Before anyone goes off on me for "complaining" about travel, I'm not. I am simply saying that long-term travel is, for the most part, not glamorous. It's not all island-hopping and getting a tan. Constant travel can be busy, loud and exhausting, but we love it anyway.
What I want to do with this post is, first and foremost, make you laugh at how ridiculous I am during long-term travel.
Secondly I want to show you that all those picture-perfect Instagram accounts full of tropical perfection are made up of moments just like the following pictures that I'm going to show you. My Instagram looks pretty idyllic, but in reality I spend the majority of my time sitting in my pyjamas, hair bunched on top of my head, bra-less and staring at my laptop for hours on end. OR, on planes and in airports. This all eventually results in some sort of migraine.
Again, I'm not complaining, I love travelling. But long-term travel most certainly is NOT always glamorous. Here's the evidence.
1) The search for wifi to let your friends/family know that you're alive can land you in some strange places. For example, when I was in Waikiki (Hawaii) the hotel had said that it had free wifi. What they failed to mention was that it was only available in the hallway beside the lobby. So, of course, I sat in the hallway, in my pyjamas. GLAMOUR!
2) When you're trying to save money while travelling so you buy a $5 pizza and eat it in bed...... off your own stomach..... and your boyfriend thinks it's fun to take a picture. He is 100% rebelling against the "Instagram Husband", trend.
3) Similar to number 2 but with popcorn and from my crotch instead of my stomach this time. I'm pretty sure this was Hawaii again.
4) Camping in Death Valley National Park. I got so cold at night that I ended up wearing my pjs, 2 jumpers, my coat, 3 pairs of socks and a scarf. I was still shivering in my sleeping bag. Somehow my boyfriend slept soundly in pj bottoms only! Getting up in the middle of the night and making the pitch black run to the toilet hut to pee is not glamorous. Camping is fun and you get the best views, but yep, no glamour.
5) Maybe I should get a new boyfriend? :P (I don't mean it darling). Another unflattering photo of me Snapchatting (add me @ whereistara) from my room in Queenstown, New Zealand. That night, we also had a serious moth infestation in the apartment due to a light and an open door. I have never seen more moths in my life. My bf had to run out to buy insecticide at 6am in the morning to murder the ones that couldn't be herded out.
6) Taking pictures of EVERYTHING in Death Valley. I sometimes have to tell myself to put the phone down and just take things in with my actual eyes. But then I remember that I need good photos for my Instagram and to show my family what I'm actually doing while I'm away. The struggle is real.
7) That jetlag feeling you get after 8 flights in 9 days. I'm pretty sure I didn't even know where I was, let alone what day it was. Again, my boyfriend was so kind as to take this photo for me. He particularly delights in whatsapping pics like this to me later and watching the outrage/surprise on my face #bfoftheyear .
8) When you've been flying so much that you get a tonne of spots and you try to hide them in photos. Damn that dry air on planes. Again, you don't see this on my social media channels. BUT it is just a reality of constant travel.
9) This is literally my every day life. This is what I look like right now. I can't always be out ziplining or diving or having cocktails. Life on the road is usually shockingly similar to life at home when you haven't got any activities planned. Beauty/fashion/haircare brands, I am available for brand ambassadorship, first come first serve, I can't fit you all in I'm afraid.... #glamour
10) When you're in this beautiful tropical place (The Maldives) taking pictures of palm trees, making your friends jealous and looking like some sort of tropical beach babe on Instagram. Oh wait, what's actually happening is you think you might die from heat exhaustion and you are convinced you have insects on you, but it's just hundreds of beads of sweat dripping down your legs, arms, ass, neck and everywhere else.
Don't get me wrong, I loved the Maldives, but it wasn't always a walk in the park. Especially when a couple of hours after I took this photo I was walking through the airport (dripping sweat) and my trousers ripped right up the ass. Luckily I had a pair of shorts to change into in the bathrooms. Granted I had to walk to the bathroom with my ass hanging out. Unfortunately for me they had just hosed down the bathroom so everything was dripping wet. Of course, in order to take my trousers off and put on the shorts I had to take my shoes off and stand bare foot in this wet/sticky public toilet. So as I squelched around changing into my shorts, I did definitely question my decision to travel full time.
If you're planning on travelling long-term, get ready for the crazy, tiring, wonderfully chaotic, wifi-less madness that is travel. Things go wrong, you get tired and you'll feel like going home. BUT it is always, without fail, worth it in the end. What you get out of travel is 100 times more than what it takes out of you. Something that "ruins" your trip one day, will make a great story for the rest of your life. And hey, it's not such a big deal going without wifi every once in a while.