“But where’s your usual style of title?!” I hear you cry! Well the select few that read anyhow…
But it’s a slightly different type of post this one.
I was recently tagged by the lovely Sophie from Luggage Tags & Ticket Stubs in her post on the same topic, and as such the baton has been passed on to me to scribble down my own top three travel regrets.
Now after a year where I’ve been lucky enough to see so many amazing sights and experience many awesome new things, this was a little trickier than I thought. Especially with my first few smaller trips being pretty damn near perfect. But even with months spent on the road this year, I managed to mess up and make a few mistakes, and as such I managed to decide in the end.
So after a few days of thinking and trying to narrow it down, here, in ascending order, are the three that eat away at me the most.
3. Not visiting Wat Kong Rhun in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Or more commonly known, at least to me, as the white temple!
I got a bit templed out in Thailand, as due to Chelcie’s love of all things shiny we made the effort to get round to see A LOT of temples, and as such many of them just seemed to blend together in my memories as the time passed.
However in hindsight the one that I do regret not going to see is the one that’s a little bit different from all the rest. Whilst on the road I knew little of it, except for the fact that there was a white temple up in the north of Thailand. Due to our lack of knowledge of the actual temple and where it was, we never really even considered making the trip to Chiang Rai, and to be honest had I seen it was a good 200km away from where we were in Chiang Mai I probably wouldn’t have been that interested either.
But that was before I saw several stunning pictures of the striking structure, and I’m now kicking myself for not getting the chance to photograph it myself. We had six weeks in Thailand and thought we had covered pretty much every single aspect we wanted to in that time, but since returning home I’ve realised that I missed out big time on this beauty.
See, sometimes guide books are worth following!
2. Not going to El Clásico in Barcelona when I had the chance
This is one I’ve been kicking myself for daily since August. I mean, it’s on my (theoretical) bucket list dammit…
I’ve always wanted to attend a Clásico, one of the titanic – and admittedly overhyped – clashes between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid for as long as I’ve been watching Spanish football. Whilst I’m a fan of neither, my hatred of Madrid means I’d be happy to side with the Catalans for that one night.
And I just happened to be in Barcelona this past August, when the first leg of the Spanish Super Copa between the two was taking place. I didn’t really pay much attention to that fact at first, thinking that being a Clásico it would be sold out.
However as it got closer to match day I realised from people in the hostel that there were plenty of tickets still available, and that I’d be easily able to attend if I wanted to. The only downside? Tickets were – as far as I could gather – going to be at least €90 for any seat that wasn’t up in the heavens. As I’d managed to catch a game at the Camp Nou before, and with several stops of our European trip still to come in Nice and Italy, I figured I could let this one go.
Watching the game on TV that night – along with the rest of Catalonia it seemed – I was kicking myself inside! Why did I care if it was a bit expensive?! I could afford it. Why did I care if I was sat in the top tier?! I’d be ticking off a massive check box on my to-do list. Such a stupid decision. I’m good with money, but this was one of the occasions where I was too prudent for my own good…
The only relief in this case is that I’ll have several chances to right this wrong in future. I hope…
1. Not discovering my love for travel earlier
But as frustrating as those two events were, the real issue that eats at me is that I didn’t discover the wonder of travel earlier!
I didn’t travel abroad between the ages of 8 and 22. Whilst we weren’t really in the position to do family holidays abroad, it was my choice to pass up on the Ski trip and French/German exchange in school. And then I landed a pretty sweet summer job (well, sweet when the weather was good) at 16, which took up all my summers for a fair few years. So with that and studies I never particularly had the time and inclination for much travel during my late teens. Then we hit Amsterdam in 2008 for my friend’s 21st. And I thought to myself:
“WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN DOING?!?”
Holy heck my eyes were opened to how insular I’d been! I had an amazing time not only with my friends, but also sneaking off to explore the ‘Dam on my own. The seeds were well and truly sown…
I never would have thought before that trip four years ago that I’d have been all the places I’d been to now, and been confident enough to hop on a plane and head abroad alone. And I definitely wouldn’t have thought I’d have had the courage to quit a “decent” job due to my overbearing need to see the world!
I also didn’t think I’d be writing my own travel blog! Man, I must really love it! 🙂
So those are my regrets, thanks again to Sophie, now hopefully some of my fave bloggers will now share theirs! I choose you: