Five First World Backpacker Problems

I’ve spent the last few days feeling pretty ropey with what I call ‘travel fatigue’. Since James arrived at the end of September, our days have been pretty hectic. If we aren’t out and about doing loads of stuff, we’re either knocking the beers back or moving to a new place. We’ve not really had time to kick back and just chill out which, after five weeks, can start to take its toll. It usually starts when I do chill for the first time, and everything seems to catch up on me. My temperature shoots up, I tend to get a sore throat and feel generally under the weather. 

Sometimes, when you’re on the road it’s pretty easy to forget how good life is. I have to admit that although I’m a pretty easy-going guy, I’ve found myself having a right whinge about stuff that really isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things. ‘First world problems’, if you will. I guess travel fatigue could be classed as a first world problem, and I don’t really expect much sympathy! Here are a few other of these so-called ‘problems’ that I’ve encountered on the road.

My best friend this week.

Hostel WiFi not working

The absolute worst! You’re tired, hungover and haven’t had a moment’s rest in a few days. You’ve spent all day wondering around from temple to temple not thinking of anything but watching the latest episode of Mad Men/Suits/Game of Thrones (or whatever it is you’re into). You get back to your hostel, kick back on your bed and head straight over to Project Free TV when *BAM*…you realise the internet is down.

What exactly are you paying your £3 a night for?! A shared room with sketchy internet. What are you supposed to do with your night now? You might actually have to go out and see some more stuff – imagine that!

Not being able to keep up with new music

This is actually a biggie for me, as music is one of my biggest passions in life. The problem with this is that it’s been near enough impossible to discover new bands whilst I’ve been in Asia, and I can’t quite put my finger on why that is. What do I do differently at home? Sure, I don’t go to gigs any more but I can probably count the number of support acts I’ve ever followed after the gig on my hands.

iTunes is a belter, as it has allowed me to keep up with my favourite bands’ new music easily (when the WiFi works – notice a pattern here?). As for discovering new bands; it just hasn’t happened. Suggestions on a postcard please.

Football matches being at really inconvenient hours

At first, the idea of watching the World Cup in a brand new country seemed pretty exciting to me. The excitement lasted a couple of weeks, until I realised that England’s games kicked off at 6am, 3am and midnight respectively. I’ve also discussed the price of a pint whilst watching those matches, but that’s another story entirely!

Watching the World Cup final at 3am on a work day – horrendous!

As for Rochdale, a weekend game kicks off at 10pm for me and a midweek game is in the small hours of the morning. It’s hardly life-ending stuff, but I do like my 3pm Saturday kick offs!

Paying normal prices for anything

This is a big one that I think most travellers – especially those who have visited Asia – struggle with. I’m keen to emphasise that there’s a difference between paying normal prices and being ripped off. Of course no one likes being ripped off and sadly, a white face in many South East Asian countries means the majority of people will try it with you.

I’m talking about when you come to a country and it’s not as dirt cheap as Vietnam, Laos and the like. Take for example earlier today; I was on my lunch break at work and nipped over to Fair Price to buy some toiletries. I was genuinely irritated by having to pay the equivalent of about £1.50 for deodorant! South East Asia can set a dangerous precedent when it comes to spending – I dread to think how I’ll ever manage again in England!

This post was written with my tongue firmly in cheek – in case you couldn’t tell…


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