Travel isn’t a contest

If you have competitive or perfectionist tendencies like me, than it can be easy to find yourself comparing your travel experiences to those you meet along the way and conclude that you’re doing something wrong. I find this is especially true when I’m not enjoying myself in a particular place, and I quickly decide I must somehow be failing or deficient in my travel abilities. Everybody else seems to be relaxed and having the time of their life. Why can’t I?

Travel Tip: Stop worrying about what other people are supposedly doing and focus on your experience. If you’re not enjoying a particular city – or even an entire country – it’s ok. You’re not a bad person. It may be that you’re still recovering from the transit involved with getting to that city. It may be that you’re not feeling well. Or it may be that you just don’t like the city, and that doesn’t have to mean there’s anything wrong with you.

See if there’s a change or two you can make that would improve your experience. Perhaps some self-care would help – get a massage, spend the morning (or even the entire day) resting and mentally regrouping in the hotel, splurge on a nice meal, or even upgrade your room.

Talk about your experience with those around you. You’ll most certainly find that you’re not alone in your frustration and everybody isn’t, in fact, having the time of their life. It’s important to connect and share your experiences, rather than keeping it bottled up inside. Plus, fellow travelers may provide some practical advice or strategies for coping with the stress.

Lastly, if you feel like you’ve given a particular place a chance and the two of you just aren’t becoming the best of friends, then it’s ok to move on. There’s no contest and what’s most important is that you’re actually enjoying yourself.

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