Realities on the road: Behind the scenes of glittery travel stories

Ok, so you’ve read travel guides, travel blogs, magazines, etc raving about a place.. And you spend your entire savings just to see this place, because everyone was raving about it.. the only problem is, once you get there, instead of raving, you feel the opposite.. and you shot back at these guides/blogs/magazines for not telling you about overcrowded people, smell, overpriced everything, very spicy food, and uncooperative weather.

Don’t worry, I have my fair share. And instead of making these annoying experiences secret so I can paint a perfect picture of my travels and make people envious, I cut the fairy tale and be honest from my point of view instead.. want to know more? ;D I’m sure you do.. Here are some of them:

So you think Thailand is heaven here on earth? Well at some point, specially if you are new to the country and is undergoing the honeymoon phase of travel, you will agree that it is indeed paradise.. every thing is beauuuutifuuul..

beautiful Thailand

But will you still see the beauty of everything if you arrive on the wrong monsoon month?

flood in chiang mai

Apparently, I did. Good thing I was with beautiful people at that time of chaos :P

Sometimes you need to travel to see the beauty of your own place.. and so you can miss your old familiar pillow..

I realized that when I was traveling in Hong Kong and Macau.. People are serious and mean.. even the boat dispatcher and bus driver are mean! and then there’s this Korean guy I just met didn’t pay back his share of bus fare because “he didn’t have coins”.. seriously dude? and you have the guts to go to the Casino after?

I met mean people and everything is crazy expensive.

I don’t even know why people from my country had fun there.. or maybe they just confined themselves in Disneyland and didn’t go outside and mingle with the locals.. or maybe I was just unlucky that time.

This is me in Macau.. with a fake smile xD

me in macau

Did I discouraged you from traveling? Oh no, I might loose sponsors XD

Not everyone was mean though, I’m lucky to meet few people who didn’t treat me like I’m some kind of a maid.. this includes my American couchsurfer host who even gave a ceramic porcelain for my aunt and my Italian friend whom I have not met for many years.

Sometimes we just have to be open minded when we go to a new country or a different culture.. sometimes what we see on tv and what we read in magazines or blogs are different from what we will personally experience.

Perfect example was when I traveled in Mindanao.. everyone thought it was a dangerous place. But when I got there, I actually thought it’s much more dangerous in the dark alley streets of Manila.. You’ll see the southernmost tip of the Philippines here – Tawi Tawi.

Tawi tawi, Philippines

I guess I was lucky… but I do hope in the future that the whole of Mindanao will indeed be a safe place to travel. Coz its a beautiful place not to be explored.

Another example is what happened to me in Nepal.. I was always seeing expensive touristy stuff while researching about the country online, thank you SEO companies, you did a great job.

But once there, I never thought I could live with what I consider luxury on a very small budget.. This is my room.. and guess what, I got it for free ;D

couch surfing in bakthapur

I went to Nepal knowing only 1 person whom I haven’t met for years… but while traveling to the wonderful country, I gained friends from all over the world.. Japanese, Swiss, Indian, Germans, Americans, Italians and of course the locals with beautiful souls… and I always thought I was antisocial! I have traveled to different places, yet not one single moment I felt afraid. My experience can never be measured with money, because it is priceless.. and I will forever be grateful.

Himalayas, Nepal
And that folks is the reason why I travel. To experience life as it is. Because reality.. in every aspect of life, whether travel or not, always involved not so good moments. Nevertheless, keep calm, and enjoy what Mother Earth has to offer. ^_^ Keep on traveling!

This is my contribution to the Philippine Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival for the month of April 2014 with the theme “When Fact is really Fiction” hosted by Kaiz Galang of

8 thoughts on “Realities on the road: Behind the scenes of glittery travel stories

  1. It’s honesty. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea or their honesty. But you’re true to yourself, true to the way you’d like to travel, to meet people whom you’d expect to treat you in the same way you might treat others.

    I love Hong Kong, but I was dismayed at the xenophobic tendencies residents have to people from the Phillippines. As humans, we tend to get self-absorbed, and I have to say some Hong Kong’ers are living large in their bubble of delusion. Thankfully, my family there don’t put up with that, and put the kibosh on any of that either.

    Thank you for writing, Grasya!

    1. Thank you for understanding Henry.. I know two people that are HK locals and they are nice.. i hope everyone will be like that. Filipinos tends to be racist to other people too.. I’m not implying it to be humanity’s norm although it could be xD.. but at least we are aware and we can change towards a more friendlier world

  2. Because reality.. in every aspect of life, whether travel or not, always involved not so good moments. – You hit the nail right on the head. The universe loves you but, let’s admit it, shit needs to happen for you to appreciate and learn more. Thanks for joining, Grasya! :)

    1. the universe loves everyone, but sometimes we don’t love the universe back that is why it sends storms, floods, and other negative vibes xD

    1. If it werent for electricity and internet problems, I’d extend my visa and stay…. maybe forever, who knows ^_^

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