Not all that glitters is gold

Not all that glitters is gold. Traveling is rewarding, exciting, challenging – and sometimes not all that glamorous….. Here are some of my not-so-often-mentioned memories from some of my travels….

I have – for quite some time – thought about this whole travel-meets-social-media-thing…. I am – like most travelers I guess – a huge fan of Instagram. Posts inspire me and makes me curious. It’s an excellent way to discover a new destination. BUT; everything often seems so “polished” – so perfect. Traveling IS close to perfect if you ask me. But I can’t help thinking that sometimes not all that glitters is gold.

What about all the poor shots – all the not-so-glamorous situations that we’ve also ALL encountered on our travels. Where do they live? I’m not talking about violent assaults, car accidents or anything horrible like that – just everyday moments that are so dull, stupid, silly etc that they weren’t even worth a shot no matter how filtered you make them….

So I decided to write a post with my top ten list of travel-moments I did NOT post on any media before. PLEASE do feel free to share your not-so-glamorous-insta-moment with me! There must be thousands out there just dying to get out in the open 🙂

Wind in my hair

1: Nearly missing a flight

On the top of my list has to be the moment where we run through Copenhagen airport with our tongues hanging out – trying to catch a flight to Thailand after having missed the baggage drop and have had to ask a friend to come and pick up our suitcases… Meaning we’re now on our way on a two week – mostly 5 star – holiday with only hand luggage. And a raincoat. Once in Thailand it did strike me (several times!) how little I missed my luggage. But there were no happy faces when we realized we would have to leave Denmark without luggage – or not at all! Not the finest moment for two very well traveled people!

2. Jetlag

The numerous instances where jet-lag makes you do weird things. I once missed a flight from Copenhagen to my hometown. I’d been in Australia & NZ for 3½ weeks – alone – and I missed other half terribly. I knew I was late so I consulted the stewardess on my incoming flight. She recommended that I forgot all about luggage (which I had to pick up myself because I was on separate tickets….) and ran for my connecting flight. As she said; you might have to pay – but this is Denmark – your luggage WILL find you. So I ran. And missed the flight. And started crying. I didn’t really want to – I was just …. In another world …. due to jet-lag. The lady was terribly nice but there was nothing she could do. Sobbing I left her to find the train home instead. The kindest airport guy then stopped me and asked what was wrong. And I started crying again. Sobbing words about other half, New Zealand, luggage on the carousel and missed flights. And before I knew it he took me by my arm, whispered; I’m not really supposed to do this – don’t tell anyone and let me through a back-door to the carousel where my suitcase was circling – all alone. We picked it up and he walked me to the train ticket counter and left. I don’t even thing I thanked him!! I also once managed to cry because I couldn’t buy a packet of chewing gum. There was a minimum limit for using a credit card…. Traveling always seems to glamorous – it’s not always like that!

Grand Central Station, NYC

3. Can’t walk

The  “NYC-meets-immediate-need-of-walking-stick” incident also has to go on my not-so-glamorous travel moments-list! On a short trip to NYC we visited virtually every outdoor shop in Manhattan searching for a walking stick for me: I had a horrifying pain in my back and could hardly walk. NYC is great for shopping – but you really don’t want to be wasting your time looking for a walking stick!!! (I never

did buy one and the pain gradually got better so that by the time I was back on Danish ground all was fine. Great…)

Cold in Morrocco

4. Bad weather

Uncountable moments of bad weather – and never enough (or the right!) clothes. Rain, cold, snow, storm, hurricane – in exotic places like Samoa, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Sicily, Argentina etc. The number of times we’ve been surprised by the weather….. The sun doesn’t always shine! Not even on travels…

5. When you are lost

The moment where we’re walking through an area in Palermo, Sicily that was not on any map. This is quite a few years ago now but back then an area that was bombed during the second world war had not yet been rebuild and no one ever bothered to map it –  because there was absolutely nothing in there worth mapping… You should have seen us getting out of this area when we realized we were in a wrong place… We walked quickly and at the same time trying to look like we knew exactly what we were doing ☺.. I do believe this area has changed quite a bit now though – excellent reason to go back to Sicily!

Preparing for Loi krathong, Thailand

6. When you get sick

The moment where I’m spending Loi Kratong in a five star resort in Thailand – curled up in fetus position. On the floor. Right outside the bathroom. Other half kept trying to get me on my feet to get out and watch the wonderful lights and taste some of the excellent food. I could not walk – I’ll spare you the details! (Will add though that I was sick before I arrived at the resort and they treated me with the utmost kindness!)…. And I don’t have a single image of Loi Krathong but other half tells me it was very pretty and romantic…. Excellent.

Not yet lost on The Grampians National Park, Australia

7. When you are REALLY lost

The moment where we realize we sort of lost in The Grampians National Park in Australia. We probably weren’t in any real danger but we completely lost our way and had only an hour or so left before dark. It gets even more absurd when I tell you this also happened the last time I went to The Grampians! I don’t think the national park is to blame – most likely me not paying enough attention to where I walk (while telling other half about how I nearly got lost the last time I was here….. )….

We found the sign in the end – and got some nice shots for instagram (!) but we haven’t really told anyone about loosing our way 😉

Embarrassing! Amateurs!

Crossing the border between Botswana and Zambia

8. When you run out of money

The moment where I realize I haven’t got enough money to cross the border from Botswana into Zambia. And other half is waiting for me in Jo’burg. And no. There’s no cell phone coverage right around that area. If an actual instagram shot had indeed existed it should have been called “The Moment When Winnie Realized That Everything Will Always Work Out In The End”. Instead it’s now a blog post in the making called “How I got to sponsor a child from Zambia”……

Sydney Opera House, Australia

9. Too much champagne?

The moment where I’m at a very fancy cocktail party at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney turned out to be another one of my more embarrassing moments….

It’s dark and it’s been a long day at work and I’ve had a glass of champagne. And I stumble upon a cheeky little fancy-looking chair and end up in the middle of an awful lot of pretty legs and posh looking shoes. Champagne all over my hair and fancy clothes.

Not my finest moment!

On a horse. In Costa Rica

10. The problem with horses

I don’t have many glorious pictures that involves me AND horses! Sorry if there are any horse fans out there. I’m just terribly afraid of horses….. The challenge is of course that I’m quite fond of animals of all kinds – and being on a horse just makes it so much easier to get close to animals; deer, kangaroos, giraffes etc… So I always battle with myself – and my wish to see animals win! BUT; it’s not pretty. I’m scared, my face is stoned – and more than a few times I’ve found myself being able to speak languages I don’t even speak just to make sure the guide knows he has to give me the oldest, slowest horse (which on a number of occasions have been misunderstood leaving me a young, adventurous horse with it’s own mind….). Me on a horse does NOT make a good insta moment. And I’m not able to SHOOT any images either – I’m too focused on holding on to everything on that poor horse…..

There you have it. These are some of my less-memorable stories from my travels. The stories I don’t usually tell because they aren’t very glamorous or interesting. But they are still part of the whole traveling-thing! It’s not all sunshine and happy days – not all that glitters is gold!

What are your not-so-glamorous-travel-(insta)-moments? The ones you didn’t share? This is your chance to get them out in the open!!

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