1. Finding your brand new best friend but ultimately having to say goodbye after a few days. This is one of the hardest parts of traveling. You meet people on the road and you share this very intimate experience of traveling throughout unknown destinations together but eventually you have to let them go.
2. Having the exact same conversation with every person you meet. Questions like, “Where are you from?” “How long are you here?”and “What’s the WIFI password?” get stale after the first week of traveling. Obviously meeting people is one of the greatest parts of traveling but eventually the same old convo gets old.
3. Listening to the sheer annoyance of someone bragging about how many passport stamps they have. This is annoying on so many levels. If you and another traveler are just having fun talking about where you’ve been, that’s totally cool, but acting like you’re the shit because you’ve been to 60 countries and counting just makes you look like a douche.
4. Sleeping in dorms. Let’s be real, even the most savvy backpacker who fully emerses themselves into the backpacker culture and talks about how great hostels are knows that at the end of the day it sucks sleeping in the dorms. Sure, it’s cheap and you meet other people, but nothing beats a full size bed and a bit of privacy.
5. When you’re getting ready to head to another country and realize you’re out of passport pages. This is the worst. I always tell people to plan ahead for this but sometimes you never know where your journey is going to take you and it ends up costing you.
6. Feeling like you have an obligation to always be social when you’re at a hostel. You chose a hostel partly for its low cost but also so you could meet people. The thing is, some days you just want to do your own thing. Lay in bed all evening or just be by yourself. Your hostel mates are all encouraging you to come out and drink with them and you feel bad saying no.
7. Reading travel magazines and not really being able to enjoy any of their recommendations because you’ll never be able to afford it. Who can really afford these Kardashian lifestyle type of villas and resorts? The pictures are nice but most of the time unrealistic for the average traveler.
8. Getting to a destination you thought you were really going to like and realizing you hate it. This has only happened a couple times to me but it’s never fun when a place you imagined being exciting, interesting, beautiful, etc turns out to be something quite different. Or you get there and for whatever reason you just don’t like it.
9. Border crossing anxiety. You never know how immigration officials are going to act or if they’re going to hassle you.
10. Realizing you don’t speak the language quite as well as you thought you did before arriving. You can take as many Rosetta Stone lessons as you want but often you realize you don’t know a language as well as you thought you did until you get there. This can be frustrating, although locals are usually pretty understanding.
11. Dorm sex. People who have sex in dorms with other people in the same room are a certain kind of human I’ll never understand. There are other people trying to sleep and mostly trying not to hear you share fluids with someone else. Do it anywhere else, please, all your dorm mates beg of you.
12. Know-it-all backpackers. Some backpackers really want to go out of their way to prove they’re more well traveled or more educated on certain regions. Who cares? Interrupting someone’s conversation or telling them why their trip is going to suck just ruins the mood. If you have experienced or know of legitimate travel concerns, it’s understandable you’d want to make other travelers aware of what’s up, but otherwise leave people be. The whole point of traveling is to have an array of experiences and just because you didn’t enjoy a certain locale doesn’t mean the next person won’t.
13. No one wants to get off of the backpacker trail. Even though traveling through a new country is supposed to be a grand adventure often it seems most backpackers would rather just stick to the same worn backpacker trail and do the same list of things everyone else does on the trip. Sharing the same route as everyone else has its benefits but at the same time you know there has to be more out there.