Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Getting Over Traveler's Disappointment


I always try to be 100% honest in every post I write, and this one isn't an exception. Over a month ago, Carlos and I jet-setted off for an end of summer getaway to Marseille, France. I had seen pictures throughout the summer of people hanging out somewhere in the South of France by a beach with crystal blue water, strolling through a glamorous port, and sipping on rose all day. One day, while I was sitting in my cold, white-walled office desk, I saw an amazing offer to Marseille and immediately was sold. Weeks before the trip I visioned myself strolling through the picturesque narrow streets while eating numerous croissants, hanging out by a beach under an umbrella, and taking a plethora of pictures. However, stepping off the plane was a completely different story.
Instead of the quaint dwindling cobbled stone allies, I encountered rusted buildings, pee stains on the sidewalk, and graffiti that stained the walls. Although we stayed at the cool and trendy Mama Shelter, the vibe I got from my surroundings wasn't what I envisioned. Slowly, I felt the city not meeting up to my expectations and couldn't help to feel the slightest disappointed.

I had two options though. I could either throw a mini pity party and feel sorry for myself, or I could just get over it and make the best out of my time there. To say the least, I did myself (and Carlos) a favor and got over the case of traveler's disappointment. Here are a few tips I discovered on my first travel "hiccup":
  • Hit all the main spots in the city: What are the main attraction to see in the city? If there are a few things to scope out, you can kill less than a day to tour around and have time to explore outside of the city. Carlos and I saw all the main tourist spots in Marseilles, including the Longchamp Palace, the Old Port, and Basillque of Norte Dame in about a day.  
Basillque Norte Dame was goregous, although closed for rennovations
  • Open up your options: Did you already see all the main attractions but have more days left on your trip? Explore other things outside of the city. We decided to make a day trip to Cassis one day and hike up the beautiful Calanques another which was 100% well worth it. 
  • Consider some off the beaten path options: Is the place your traveling to extremely famous for its cheese? Are there any cooking classes offered? If there aren't too many options, look up some other activities you wouldn't normally do...you could end up loving it!
Put nature to good use! Ice cold beaches make perfect rose coolers
  • Get creative: Sometimes all you need is a view, some wine and cheese, and good company. Whether it's a picnic, a boat ride, or an afternoon ice cream run, making the most out of an adventure requires creativity, especially if you have the case of traveler's disappointment. 
Traveling can literally and figuratively mean you'll encounter turbulence in some adventures that you aren't particularly fond of. And that's perfectly OK...that's the risk and excitement you take when hitting the CONFIRM button at the bottom of the checkout screen. Not every traveler will say they loved every single place they've been to, but they will say it was an enriching experience. So make the best out of every single travel!

*Note: Everyone has different tastes and their own opinion. This post is not meant to offend anyone nor start an argument/discussion about Marseille :)*

Have you been to a place that didn't meet your expectations? Leave a comment below!


16 comments:

  1. That's the worst feeling when you visit somewhere with such high expectations, and then it doesn't live up to them! It definitely sounds like you were able to "turn your frown upside down" and still have an amazing experience. I love the idea of a cooking class if a place is known for having great cheese!

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    1. Definitely did, Ashley! In the end it was 100% worth going and don't regret it- another city in the books ;) Thanks!!

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  2. Great advice for making the most of it. I recently wrote a post on a disappointing visit to Southampton where I struggled to find things to do and somewhere nice to eat that wasn't a chain restaurant, we ended up in Wagamama and Nando's!

    Lisa | Not Quite Enough

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    1. Definitely will check out your post because I will definitely relate to your experience! It's definitely not the best feeling but at the end of the day, it's what you make out of it! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  3. Yes I've heard mixed things about Marseilles, and my friend who comes from near there always jokes about the people who live there being pirates. Anyway, I spent a week in Cassis for said friend's wedding, and it was a gorgeous place. So I totally agree with your judgement on making a day trip out of it! I'm glad you enjoyed your trip in the end, and were able to adjust your expectations without too much upset.

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    1. Hahaha that's so interesting about the pirates! Cassis and the Calanques were both amazing places, so I definitely don't regret making that trip! Thanks for stopping by Rachel!!

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  4. I totally get your disappointment but it's good to hear that you tried to make the best of it! I have the feeling that certain places are so photoshopped and hyped on Pinterest, that they are nothing like it in reality.... I had the same experience when visiting the North Cape...

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    1. The reality is definitely not as it appears on social media (esp instagram!). Now I know to do my share of research instead of just assuming! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  5. This was a refreshing post to read, I sometimes feel weird when I write a post about how I didn't love a city (or even talking about not loving a city amongst friends) but its just being honest. Glad to hear an honest review and that you still made the most of your time

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    1. Thanks!! And yeah I think it's perfectly normal to not be in love with every city you visit....we all have our own taste and preferences! I think though that when you do find a city you love you appreciate it that much more....and that's the beauty of travel!! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  6. I actually felt the exact same way when I visited Marseilles. It just wasn't the "French Riviera" that I was expecting! Sure there were some nice parts, but I found those a little too hard to find, if you know what I mean! These are great tips to get over travelers disappointment though! Every once in a while you just don't mesh with a place, but that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy the experience!

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    1. Exactly! Not every city will blow your mind away but in the end it was still an experience and I feel fortunate to have knocked out another city on my list :) Thanks Lauren!

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  7. You definitely made your disappointment into something positive! Seriously wine, cheese and good company is all it can take sometimes! Xx

    www.theemasphere.com

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    1. Seriously all about the wine and the cheese therapy....works every time! Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Great post! I think it's so important to acknowledge as bloggers when things didn't quite go our way or live up to expectations, as well as the instagram-perfect moments ;) I'm glad you still found ways to enjoy Marseille!

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    1. Thanks Jessi! Exactly, not every picture perfect instagram tells a perfect story ;) Thanks for stopping by!

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