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Why you should never trust a travel review written by someone in love

By Vivian Warby


Very early on, shortly after one of my relationships had ended, I learnt a lesson of valuable importance - to never trust a travel writer who writes a review when they are in love.


As it was I found myself on a long train journey - one my ex and I had loved so dearly a mere year previously - but this time me hating every minute of it.

What I had found romantic with him - no diner cart, no problem, we would feed on love itself - was now a complete irritant for me. As my stomach growled, so too did my heart! How had I not seen the many inadequacies of this trip?


It had probably been an irrational decision to travel by myself by rail instead of by air for a short visit back home - but previously the train trip had soothed my soul and filled me with such delight. I had recalled that even though the ticket had been cheap - the trip had been laced with the illusionary traps of perfection In which early love would have you fall.


This time though, as I sat trying to fan myself with my book, the sweltering hot non-air conditioned cart held none of the steamy lust it previously had, and I heard myself bemoaning the second class ticket.


The scenery was still beautiful, but every cloud and every dust particle that settled reminded me of my past love and so instead of the awe and gratitude I had previously seen it all with, everything was accompanied by a lump in my (dry) throat.(oh what I would have done for a drinks cart).


I recalled on writing our rail travel story after we returned home that previous year, my partner gently saying to me: ‘I don’t know if people will see it in the way you have’.


Perhaps I should have realised then that his love was fast fading while mine was still full of its first eternal blush.


Almost everything I had found quirky a year previously - including the stopping in the middle of nowhere as we waited to get the train fixed - was now heavy and burdensome and I found myself “tsk tsking“ more often than I feel proud to share.

I am unsure now, why he and I had ever dated or why we had broken up. But what keeps playing back to me is how things had looked so different a mere year apart.


It so happened that these memories had come flooding back a few months ago while reading a friend’s travel escapades. She, with a lightness of heart and with all the imagination of a brain skewed by love, explained situations that would in normal “not in love” times have spelled “holiday disaster“.

Her clearly illogical oohs and aaahs took me on this train journey to my past and my aha moment - that one should never trust a travel review written by someone in love.


And, perhaps even more so - never to trust one written by someone who is in the throes of heartbreak.


.... As they say, .... the world is not as it is but as we are ....


Until our next travels ... stay safe And happy writing.


Copyright: Vivian Warby


  • Vivian is a writing coach and counsellor. Email her on Vivian@wordwarrior.co.za

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