Travelling can be a very difficult task, one Instagram doesnt prepare you for.
Those glorious photos on the photo-sharing app didn't come by animals just seating pretty for you. Infact, getting to these places can be a nightmare.
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1. Culture Shock
There's nothing as thrilling and confusing as culture shock while on the move. Like everything else on Instagram, it’s easy to think that things are just like they are at home, just a little more exotic. Be prepared to be blown away - not in an exotic way though.
Travelling to Togo, I got lost, the streets just have confusing numbers and names, hustling was intense at the border and I could barely understand what the locals were saying.
Where was the charming quaint Togo Instagram promised?
2. Mentally, it is draining
Instagram is full of people selling the travel dream. In reality, it isn't easy to take that first step and set forth bravely into the unknown.
Unless you're very reckless, travelling is a big decision that has to be planned and making that decision is a huge mental battle.
My first solo travel experience, I regularly had panic attacks about what I was doing, but after careful consideration, I decided to embrace my inner free spirit and go for it.
You can spend your life travelling the world. Just don’t believe the hype that it is an easy decision to make.
3. Money is never enough
On Instagram, nobody tells you how much something costs, but how good it looks. Which is not surprising, considering a lot of travel influencers are on an all-expenses-paid trip anyway.
But in the real world, your money will not last as long as you hoped it would. Always carry emergency cash about N100,000 plus.
4. Travelling is exhausting
My first solo "adventure trip" I spent two days travelling before arriving at my final destination. Crossing borders, dealing with customs officers and trying to get the driver to understand what you are saying can be very exhausting.
Travel isn’t all stunning beaches and inspiring landscapes. Getting to this places can take its toll on you and that Instagram doesn’t really concern itself with.
5. Your hotel won’t always look like it does in the pictures
I learnt this the hard way. Don't keep your hopes up. It won’t always be where it says it is, either. My beach hotel said it was right in front of the ocean, but it was a 50-minute walk down to the beach.
It is advisable to cross-reference reviews across several websites. This is a lesson Instagram won't teach you.