Since being back into the “real world” I have been reflecting a lot about our trip, mostly trying to process it all. As amazing as our trip was, I do have some regrets. This makes sense: no one can do it all, and nothing is ever perfect.
So, why am I writing down my regrets? It’s not because I want to complain, no. We were *so* lucky and blessed to have taken this trip. The reason I am writing down my regrets is to remember them for any future trips. Once the time is right and we go on vacation again, I want to read them over, and remind myself of what I felt was important on my last trip. I want to leave with the right frame of mind, and fully enjoy myself.
I also want to write this down to help myself sort our these conflicting feelings I have about our trip. Interestingly enough, many of my regrets contradict each other, so I’m not really sure how I’d be able to address them on future trips. Finding the right balance can be a hard thing to do! I think partly these conflicting feelings were brought on by being so tired and overwhelmed that it made it difficult for me to really, fully be in the moment during our trip.
In the end, I really feel like we did too much, and not enough – and how does one fix that? I don’t know. The world is just so big, there is just so much to do, and it’s impossible to do it all, or to do justice to it all. Maybe that’s what I’m struggling with.
With that in mind, here are things I regret doing, or not doing, on our trip.
+ Being photo shy and not taking as many pictures of markets, artists or people as I would like. I could have pushed myself more.
+ Being photo lazy. I got tired, and rightfully so. I just couldn’t do it anymore, and that’s OK. But I still regret the shots I skipped or missed sometimes…
+ Skipping certain experiences or sights because of their associate cost. Maybe I could have afforded to get henna on my hands or a few extra massages along the way. Maybe it’s just impossible to do it all on a budget.
+ There are so many things we didn’t do and so many things we skipped because we just can’t do it all. Being tired didn’t help. And seeing the whole world didn’t help: you end up comparing one thing to everything else you’ve seen & done, and in the end very little seems really worth it. Places were judge unfairly in the aim of “only stopping for the best”.
+ Being so paranoid. Yep, it saved us from a lot of bad situations. But how many experiences did we miss out on because we were too paranoid to trust a local or the kindness of a stranger?
+ Not meeting too many locals, not interacting enough. I should have talked more with people, I should have tried to do some things on a community level.
+ Not purchasing souvenirs. We couldn’t afford it, we didn’t have the room for it, and no house or apartment to put it in. But there were so many beautiful, amazing things along the way that I wish I could go back and get. These two posts by line x shape x colour really make me want to hit the road again and get shopping.
+ Moving so much, too much. Constantly moving means that you can’t really find the groove of a place, relax and really enjoy yourself. It means that you are constantly looking and planning what’s next, and it takes away from what’s right now.
+ On the other hand, 1.5 year is really much shorter than it seems. When we were planning our trip we had the impression that we could see everything and anything in 2 years, but it’s really not the case. We had to cut out so much places, sights and countries – I’ll say it again: you can’t do it all.
+ We tried to do it all. It was too much. And it was not enough.
So, after reflecting on our trip here is what I would like to tell my future self for future trips:
+ Go to fewer places.
+ Stay there longer.
+ Give yourself time.
+ Be vulnerable, and put yourself our there. Photograph locals, talk to locals, share.
+ Don’t feel guilty for taking days off.
+ Don’t do too much in one day.
+ Vacations are a treat, so act like it. Have fun! Eat well if you want to, shop if you want to. Just bring more money.