Down side of travelling: Top 5 worst things about my RTW

Now that I’m back in Singapore, I can finally take a break from travelling and take a good look at my 4.5-month round-the-world trip.

My friend M asked me to summarize my trip in a list of Top 5 best and worst things about my RTW. Since it’s an interesting way to summarize the trip, I will share with you my two Top 5 list today and next week.

Since I’m a “bad news first” kind of person, we’ll be looking at the worst things things that happened during the trip. In one of the next posts, I’ll share the other side of the trip: the Top 5 worst things that happened.

5. Crazy insect bites in Arequipa, Peru

Crazy insect bite in Peru

In Peru, I was bitten by what seemed to be mosquitoes. The problem was, the bites didn’t subdue by a week. Instead they became hard lumps that didn’t fade until after my trip, which was more than a month afterwards.

The bite starts out as a little bump. It felt like there was pus inside but when I scratched the skin bloody, there wasn’t any. Then the scan would harden and the tissue inside harden.

For a while I thought that it might be one of those insect bites where a baby insect would pop out after a while. Thankfully, there wasn’t any.

4. Doing laundry by hand and drying them in a room with 5 other people

-Hey Laundry, what are you doing? -Just hanging around

One of the things that I miss about being home in Sabah is sun-dried laundry. While on the road, I didn’t always have the privilege of drying my clothes in the sun so most of the time it was air dried in my hostel room.

I would wash my clothes in the basin and dry them by rolling them up in a layer of towel. Then I hung the clothes on a laundry line which I hook up to the railing of the bunk bed above me.

I once had the awkward incident of a guy looking into my lower bunk bed and seeing all my underclothes drying on the line.

3. Having my period while on the road

Never trust anything that bleeds for one week but does not die

This is something that applies only to ladies. And it gets a bit TMI (too much information)!

In general, periods are great because it signifies that I am able to carry a human person inside of me should I want to. However, most of my periods begin with pain that feels like something is stabbing me in my lower stomach. Also, because of prostaglandins, I need to visit the toilet very often while having my period.

Having my period also means depleting my supply of underwear much faster than usual. Because… um blood?

So even though my periods will follow me till the end of my reproductive period. It gets a mention as one of the Top 5 worst things about my RTW.

2. Bus sick in Peru

Where I had my first car sickness

My second-worst experience was throwing up everything I had in my stomach while on an overnight bus ride from Cusco to Nasca.

The bus swayed from left to right, making me nauseous. After vomiting everything into plastic bags, I took sips of water to rehydrate. But all the tiny sips came back up my throat, mixed with bile.

It was very horrible.

1. Harassed by strange men

Scary note

In some countries, a single travelling foreign woman seems open for harassment to the local men. I have learned to become a crazy lady to stop people from catcalling.

But thank goodness, there was only one incident of physical harrassment by–believe it or not–an old wrinkled man dressed in a monk robe.

Of course this wouldn’t stop me from travelling since there are many other places in the world where women are treated with equal respect. (OK, maybe not that many but you get the idea.)

Next week, I will share the Top 5 best things that happened to me on my round-the-world trip. Stay tuned!

6 thoughts on “Down side of travelling: Top 5 worst things about my RTW

  1. Love this list!!! We had those same insect bites… I waited for weeks in fear of something emerging out of them.

    Finding a laundry place in Cusco was the only salvation after two weeks in the amazon or I fear our clothes may still be damp and stinky. But the smell that erupted when we opened the compression bags in the little laundry mat almost knocked over the poor man who put on gloves to handle our clothing.

    Periods…yeah. No fun. You are used to no tampons. Much harder for the Americans on the road in South East Asia.

    And the strange men…try traveling with your fifteen year old daughter. She kept giving me papers like yours above…and being freaked out. She has new “friends “all around the world.

    1. Hello Anne! Glad to find that we had the anxious period of waiting for things to emerge out of our insect bites like in Aliens.

      Are you all still travelling? Have fun and stay safe.

  2. oh my yun qing, totally agree with you on the period thing.. i HATE having a period when travelling.. it always makes the whole experience feel so less-wonderful.. always got to pop in some painkillers when that comes… zzz

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