I have a confession to make.
Mom, if you’re reading this I suggest you close your laptop or put your iPad down now as this is one blog post you ain’t going to like.
I’ve been thinking long and hard over the past few weeks about my blog, my style of writing and the sort of content I produce. And I’ve a big, fat confession to make. Travel isn’t as pretty as I make it out to be and this wonderful life I’m living isn’t always the full picture.
I’m going to tell you a story. It’s pretty graphic. Not only have I not written about this on my blog, or anywhere online, but I have not told a single soul until last night. I confessed to one of my best friends and my travel buddy, and now it’s time to confess to you.
I spent a week travelling in the Maldives (read: paradise) a few months ago, and my blog posts and photos would have you believe I woke up in some sort of real-life fantasy. The truth is a little different. On the day I was due to fly in a private seaplane to a luxury resort island (that I could not afford in a million years) I had the worst stomach cramps of my life. I was in so much pain I wasn’t sure if I should cancel my trip and check into the nearest hospital instead. As this is a recurring problem in my life, thanks to the fact that I simply cannot resist eating whatever local food is put in front of me, I decided to ignore the problem and get on the plane.
I was still excited beyond belief as it was my first time riding in a seaplane. I was in one the most beautiful countries on earth and my long nights of blogging and producing quality content landed me a free stay in a ridiculously fancy hotel. What should have been an incredibly special moment was ruined by the fact that I had the worst diarrhoea of my life and I was on a tiny plane…with no toilet!
I tried to snapchat, to take photos, to be a good blogger. My stomach started making noises so loud the couple in front of me, on their Honeymoon no doubt, actually asked if I was alright. The co-pilot (who was wearing shorts and flip-flops which he had taken off!) seeing my pain and my face turning a weird shade of grey, took my camera off me and took some incredible shots to remember this once-in-a-lifetime moment. I wanted a massive hole in the perfectly-blue ocean to open up and swallow me whole.
I’ve never in my whole life been so happy to get off an airplane. I was counting to 10 in my head, doing weird breathing techniques and praying to every God I’ve ever heard of to just let me not shit my pants in the Maldives. Let me get to my luxury villa, let me get to safety. I stepped off the boat and onto the most beautiful island I’ve ever seen.
And then my life as I knew it descended into darkness.
The manager, the assistant-manager, head chef and every other important person on the island was there to meet me, shake my hand, give me welcome drinks and discuss my “itinerary” for my stay. ITINERARY? I thought I was just getting a free stay now PLEASE show me to the room so I can curl up and die. I excused myself briefly, ran to the toilet in the restaurant temporarily relieved the pain.
Upon exiting, I was told I would be getting an hour-long complete tour of the island and resort. Kill me now. I finished the coconut I had been handed, tried to smile, crossed my legs and again prayed to every god out there that I would not shit myself on a tour of a 5-star resort in the Maldives. I tried to take photos, to be a good blogger. He asked if I wanted to get in the pool,the most insane infinity pool I’ve ever seen. I politely declined. He asked if I wanted to go snorkelling – the resort is home to one of the best dive sites in the Maldives…turtles, sharks, Nemo and a million other interesting tropical fish that I have no doubt would not welcome me into the water in my current state. No thank-you, I said.
I finally checked into my room, and discovered they left me an entire bottle of Champagne as a welcome gift. And chocolates, and fruit and that I could take whatever I wanted from the mini bar FREE OF CHARGE. The reality of my situation dawned on me and I sat on my luxury toilet in my 5-star villa and for the first time in my life I cried my eyes out while emptying the contents of my stomach into the toilet bowl.
Too graphic for you? Ahh but I’m not finished.
I was invited to dine with the Manager at dinner, but not before there would be drinks on the veranda. I stupidly didn’t stick to water like a sane person and had two glasses of wine instead. This resulted in me running to the bathroom three times during our dinner, just as the Manager was telling me about his family back home, his whole life story and how much he loved the Maldives.
Third time lucky, they say, and in my case I just didn’t make it the bathroom in time. It wasn’t much, nothing to write home about, but the reality is that I did indeed shit myself in paradise.
Like I said, life as a travel blogger isn’t as glamorous as you think!