I've been back in England for less than 5 weeks (actually 3 weeks considering I've spent the past 2 weeks in Spain) and already the magnificent, exotic photos posted by my travel buddies are turning me green. Somehow my evening watching Iron Man 3 at the cinema surrounded by over excited 10 year old boys doesn't quite compare to cocktails on the beach after a day of diving. So just for fun, and to ease the envy, I thought I'd write a few posts about the cons of travelling. These posts are here to dutifully ignore the good and entertain you with the bad and the ugly of travelling South East Asia.
|Beach time after a day of diving in Koh Tao|
I'll begin lightly with the every day luxuries which you can say goodbye to when you fill up that backpack. Ladies first.. Say hello to your naked self.
Make up is not a necessity and if, like me, you're foolish enough to bring along your Mac foundation and Clinique mascara you'll only end up lugging it around begrudgingly, not wanting to throw it away but having no opportunity to actually use it. Your mascara will melt, your foundation will become too pale and your lipstick (yes I was vain enough to take that too) will attract far too much unwanted attention from the locals, to whom you will appear utterly bizarre. Looking your best in a photo will now be determined by the level of grease in your untamed hair and how much sweat is dripping down your back.
On the topic of sweat, even Mitchum deodorant doesn't make the grade. I didn't have a sweat free day in the entire four months I spent in Asia, it IS impossible. There's nothing quite like being told you can't try on an item of clothing because you'll make it dirty.
Then there are the mosquito bites. After spending five minutes by the riverside in Luang Prabang I'd been bitten so many times that my feet had swollen to twice their normal size and my frantic scratching matched that of a kid with a severe case of chicken pox. All hail tiger balm.
|Beside the river in Laos|
In South East Asia you will smell, you will itch and your high school 'hot or not' rating out of ten will half. Accept it and enjoy.