Travel is Not Always Glamorous – Despite What Instagram Says

Memorable Moments of My Fab Fifties Life

Location: Costa Rica

Let’s just say it.  Sometimes a life of full-time travel or even a short vacation, can just plain suck.

Travel is not always glamorous

Clinic in Namibia

Despite what everyone tries to make you believe through social media – travel, like everything else in life, can and will involve many less-than-glamorous moments.

Travel is not always glamorous

Bad hair day in Denmark

You will puke.  You will have diarrhea.  You will be exhausted.  You will snore and or drool on an airplane.  You will fall off your paddle board and lose your swim top.  You will have horrendous humidity hair. You will not shave your legs for weeks at a time. You will sweat. You will cough so hard you pee.  You will fall

Humidity hair in Costa Rica

on your face even though you are sober. You will get caught in a downpour in your only nice shoes. You will get sunburned. You will get a thousand bug bites. You will lose your luggage. You will inevitably need to see a pharmacist, doctor or dentist in a foreign country.

Travel is not always glamorous despite what Instagram says.

Travel is not always glamorous

Not figure flattering in Chile

Travel is real.  And though it is, for the most part, a wonderful and fun adventure, it is not always perfect.

Take yesterday for example. After a year and a half of babying along a bad tooth, I spent six hours in a dentist chair in Costa Rica.  They cleaned me, extracted the bad tooth, did a bone graft and gave me an implant.  It was a  long and painful way to spend Valentines Day.  But it was necessary.  And much cheaper than doing it in the USA.

Not too glamorous as I sat there with the dentist prodding and poking

Best and Worst airports

Motion sickness in Seychelles

and prying me all day long.  I did walk away with some good pain meds.  I’m putting those to good use right now.

Travel is not always glamorous

Cold and wet in Spain

No, travel is not always glamorous, despite what Instagram says.  I’ve written blogs before about how frustrating I find so-called “influencers” on Instagram who make it look like travel is perfect every day.  Who make every destination look like a magazine cover.    Who are young, thin and glamorous in every shot. It is not reality. It is not authentic.  It is all fake news.

I am not now, nor will I ever be “thin”.  I am, shall we say, endowed.  But I am not

Walk On

Covered with flies in Australia

ashamed.  This is me, real in the flesh, not a made up version for Instagram.  Glamorous? No.  And I sure didn’t feel glamorous in the dentist chair, or when I was sick in the bathroom, or covered with sweat, or drenched from the rain, or laying on the

Not so glamorous swimsuit shot in Costa Rica

sidewalk wondering “how did I get down here?”

Don’t believe everything you see on Social Media.  I think most of you know this already.  Instead, get out and see the real authentic

Not so glamorous at the dentist in Costa Rica

world yourself – it will be amazing, if not glamorous, and you will be a better person for the experience. Real, authentic and fabulous travel.  It’s the best kind.

Just remember to bring your Imodium.

Be fabulous (not glamorous).






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  • Reply Jenn Summers

    Oh no! I’m so sorry about your tooth. Tooth pain is the absolute worse. I hope the rest of your vacation is ‘fabulous’. This is a great post. When we go anywhere with our three girls it’s never a smooth picture perfect vacation haha.

    February 15, 2019 at 11:08 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Just like real life!

      February 15, 2019 at 4:42 pm
  • Reply Karen

    Oh so agree with you. Travel is not a Utopian escape from life. It has its shit days as well as euphoric. I so relate to the fabulous not glamerous. kx

    February 15, 2019 at 11:20 am
  • Reply DaLorean

    This is the best, most real post I’ve read!

    And yet to the “losing your luggage” thing. This happened to me on a trip and I was pretty much screwed for a few days without my luggage (thankfully the airlines eventually found it). UGH!

    I’ve also had things stolen out of my luggage, so that’s always fun when you open it up and your stuff has been ruffled and things are missing. Grr!

    February 15, 2019 at 2:22 pm
    • Reply Laureen

      We’ve been pretty lucky but it is such a nightmare when you lose your luggage!!

      February 15, 2019 at 4:42 pm
  • Reply Jane

    This is so true! Lots of people make travel seem so glamorous. However, there is quite a lot that makes travel quite unglamorous yet, as you say, so worth it. So sorry to hear about that excruciating experience in the dentist chair.

    February 15, 2019 at 3:36 pm
    • Reply Laureen

      Thank you! I’m feeling better already!

      February 15, 2019 at 4:41 pm
  • Reply Alma

    I think we’ve all had our moments of not being glamorous while traveling, some occasions worse than others, so great topic! Be fab! I like that.

    February 16, 2019 at 3:07 am
  • Reply Alison

    So true! As an Australian living in Europe, I do not miss the flies, that’s for sure. I feel your dental pain, I twisted my ankle in Spain back in September, I had to visit a pharmacy and do charades to explain I needed to buy an ankle brace. After a few beers in the evenings, the pain just disappeared! 😉

    February 16, 2019 at 6:53 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Haha. A few beers is always a good cure. Cheers!

      February 16, 2019 at 8:50 am
  • Reply Josy A

    Eep! I hope you are feeling better with your tooth! I had my wisdom teeth out last week so I am literally feeling you pain. 😉

    I totally agree, it’s better to be fabulous than glamorous! Although, I have to admit, i am impressed with the ladies that can take photos in frocks at the top of mountains! I am always a sweaty (happy) mess! Some of those insta-ladies have some real dedication to their art. It may not be realistic, but they do look amazing.

    February 16, 2019 at 9:35 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Haha. You are right! I think they have “people”.

      February 16, 2019 at 10:11 am
  • Reply Jaimi

    Love this post! Soooo true! We take very ambitious road trips with 4 young kids and we’ve had out fair share of non-glamorous moments! I’m sure once we venture out of the states when they’re older, we will have even more of those moments! Thanks for your honesty. Hope you’re better and up on your feet by now! 🙂

    February 16, 2019 at 7:59 pm
  • Reply Jenn - The Solivagant Soul

    Hahaha Lovely post! I wrote a similar post on my blog about a year ago on a similar lines. Being on the road at all times isnt mostly glamorous but it mostly leans towards your average day-to-day with peaks of awesome. Enjoy those pain meds hahaha

    February 17, 2019 at 4:22 am
  • Reply Jane

    I really needed to hear this today. I’m in Aruba and everyone back home is like “OMG Aruba lucky!!” And imagining me at a fancy hotel with a Pina colada. In reality everything has been going wrong including damage to my rental car while it was parked and I was off swimming. Thanks for being real!

    February 17, 2019 at 10:23 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Ahhh hang in there. It will be worth it in the end!

      February 17, 2019 at 12:05 pm
  • Reply Elle

    So agree with this! I have had do many cringe worthy moments over the years. Great post!

    February 17, 2019 at 3:02 pm
  • Reply Christina Daggett

    No, it’s not always glamorous, but in the 7 years we’ve been perpetually traveling we’ve learned a few things that make this lifestyle easier. Sorry to hear about your ordeal at the dentist. I had problems with my teeth years ago, and it scared me into having them checked, once a yea, in whatever country we’re in. I just had a deep cleaning and check-up here in Tblisi, Georgia. It cost about $45 USD. I’m happy to say that though the dentist didn’t speak a word of English, it was a really good experience. Hope your feeling better and enjoying El Salvador.

    February 21, 2019 at 9:59 pm
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