Traveling… If you believe everything you see on Facebook, it’s all about glitter and glamour and if you take Instagram’s word for it, we’re all supermodels carying around a curling iron and a pair of heels in our backpack to always be ready for the perfect selfie. Apparently, looking perfect has become more important than enjoying the experience.

#LemmieJustPackMyEyeshadowMascaraLipstickBrushHairsprayExtraSetOf ClothesAndShoesAndI’llBeGoodToGoOnThatJungleTrek 

#OopsNearlyForgotMySelfieStick

(Not so) glamourous moments on the road

But it seems it’s not only looks that count… And for once, I’m afraid that’s not even a good thing… A while ago I received hate mail for writing an honest story about a shitty not-so-perfect experience because “you shouldn’t write things like that, or people are never going to want to go there…” (That’s the censored version…) Apparently, travel bloggers are supposed to be ‘selling the dream’, NOT telling people about their real experiences. 

Now I’m not one to voluntarily shatter people’s dreams into pieces, and I apologize in advance, but I HAVE to call bullshit! Let me tell you a secret…

Traveling ISN’T always perfect and sometimes most of the time your average traveler DOESN’T look like a superstar while they’re trying to keep it together at 38°C and 95% of humidity after being scammed for the 17th time that day…

I’m just saying…

(Not so) glamourous moments on the road

So here’s a list of my least glamourous moments on the road. Yes, you’re allowed to laugh at me…  

That time I managed to jump off my bike just in time to avoid fainting in the middle of the street

What did I just tell you about keeping it together at 38°C and 95% of humidity? Add a bike tour on the hottest moment of the day and the result is me lying UNDER the bike on the side of the road and my boyfriend throwing 2 liters of water in my face… Luckily I didn’t spend 2 hours using my curling iron that morning…

#OhNoMyHairGotRuined

That time I DIDN'T manage to jump off my bike just in time to avoid fainting in the middle of the street

Well to be honest, I wasn’t actually on a bike or in the middle of the street that time, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t look any more elegant just because it happens in a bus station full of people instead…

#OhNoMyHairGotRuinedAGAIN

(Not so) glamourous moments on the road

That time I tried to save a bird's life and *spoiler alert* failed

Koh Chang, Thailand, 11 am early morning, I was having breakfast next to the water when suddenly this guy starts running after a waterbird, trying to kill it by throwing stones at it… I was sitting on some kind of pier and – except for risking my own life jumping off the several meters high balcony – saw no possibility to go smack that bastard up in even reach the water, so I had to be creative and come up with something else… Don’t ask me why, but screaming like a crazed woman somehow seemed the best thing to do… Do I need to spell out what happened next? The guy didn’t give a shit, the bird still died and other people in the restaurant started making phone calls – probably to the closest mental institution… 

#TimeToGetOutOfHere  #AtLeastITried  #NotSureThey’llHaveMeBackInThatRestaurantButWhoCares

That time I lost my shit patience with this disrespectful tourist in China

When visiting a Buddhist temple, the least you can do seems to be – at least to me – cover up and adapt to local habits. Unfortunately, not everybody seems to agree… So there I stood in my anything-but-sexy almost knee-long shorts, sweating my ass off in the scarf I’d wrapped around my shoulders when this woman dressed in shorts not even long enough to cover up hers – ass that is – starts making a scene and insulting the man at the entrance because she’s asked to wear a – probably stinky – scarve they propose to lend her at the reception, followed by an attempt to try to get people to pitty her because “she didn’t know”…

No need to go into all the nasty details but things like “How about you check the introduction about the country you’re visiting in your f-ing guidebook instead of heading straight to the section about the best bars and nightclubs to hang around all night showing off your ass” MIGHT have been said…

#ALittleBitOfRespectNeverKilledAnyoneRight   #WhoNeedsToLookSmokin’HotForAVisitToATempleAnyway

(Not so) glamourous moments on the road
If I survived a day looking like this when visiting the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, I don't see how anyone else couldn't also...

That other time I lost my shit patience in China

… was at the Great Wall of China and you can read all about it here.

All those times I actually TRIED to look glamourous but - well - kinda failed

(Not so) glamourous moments on the road
#743SelfiesLaterAndStillNotOneDecentOne

#WhoCaresAsLongAsWe'reHavingFun?!?!

OK your turn now! Tell me all about your least glamourous moments in the comments so that I can have a laugh, too!! 🙂 

UPDATE: Getting attacked by a monkey or going out for dinner with a guy who’s wearing hotel slippers? Yep, it all happened in the mean time! Check out part 2 of this article for more (not so) glamourous moments on the road!

73 thoughts on “(NOT SO) GLAMOUROUS MOMENTS ON THE ROAD”

  1. Hahaha I can totally relate!!
    We’re currently hiking a ton in the US and sometimes we can’t shower for 10 days because, well, there are no showers in the nature, in the middle of nowhere! But we are not afraid to tell our fans either 😀

  2. PAHAHAHAHA! This is hilarious. As always I love your honest outlook on travel. I have had many a non-glamorous moment, probably far too many to mention here!

  3. Oh my gosh, I love this so much! Just wrote a similar post about trying to be glamorous and usually failing.
    And I also love that horrible tourist in China – I am going in 2 weeks – hope I will meet one so I can yell at her 😉

  4. That time you ended up in the hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii and you let your husband take a photo of you with a naso-gastric tube after some narcotics and because you’re a travel blogger, you included it in a blog post. And because a photo is worth a thousand words: http://www.boomeresque.com/if-you-want-to-make-god-laugh-tell-him-about-your-plans-honolulu-hawaii-edition/
    (I don’t know your policy about likes in comments, so I won’t be offended if you remove it. )

  5. Haha loved this article and your fresh honesty! this is why I don’t take pictures of myself and put them up on Instagram – because I’m not a model who’s mastered the perfect duck face LOL. One experience that happened to me was chewing on glass in my food on Gili Meno island in Indonesia and bleeding like crazy!

  6. Oh my gosh, Lili, you crack me up. The hashtags are the best and those pictures! High Five to unglorious travel moments!!! Sweat and messy hair for the world! Girl, I want to take you for a beer, if I ever make it to Belgium 🙂

  7. Hahaha this is great! I am also extremely unglamorous and actually kind of look like a bum when I travel! But my best unglamorous moment was at the beginning of my very first trip, when I’d just gotten off a bus in New Zealand and was waiting for my friend to come meet me. I went into a tourist office and started talking to a very cute boy about trips I could take, and as he handed me brochures I dropped one. Of course I tried to pick it up but the heavy pack on my back threw my balance off and I fell over backwards! And then couldn’t get up. He had to practically pick me up off the floor. Yeah, my face was a bit red. 😉

  8. Oh. My. Freaking. God. I absolutely ADORE this post! I was literally laughing at loud at these. And PLEASE tell it like it is! As a fellow traveler seeking out travel advice from other bloggers I would KILL for some more honest advice. So – thank you. 🙂

  9. Brilliant… the worst times make for the best stories. I once showed up the airport ready to go for a 3 day tour of Morocco, only to discover the visa incorrectly started on the following day. Managed to go the next day, but basically spent the entire trip in the car trying to cover a 3-day tour in 2 nights.

    1. Haha sounds like an awesome trip :p It’s too bad when things go wrong like that but as you say, the best stories never start with “do you remember that time when everything went perfectly to plan”, right?? 🙂

  10. This is so true, the tourism industry makes it seem so glamorous! And while it has moments of glamour there is a whole lot of stressed and exhausted moments too, but it’s all part of the awesome story and as you said as long as we’re having fun, what does it matter!!

  11. It’s so true! Traveling is not always wonderful or beautiful or perfect. For nearly three years, I’ve lived and traveled full-time with my husband and rescue animals in an RV. While it’s been amazing overall, which is why we’re still doing it, it’s not all sunshine and roses. Thank you for sharing your tales with us, warts and all. 🙂

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  13. Very funny! I’d be right there with you sweating! I swear in parts of Southeast Asia even my eyelids were sweating and out in the middle of the jungle at the temples this girl is dressed in her finest for a photo shoot!!!! My husband is banned from taking pictures with me in them on such days if he would like to stay happily married!

  14. I love reading your blog! You’re so honest and funny! I rarely post photos of myself because I have been traveling in the same outfit for the past 3 years! Packing light offers so much freedom but doesn’t photograph well

  15. Loved this!!!

    I mean, LOVED it. The first IG profiles or blogs I saw about travel were about these incredibly beautiful women with awesome clothes. I never travel like that! And then I discovered this only to realize that real travel exists in the blogsphere (and it’s no less beautiful or cool). Thank you for reminding me that!

    AP

  16. Love this post, proper made me giggle. I especially love the picture of you stuck in the rubber ring, this is so something I would do. Haha. Travelling is definitely not about being glamours.
    Jessie

  17. This is brilliant! Travelling (especially in China) has caused some of my least glamourous moments and it’s good to see other people have the same issues sometimes. Keep writing whatever you want. Not everything has to be overly positive!

  18. I find this article entertaining and I can only say is it is indeed true. Sometimes, we tend to forgot to enjoy the moment to get a perfect shot of ourselves looking pretty and all for the sake of social media!

  19. Pingback: MORE (NOT SO) GLAMOUROUS MOMENTS ON THE ROAD - Lili's Travel Plans - Travel Blog

  20. Nice read. I enjoy the real stories way more than the bogus everything is perfect stories. Mishaps, mistakes and blooper reels make for better memories….and provide a few laughs too!

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  22. Oh you are ABSOLUTELY hilarious!!! Loved reading this so much and your spirit and energy is the exact type that’s needed in this travelsphere. So glad I found your blog.

    I write with a similar tone and invite you to check out my recent post on “The Price of Living The Dream” as it talks about some points you allude to.

    bit.ly/ThePriceToDream XOXO

  23. This is amazing! I absolutely adored this post. I’m currently backpacking around SE Asia and when I’ve looked at other travel bloggers I’ve thought to myself “there’s no bloody way I can get that dolled up the whole trip”. I much prefer to take the pictures and tell a story.

    Stephanie

  24. Hahahah loved this post! It’s about time more people should do more honest posts like this!

    I’m taking the opportunity to share one of my unglam moments too – We decided to save some money on our plane tickets to the Philippines and ended up landing in an AIRBASE somewhere 2 hours from Manila. We barely managed to catch our connecting flight where we were trying to get to the island of Borocay. We had to take EVERY FORM OF TRANSPORT available to get there – commercial plane, propeller plane, taxi, big bus, little bus, ferry – you name it, we took it. And of course, we missed our flight back home. In order to make sure we would definitely catch the one single flight back to Singapore the next day, we decided to stay in a cheap hotel near the airport. Of course, with the luck we had, the area around the airport was a Red Light District (prostitutes and the sort). We were 3 huddled up in a dingy room where they forgot to clear out pizza boxes, holding our pee because we didn’t dare use the toilet.

    We also ended spending hundred of dollars more than if we had just bought the damn ticket that was more expensive.

    1. Haaaaahahaha that’s EXACTLY the kind of thing that would happen to me (I’d probably also fall right on my face somewhere in the middle :p) and I would sooooo be complaining the whole time hahaha – but obviously laugh about it and LOVE the experience afterwards 😀 Thanks so much for your message, love it! 🙂

  25. One of the most awkward travel stories was when I flew into Budapest and the immigration officer talked to me in Hungarian and got mad because I didn’t know what to say. I looked at the other immigration officer for help and she just shrugged her shoulders. So strange lol!

  26. Thanks for writing such an informational article. I love the way you express travel reality in your blogs. I can easily rate china as one of the best places I have seen. I was nearly for a couple of months there & explored each & every city. Chinese food, their culture & how advanced they are technologically wise is fantastic. Do check out https://www.wideworldtrips.com/category/destination/china/ to know about my experience visiting places in China.

  27. I remember this line that I read somewhere recently – As long as I am happy, everybody can get lost. I kind of relate this to travel as well. I mean non-repeating of the outfits on trips has become such a pressure.

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