My Biggest Travel Regrets

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Many people will regret not travelling. But does anyone actually regret travel? A group of travel bloggers look at their biggest travel regrets.

travel regrets? I don't have any
Travel regrets? I tried to make sure I had none, including cramming in one more trip before child #2 arrived and clipped our wings. Of course, having children didn’t stop us travelling at all. But we made sure we didn’t regret travelling before we had kids.

“I regret travelling around the world; I wish I’d stayed home instead,” said no-one ever.

Man Vs World

I love that quote.

So do I have any travel regrets? I don’t think I do, I’ve been thinking about this for days now. I’ve been tagged, I have to write this post and pass on the baton. This is HARD!

Travel Regrets

Unlike Bethany at Flashpacker Family, I did a lot of travelling before I had kids, I was 37 when my first child came along. I’d had plenty of time to explore the world before motherhood.

Unlike Simon at Man vs World, I don’t regret not buying more in South East Asia, I bought a whole new bag and shipped it back full of trinkets. They’re still special, 20 years later.

Unfortunately, I may have to sell them all in our quest to become nomadic next year.

I could say, spending months in India and not seeing the Taj Mahal was a travel regret. Nah, don’t care. Soaking up the life of the place is more important to me than the tourist traps, India is bursting with life and I’ll get there one day.

How about the time I went to Crete, spent half a day on a bus, to find the Palace of Knossos closed. Nope, then my Knossos- being-closed story wouldn’t be so good. It’s rather similar to my not-seeing-Ho-Chi-Min-story. We got to the mausoleum on a Thursday, the deceased leader’s day off. Everyone needs a day off, don’t they?

Maybe I spent too long in a bad relationship, not pushing any travel boundaries because my partner wasn’t happy to do so. Once I ditched him it was onwards and upwards. Without him I would never have discovered the joys of solo travel. That can be a relationship regret, not a travel regret.

How about taking the train to Amritsar and not leaving the station to see the Golden Temple?  No, we’ll do it next time, the station was fun , we actually booked a room there and spent the greater part of a day eating station food. Indian stations do the best food, I recommend visiting them just to eat.  There were too many bombings going on right then, we chilled out for the day and at least we can say we’ve been to Amritsar. We’ll enjoy the Golden Temple all the more when we take the kids.

The time I nearly died diving the Yongala was a bit hairy. But it’s my best travel horror story. I didn’t die, so I’ll keep that one too, thanks.

And that is where I totally run out of ideas. I’ve traveled, it’s fabulous, I’ve seen the world and the people who make up the world, on 6 continents, over many years.

I’ve read endless books about travel, foreign histories, beliefs and cultures.  I’ve educated myself along the way. School counts as nothing compared to the education travel, and a thirst for travel, gives you. I’m pretty happy with what I’ve done so far, incredibly thankful to have lived this unconventional life.

Regretting Spending Money on Travel

No, I do not regret spending money on travel, mostly. The times we ended up in disappointing destinations, maybe. We wasted thousands on a hellish trip to Sabah. Possibly I can regret that. But that one place out of 50 countries, it’s not much to regret.

Spending money on travel and taking time away from my career and the housing market are things I will never regret. Breaking free of the rat race was actually life changing. Life changing for the better.

My Actual, Very Minor, Travel Regrets

So there are no big regrets. I’ll have to cut my travel regrets down to size, they are a bit minor. Here we go.

1. Being robbed at Cairns airport. I should have been more careful, but we’d just left Africa, I thought we were safe. They got THE bag, we were emigrating, not traveling, the bag with all the memories and the important things. It’s hard to deal with losing so much precious stuff, knowing that someone just took your camera and chucked the rest in the bin. But, 5 years later, it’s all over, it’s gone. I’ve survived without it. Although it still hurts.

2.Falling asleep on Christmas Eve in Goa and missing the Midnight Mass the waiters were going to take us to.

3.Wasting my money booking package holidays in the early days. It’s way cheaper and more interesting to just book a flight and backpack around a country.

4. Choosing shopping in Hoi An, Vietnam, over a private, personal tour of a village with a local guide. My husband went without me, he ended up at a wedding and had a fantastic day. I got a new dress that I’ve never worn.

and , that’s it. I can’t think of anything else.

Travel regrets aren’t for me, everything is a learning experience, even the bad stuff. The worst things that happen usually make the best stories. Happy travels everyone!

I’m tagging Tiffany at Fite Inertia, let’s hear your travel regrets!

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About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

16 thoughts on “My Biggest Travel Regrets”

  1. Great article. Definitely don’t regret travelling. Yes there are sometimes things that don’t go how you want. But overall the experience is great.

  2. Loved the Knossos comment; I remember that the Roman cemetary at Arles also closes for lunch. 😉

    So many of the best memories are the ones that just spontaneously happen, rather than the big spectacular must-sees.

    Really looking forward to catching up with more of your travels.

  3. You’ve got a great outlook on life and it is great to live without regret.

    I must admit to being quite shocked that you were robbed at Cairns airport of all places.

  4. I like your spin on the travel regrets. I try to see things in the same way… as the best stories.
    I can appreciate those small things though… every now and then, a memory of a trip comes up and it still stings, even if just a little, still years later.

  5. I like your take on travel regrets. Really hiccups in the road are just more interesting travel stories. I have been robbed too while traveling and in the end, it really just makes for a chapter in my travel story, not really a regret.

  6. Neat topic! (And, I love your opening quote!)

    Hmmm…. Travel regrets? I regret I didn’t start traveling sooner! 🙂

  7. I don’t feel bitter and twisted about any of my travel regrets, but I do still count them as regrets / learning opportunities! I would not be fun to be around for the rest of the day if I spent half a day on a bus and found the place closed!

  8. I love that you don’t regret not seeing the Taj Mahal in India. I travel the same way. I don’t necessarily want to see all the big sites – they’re usually disappointing – I want to see everyday life and people. My goal is usually to stay away from where all the tourists are. Great post!

    • Thank you so much Joy. I could just hang out in India for weeks and watch the world go by, that’s what makes it fascinating, not pay-for-admission tourist sites. I’m sure the Taj Mahal is magnificent, we’ll get there one day when money and time aren’t an issue. I can’t make it a travel regret if I’ve still got the opportunity to go, can I?

  9. Fantastic post Alyson! I’m so glad you decided to accept the challenge despite not having any major regrets. Your list of “no regrets” is fabulous! You’ve done so much and now you get to do it all again with your kids. Lucky you!

  10. Haha, I’m glad you survived your diving trip in Yongala! Sounds intense. Thanks heaps for the shout-out.

  11. Thanks for the tag Alyson! Loved reading about your travels, and glad you don’t have many regrets. That’s a good thing! I’ll have to think about this one as I don’t think of regrets and travel in the same sentence!


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