These are most of the biggest regrets I have had from travelling so far. I don’t know if I have any big big regrets, but this list is more or less little things that have bugged me while travelling. While some of these are personal to my way of travelling, I hope they might help you out on your travels as well.
1. Business Cards
Not just for businessmen. I’ve lost the chance to connect with so many people because I wasn’t able to exchange information. Just some of those reasons have been rushing to the next destination, no internet connection, asking at the moment was awkward, and language barriers. Almost all of this could have been circumvented had I had had business cards with my info on them. Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp on a little card stock could have led to who knows how many more connections with the people I’ve met.
2. Filming More
Probably every vlogger has regretted not having their camera out at that crazy moment. Probably every vlogger has blamed not having the right equipment to easily capture the little moments. Let me say I am just another name on that list. I’ve missed some pretty epic shots, like the three times I crashed my motorbike, because the camera wasn’t rolling. I’m getting better about having a camera on hand.
3. Not Including More Personal Fun Projects.
I’m talking about not taking the time to setup spontaneous photo shoots, or taking time to draw. My biggest personal project is this blog and my videos, but there is room for some smaller projects that don’t have to be on going. It could be a hunt for the perfect bowl of noodles, or sketching an idea for a tattoo (it’s been on my mind), or grabbing some other travelers to go on a scavenger hunt. With the blog and my videos, I often feel I am short on time, but really I’m just short on time for another big project. I have lots of time for smaller little projects that would be very rewarding for the soul.
4. Not Getting Enough Exercise
Let me preface this. I walk a lot! Miles every day, but coming from a life before where I played sports, went to the gym and ran regularly, I feel like a blob even after a day of walking for 10 miles. The dumbest part of all of this is I have everything I need to get a gym workout with me. I have therapy bands, and a heavy rucksack. The truth is I am lazy and just need to make a habit of it. I’ve been blaming my current lifestyle when really I just need to get up and do it.
5. Not Doing More Simple Documenting
This sort of goes along with number two. I regret not pulling out my phone more often and recording thoughts going on in my head while travelling or random bits that would not fit in one of my larger vlogs. Don’t know why I didn’t start this sooner, but I am starting it.
6. Gear Regrets
Probably what you thought this entire post would be about. I’ll say after years of camping I have become pretty skilled at packing. Everything I mentioned in this post, I am still travelling with although there are a few things I would change up. I’ll go into more detail on this in the future, but for now here is a small list.
- Not bringing a Frisbee. There are no Frisbees in Asia and it would make a great social ice breaker.
- I’d get rid of my water bottle. Everyone just uses / reuses regular old cheap plastic bottles. I rarely use my backpacker one.
- A thin hoodie. I’ve made it through 3 months of rainy season without an umbrella or a rain coat. Getting wet for a few minutes hasn’t bothered me, but an overly cold air conditioned room, or a brisk day on the motorbike has left me wishing I had a little more than my long sleeve shirt.
- 50mm prime camera lens. I almost never break out my big zoom lens, but I do wish I had a fast prime lens for portraits. I chose between the two before travelling. I chose poorly.
- A lighter laptop. I knew I was going to regret this one and I have. I should have upgraded The Beast to a lighter laptop before my trip. My back has been paying the price.
- Rode pro Mic. My Videomicro mic is great, but Canon camera’s suck at audio recording, and the extra features of the pro mic make up for those limitations.
- Dive mask. Impromptu dives would be so much more fun if I had a decent dive mask with me. Rental masks are pretty crap in South East Asia plus there’s not always a place to rent one when you want it.
7. Missed Experiences
I really don’t have many experiences I felt I missed out on. There are a couple however.
- Hot Air Balloon Ride. Only $80 in Laos. Back home it’s over $1000! What was I thinking?
- 2nd tubing run in Vang Vieng. The 1st run was a great day of partying and jungle bars. I should have convinced my friends to do a lazy 2nd day on the river where we skipped the bars and just had a long float down the river with a cooler of beers.
- Boat Cruising. Hopefully I will find opportunity in the future to bumb a ride off a sailing cruiser to get from one country to the next. I miss sailing and there’s some amazing spots away from the tourism to explore if I had a boat.
- Festivals. There are tons of festivals in South East Asia and I have missed several by only a few days. In the event of a return trip, I will definitely be planning my expedition around the big festivals to make sure I experience as many of them as possible.
8. Not Taking More Locals Up On Their Offers Of Hospitality
I’ve been scammed and it has unfortunately led me to be more skeptical of people than I should be. I have missed several amazing opportunities to connect with the locals of the countries I’ve visited. Many people just want to express their hospitality through a meal or a visit to their home. I have taken up some on their hospitality but I could be a lot more open to these opportunities.