Like many other backpackers, it’s easy to say that you live without regrets. We often hear people say “I have no regrets… I’m in peace with all the decisions I’ve made in my life.” Yeah right!
Don’t get me wrong; I’m the first one to stand on this belief … maybe wrongly.
Travelling comes with a lot of regrets. Whether you want it or not. Whether you realize it or not.
To regret something doesn’t mean to be mad at yourself for your entire life. It can be like “Why the F*** did I do that?” and then you move on without any serious consequences.
Planning a trip, regardless of the amount of time you spend away, comes with a lot of sacrifices. Ultimately, you may end up regretting those decisions, no matter how important they are. It can be as silly as skipping dinner with friends at a restaurant which turned out to be epic just to save money. Or simply to avoid buying that beautiful watch you’ve been coveting for years when it finally goes on sale (speaking from experience here).
We can experience some regrets while travelling and only realize it on the long run.
With this newfound perspective, I realize today that I look back with regret to:
[list][item icon=”fa-check” ] not listening to some people’s advice;[/item]
[item icon=”fa-check” ]not staying longer in some places (even if the destination where I ended up being was great!);[/item]
[item icon=”fa-check” ] having stayed too long in other places;[/item]
[item icon=”fa-check” ] not returning home earlier;[/item]
[item icon=”fa-check” ] missing someone’s birthday at home;[/item]
[item icon=”fa-check” ] taking a flight that was more complicated and longer than expected;[/item]
[item icon=”fa-check” ] not diving on the day that would have allowed me to see a damn big shark;[/item]
[item icon=”fa-check” ] not staying longer on this farm to get my work visa;[/item]
[item icon=”fa-check” ] not taking the time to get to know some fellow travellers better;[/item]
[item icon=”fa-check” ] turning left during a trek instead of right on the trail;[/item]
[item icon=”fa-check” ] not being smart about my life choices the night before a long day of transportation.[/item][/list]
When you go back home, you may regret renting your apartment during your absence upon seeing the state of it when you return home.
At the end of your trip when you’re completely broke, you might experience regrets about quitting a job that you liked when you’re struggling to get hired again.
Guilt might creep out on you as you get FOMO for being away during major events occurring in your family or within your group of friends.
You might suffer heartbreak from losing your partner because of your trip (either while travelling together or trying to maintain a long-distance relationship)!
It’s obviously impossible to predict the decisions that we will end up regretting. At least for the most part. There are too many variables that we can’t control during a trip. Even for the most experienced travellers!
That being said, none of my regrets keep me awake at night and I’m more than happy with all the trips I’ve gone on so far, including the sacrifices that resulted from them. But as I reflect on these situations today, I still think that there might be some things that I would have done differently…