You know that famous quote that says something about learning from your mistakes? Yeah well I know it too, but never applies to me. In fact I make a lot of mistakes, like a LOT of them and not once or twice, but every freaking time!
Of course, I’m not stupid (I think) ; I know they’re mistakes and every time I say to myself:” OK, next time I’m not doing that again!” Thing is there’s always a next time with the same mistake. So here are the top 10 mistakes I’ve done repeatedly so far, because I’m sure I will have to write a “Top 20 new mistakes I made since I wrote my last top 10” soon enough 😉
– Mistake #1: Always choosing to walk to my destination, because “it seemed so walkable on the map!” I do that every single time I go out of my hotel room; this can give you a hint on how many times I do it! Well, walking is not bad, I mean you discover places and it’s good for your health too… But I always forget that I’m bad at directions, bad at reading maps, too stubborn to ask and I choose to walk in Florence when it’s raining, in London when It’s raining and in Prague when It’s 31° out, and you can imagine that this last part involves a certain amount of sweat (sorry 😀 ), tears, bottles of water and thrown shoes.
– Mistake#2: Still not being able to read maps. Seriously I need to take classes or something because every single time I’m never able to find my hotel, by myself, on the first night of my stay in a city, and since I’m too stubborn to ask for directions, I walk around for couple of hours before I finally find the stupid landmark I was supposed to remember in the first place.
– Mistake#3: Never listening to people when they give me advice…like EVER! (Taylor Swift, get out of my body!). So here goes, when you’re in a foreign country about to go in a bus trip to another country and you talk about it to some local “new” friends, LISTEN TO WHAT THEY TELL YOU! Because you might not want to admit that but, when they tell you that you should’ve booked your bus ticket a week before the trip, they actually know what they talk about! Otherwise, you will have to change your dates, then try to find a last minute flight ticket (which is impossible), then finally end up looking a whole day on the internet for a last ticket somewhere and at the same time ruining one day from your trip!
– Mistake#4: Not negotiating prices in souvenir shops, boat rides, tours, anything… (Yes apparently people can do that and they actually do!). I know I’m a disgrace to Morocco on this one, but I never negotiate! Even worse, I always end up being tempted by non planned tours to castles, museums, exhibitions… and of course at the end of my trip I’m broke 🙂
– Mistake#5: Expecting everyone in countries I visit to accept me, therefore be nice to me. Breaking news: Not gonna happen every time! OK, let’s be serious for a while. I consider myself as an open minded person, I mean I believe in the fact that we’re all different (even in the same family), we all have our principles and beliefs, and I never judge anyone before getting to know them, therefore I accept these differences. Thing is, since we’re not all the same, everyone is not as accepting and nice as I expect them to be, especially in foreign “non officially muslim” countries (I don’t usually do this kind of distinctions but we all know that this is what it’s about so let’s just say it 😉 ). I know that, and I still higher my expectations on this aspect, I guess I have faith in humanity… Or I’m just stupid I don’t know!
– Mistake#6: Planning every single thing! That’s a kind of annoying thing to do, because I happen to be a control freak and sometimes I tend to plan every single thing in a trip (with the excel sheets and everything) and since most of the time I don’t know the countries I’m going to, everything I plan I usually get it from internet research. Thing is, once I travel to the city, I always discover new cool stuff to do or interesting places to go to that I end up missing because I already bought that ticket for war history museum and I don’t have the time or the money to go for that trekking day in Bohemia mountains 😦
– Mistake#7: Not planning anything at all! Yes that too! I mean if you don’t plan anything at all, or not even research the city you’re going to (a small basic one not the whole desk research), you will ruin the first day trying to come up with a plan to avoid wasting your precious time..Especially when you only have 4 days to visit a city like London.
– Mistake#8: Choosing a bus ride from a country to another instead of flying, because your expectation is “I want to enjoy the ride and take photos and talk to people and everything!”, while reality is :” It’s a 14 hours night ride, so no enjoying, no photos and you can’t even talk to anybody because they’re all sleeping”, and that’s how I started and finished a book in a bus between Prague and Florence 😎
– Mistake#9: Forgetting that SNCF*’s employees really love strikes, not checking the news on the day of your flight back home, going to the train station to take your train to the airport and finding out that the only train line on strike is the one that’s supposed to take you to “Roissy” airport (RER B for my friends in Paris). Well I ended up taking 2 metros to the other side of Paris to take a 45 min bus ride to the airport and I was this close to miss my flight. Bottom line: Always check the news in the country you’re in!
– Since I couldn’t find Mistake#10 to complete my list, I’m just going to close this messy article by mentioning the one mistake no one should ever make: giving up your travel plan either because you’re going out of your comfort zone, or because your friends cancelled or because you don’t know what’s going to happen there. DON’T; because one day you’re going to regret the things you haven’t done and you’ll never regret the things you did! (Except the one that will send you to prison, those you’re going to regret 🙂 ). I think I’m paraphrasing some famous quote here…Anyway I’m out of here, France worldcup game is on 😉
Cheers to the places we yet have to go to!
* For those who don’t know it, SNCF is the company handling railways in France.