When The Going Gets Tough!

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!

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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.

 

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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…

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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:

 

  1. My health. I am in no physical pain.
  2. I have a choice; I can leave tomorrow if I wish
  3. I feel safe
  4. I am in a beautiful place close to nature
  5. 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.

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I left Palomino with stinking clothes, itching a million mosquito bites but with many happy memories!

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