Expectations before you leave that’s not a good thing before setting off on a trip. Hardly every the world meets our expectations so you are likely to be disappointed. I know perfectly well it works like that, yet, I cannot help myself and try to imagine what’s there in front of me. I’ve seen too many pictures and to many stories not to have any expectations.
I’m happy with all the trips that I make, but it still happens that I get somewhere and say to myself: This is not how it was supposed to be!
So… what might be not as I’ve expected?
Blue Hole, Belize
Long before I got my diving certification, I’d dreamt of Blue Hole in Belize – what I saw in the photos appealed to my imaginations and I thought it must be like paradise.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about look at the photo below – this is exactly what you’re going to see when you google “Blue Hole+Belize”. A magnificent view,isn’t it?
I can’t put into words the anticipation and excitement I felt flying out to see the Blue Hole in Belize. The pictures don’t do it justice — you need to see it in person. I couldn’t have asked for better weather the day we flew over either. ✈️ Book a tour with @flymayabelize and head out on a private charter to experience the Blue Hole from the air – a whole different experience than seeing it from a dive boat!
Yeah, it’s truly wonderful! Somehow, looking at such photos I never realised that this is what you can only see from the bird’s view – not something you experience when on water! So, when I finally got to Blue Hole and was about to take a dive forty something meters down, I looked around with disappointement – dark water surrounding me and nothing more. I have no photo to prove it, but believe me, it was so boring I didn’t care. (The diving was amazing, though).
Atitlan Lake, Guatemala
This trip took place at the beginning of my faraway travels which means also that I used to make serious preparation before leaving on holidays. Atitlan Lake seemed magical and the pictures and I was sure it was the place I couldn’t skip. I found my favourite view in one of the article: a long pier with two volcanoes on the sides.
When I finally got there I ran to the shore to look for ‘my’ pier and then suddenly stopped. There were MANY little piers, one almost next to another. As the golden hour was short I was madly running from one pier to another in search of the right one.
Desperately running and slowely losing hope I finally… managed to find the right spot!
Cminda Sameba Church, Georgia
Just one more example of “it’s so beautiful, I want to go there and take a photo like that!’.
All my friends who’d visited Georgia went to Kazbegi and took a beautiful postcard-like picture of the famous chuch on the hill with the mountains in the background.
What happened when I went there? Well… it rained! For one day, then another, and then one more…Still, I was there so I needed to see the church. Check below to find out what I saw – I guess I need to go to Georgia again to take the photo I had wanted.
(On the left: a photo taken by Ewa from the blog Daleko Niedaleko, on the right: mine)
Paris of West of Africa
It was my first visit to Africa and I couldn’t even imagine what it was going to be like – I had no friends who had visited this region so there was noone to turn to for help. The guidebook described Lome, the capital of Togo as the former Paris of West Africa. I focused on the worl ‘Paris’, while I should have paid more attention to the word ‘former’ – the mistake I realised only when I got there.
It might have been Paris of West Africa long time before, but when I was there it was distant not only from Paris but from Europe and my home and it was not only the matter of kilometers.
Lome – the capital of Togo
The real chocolate
I’m a big chocolate lover so a trip to the countries where chocolate has its origins was a big event in my life. Was it as good as I imagined? Not at all! I didn’t like chocolate in Peru, Guatemala or Mexico – not at all! I missed the delicate and smooth flavour so present in European chocolates. In Ghana,the country which is the second biggest producer of cocoa plant I don’t think I found any chocolate…
On the left: chocolate-making workshop in Lima, Peru.
On the right: a man selling cocoa fruit in Togo.
See the animals!
That’s the most stupid expectation possible! The animals don’t wait for us just behind the corner waiting to pose for our photographs. However, when I was in Mexico I did want to see a group of flamingoes…
You can’t even imagine my disappointment when I actually saw ONE flamingo. ONE! The very one you can see in the picture below on the left.
On the right is a group of flamingoes in Bolivia where I totally didn’t expect to see them (many years later)
I love my country and I love Polish cuisine – there are many amazing dishes worth trying and it always makes me sad that very often the only thing the foreigners heard of are pierogis. Whenever I have guests from abroad I try to show them something either by cooking or taking them to the right restaurant. This year however I decided to take a long road trip in Poland sightseeing and looking for good places to eat. It was not an easy task – when I enjoyed dining in many places, there were a lot which were less than average.
Look at two pictures below which present exactly the same dish: potatoes, perch and white cabbage. The first one not only looks perfect in my pictures but was only absolutely delicious, the other one was a disaster both in looks and taste.
Often what I experience is not what I expeced. It is different, but it doesn’t mean it is worse.
What else? I wanted to have 10 points on my list but nothing else comes to my mind. It doesn’t mean I have no expectations, on the contrary, often what I experience is not what I expected. It is different, but it doesn’t mean it’s worse.
You must have seen pictures on Bored Panda which show what tourists expect and what they really experience – it might be true in the peak of the tourist season or in the middle of the day, but sometimes it’s enought to get up earlier or go off season and they we find what we were looking for.
The two photos below where taken in almost the same spot – ten or fifteen meters separates them, yet, they are totally different:
Travellers often exagerate trying to scare you, but the reality is usually not so bad.
Before I went on a safari, everybody warned me how touristy it was and what crowds of people I was going to experience with several jeeps chasing a few animals all the time. While in happened once – when a rhino decided to cross a road in Ngorongoro, it was not what I remember – we often travelled with no other tourists in view and it turned out to be the experience of a lifetime.
Books, films and stories made me sure you are always supposed to run away when you see a shark, that riding down the Death Road in Bolivia is one of the most dangerous expriences ever and Somalia is only a country of pirates.
The reality? Most sharks are a big attractions for divers and are not dangerous, going down ‘the most dangerous road in Bolivia‘ is fun and a part of Somalia is Somaliland (an independent country, not recognized by many which is why is often shown as a part of Somalia) which is an amazing experience to travel to.
What should you do? Do what you want, but try to check out for yourself how good or bad a place is – you might like it, or you might not, but it’s going to be your own experience!
Have you had any experience like that?
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