A lot of travellers complain.
Complain about being ripped off. About a hotel which doesn’t look like it did on the website. About bad food. About dirty, old conditions in city centres. About… well I think the statement “this isn’t what I expected” sums it up pretty well.
A quote which changed how I travelled and my perspective on new countries and towns was “Travel with different eyes. Not to different places.” This is so accurate for those who stick to familiar routes and those who embark on unknown journeys. Travelling isn’t 100% about where you are, but rather how you see it. I’ve visited a variety of places and countries, some close to home, some the furthest away, but I’ve learnt to see and appreciate the beauty of every place. Whether it be the street I walk down everyday back home from the train station or Hawaii’s famous Waikiki beach- it’s how I see it not what I see that makes the difference.
This came to me when I was driving through Crete on Greece on the weekend- the largest Island of Greece. A lot of people complained about the lack of development of the town, the tourism traps on the Main Street, the dirty alleys and the old buildings. But I couldn’t help but see past all that. To my eyes, all I could see were the incredible sunsets over the white Lego house buildings every night. The contrast of the sandy blue beaches with the Rocky Mountains in the horizon. And the long open roads patched by bushes of pink and white flowers. It was a foreign land with foreign sites I never got at home.
And that’s the beauty of travelling. Something different. It might not be superficially picturesque, but aren’t the best gems the ones that sometimes only you can see?