Regrets? I Only Have Three.

Regrets? I Only Have Three.

When I think about regret, it’s hard for me not to think of Edith Piaf and her song, Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien, or No, I Regret Nothing. It’s all about forgetting what happened in the past, the good and the bad, and starting fresh.

But, no matter how good we are at sweeping the past under the rug and moving on, some of us still have regrets and disappointments. I tend to not dwell on these, and live my life making such great memories in the present, that the past isn’t something I think back on too often.

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And, while in the present, I try to live my life in a way that I will have no regrets, especially while I am traveling. If there’s something I’m nervous about trying, whether it be an exotic local food or an activity, I ask myself, will I regret not experiencing this? When the answer is yes, I push through whatever is holding me back. This mentality is what has made me swim with Great Whites in South Africa, walk with lions in Zimbabwe, go white water rafting in Thailand, and crawl into Egyptian pyramids, just to name a few.

Still, there are a few travel regrets that I hold, and recently, Lola, at Where in the World is Lola?, tagged me in a post about travel regrets, you can read about her’s here. While at first I thought coming up with them would be difficult, it turned out, there were three specific moments that stood out. Lola and I even shared one!

Not studying abroad

While looking at colleges to attend, studying abroad was something I was interested in. Though, I wasn’t sure that I could spend that much time so far away from my family. Once I enrolled in college, I learned that the time away from home wasn’t bad, but that I picked the wrong major if I intended on leaving the country.

With a dual major in elementary and special education, along with a 30-credit concentration in English, it would be nearly impossible to make it work. Especially since I had to allot a certain amount of hours in multiple classroom each semester. Taking almost 18 credits each semester and observing teachers meant it wasn’t going to happen.

But, it all could have been worse. Three of my close friends wound up studying abroad, and so, I visited them instead. First, in Rome, and the following year in London. While I didn’t have the study abroad experience for an entire semester, I got to live it twice in two different countries. Plus, that trip to London was the first time I ever traveled by myself, and these two trips were probably reasons why I fell so deeply in love with travel.

London.

London.

Rome (Photo Credit: Nicole)

Rome (Photo Credit: Nicole)

Not heading to Australia

I knew I wanted to travel in the summer of 2010, but I couldn’t find anyone from home to come with me. My cousin, Michelle, and her friends Caroline, Linda, and Ciara, all teachers from Ireland, were planning a two month trip through Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. Since Michelle and I have a great-uncle who lives in New Zealand, I asked her if she would mind if I met her down there. She was more than open to the idea and even told me to stay the extra week and go to Fiji too. I was in!

At the time, this was an ideal trip, but looking back, I should have met the girls a week earlier in Australia before heading to New Zealand. While I regret not going, this past summer, in Africa, I became close with quite a few friends who are from Australia. Which means, I’ll be visiting them sometime in the near future – regret resolved!

Don't see me?  That's because this is Oz, and I'm not there.

Don’t see me? That’s because this is Oz, and I’m not there.

Missing out on Cambodia

When I headed to Asia in the summer of 2011, with the Irish girls from the previous trip, we had tentative plans to go from Bangkok through Cambodia to Vietnam. I was beyond excited, as I had been dreaming of visiting South East Asia for years. I don’t plan much when I travel, so we only had flights into and out of Bangkok, and planned to figure out our route and accommodations as we went.

But, when we tried to book our bus to Siem Reap, we ran into a bit of trouble. The place we tried to book informed us that there had been many issues with buses being gassed or people coming on and robbing everyone on board at gunpoint. Clearly, this was not how we wanted to spend our vacation.

At that point, flights to Siem Reap were too expensive, so we resolved to stay in Thailand and head to Chiang Mai, which wasn’t in our plans. We spent four days there, and they were four of my favorite days in the vacation.

When we got to Vietnam, we met many travelers who had taken in the bus from Thailand without a single trouble. This obviously made us regret our decision even more, though at the time, our safety seemed like it could have been at risk.

Even though it still breaks my heart that I didn’t get to experience Cambodia, I know, without a doubt, that I will get there soon, especially because I plan on heading back to Thailand and Vietnam.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

My disappointments are ones that I can, for the most part, make up for. Sure, I didn’t get to study abroad, but maybe one day, I will live in another country. As far as Australia and Cambodia are concerned, there’s no doubt in my mind that I will get there. So while I have a few disappointments, they aren’t ones that I spend my time dwelling on because I have years of my life still left to travel.

What about you? Do you have any regrets?

Who I’m tagging:
Wake Up Mona
Bridgekeeping Traveller
a hell LOVE a town

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Comments (25)

  1. Mariella

    Thanks for tagging me, Erin!! I’ll get going on that soon. I’m like you though, I don’t regret much – and I try to live a life that doesn’t ask for regrets. You’re right though, there’s always something 🙂

    1. The World Wanderer

      🙂 It’s hard to live with none! But, at least if we aren’t thinking about them everyday, I think we’re good.

  2. Kieu ~ GQ trippin

    No regrets.. because you still have time do go to all of those! When I studied abroad in college, we had a photography class ranging from 20 year olds to 60! 😀

    1. The World Wanderer

      Exactly! Though so many people think you have to do it all before you get married and have kids. Not me! 🙂

  3. Sarah

    Thank you for the tag!! I think I’m too young to have many regrets and one of the reasons I travel is so that I don’t have any! I think my biggest one though is not taking advantage of the things closest to me. Sometimes I’m so focused on the future and far away places that I forget about what is right in front of me!

    1. The World Wanderer

      I completely agree! I’ve been trying to focus on what’s right in front of me lately. I don’t want to miss out on anything. 🙂

  4. Michelle

    Regrets? One already but by the end of May Two! As you know Erin I met you when we were both booking a walk with the Lions in Zimbabwe I also planned to do the sunset criuse & so a helicopter flight over the Zambezi River & Falls. Did it all!
    Went inside two pyramids in Egypt months after their revolution in April 2011! Went up in a hot air balloon above the Valley of the Kings (not part of my tour!)
    In New Guinea, Madang scuba dived in Shark Alley!
    In Bali climbed Mt Batur an active volcano then a few years later did the same in Java on Mt Bromo. On my own (with local guide).
    In China found out about the insect market in Beijing and went did the Li River cruise my regret there was not going to the night market in Yangshuo after being told it was run by the local Mafia!!!
    My May regret will be not going to the Galapagos Islands a life long dream especially when I’m so close BUT it’s another reason to go back to Sth America!
    Cambodia & Siem Riep I’m available if you want a travel companion?

    1. The World Wanderer

      LOVE IT, Michelle! This is why we got along so well! Yes, you can always go back to Galapagos – I’ll go with you! AND, yes to Cambodia. 🙂

  5. D.J. - The World of Deej

    Kieu pretty much nailed it…Well, maybe you can’t go back and do a semester abroad, but you can go for three months or so and pretend:) That happens to be one of mine too…

    1. The World Wanderer

      It’s probably more fun now…I have more money than I did then!

  6. @mrsoaroundworld

    Hey! No regrets.. you can still do everything again and again!! Good ones, though!

    1. The World Wanderer

      I agree! At least I can make up for them, right?!

  7. Anita

    I fully understand your first regret. I also totally regret that I didn’t study aborad but as you I choosed the wrong major…. *sigh*

    1. The World Wanderer

      Looks like we’re making up for it now though, right? 😉

  8. Pola (@jettingaround)

    Funny… When I was writing my regrets post, Edith Piaf kept on popping into my head. 🙂 Great minds… 😉

    The good thing about your #2 and #3 is that you can still do it. And as for #1, at least you got to visit! Here’s not not regretting anything anymore! 🙂

    1. The World Wanderer

      I agree! No more regrets. Of course, Edith popped into our heads…France. <3

  9. If Only…? On Regrets and Making Peace

    […] what happened in the past, the good and the bad, and starting fresh.” Read her whole post here. And also, follow her on twitter @TheWrldWanderer because she is […]

  10. the lazy travelers

    ooh, i hear you on studying abroad. both the wino and the hubs had amazing experiences in france, but i was faced with either taking a semester abroad OR graduating a semester early. i’m making up for it now, though, and i’m sure you’ll have the chance to do the same 🙂 xo! the romantic

    1. The World Wanderer

      Yes, you are making up for it now, and I’m sure I will too. 🙂

  11. lola

    ok girlfriend. the study abroad thing is apparently a common theme. i thought i was the only one who missed out on this. maybe travel obsessed adults are the ones who didn’t do semesters abroad &, to be honest, i’d rather be travel obsessed now than have turned in my travel dance card! i agree with what everyone else (including you) has said. all is make-up-able. i’ll meet you any time, anywhere! xoxo – LOLA

    1. The World Wanderer

      Who knew so many people had the same regret?! The greatest part about traveling now is the fact that we have money, and we don’t have to spend our time inside the classroom. Where shall we complete our grown-up semester abroad?!

  12. Aaron

    That’s great news, that you will get the chance to go to Australia soon yeay! That travel regret 🙁 will turn to all smiles :).

  13. James Cook

    I think I regret not getting as involved in the local community as I would have liked while I lived in Wellington due to spending too much time working on a website.

  14. Ted Nghiem

    Well if you regret something, it means you lived. At least that is the saying unless I totally messed it up. As for my own travel regrets? I am going to bullet point this as it’s easier as a list. ha!
    * I didn’t eat anything from the local pubs and places in Ireland. Sure sure the cuisine is finally looking like it is getting better, I spent my entire month there making my own food. I should have at least ventured out to try the food at least once.
    * When it Thailand for a couple weeks, I just checked out Bangkok and the street scenes in that city. I wish I went out outside of Bangkok.
    * Not waiting 5 minutes before crossing the street in Dalat, Vietnam. I wouldn’t have gone through the painful surgery and physical therapy on my wrist, if I just waited 5 minutes for the moped to go. I was in the cross walk and when I looked both ways, the moped driver looked a good 8 minutes away. Darn depth perception! Crappy thing was… I just arrived in Dalat when it happened.
    * I regret not eating at more of the street stalls in Vietnam. Thankfully, I am planning to go back and devour it all.

  15. Renuka

    Thankfully no regrets so far! Hope you fulfill all your travel dreams1

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