I am always a believer that you shouldn’t take on what someone says about a place, destination or anywhere in the world. Why? Well, because everyone’s experience is and can be completely different from mine or anyone else’s.
For example, I remember while travelling in Cambodia and briefly discussing with a friend on what Vietnam was like. He had commented on how much he hated it and that it was racist! Now we all know the racism that I have experienced in the past, but I have to be honest. I can tell you all that when I travelled to Vietnam myself, I didn’t once experience racism and very much enjoyed myself. But honestly, guys, can you imagine if I took on his word? I wouldn’t have gone!
So you’re rightly wondering where I am going with this right?
This is a post that is very much an ‘unpopular opinion’. I write this post with a strong line that I think Dubai is overrated. Yes, I said it, and if you want to understand why and willing then I would suggest you continue reading this post.
I travelled to Dubai five years ago and although I enjoyed myself with a few hiccups (cause everywhere has a few hiccups when travelling). Honestly, after all the 35+ countries I have been too, I guess Dubai is overrated for me.
Listen BEFORE YOU JUMP ALL AT ME! Please hear me out!
There is no uniqueness to Dubai
I have grown up most of my life in a city (London) and travelled to several cities in the world. Travelling and living in cities has made me realise that cities don’t fully represent a country. I love to experience the cultures of a country, I like to see the difference between the upper and working class (whatever they call it in their countries). And I love to understand the politics of a country.
When I went to Dubai, I didn’t really feel the countries uniqueness. It came across to me as a money pumped place.
Glorified living in Dubai
My other reasons for seeing Dubai as an overrated destination almost links to my first point. There is almost a sense of a glorified way of living when you are over there. People go there to style and do the absolute most! Which for me removes the feeling of real reality.
I also hated that smoking was allowed in all the clubs! And it was gross! My weave, my clothes everything stank of smoke and it was disgusting! Clubs also all finished at 3 am- way too early for me ( a girl still wanted to party).
Indoor Ski Paradise
Another thing that makes me feel like Dubai is overrated was the indoor ski paradise! I mean what????? It made me really uncomfortable seeing a country in the middle of a desert with an indoor ski paradise. It’s no wonder that Dubai has the largest ecological footprints of any city in the world!
Migrant work like slaves
The city has so much money and big bling boats, skyscrapers and skylines. When you are there you will see a number of migrants working on these infrastructures. This saddens me that it’s built by migrant workers from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, which I am sure they all live in slave-like conditions.
Overall, I think Dubai is overrated because it lacks real culture because again it is a man-made city. The country is one big shopping mall! I never really got the sense that there was a real religion of Islam while I was there.
Dubai came across very business and materialistic like. A place that is heavily revolved around making money, driving fancy cars. For me, Dubai exists as a place that is fit for those that like to appear to live the high-end materialistic lifestyle.
Again, I don’t think this means you should not go! I wanted to state my opinion (and glad I did)! I am sure I will go back again to see what has changed since I first went there, but for now, I think everyone should express how they feel about a country.
What about you, have you been to a country that you just weren’t impressed by? Let me know in the comments below.
P.S. I would like to thank everyone on Twitter that gave me the confidence to get this blog posted.
It seems like more and more people are doing study exchanges, moving abroad, and travelling nowadays. This is great! I LOVE people going and seeing the world. In travelling, moving abroad people can make lifetime international friends around the globe.
I LOVE people going and seeing the world
If you’re like me and have friends or even family that live abroad. Then I’m sure you know that it can be hard to keep in contact with all of them. So, I’ve shared some tips on how to stay in touch with your international friends.
I have been doing this for more than six years now so I would say I have done pretty well. Follow these, and you will be absolutely beautiful!
Make Good use of Social Media
I have all my international friends and family on all my socials, this includes Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and whatever else there is! Use these tools to your own advantage.
They are relatively easy to use and free (as long as you have internet). It can also be used at any time of the day, month and year. I like to watch my friends and families stories. It sparks up conversation, rather than the long-winded how are you and hi conversations.
Treat WhatsApp Like Your Best Friend
Use WhatsApp to make calls and message of course! Why I like this app is because you can send voice notes, which can make someone feel like they are right next to you. The app is pretty much free as long as you have internet! The time difference might be a significant pain in the neck – so I would suggest making time for your friends or family. Book in a time when you can speak. Or message them they will get it when they wake up.
If you’re like me, you sleep with your phone in your hand (literally) so are always awake to speak to your loved one.
Arrange to meet in a different country
The other two are being pretty obvious things to do, but this is the best tool I can give you. I have been meeting one of my international friends every year since my study exchange in Singapore. That was in 2013. We have met in several countries around the world, which has been amazing to catch up. Read – 8 Things To Know Before Studying Abroad.
Pay them a visit
Why not head over and pay them a visit? I love having international friends because it means I have several countries to visit and get this – accommodation is free! I recently went to New York and was able to stay with my friend that now lives in Manhattan! I’m also lucky to have family that live in Nigeria and a Dad that lives in the states. Free accommodation!
Send Christmas Cards or Postcards
I only started this last year, and it seemed to work out really well. It can be quite expensive, but if you can send them why not? I live in the UK (London), so I sent Christmas cards that had a London Theme. It’s an excellent small token gift for your loved ones.
Do you have international friends? How do you keep in contact with them?
So, it’s been just over a week since I wrote my post on ‘How Travelling Helped Deal with My Depression and Anxiety’ and the responses I’ve received have been amazing! I just want to thank every single one of you that has taken the time to read my story and have shared your own experiences with me. Since my last post, I thought it would only be wise to share how I manage my post-travel blues when returning back from holiday. I know from experience, that when I travel I am always on a high! I’m ALWAYS so excited about just getting on a flight, seeing a new country, experiencing the culture, the beautiful views and most importantly learning more about myself, which I do every singletime I leave for my travels. You never want to leave but…
You’re enjoying yourself and just like that, it’s time to come back to the reality. I have to start remembering what I have to deal with when I get back and at that moment you are reminded that you are now coming to the end of an amazing trip. Returning home, whether it’s from a day trip, two-week-long vacation or a multi-year-round-the-world trip can hit you hard; for me, it hits me so hard I plan my next trip from the moment I get back from my current one! Post-travel depression can affect everyone, and people don’t know how sometimes it can affect you. In this article, I suggest some ways to overcome post-travel blues! Please note – I am not an expert in this; as I’ve said before I only know how to deal with my own mental health.
Sooo… What is the Post-Travel Depression?
Just as it sounds, post-travel depression is a feeling of depression
that hits you at the end of a trip. Sometimes it can even begin in the
days running up to the end of your trip. I always end up feeling a
little sad in the days before I head home. It’s that feeling where
you’re like ‘man it ended too soon or I just need a little longer’. As well as a sense of depression,
other symptoms you may experience include exhaustion, loss of appetite,
a lack of motivation, feelings of nostalgia, and for me immediately
researching the next trip!
In all seriousness, though, post-travel depression can seriously affect your mental well being and last for as long as weeks or months. Friends of mine who have taken year-long trips around-the-world have confessed they still don’t feel as though they’re fully back to normal, even up to a year after returning home. It is hard to just go back to normal life again! One huge reason why this is the case is travelling is transformative. Once you leave your comfort zone and have explored a country of the world you’ll feel like a different person, you will feel refreshed, sometimes you will even look different because while you’re away you meet people from all walks of life. Your attitude changes and you begin to have a different outlook on life.
When did it happen to me?
I can give you an example – when I travelled to Cambodia in 2013, I met some young people who knew so much about the United Kingdom and barely went to school because they were on the streets making money for their families. These young people had very little, but the kindness and positive nature they gave out assured me that it’s actually OK to just be nice. Not everyone is as fortunate to have the same opportunities so when you are presented with a good opportunity you should take it seriously!
The other issue is everyone you return to is often the same. Nothing has really changed. There are in the exact same place they were when you last saw them and that can also be depressing in itself. I remember really feeling this when I came back from living in Singapore. I had travelled all over South East Asia and almost faced near to death experiences I had changed in person and it was such a strange feeling seeing everything was exactly the same. I couldn’t explain it. I remember it so vividly, I had just finished university and couldn’t comprehend how nothing had changed and chose to keep myself busy because I could feel myself falling back into the trap of a repetitive reality. Even now I see people who are lost, lost in a system that doesn’t allow them to enjoy life and they have given up and fallen into the stereotypical life that the system expects of them.And the saddest thing is we all have.
It’s a strange feeling to slow back into your old life as if nothing has changed, while deeply knowing that everything has changed. And when friends and family take interest in your trip for a week or two then don’t care to hear any more, it can be tough to deal with so many incredible memories that nobody wants to hear about. I do remember having my study-exchange friends that I met up with on a number of occasions; this was so helpful – James, Jade and Georgina shout out to you three!! You truly made returning home bearable.
Even now I see people who are lost, lost in a system that doesn’t allow them to enjoy life and they have given up and fallen into the stereotypical life that the system expects of them.And the saddest thing is we all have.
So, what can you do to prepare yourself for post-travel depression, and how can you minimise its effects? As I said before I am not an expert in other mental health, only my own.
7 Tips on How to Beat Post-Travel Depression
1. Catch Up with Friends
I understand listening to me talk about my travels can be annoying especially if you haven’t been anywhere for a while. And I do apologise. I remember wanting to share my stories with a former friend, she hadn’t travelled then and I felt bad talking about them – so I stopped. When she started to travel I really enjoyed her stories because I knew what it was like to experience something new.
Talking to friends that are travellers when battling with post-travel blues, can be a blessing in disguise. I remember meeting up with my friends that I met on my study abroad, we spent hours talking about our memories abroad. If you know my friends, you will know there are endless stories that I don’t even know where to begin! I am always left with laughter and a warm fuzzy feeling inside. If you can meet with your friends, it could help keep you distracted and lessen your attention on how you wish you were still abroad.
2. Take Care of Yourself
When we travel, you are having so much (well I do) it can be hard to take proper care of yourselves. Maybe that body you worked so hard for in the gym is now disappearing from all the junk food! You are lying by the pool doing nothing or sightseeing all day, drinking and clubbing every night. Your body will become exhausted. Write a list of things you want to do when you get back. For example, my list – I would like to start eating clean, reading more uplifting books, go to bed early, go to the gym and dream more and most importantly get closer to God.
3. Share Your Photos with Friends/Social Platforms
Now I know Drake in his most recent album recently said ‘I know a girl that saves pictures from places she’s flown to post later and make it look like she still on the go.’
But sorry Drake I don’t care what you say.
Some of us don’t have the opportunity to be constantly on the go. We must save those memories and keep reminding ourselves how amazing the trip was! Post pictures not to impress people, but yourself for your own memories. My social media is my collage of all my best pictures. I post pictures on Instagram and my other social media platforms because I want people to see the beautiful sites I have captured.
Sorry not sorry! #MyBreakingViews #BTravelCreators
4. Return back to Work or Study Immediately
Some people will disagree with me, but in my opinion there nothing worse than sitting at home doing nothing when you can be keeping yourself busy! If you don’t throw yourself back into your normal routine you will regret it when you do start!
5. Start Planning Your Next Trip
Hahaha! I don’t know how many times I have mentioned this already! Best way to get your mind of post-travel
blues is by of course planning your next trip! Write down a list of
places you want to go! Then start the planning! And then book your
flight, you will enjoy counting down the days to your next trip that the
days will fly by!
I have a travel
bucket list. In 2016 I wrote that I wanted to go to Italy and America
… Guess what I went to both… Write down your visions.
6. Start A Travel Diary or Travel Blog
If you’re like me, you’ll love to keep a record of those life-changing moments of your travels. If you have a travel blog write about your experiences! Share your tips you will be so happy you went! And if you don’t have a travel blog start one and comment below with a link to your blog! I love learning from other travel bloggers!
If you have a diary then use that. I always carry my diary around with me. I am so relaxed I think differently I can write and see my God-given vision, clearly and write this down for the universe.
7. Use the #BTravelCreators
I am sure you have seen that I am trying to do so many new things this year! I and Debbie for Wanderlustcalls have started a platform for Black Travel Creators! And it is going soooo well! We are both on Instagram and Twitter@btravelcreators so if you want us to share your lovely post and pictures please use the # or @ us. Oh and of course follow us!
Starting this platform has really given me so much confidence because there are so many other people with similar outlooks in life. This has given me the ability to share my experiences and be more open with my readers. I want to thank you all because really, I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without you all.
I hope these tips do help deal with travel depression. Do you have any tips to share please do so below!