Bad days are a fact of life. It doesn’t matter if you’re stuck at the office with an a-hole boss or stuck on a beach in Thailand during a monsoon, a crappy day is a crappy day no matter how exotic your zip code.
In fact, bad travel days sometimes feel worse than regular bad days. When things go wrong on the road they do in dramatic fashion: you get stranded at a bus station in the middle of the night or you end up in the hospital with the worst food poisoning of all time. Even if it’s not something that serious, the bad feelings are intensified by the fact that:
- You don’t have you usual support system
- You’re supposed to be having a good time! Travel guilt is the worst: you came all this way and paid all this money and for whatever reason you are still miserable. That more than anything can really drag you down even further.
So what can you do to combat a really bad travel day (or even worse, a series of bad travel days)? Here are my tips:
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
As I mentioned above, sometimes bad days are just a part of life. It’s okay to be miserable even if you’re in paradise. Beating yourself up just puts you into a shame spiral that makes everything a million times worse. So refuse to police your thoughts. Instead, either ride it out or work to fix the situation.
After a really crappy day, it’s okay to spend a little extra on something you wouldn’t normally. A nice meal out, a cool souvenir or even a private hostel room might be just the thing to lift your spirits. I’ll never forget nightmarish overnight bus ride in Laos and how much splurging on a Thai massage helped keep me sane that day.
Be careful of drowning your sorrows in alcohol though, that sometimes makes the problem worse.
Stop what’s NOT Working
Sometimes it’s just bad luck but oftentimes travel feels wrong when you are pushing too hard for something that is just not you.
When you find yourself unhappy for many days in a row, it might be time to consider a location change.If you’re an introvert, you probably can’t make yourself love a party town like Vang Vieng, and if you’re a city person than being way out in the country might bore you no matter what you do.
If everything is just going against you, it never hurts to let off some steam, either on the internet (one of the perks of having a blog) or to a friend or family member back home. In truly dire situations even writing my angst out in a notebook has helped immensely. Once you get all of those negative thoughts into the world, they are no longer rattling around your head causing trouble.
Accept that today is just going to suck but it will be over soon
There’s a certain zen-like feeling in just accepting that the day is ruined and there’s nothing to be done about it. When all else fails, just give in and wait for tomorrow to come.
How do you cure a bad travel day?