10 Ugly Truths About Traveling

June 21, 2015

I honestly think I hate traveling…

I know, hate is such a strong word but these are a few sad truths that traveling made me realize about the world. Believe me you’ll understand better when you finish reading my article. You often hear about crazy adventures and beautiful amazing stories about traveling but nobody ever seem to talk about the ugliness of it. Yes its ugly and I’m not here to discourage you to go out and see the world but merely to prepare you of what’s really out there.

Children taking care of children


1. You see poverty, drug abuse & prostitution all over the globe and it makes you sick to your stomach I grew up seeing this in the Philippines and its sad but is a reality so it never really affected me so much until i started traveling. I started seeing it everywhere, 1st and 3rd world countries, its all the same. What makes it even worse are seeing kids get into drugs at a very young age. I am not an advocate but this makes me really sad.

2. The concept of dirt and trash– You see trash everywhere you look and people throw them everywhere buses, streets, hostels, inside and outside of their houses.  I can’t stop or demand this from people so what I do is pick up my own trash and know that I’m not adding up to this bad habit. 

3. Lack of education and manners– I’m not only talking about kids in rural areas where there’s no form of education (coz that, I would understand) but also with the educated. This is a biggy coz in some culture, shouting is pretty acceptable but who should I blame for people who doesn’t have a concept of respect.


4. Scams, robberies and rape in most cities– Most places, especially big cities have these problems. Experiencing being robbed in a taxi first hand was horrible and still gives me nightmares. But what’s sad about it is because of poverty. Sad Truth: desperate times calls for desperate measures.

5. Hippies or whatever you call other travelers who let themselves go because they’re living an amazing travel life- I get not being able to shower once in a while but please get deodorant. But who knows maybe that’s not a priority for everyone, which makes me real sad and very much affected. 

The roads were pretty quite except a few cars, bikes, horses, and cows. Once in awhile you would be reminded of an American childhood passing these 'chicken buses.'

6. Bad roads, pot holes + crazy drivers = accidents– Do I need to say more. You hear news of chicken buses tipping over every single day, we almost got hit by an ambulance by moving away from a pot hole.


7. Skinny dogs & Animal cruelty – They are living creatures, have a care and feed them. Whether its a cat, dog or whatever animal, please treat them right. 

8. Cultures that treat women like shit– I know we have to respect cultural diversity in the world but where does it cross the line. I think its inhumane to make women do all the work or have them circumcised. Men’s purpose in life doesn’t only have to be a sperm donor. 

9. Concept of time or rather lack of- Pole, pole, Swahili for slowly slowly. Expect this in most coastal cities and everywhere in Africa. Stopping the entire bus to chat to a passing driver friend causes traffic, they don’t care. McDonald’s in Colombia is not fast food.. Its slow.

Loops in the ears are a sign of beauty

10. Bad service– I’m pretty sure many can relate to this. I wonder how come people in the hospitality industries are sometimes the worse when hosting people. If you own a hotel/ hostel train your people to serve because clients respond to both good and bad service. Just be particular on which you want to get. 

 Granny on a walk at Baishuitai
Yes, I believe in a beautiful world, but this is the irony of life. Ugliness heightens the appreciation of beauty. It’s hard to appreciate the good times and the beautiful if all you see are perfect things. Bad things makes you appreciate the good things. It makes you grateful for what you have and realize which are the most important parts of life.
Have you encountered any of these things while traveling. We would appreciate if you share it in the comments below. 

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