Studies show that people who take vacations are happier than those who do not. However, on the flip side, there are a few travellers who claim to have had a mediocre trip. The reasons are many, but the most common is vacation expectations. And it is rightly so because the wild anticipation and expectations are mere feelings that are rarely met in reality.
Vacation expectations are similar to expectations for an interview; in a sense, they are disappointing and frustrating when they don't go according to our plan. Likewise, during vacation, the moment our expectations meet anti-climax, we wish we could check out. We spend days to book an ideal destination to escape the mundane work, nevertheless what we experience when we arrive at the destination is a pure disappointment. And this sense of deflation is rather high when our vacation expectations are not met.
Expectations are mere thoughts that we picture in our heads to tame our future. But, these assumptions often let us down. When we travel, we create an itinerary to meet our innate thoughts. Somedays it goes according to the plan and other days it can be a slump. However, it is vital to know why we have such expectations in the first place.
Here are a few reasons why we feel let-down even after visiting our dream destination:
1. OTT Social Media
Love it or hate it, but in today's world, social media is omnipresent - millions, if not billions, bank on social media for news, entertainment, and travel information. And with hundreds of million influencers trying to promote best, unknown, offbeat destinations around the world; with reviews, images, how to's and travel hacks, it is natural to desire for a similar experience. However, these implicit promises give us a false sense of expectations. And these expectations are barely met in reality.
2. Friends And Colleagues
We all have a few friends who travel a great deal and live their dreams. And most of them are storytellers. They naturally share good vacation experiences, some actual incidents and a few pure fantasies. As fun and vital, their narrations may sound, they innately create expectations in our mind. And somehow unknowingly driven by these expectations, we try to recreate those experiences. Unfortunately, it is not possible to live someone else's experience. So, when a vacation doesn't meet our expectations, we feel flustered and disappointed.
3. Mind Games
It is natural to get excited when we book an itinerary for a dream destination. After a year-long hard and routine work, it feels refreshing to go on a vacation. And once the course is set, we slowly start exercising our imagination. We read countless reviews and also call our friends to burst our travel news. We build the destination in our mind with beautiful postcard-perfect photos and force dive into stunning scenes of natural beauty. It brings so much joy, right!
But of course, our expectations will let us down. The things will never pan out completely according to our plan. Sometimes even the most visited or sought after destination can rub us the wrong way. Reality can strike us in any destination and can strike hard.
The Way Forward
It is fine to anticipate a destination joyfully. However, we should evaluate our expectations and understand that nothing is ever as it appears. Having an open mind and being flexible is the right way to approach vacation. Letting go of expectations will help you have an authentic travel experience.