Six Uncomfortable First-Time Travel Experiences

Travelling is an amazing opportunity – and one you shouldn’t turn down if you get the chance. You’ll make life-long memories and have once-in-a-lifetime experiences, although not all of them will be memorable for the right reasons.

Road trip to the California coast. Photo by Aileen Macalintal.

Without a doubt, when travelling, you’ll have some uncomfortable first-time experiences. But don’t worry – within no time, you’ll breeze through the following instances:

1. The first hostel you stay in

Hostel etiquette can be a tricky one to master. When’s the right time to spark up conversation with your roomies? Do you have to take your own towel? Are they safe? For a complete guide for your first time, including what facilities to look for and what to pack, check out The Hostel Girl. Her top tip is to willingly listen and interact with different people, even if their opinions differ from yours.

2. The first time you haggle

Did you know vendors in Beijing markets will inflate their prices by up to 300%? It’s commonplace across the world, especially in Asia, to hike up prices in places like markets. That’s why you’ve got to learn to haggle to get the right price. You might not succeed at first, but you’ll get better with practice and soon find out what you should be paying for key items.

3. The first person you met who lives near you

A lot of first-time travellers will take similar routes around the world, stopping at popular traveller destinations. You’ll bump into loads of like-minded individuals, many of who will become good friends. You might even head off on the next leg of your journey together.

You could also meet someone who lives near you at home. It’s a strange experience, as you fumble through typical questions about nearby attractions and stories.

Background: Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California

4. The first time you miss a flight, train or bus

Missing a travel connection for the first time is a nerve-racking experience. A slight panic is inevitable, as you wonder how you’ll make it to your destination, but you’ll quickly realise it’s not the end of the world. It’s a chance to practice how resourceful you can be.

5. The first time you try a food you swore you’d never eat

Across the world, there are local delicacies which seem strange and potentially disgusting to international visitors. Scorpions on a stick, chicken feet, tuna eyeballs, black pudding, rotting shark and century egg are just some of weirdest foods from around the world. Would you be brave enough to try any of them? You might not think so before you head off – but encouragement from others could have you trying something disgusting, although the first time might also be the last.

6. The first time you go home

If you catch the travel bug, it’s unlikely you’ll be staying at home long until you head off on another adventure. But nothing is stranger than the first time you go home after long-term travel. The initial excitement of being reunited with friends and family, and recalling your favourite memories, soon wears off.

You’re left with a weird feeling you should be somewhere else and a boredom over having to answer the same questions over and over again – you’re not even sure people are interested, they just don’t know what else to talk to you about.

What do you find uncomfortable the first time you went travelling? Share your experiences with us.


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