These are my travel struggles that you will not see on instagram.
1. Travel bloggers travel full time
While this may be the case for some, not every travel blogger travels full time. I have been asked several times how I afford to travel full-time thanks to my Instagram page. I can only say Adonis’ father sold us out! Yeah! Drake went ahead and sang “I know a girl that saves pictures from places she’s flown, to post later and make it look like she’s still on the go.”
First of all “Full time with what money?”
Second of all” Seriously, with what money?”
Lastly” Na mkwanja gani?”
Although it might look like I am always on the move as per my Instagram feed, the truth is that I never post where I am in real time. Most of the times I am posting from another destination or my workstation. Hehe. Ever since I started blogging, I have never posted travel photos in real time. Why? Because editing and creating content takes time and I cannot be on the road and create content at the same time. It’s too much work. I always update my real-time travels on my Instagram stories.
I made the mistake of forgetting the actual departure date to Lagos, so I called Kenya Airways customer service. The conversation was nothing but a breeze.
KQ Agent “So Miss Rioba why didn’t you board yesterday’s flight?”
Me: “Err…I… I didn’t have a good feeling about that plane”.
KQ Agent: “Miss Rioba, that will be 100 USD as no show fee and 50 USD to adjust the date.”
Naturally, she has not watched the final destination, or she did not find any humor in my statement. No?
Now, USD 150 might not be a lot to some of you but when you are traveling on a budget, losing 150 USD is a straight arrow to the chest.
3.Perfect Vacation photos
Ever wondered why your Diani vacation pictures do not look as good as the next traveler? Well, It’s because we scout for shoot locations.
It involves a lot of research on my part. Also, the best shoot locations are usually full to the brim so what do I do? I wake up very early in the morning when no one else is up to avoid crowds. All this in the name of the perfect shot. Those stunning sunrise shots you see online are probably taken as early as 5 am!
4. Border Struggles
Well, there was the time we were almost denied entry to Rwanda because the Rwandan immigration officer could not let us into the country with a drone.
Or the time we refused to bribe a Kenyan immigration officer because we forgot our yellow fever certificates. We ended by giving her 12 USD! SMH
Trust me my border struggles are child play compared to what I have heard from other travelers. People have been deported , missed flights and flagged as drug dealers.
5. Pathetic hotel/hostel rooms and terrible hosts
If you find booking a room that looks nothing like what you saw online terrible, wait till I tell you about that time we booked a room with bed bugs in Kilifi. Have you ever been bitten by a bedbug? Those tiny monsters suck blood with a vampire’s spirit.
Then there are those Airbnb and couchsurfing hosts that sexually harass travelers. Thank God this has not happened to me before but it happens.
6. food struggles
It does not necessarily mean eating rotten food which leads to food poisoning. Sometimes it’s the way the food is prepared. The first time I ate Nigerian food, to be specific Asun and Kilishi I got legendary stomach upsets! I captured this picture of me smiling after my stomach experienced mini heart attacks. I could have sworn I felt the hair on my skin rise. My nose became hollow. See how hollow my nose looks below?
These are some of the travel struggles I have experienced. I do not want to get into that time my grandmother passed away while I was on the road, that time I knew I was treated differently because of my black skin or the other time men made me comfortable when I was traveling alone with the catcalling. Such occurrences unlike the ones I have mentioned above are things I cannot laugh about because there is no humor in them.
Travelling is way beyond those cute fancy ass Instagram pictures. A lot of things happen behind the scene, and most travelers will only show you what they want to see. So the next time you see a traveler, do not assume their life is perfect. They are human, and life happens to every single one of us!