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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tips on avoiding disappointment when you travel - from travellers & travel bloggers

Here are some tips on how to avoid being disappointed when you travel from other travellers and travel bloggers. These gems of advice were in response to my request for suggestions from readers:
* Cautious optimism and a focus on the everyday and unexpected is what Sandy recommends: “I do think it's much more exciting to be the cautious optimist ... the human observations, stuff like getting a good breakfast and the moments that that brings, or meeting someone who surprises you, is so much more meaningful to me than getting a look at the Mona Lisa, ya know?”
* Look for news ways of seeing from different points of view, Jessie at Wandering Educators suggests: “As a person with disabilities, I am often disappointed that I can't get in, go to, or actually see things close up. What I've learned is to enjoy things from a distance, and also to look around where I actually am. Sometimes, the benches around the Eiffel tower are infinitely more interesting than looking (or going) up.”
* Go with a good travelling companion and a willingness to spontaneous, says TravelMuse: “Having a great travel companion is my way to overcome disappointment. When my husband and I found Tybee Island in Georgia to be disappointing we decided to stop off at an old fort on the way back to Savannah. This last-minute side-trip turned out to be fascinating and a lot of fun. If you stay open to other possibilities you can always find something amazing!”
* Travel with children, suggests Carolina, who says her son is her favourite travelling companion: “I find that my disappointment usually has to do with things other than the actual place. Maybe I ran into a rude person, or I'm overtired, or it's overcrowded. But these instances are rare. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world just to be out and about… Kids have a way of seeing the cool things we often miss, and I've learned to have a much better sense of humour about disappointments. They often make for the best stories anyway.”

* Use your camera to discover the hidden beauty in places is Miss Expatria's advice: “I'm currently HQ'd in a city that is a hugely popular tourist destination, but that I find hugely disappointing. I keep myself from getting too down about it by taking my camera with me wherever I go, and forcing myself to find the beauty to capture. It's worked - so far!”
* Learning about the stories behind places works for Mark at TravelWonders: “I have had the odd disappointment but I try to keep things in perspective and still enjoy the sight for what it is. Trying to understand its history, cultural impact or reason for being helps salve any disappointment as I think there is nearly always some story that makes sense. That being said, I've almost never been disappointed with natural attractions (nature is always impressive to me). A far greater disappointment is when I travel far to see something to find it closed for some unexpected reason or encased in scaffolding or heavily restricted.” Most of the time, anyway!

* Staying in the moment is what Clearly Enlight recommends rather philosophically: “Accepting the moment, and taking the time to absorb the moment will defeat the emotion of disappointment. Avoid expectations and preconceived ideas. I have not been disappointed with anything, because there is nothing to be disappointed about if a person remains in the moment and accepts the precise moment… Remaining in the moment, which the ego hates, is the remedy. Accepting the moment as it is, and not what a personal fantasy, based on ego, wanted it to be. This process works for myself as a long term traveller.”
Now, you'll never be disappointed again, will you?


ClearlyEnlight, said...

Hey Lara, nice recap. My answer to your question is NO, there isn't anything to get disappointed from.

Disappointment is an emotion that can be defeated, such as loneliness, transcending emotional negativity can be accomplished, although challenging.

It is not Philosophy, it's the truth. The moment is all their is, but humans (not all) insist on projecting into the future and engulfing themselves with fantasy; thus, disappointment is just around the corner because the reality of the moment will always be different compared to the fantasy. Not only accepting the moment, but non-attachment to any results is also a remedy, but difficult to attain.

Great subject, I observe two predominate subjects with travelers, and humanity, that causes disagreements, which are boredom and loneliness, although two undesirable circumstances that can be defeated, and could cause another good discussion.

Lara Dunston said...

Hello ClearlyEnlight!

Why, thank you!

But don't you think Philosophy is and can be Truth? When I say Philosophy (note the capital 'P') I don't necessarily mean that it's not True, as in hypothetical. I guess what I mean is that you - and others - are reflective, that you've expounded a bit of theory, and have thought through things - and so I used Philosophy in a positive sense. I don't see someone being Philosophical as someone being out of touch, if that's what you might think.

You are so right about boredom and loneliness too! I totally agree. Actually, Eric from TravelBlogs did invite bloggers to comment on loneliness on the road once before and I also linked to that too and wrote a couple of further posts on the subject (you might want to do a search for that).

I totally agree that they are a state of mind. My husband Terry and I never get bored on the road, and even when I traveled alone I never got lonely. I think disappointment is a little different because of its connection to expectations - which for travel writers are hard not to form - but as we've explored, there are many ways of tackling those challenges.

The 'boredom' issue is a great one, thanks!

Thanks for stopping by! :)