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The Downside of Vagabonding

The things no one talks about (Candace)

I have officially blown a gasket. Had a meltdown. Ran hysterically around our two-star hotel crying, cursing and yelling. And it wasn’t anyone’s fault in particular. It wasn’t one thing that set me off. I just had enough.

I know that throughout this blog, and throughout many other travel blogs, we tend to write/read about the beautiful beaches, the amazing local dishes, the interesting people. We all tend to glamorize travel, because it is something that we all wish we could do more of, and want things to be perfect when we are in destination locations like Bali.

But we also all feel the stress of being on vacation. When we get sick. When we get lost. When we lose important belongings. When we break a phone or a leg. When we have to get along with our friends and family for extended periods of time that would never make sense in real life. Well, all of these contingencies entered my life in the past 24 hours, and I lost it.

First, I offered to drive from the north of the island to Ubud two days ago (Andrew has been doing the lion’s share of the driving), but expected that Andrew would help me navigate (we’ve built a pretty good system for this by now). When he decided that he wanted to sleep in the back seat instead, I had a bit of a tantrum. Then, as he was asleep in the back seat, I got lost and nearly hit an old woman walking down the road with her stack of rice leaves.

When we finally made it to Ubud, we got stuck in a rain storm on a very narrow road that was not meant for cars. Andrew had taken the wheel by this point (thank God), so the crisis was averted. And we did get to ride on motorbikes through narrow alleys after, so this became an adventure, rather than a calamity. But somehow, Andrew’s Patagonia swimming trunks got lost in the shuffle, and he now has to swim in Brad’s gym shorts.

Once we made it to our villa, Andrew and I went off to have some “alone time,” but found that neither one of us were in the mood because we were both mad at each other from unrelated arguments we had had earlier in the week. And as we sat talking through our issues, my iPhone got drenched in a rain storm. iPhone down!

When we woke up this morning, I realized that a mosquito bite I had contracted in my foot wasn’t a mosquito bite after all, but rather a hookworm that has taken residence in my foot, eating his way through my skin and creating a really disgusting trail of itchy bit marks in his path. Andrew woke up with a rash that had taken over the left side of his face. So a trip to the Ubud Clinic led us to a hospital appointment for our ailments.

We then picked up our friends and drove the crew to Canggu, one of Bali’s best surf beaches, and planned to have lunch at the Potato Head resort. What I hadn’t planned for, however, was $24 cocktails, a spend that was clearly outside of our budget, a non-working pool, and a beach that was not good for surfing after all.

And when we finally made it to our hotel in Kuta tonight (I booked a place in Legian, the biggest party town on the island), it wasn’t that great of a place and had rooms that smelled like mildew. And when Michelle came to tell me about the smell in her room, and to ask if we could switch, I lost my shit.

I started yelling and running around the hotel. I was crying, telling my friends how they had been taking advantage of me. I was furious, and bat shit crazy. I had just hit my limit.

Things have since calmed down a bit. We found a repairman to work on my phone and the boys have gone out for a night on the town so Michelle and I can sleep. We should get the meds we need for our ailments when we head to the hospital in the morning. And Brad and I are headed to a music festival on Gili Island in a day, so all should be well with the world again now.

But these are the days no one talks about.

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