Around the world,  During the World Tour,  TDM,  Tips

The Pressure and Guilt felt during the World Tour

People think that a trip around the world is just a succession of good times, from beginning to end. This isn’t the case

Of course, it’s much more fun than going from metro to work and back to sleep every day, but being on a world tour also means being confronted with new emotions, new situations, it can be stressful, tiring, annoying… In short, that’s life!


I think that the feeling of guilt happens much more often than we think during the round-the-world trip

The first guilt is linked to the number of flights one takes during a round-the-world trip. It’s very polluting, it’s bad for the planet. Very often, we are confronted with this dilemma: take a direct flight and pay the full price, or take a flight with 3 stopovers and pay 3 times less? Because fares are anything but logical, the price isn’t proportional to the distance traveled

The second guilt is related to our negative feelings. If we didn’t like a country, if we didn’t like this or that city… we feel too much guilt saying to ourselves “maybe we didn’t do enough research to go to the right restaurant, visit the right museum, go to the right season”. This feeling can become even stronger if, on top of that, everyone loved the country/city they hate. You really feel like you missed out on something

Or sometimes we feel bad, but for no good reason… (it happens very often when traveling – the body is tired, the slightest annoyance can take on huge proportions), and we feel guilty about feeling bad when we are too lucky to be on a world tour. It’s like the children of stars or the children of rich people who are unhappy – and who feel guilty about being unhappy despite their well-filled bank account

The third guilt is related to the right price. For example, when someone shares an article on his expenses in Australia on a travelers’ forum, there will always be someone who will comment: “xxx$ for the purchase of a van? It’s overpriced! I paid 10 times less”. We often find this kind of discussions in hostels: “Ah yes you went to Machu Picchu? Oh my god, you paid 120€ for the train? Whereas you could walk 2 hours, for free, it’s super easy!” Of course, the one who paid the full price will feel like a loser

The fourth guilt is related to bad experiences. Especially when these experiences could have been avoided if one had been more careful. For example, I was bitten by bed fleas in Thailand. If I had thought of typing the name of the hotel + bed bugs on Google, I would have known, before booking this hotel, that it was infested with them. The 2nd time, not having learned this lesson, I was stung again in Uruguay. I could have avoided these two bad experiences by a simple pre-check but I didn’t do it

The fifth culpability is linked to corruption. Some travelers visit corrupt countries unwillingly and are forced to give in to demands for bribes. Some travelers feel guilty about visiting countries where the dictatorial regime still reigns

The pressure

The first pressure is to make the most of your world tour. We resigned, we saved for xx years for xx€. It is possible that we may never come back to South America again, so we must make the most of our time here, in this country, etc. We’ll have to visit all the attractions of this city, travel the country from North to South, check the check-list etc.

The second pressure is to get into the budget. Doing the accounts every day and realizing that we spent more than we had planned, because the prices on the Internet were not correct; or because we had misestimated the expenses, or because we had allowed ourselves to buy a very expensive hotel… Doing the math is depressing

The third pressure is the return to France. For those who did not resign but simply took a sabbatical, the pressure is mounting especially during the last 2 months before the return. We simply don’t want it to end. But we have no other plans either

What solutions?

Talking about it with other travelers can be a solution, as travelers share many of the same feelings and discomforts. They’ve been there. If it can be reassuring for you to see that you aren’t the only ones experiencing them, why not?

And even if you’re the only ones who have these feelings, so what? No man dies

Your money is your money. Whether you worked hard for it, or inherited it without doing anything, or won the lottery… who cares! You spend it the way you want! If you want to pay for a plane to travel 100km (instead of taking a bus, 10 times cheaper), or go around the world sleeping every day in a 5-star hotel, so what? The money you will have paid on top of that (instead of haggling/searching) is the price you will have to pay to save time

During the world tour, we also sometimes have to rest (we call it “after vacations”), there are travelers who are completely exhausted at the end of their stay and spend several weeks sleeping in a hotel, without doing anything, without visiting anything. This is completely normal!

Our ego cares about the look and judgment of others, cares about the principles we have set for ourselves (pay the right price, make our stay profitable, don’t pay a bribe…). But our ego must also accept our imperfections as humans. We also have the right to hate, to make choices, to make mistakes, to be selfish? This is normal!

The world tour was for me a discovery of myself. I felt all the feelings of guilt and pressure that I mentioned above. At first, I was chasing them away, telling myself that it’s not right. Then, as I learned to accept them, I told myself that my feelings of discomfort were just signals that I didn’t like doing this, or that

I stopped negotiating prices (I let JB do it because he’s more comfortable), I stopped doing daily accounts (I check the total balance only), I stopped visiting all the attractions that exist (I select according to my personal taste) and I do what I want by asking myself “does it make me happy?”. I’ve stopped forcing myself, I don’t lie on my blog (if I don’t like something, I say so, if it doesn’t feel right, I bitch…) 😀 And I’m happier and much less stressed to live the way I am, doing only what I like.

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