Fabulous Facebook updates and impeccable Instagram moments, make travelling look like one paradise stop after the next, but the truth is, there are times, when you arrive in a new place and think, what the f**k am I doing here and I would give anything to be under a duvet in the comfort of my own home with a fridge full of fresh food and old friends to laugh with next to a fire.
Recently I arrived in northern town in Colombia called ‘Palomino.’ When I was younger, the Palomino coloured pony was my favourite! I decided I had to see this beach town as I was sure it would be stunning, as the name suggests.
A beautiful Palomino Pony!
I arrived at the Tiki Hut, another name lending itself that I would be arriving in paradise. But soon after being introduced to my 12 bed dorm, with two fans, two bathrooms and mosquito nets so rigorously fitted to each bed that I had to limbo to get in and out. I realised that I felt miserable.
The rain has been a relentless part of my Colombian experience and the heavens began to open once again. I lay down in my net cage, with my head torch and a pen and paper to moan into my journal about my discomfort. Several power cuts commenced and suddenly I am made aware of the size and quantity of massive insects as they fly into the net attracted to the torch light.
I found this spider in my net cage one morning…
The humidity was so intense, and the stickiness of my skin reminded me that I am not going to feel clean or fresh until leaving this place. In fact, the humidity was so intense, that my clothes didn’t dry for the entire duration of my stay. I decided to bring a small day pack for this short excursion of 3 nights. In my effort to pack lightly, I only brought a bikini and a few pairs of clean knickers. My bikini never fully dried and I curse myself for the fact that one extra bra could have been factored into my light packing, I further curse myself for having big boobs and needing a bra.
The shower is a pipe and washing my hair is going to be a battle to rinse out the shampoo. The dorm is full of 20 something French posse, and I am relieved to not be able to understand their conversation as it would probably only add to my irritation in that very moment.
I was not feeling sociable and the idea of having another conversation on why I am travelling, how long I’ve been in Colombia or what I am doing with my life exhaust me. Actually even worse is when I get talking to some knob and I realise that they are only interested in talking about themselves and they have failed to ask me a single question and I am left wondering if some people have ever understood the simplicity of conversation.
I lie in my bed, sweating profusely, praying for the electricity to come on again so I can feel the faint breeze of the rotating fan waft pass me. How is this an enjoyable experience? I am fantasising about being in my last hostel again or a private room with air conditioning.
What do I do when the going gets tough? I think about the things I am grateful for:
- My health. I am in no physical pain.
- I have a choice; I can leave tomorrow if I wish
- I feel safe
- I am in a beautiful place close to nature
- I pray to God for a shift and know that tomorrow is a new day
And sure enough, everything did change the next day. I reconnected with awesome girls I met in Oaxaca, they loved the new people I met. We went tubing, partied, laughed our asses off. I soon didn’t care quite so much about the sweat, the insects, the rain.
I left Palomino with stinking clothes, itching a million mosquito bites but with many happy memories!