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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

The flip side of travelling

6th November 2012

When I think of travelling it always brings about positive and fond memories.  The flashbacks usually put a smile on my face and it literally warms my heart especially when the travel bug - the urge to go somewhere, anywhere exotic, bites me! It’s a feeling that I have had for as long as I can remember, which normally leads to day dreaming about all these foreign lands and its people. There is just something beautiful and humane about travelling that really can’t be described unless experienced.

The whole process of deciding on where and when to go is absolutely thrilling! I could spend hours online looking for the cheapest airfare, finding out where to stay or whom to stay with, which I learned over the years is a way of reducing costs.

It also helps when one has family members and friends scattered around the world who wouldn’t mind letting you borrow their bed for a little while or showing you around.

Fun, anticipation and day dreaming aside, there is flip side to travelling. You can forget this and that in your excitement and not realize till too late: the hair conditioner you can’t do without, the vaccination card you must show on arrival, some important address, all sorts of bits and bobs that mean a lot.

Assuming you somehow jump over the hurdles and manage to leave the airport in one piece. There may still be unexpected eye opener shocks to confront. Travel is not always a bed of roses. It can be a mixed blessing.

When we are in our own comfort zones at home, going about our daily routines, we rarely think of how the rest of the fares, how different it could be from our own.

It suddenly hits us when we travel or decide to move to a foreign country that things, even the simplest ones aren’t always the same. Power plugs and sockets are a case in point.

Forget to travel with your adapter and you are going to face having to change all electrical appliances to the new power plugs: again the pins may not fit or the voltage may be different. It could be a nightmare!

There are some things we are able to adapt to with the help of some gadgets but others can get under our skin. This usually has to do with a mind set, which is not always easy to change if at all. You certainly learn to either adjust or get winded up when nothing goes the way you are “used to” it. 

Any well travelled person would probably agree that having a “going with the flow” attitude is one of the best survival skills in these situations.

In some parts of the world being time conscious is a quality that everybody must have, at least to some degree. In other parts though, time is something that is not counted by the minute and is usually taken for granted. In these places there is simply no rush to get anywhere.  If something does not get done today then it will get done tomorrow.

This can sound somewhat bizarre to some but for others this is just the way of life. The most unusual and frustrating experiences can at times have profound meaning to life experiences where one is forced to evaluate and see things from another perspective. It really goes to show that every thing has its flip side.

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