Expect Nothing and Appreciate Everything seems to be a golden rule when travelling. Because of the lack of research people do, there is a lot of negative energy on vacation/trip. We tend to build up movies in our minds about how our trip is going to be. Even though many amazing moments happen during our journey it seems like they are never good enough as mental pictures in our head. Sometimes reality can’t seem to keep up with our perfect imagination and it shouldn’t be, that’s not what life is about. Maybe we should listen to wise words of Buddha when he said with no expectations, comes no disappointments. Don’t put yourself in situations where you don’t know how to behave, don’t be one of those dramatic persons who ruins everyone’s vacations because the vacation plan failed.
It happened so many times to me to be surrounded by people who would nag 24/7 about whether, about a bus, plane, guides or simply they would nag about how tired they are. If you’re going to roam through the city to experience it, of course, you will be tired at the end of the day, but that’s happily tired, not ‘I’m so angry how tired I am’. People seem to forget about little things when travelling, they think how everything is going to be perfect and if there is one little thing that doesn’t go according to plan they flip out and like that is not enough they try to bring everyone else down with their bad mood. When you find yourself in one of these moody situations, where expectations you had for a certain adventure or place failed, try to think of the common expression ‘every cloud has a silver lining’. Absolutely every bad situation is good for something, at least you get the opportunity to learn what you did wrong during this trip it won’t happen on the next.
Doing a research before going on a trip/vacation can do wonders, you may decide not to go to your favorite place because it turned out to be quite opposite. Some places are not like you expect them to be, and that’s ok. Some place you had low expectations for can end up as your favorite escape plan and some place that you held high expectations can end up as the worst nightmare.
Everything is a lesson so don’t let a bad experience influence your love for travelling and roaming around the world. It is necessary to experience everything, bad or good, it helps us develop a new identity and a better style. People tend to lift the bars of expectations very high and end up disappointed so many times. One mistake that people often tend to make is that they do little of research before going on a vacation/trip. If they knew what to expect when going certain places I think that would spare their feelings and would spare the nerves of people around them. Do you research, read the experiences of other people about certain places you want to visit, don’t stop there, google it until you’re certain you’re heading the right direction
There is a funny story of my friend who had the situation of talking with the person who was highly disappointed with the pyramids in Cairo. There was a small group of tourists (among which my friend happened to be) with some travel agency. However, there was this one guy who was disappointed with the pyramids, there was nothing but stones for him, so of course, he decided to complain to everyone, because why not. I don’t really know what was he expecting, as my friend says maybe he wanted a welcoming speech by some Pharoah. Well, that would be nice actually.
It is really important to make most of your trip and seek only the good side of the story. For example, if you are going by bus to Italy, you should expect that is going to be a long trip and you are probably going to end up stiff and doing stretches during bus breaks. Everything goes smoother when you are mentally prepared for your journey. What is very important to know is nothing can be perfect when travelling, and there is a beauty in that information. Unpredicted situations are always behind the corner and that should not bring an anxiety in our lives. No matter how much we would like to predict the income of the situations that we find ourselves in, some things are just out of our hands. Missed flight, road block, lost luggage, feeling nausea or being hurt are just some of the situations where we should relax and go with the flow. Even though it sounds cliché, having a positive attitude is everything. As long as you hope for a positive outcome, it is bound to happen the best way it can.
Just when you think of Bali, beautiful beaches come to your mind probably, well, think again, or better yet, google it. Beaches there are NOT that strikingly and breathtakingly beautiful. They are not bad, but they are not exactly the tropical beaches we get to see on the TV. Don’t get me wrong, they are perfect for surfing but now if you want to get your family and teach your kid how to swim there, think again. However, nearby Gili islands have the perfect tropical beaches.
So the main point is to inform yourself, to be aware of limited sources when travelling (e.g. by bus), to have a positive attitude, don’t be surprised by the things you can see and experience when travelling abroad. I can tell you right now things can go upside down, but as long as you have the positive attitude, things will go your favor, always. Don’t forget the saying “What you seek is seeking you”. As long as you seek for knowledge and adventure and a good time, you will have that.
Usually, when I go travelling somewhere, I try to act like it’s no big deal. “Yeah, I’m going to Hawaii”, playing it cool like it’s not that big of a deal. It’s kind of a big deal but I don’t want to allow my mind to play tricks with me and set the movie in my head about what should I expect. It is important to be present in the moment, so when I land in Hawaii, I will start thinking about it and what to do next. Why is good to do this is because of the beauty of surprise and spontaneity, you let yourself go to the adventure. There’s no downside with no expectations, at least you can always submit your pictures to 9gag under the name “Expectations vs. Reality” and share a good laugh.