While I am a super serious travel blogger dedicated to finding you hidden gems, I have also had my fair share of surprises on the road. Most of these surprises have ended in lots and lots of profanity. I find this topic to bring up many hilarious stories that I’ll never forget. So, let’s have a swing at some lighthearted travel stories! Here are traveling expectations vs reality:

Traveling Expectations vs Reality

Expectation

That Hotel Looks Stunning in the Photos!

Reality

The amount of times I’ve judged a hotel by the photos online has got to have some sort of record attached to it. There’s nothing quite like rolling up to your hotel and realizing it’s the knock off brand of the The Westin: The West End.

I once had my beer stolen from me in a dodgy hotel. Literally, someone stole my beer that I had taken a sip from. I was pissed, yet also intrigued at how this went down.

Airbnbs looks particularly deceiving in a lot of photos. When booking an Airbnb, I try to imagine what everything would look like 10 years older and with dungeon lighting. And that usually keeps me from being disappointed upon arrival.

Expectation

People Will Smile and Love Me.

Reality

Pretty much if you’re outside of America, people aren’t really going to smile at you. The French won’t even smile at babies or puppies! I know, it’s a crime. But this is a huge expectation Americans have while traveling. You just have to get used to it.

Don’t get cozy with the idea of everyone being welcoming either. There are lots of cultural differences, and what we usually take as ‘rudeness’ in Europe, is just another culture we’re not used to.

Traveling Expectations vs Reality

Expectation

I Won’t Eat at a Touristy Restaurant.

Reality

For some reason when I travel I always want McDonanld’s. I have no idea how to explain this phenomena, but McDonald’s just tastes so good in Europe! Anyway, my point is, you will probably eat in more than one touristy restaurant while abroad.

Life happens. And while we think we have all the best restaurants mapped out because we’ve been reading Coat + Coffee religiously, sometimes it doesn’t work out. The child is fussy and needs food stat, or the husband needs a beer to deal with said fussy child. Sometimes food is just food, and un-Instagrammable is okay.

Expectation

It’s So Cheap!

Reality

Why does this always happen though? Everything seems so cheap so I just keep spending and eating and spending, and then I regret all my decisions when I have to eat ramen for the next month at home. Even if the food is cheap in the country you are visiting, little things add up here and there that might not be noticed at first.

When you’re traveling, still keep track of what you’re spending and check your account often. You don’t want to come back poor with 32 different key chains from Paris.

Traveling Expectations vs Reality

Expectation

Europe Will Be so Walkable.

Reality

Bring good shoes. Europe is only walkable for people who have no soul or no feeling in their feet. I remember walking the streets of Lisbon and joking that it would be a great punishment for children. “Oh, you lied to me? I sentence you to time out and 30 minutes walking the streets of Lisbon.”

A lot of the streets in Europe are made of old stone and are uneven. Hey, they didn’t have crap to make it level back then. As such, you can only image what terrible shoes will do to your soles. Definitely bring good walking shoes, and never underestimate distance.

Expectation

I’ll Fall in Love Like in the Movies.

Reality

Have you ever ridden on the back of someone’s scooter before? Like in those Mary-Kate and Ashley movies? It’s not romantic and you’re basically eating your own hair. Love abroad is totally hard to come by, which we probably have Trump to thank for, let’s be honest.

No one loves us anymore.

Traveling Expectations vs Reality

Expectation

It Will Only Take 30 Minutes to See X.

Reality

I think when people are abroad they forget about lines. Your trip to Europe is spent waiting in lines. Want to see the Eiffel Tower? There’s a line for that. Want to hop on the train? Well there’s a queue for that too.

Definitely make sure you give yourself an hour or so at each sight. Sometimes you can be in line an hour or more just to wait for tickets. If you’re in a popular city like Paris or London, then give yourself even more time.

What were some of your traveling expectations, and the realities that followed? Leave me a comment below!

22 Comments

  1. Haha, every single point is oh so correct! Always find food cheap etc in overseas country (Australia is ridiculously expensive) but budget always blows up, probably because i don’t eat every single meal outside at home whereas when travelling no matter how cheap food is, cost adds up! ahha

    Fun fact : Falling in love whilst travelling is also something they show in Indian movies ! Infact one of the most famous movies of all time in India, absolute cult classic, is about finding love on a europe trip hahaha

    http://www.talesoftwoblog.blogspot.com

    Reply
    1. Haha definitely! It always adds up so fast. And I didn’t know that about Indian movies. That’s kind of sweet! Thanks for telling me that. πŸ™‚

      Author Reply
  2. Haha, pissed and yet intrigued over the stolen beer – some hotels really can look veeeery different to the promotional images online, that’s for sure!

    aglassofice.com
    x

    Reply
  3. How can someone seriously steal someone’s beer – that is just so wrong! That reminds me of a story a friend told me who’s sandwich got stolen, he just went back inside the cafe to get a drink and when he came back to his table, the sandwich was gone. So much fun reading through your post! Have a lovely weekend, Emily!

    Reply
    1. Haha right?! I literally had two sips of it, set it down, and then went to pick it back up, and it was literally GONE. A full Guinness. That’s funny about the sandwich. At least these situations are laughable now. Honestly I was impressed with whoever stole that from right under my nose haha.

      Author Reply
  4. Oh my goodness someone stole your opened beer?? Yikes! I’ve definitely had many of these expectations when I travelled, especially when it comes to things being “cheap”, but like you said, it all adds up and 2 weeks later I’m staring at my credit card bill going “how the heck did I spend THAT much money???”

    Also totally get your craving for McDonalds – it’s like all the crappy American fast food chains get an upgrade overseas, especially in Asia. I adore McDonalds and KFC there, and omg the Dunkin Donut’s have some of the fanciest donuts ever!

    Jenny // Geeky Posh

    Reply
    1. Oh man! I’ve never tried Dunkin Donuts overseas! I need to do that stat. I am so glad you get it too haha. I feel like a total American, but I always crave a burger when I’m in Europe. Which is so weird, because I think we do burgers the best. Don’t know what it is!

      Author Reply
  5. I love this post! Traveling definitely has ups and downs and may not be exactly what you expect from the photos. I love whenever someone asks about my travel photos because every single photo usually has some sort of story behind it (good or bad)! Also I always manage to eat at a touristy restaurant even when I try my hardest not to. It’s just easier to eat somewhere that speaks English, even if it’s a rip off!

    Kim
    Simply Lovebirds

    Reply
    1. Haha I totally agree on all these points! Sometimes I just want something quick without having to do any research. I also love the stories behind photos! I have so many as well. πŸ™‚

      Author Reply
  6. This is so true! It cracks me up how clever photography and angled shots can cleverly obscure that unpleasant site hidden in the corner. It gets me everytime, I’m such a sucker for it. I really need to start bearing that in mind and not get too sucked in by misleading pictures πŸ™‚

    Reply

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