It doesn’t sound appealing to me. I don’t want to go somewhere because the blog takes me there, I’ll go because I love to travel and I’m genuinely interested in that place. Then I’ll blog about it because I loved it and I want you all to visit it. Or I hated it, although I’ve yet to visit a place I didn’t like at all. This being said however, I do wish I had at least five more annual leave days….

So there you have it, my travel confessions. Please tell me I’m not crazy and you can relate to at least some of those. 😉

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  • hahahaha I LOVE IT!!!! We should definitely travel together!!
    I do overplan too, all the time! Sometimes I get stressed out because even with all the overplanning I didnt get to see everything I wanted… so lately I have been trying to be cool about it!
    I also don’t want to travel full time and totally agree with everything you stated about this matter!
    I like London, but I also hate the fact that accommodation there is soooo expensive. About the hand luggage, for the first time I managed to travel only with a carry on, to Paris!! Can you believe it? I am so proud of myself… though I couldnt bring a bottle of wine back home 🙁 so I still prefer traveling with my normal luggage 😀

    I laughed a lot with this post, soooo cool!! We have so much in common hahaha 😀

    • Thank you Allane, we should totally go on a trip together! What are you doing next year? 😀 I’ve been trying to be cool about not seeing everything as well, let’s see if I can make it happen on my upcoming trip 😀

      • Yess we should 😀
        I still dont know how next year it’s going to be, but I am considering Amsterdam, Bucharest, Dubrovnik, Greece… and you know…. many many others hahaha it’s so hard to pick!
        Maybe we will end up meeting in Bucharest or Munich if you come 😀

  • No you are not crazy I agree with so many of your points.
    I take luggage – how does anyone get all their toiletries into the hand luggage?

    • I have no idea, I would be terrible at traveling with hand luggage only!

  • Kathleen (Kat)

    A BIG Thank You for writing this, I’m with you 100% on so many of the points (or confessions) you have listed!! Yeah, I like to travel solo, I want to be everywhere (and there are times I don’t mind returning to the same country multiple times but exploring different places and I don’t want to quit my job and travel the world full-time. And I have no qualms to call myself a tourist instead of a traveller! Cheers, and happy travelling! 🙂

    • I’m happy to hear you liked my post! Here’s to seeing the whole world! 😀

  • I can relate to quite a few, particularly annoying the travel companions. Which is why I travel by myself so much, bc I hate feeling that tension. This year tho I do wish I had a partner in crime in Italy bc I am kind of annoyed with this whole trip. Terrible, right? And I am tired of apologizing to people about it, bc it’s my time and my money and it wasn’t put to the best use, as it turned out.

    • Well that’s because you didn’t ask me to go with you!!!! 😛 I know what you mean about being your own time and money, that’s why I always tell my friends when we travel that we should split up if someone doesn’t want to go somewhere. By the way, are you back from Italy?

      • OMG we seriously should have done that! UUUUUGH.
        I am still in Italy, being a miserable b*tch. Going back to Moscow on Sunday, trying to figure out how to salvage the rest of this stay. I just posted the bitchiest blog entry ever about it.

      • I even miss the German even tho he was a total mind-f*ck when I was with him in Frankfurt.

  • Oh, I could certainly relate…to more than a few. In fact I think I was with you on everything except the snowglobes!

    • Haha, I may be the only one!

  • hahaha happy that you liked this to #MondayEscapes 😀

    • I’ll link a new post this week if I find time to write it 😀

  • I am also THE most annoying travel companion ever :))! I don’t know how people tolerate me. I have similar feelings about London. I’ve never been to GB, and I’ve been aiming to make a trip there for quite a while now. But even though we have direct flights to London, I always find myself to be more interested in the British countryside, smaller towns (Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool), Lake district area, and especially Scotland and Ireland. So out of all of GB London is probably last on my list :))

    • There is so much more to the UK than London … make sure you don’t miss out Wales: impressive castles, beautiful coastline (particularly the Gower area) and a whole lot of countryside!

      • Wales is also high on the list, but impossible to pack all four countries into one trip! (if only I could stay for at least a year, but even that wouldn’t be enough). I am particularly interested in the countryside and castles, I’ll be sure to check them out 🙂

      • Wales is definitely on my list, as well as a lot of others places in the UK.

  • JustGoPlaces

    I don’t want to travel full-time either. Sometimes a girl just needs to nest. I can’t say I relate to anything else. I don’t think London is the greatest city in the world (not sure what is!) but I like living in London.

    • I don’t think there’s such a thing as the greatest city in the world, each one is special in its own way! 🙂

  • Great confessions. Many apply to me as well. I tend to overplan and I think every place is interesting. I, however, do enjoy time in museums. But as you’ve said, what works for someone may not be another’s cup of tea. We should all be able to enjoy travel in our own ways.

    • Exactly, travel is about what makes us happy so we shouldn’t care if others may not enjoy the things we do.

  • I hear you, Vlad. We each have our own way of traveling and the older we get the less flexible we become. I don’t like to travel with anybody (except my husband) because exactly like you, I want to stop to take pictures wherever I want, whenever I want and as many times as I want. Besides, I like to walk a lot and most of the people hate that.

    • Oh I like to walk a lot as well, I find it the best way to get around while traveling.

  • Love the hand luggage one! It seems to be a badge of honour among travellers to be able to travel with just hand luggage! I’m quite a light packer, but I do want to take shower gel and shampoo with me … also really nice to not have to carry round your big bag at the airport. And definitely want the opportunity to bring wine home …

    • I only pack things I need, but it’s way better not to worry about sizes and things you shouldn’t bring 🙂

  • contented traveller

    Love the snow globes and love how you are an honest hypocrite. I also like to overplay and prefer only my husbands company, and sometimes that becomes difficult and need time out.

    • How can I be both honest and a hypocrite?

  • I love travelling, but I like to explore areas slowly so that i can see everything that is there 😉
    And yeah I don’t listen to reviews either. I have traveled with only on flight luggage with me, and its nerve racking to know if the bag is going to be under the limit or go over the limit !!!

    • Reviews can be so subjective and sometimes it astounds me the things people complain about!

  • Jenny Eaves

    I love travelling, but I definitely like the coming home again feeling as well, so I much prefer part-time travel. Also you need to travel alone at least once, although to be fair you probably won’t be alone the entire time, you easily meet other travellers on the road too. I had great fun travelling alone in Peru. Great post! 🙂

    • Thank you! It’s on my wishlist to travel solo once next year, fingers crossed I can make it happen! 🙂

  • samiyahl

    I am with you on the full time travel, I like being able to do it part time but coming back to my own space after a certain period of time..I like 2-3 weeks travel but after that I do long to be home again! We collect magnets from every place we go instead of snow globes 🙂 Interesting to read about some of your other preferences too!

    • I collect magnets too, although I soon won’t have any space left for them, haha 🙂

  • Ruth Rieckehoff

    Love it Vlad! I want to go everywhere too! As a matter of fact, my husband was making fun of me for wanting to stop at so many places. I have the same feelings about London. I visited in summer and it was miserably cold. I guess that destroyed the experience for me. I do travel with a carry on only (buy because my husband says he is not going anywhere if I do not do it like that ;0)

    • Haha, funny, I visited London in April and it was super warm, no rain at all!

  • This is great! I hate London! Nobody can understand though, they’re all “but there’s so much to do there and*insert tourist site here* is so awesome! How could you not want to visit London every single year?”

    • I hear you, I feel the same way!

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  • Europe Diaries this post:) Only yesterday, I was telling my friends something similar. So many people plan ahead,quit their jobs and travel the world.But, most of the others still have to work full-time and make the best use of the 5-6 weeks vacation they get. To each, his own 🙂

    • I only have 4 vacation weeks per year, but combined with weekends and bank holidays, I can go on quite a few trips. 🙂

      • Europe Diaries

        I have 5 weeks too..but combine weekends,public holidays,extend conference stays,and it is possible to go on short trips often:) Plus, a longer stay at home in India too!

  • Gin

    I agree with London, It’s not my favourite place in the UK, there are so many more interesting places than that. Same for Paris. I don’t understand the fuss.

    • I think both of them are the kind of place that you either love or hate. I’ve been twice to Paris and the second time has been disappointing compared to the first one…

  • The_Paris_Itinerary

    Great list Vlad. The snow globe collection made me laugh!

    • Haha, thank you! 🙂

  • Connie Reed

    I love your post, Vlad. I can relate to almost all of it, especially checking a bag. I don’t want to have to worry about taking only 3 ounces of shampoo or not being able to bring home certain items because they either don’t fit in my carry-on or they aren’t allowed. And now I want to buy a snow globe wherever I go. I love snow globes!

    • Haha, sorry about that, snow globes are lovely, but they will take a lot of space!

  • I think we’re quite similar! In particular, the idea of spending hours in a museum and over planning! I pack my days with things to do but I tend to tire out my travel partners very quickly!! I also feel the same way you do about London, but about Paris instead. I thought it was very pretty and there’s so much history… but I think it’s kind of overrated. I feel almost guilty for saying that, and that people might come after me now that I’ve made it public!

    • I love Paris, but I do think it’s a wee bit overrated, it has its bad sides just like any other city in the world.

  • I agree with most of those, though I do compromise when there’s a place I’m not particularly keen to see. I must also confess that I do pack everything into a carry-on bag and a backpack, but I usually check the carry-on (the electronics go in my backpack, of course). I have lugged a large suitcase up one too many staircases in my life. Never again!

    • I’ve learned that the key to a good trip with friends is compromise (as well as spending time alone from the group!).

  • This was really fun! I could relate to all of them with the only exceptions being that I like museums (and even work in one haha) and don’t collect snow globes (but I always bring lots of other stuff form my travels) 🙂

    • What museum are you working in and what is it like? I bet it’s pretty cool 🙂

      • I work in the Swedish Museum of Natural History, I’m doing my PhD studies here. And I am really happy about it because I loved natural history museums since I was a kid 🙂

  • Ha, great post! Especially after reading one too many ‘my way is the best way’ article. Apart from the snow globes, and the fact that I perhaps spend a wee bit longer in museums (two hours is my absolute limit though) its ditto to all the rest! Managed a solo to Venice last year and loved it. I do want to return to London – last visited thirty long years ago – but it gets pushed down the list for the same reasons 🙂

    • Venice and Verona are actually on my “travel solo” list, along with Brussels. I think they are perfect for weekend trips.

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  • Great post! I relate to a lot of this as a fellow part-time traveler: not much of a museum person, don’t want to travel full-time and I’m a total over-planner. I don’t collect snow globes but fridge magnets.

  • Nope. You’re definitely not crazy. And yes, I can relate to some of these! I was laughing about yours and Allane’s travel confession of annoying other travelers. I do exactly the same thing. That’s why it’s cool traveling with like-minded people. For example, I’ve gone hiking in the mountains with my friend J., from “GoodLifeXplorers” and we both stopped a million times to take photos 😉 Oh – absolutely love your little video snippets!! Cheers, g.

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  • Liz

    Love this post. I risk sounding like a copycat, but: I tend to overplan, I annoy travel companions (my boyfriend does not understand why I need to take a dozen shots of the same scenery! but when we get home he wants to copy my “best shots”), same viewpoint on museums and the not caring about bad reviews. And I thought it was just me. 😛

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  • I am 100% with you on many of these points. In particular the tendency to over plan before we leave. Having such a long flight from Australia to get to most places only increases that urge to “get it right”.