Answers part two: surprises

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June 21, 2010 by jessperriam

Ok ok, so one of my favourite Canberrans (there are many… ok three), Michael has asked:

“So how has the experience of actually travelling compared with the experience of planning your travels?

Has there been any pleasant surprises?”

Planning is always fun. There’s something amazing in looking at that website with the tour or the hostel or the… soup on a boat you want to experience. And there’s that little buzz you get when you book some airline tickets or some rail tickets.

How does it compare to having the websites of glossy brochures come off the page?

Quite simply, it doesn’t.

I try not to have any expectations before arriving somewhere. My crazy idea of the Faroe Islands or Cairo or anywhere really will never ever life up to the reality of it.

There are good surprises:

*Seeing things that far surpass the photos – the Faroe Islands just continually blow me away.
*Meeting ‘best friends for right now’. It’s a hard thing to explain.
*Walking around somewhere like London as though you own the town, Polyphonic Spree (or *insert awesome music here*) blasting away on your iPod, just taking life at your own pace. Perfect.

There are bad surprises:

*Culture shock. Hello Cairo.
*The amount you (and your clothes by default) begin to stink.
*Cost of living. Faroese/Danish krone, I’m looking at you.

There are the silly little things that excite you:

*Finding that secret hiding spot for your ear plugs. I have done a little jig of happiness when I find them.

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