The content of each post is solely written by that contributor and only expresses the contributor's personal views. Each post does not represent the views of all the contributors or Women of Color Living Abroad as an organization. Each contributor is speaking from their own person experiences and/or perspective.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Traveling Sucks (Yeah, I Said It)

By Rukiya McNair

I miss my husband. As I am here in Puerto Rico enjoying the sunshine (see photo), he is in a war zone everyday… working away. Having two small children does make it a bit better, as I always have company and for the most part they are a joy to be around. Missing him also makes me think about some of the things that travel has forced me to miss out on.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, travel has changed my life and opened my eyes to life in a way that I can’t describe in words but it does also have its downfalls.

For instance, friendships have been formed in every place I have  traveled to, and I mean real friendships. So, moving away is hard when you realize years down the road that the people who mean the most to you are often spread out across the globe.  On one hand, this great because you always have people to go visit, but on a day-to-day basis this can make things quite lonely.  Although, I can say that I am grateful for technology which makes it much easier to communicate now-a-days. So I suppose I should be thankful right?

Something else I have realized, as I have packed up and moved around more than most people I know, is that being attached to material possessions is a waste of energy and time. You know that lovely broach your grandmother gave you for your fifth birthday or that necklace that’s been passed down in your family for generations? Leave it with someone you trust or simply prepare yourself for the reality that it will get broken, stolen, or lost…or some combination of the three.  At this point, I have managed to program myself to not become attached to anything that can’t love me back. Be aware that luggage does get lost, delayed and stolen. Understand that when you leave items at a hotel, they typically don’t call you to say they have it, especially if it’s of value. Yes, people do pick-pocket, this is something your typical American is not accustomed to, but it happens (in some places, it happens rather often). Left your cell phone in a taxi after a fun and long night out? Kiss it goodbye.  Ipods, purses, wallets…anything you can think of can and more than likely will turn up missing if you travel enough. Just be thankful for your health and keep it moving.

A bit of advice I do have is that when you take photos, upload them to a website, internet storage, your email or somewhere you can find them in the case that your camera and/or laptop breaks or disappears. I mean, one thing you don’t want to lose is all of the beautiful photos you have taken along the way, right?

Okay, so now that I've officially scared you off (I'm joking, if you're reading this I know it can't be that easy) let it be known that traveling and living abroad is not for the faint for heart. It will, however change your life for the better and you will belong to one of the best clubs around. 


  1. Love it and so agree


    -Fellow expat