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Reality vs. Expectations: 15 Images That Show The Truth Behind Traveling

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Reality vs. Expectations: 15 Images That Show The Truth Behind Traveling

We all have expectations when it comes to the places we travel to. We look online to find out more about these destinations in terms of the scenery and what the place has to offer. We have an idea in our mind regarding how the destination will look and all the pictures you are going to take to update your social media profiles. The truth is you cannot always believe what you see online. Pictures posted online are meant to display the best of the destination. As beautiful as these destinations are, the truth is that these places are bound to be packed with tourists just like you. Especially if you are traveling during high peak season, such as the warmer months. These tourist attractions will be filled with many travellers going to places for the same reasons you are. Just because you are unhappy with what you are seeing, it should not discourage you from visiting these places.

When travelling, no matter how crazy, bizarre or weird the place you are visiting may be, it is always a good idea to find the beauty in everything, and if you do, you will not be disappointed. Some places can have hidden secrets that are not known by every traveller and that is what makes them unique.

Some places are not what you expect them to be, therefore it is better to keep an open mind when visiting a place. Here are 15 images that expose the truth behind travelling.

15. Cat Island, Japan

via: Metro

Easily accessed by ferry,  Japan’s east coast will drop you off  at an island called Tashirojima, where there are more cats inhabiting the island than there are humans. This island is also known as “Cat Island”. Travellers feel like this island was made for cat lovers to visit an island of their dreams. The truth behind the island is that these cats were brought there to take care of silkworms and mice issues. Local fisherman believed that these cats brought good luck to the island. That island also has a cat shrine dedicated to all the cats.  Now made for tourists, the island gets many visitors every day and is very popular amongst cat lovers. To accommodate tourists, this island even has cat shaped cabins for people to stay in.

14. Lake Hillier, Western Australia

via: Pinterest / CN Traveler

Known for having pink coloured water, Lake Hillier is located on the largest island of Western Australia. Scientists believe that it is able to remain pink all year round because of the large amounts of salt found in the water. Combined with salt-attracting algae species known as Dunaliella salina and bacteria that is also pink known as halobacteria help turn the water pink. Even when the water is in a bottle, it is still able to remain pink in colour. The good news is that despite the bacteria that is in the water, you are allowed to swim in it; the bad news is that the lake is hard to reach and not easily accessible to the public. The lake is a popular stop for tourists, but it is also used as a water supply for the locals.

13. Thailand Beaches

via: En Circle/ Adventure In You

Thailand is known for their beautiful picturesque beaches. Making it a great place for your next vacation. It is a prime location for those who love to update their social media world on their travels, however the picture may be hiding the truth about the country’s beaches. You are not likely to be alone on a private beach, but instead you will be sharing that public beach with many other tourists. Since it is very popular, Thailand beaches can get very crowed during popular traveling times. The water may be crystal clear and the sand soft and white, but it will be hard to find a spot to settle while you enjoy the beach. Not every beach looks like the ones you see online, public beaches can be very dirty and not what you expect.

12. Stonehenge, United Kingdom

via: Mark Anstee

Located in Wiltshire, England, Stonehenge is visited by millions of tourists every year. The story behind Stonehenge is not clear and everyone knows a different legend. With so much mystery, this location is a perfect stop to add to your list while in England. You were once able to walk up to the stones, however in order to preserve it, you can no longer get close to it, but instead admire it from afar. If you wish to touch the stones you are able to touch them at certain times of the year and certain times of the day. If you are unable to visit Stonehenge during the times you are able to touch the stones, you are left with no choice but to use the zoom on your camera and only imagine what the stones actually feel like.

11. Great Wall of China

via: Earth Trekkers

Built across the east-to-west borders of northern China to protect the Chinese states and empires, the Great Wall has been a major tourist attraction. The wall provides beautiful scenery and great views of the country’s horizon. Visiting the Great Wall is a picture perfect moment, however there are parts of the wall that are not the safest. It is not as easy to actually walk the full length of the wall. With millions of tourists visiting the Great Wall at any time of the year, the wall is bound to need repairs and restoration. The beautiful vision of the Great Wall that you had in mind is tampered by numerous of people, however it is still a great place to put on your bucket list.

10. Taj Mahal, India

via: Branko Kadri/ The G Holidays

Located in India, the Taj Mahal is open to the public for a fee and sees millions of visitors every year. With that number on the rise, travellers can expect long lines and big crowds around this well-known ivory-white marble building. This building is a part of the New 7 Wonders of The World, which means tourism for the Taj Mahal will not be slowing down any time soon. The Taj Mahal is very popular in the off season due to the extreme hot weather in the summer months. Even though it is a beautiful building, the surrounding area does not reflect the lavish building that is the Taj Mahal. The area around the Taj Mahal is run down and in a distress state. This is a notion you would not get from the beautiful pictures you see online.

9. Glass Beach, California, USA

via: California Beaches

The side affect of years of garbage being disposed on a beach located in California created a beautiful beach known as Glass Beach. Up until the 1960s people were dumping electrical appliances, bottles, cans and other items on to the beach. After the 1960s people stopped dumping their garbage on the beach, after they started to realize the damage it was doing. Over the years, the waves broke down the garbage into colourful pebbles, thus creating glass pebble rocks. It is ironic that a beautiful beach is the result of a polluted beach filled with garbage. The beach has now become a major tourist attraction and has thousands of visitors each day. Even though this beach is such a popular spot, it is under threat because tourists are starting to take home the glass pebbles.

8. Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

via: Mental Floss

Famous for having an accidental tilt, the Leaning Tower is located in the Italian city of Pisa. It is the third oldest architecture in the city and is placed at the back of the Pisa Cathedral. This landmark has become a infamous location for tourists who want to see a structure that looks like it is about to fall. The motive was not for the construction to have a tilt. The structure started to lean during the development of the structure because it was assembled on unstable ground that was unable to hold the weight of the tower. Since the tower is so popular amongst travellers there is always a huge crowd around the tower.  There is a high chance you will get someone in the background trying to get that perfect picture of them holding up the tower.

7. The Forbidden City, Beijing, China

via: Word Press

Located in central Beijing, the Forbidden City sounds like a place where most people are not welcomed to visit. However, it is the complete opposite and it is open to the public to visit. It was once the imperial palace in the Ming and Qing era and people were not allowed to visit unless they receive special permission. Now it has thousands of visitors daily because it has been transformed into the Palace Museum for the public to visit. Since it was a place that was once forbidden people are now interested in the lives of those who were once the only ones allowed in.  It may sound like a spooky place that no one would want to visit, but some people enjoy taking the forbidden route in life.

6. The Sydney Opera House, Australia

via: Redbubble

The Sydney Opera House is located Australia is a performing arts centre. It has many venues that host over 1,500 performances a year and welcomes over 1.2 million people each year. The Opera House is a part of the 20th century’s most famous construction and finds itself packed with tourists from all over the world looking to watch or listen to a great performance. The Opera House can be viewed along the Sydney Harbour, however with many visitors, it is hard to get a great view and it best viewed from afar. The harbour can get extremely crowded, especially in the warmer months because there are many places to grab a bite to eat and a drink. Visiting the Opera House in the cold winter months may not provide you with the amazed affect you are hoping for as it is mostly covered in snow and the weather is not perfect to be outdoors.

5. Central Park, New York, America

via: Fodors/CMPU

Central Park is a popular destination for locals and visitors to relax and enjoy the outdoors within a busy city. People flock to Central Park at any time throughout the year, however it is most popular during the warmer months. Spread across 843 acres, Central Park is the most visited urban park in America with over 40 million visitors a year. Many films have been filmed in Central park, which allows people to see where some of their favourite movies have been filmed. It also has large open areas ideal for engaging in exercise activities, such as yoga. It is a excellent alternate spot to get away for the city without having to go far. The Central Park Zoo can also be found within the park.  Travellers should keep in mind that large crowds can be dangerous and to always be aware of your surroundings.

4. Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

via: Tourist Spots Info

Situated along the international border between Canada and United States, Niagara Falls forms the highest flow rate of any waterfall in North America. Best viewed from the Canadian side, Niagara Falls draws in crowds from both sides of the border. However the falls also attracts people from all around the world who want visit these great falls. The view is simply amazing and surely makes a great picture. The falls are not the only attraction in town; there are many things for people to do in the town of Niagara. The area is also popular for their casinos, nightlife and restaurants. During the summer months, Niagara is the place to be for locals and those from out of town, however an increase in population means longer lines and more crowds.

3. The Acropolis of Athens, Greece

via: Maps of the World/Travelling Mom

Located on a rocky surface above the city of Athens, the Acropolis contains the remains of many ancient buildings of architectural and history importance. Many tourists visit the Acropolis to view the famous Parthenon. For travellers who enjoy visiting places that hold a lot of history, Athens is a great place to visit. With a lot of remains from ancient greek history there are a lot of bizarre structures to be seen. Even though these structures are ancient and are preserved the best that they could be, the structures do endure a lot of decay over the years and are not in original state and may also not portray the vision you had in mind. It is also notable that due to large crowds and packed areas, Athens may not be what travellers envisioned.

2. Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy

via: Canvas Opedia

Legends say if you throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain you are guaranteed to return to the city. The coin should be thrown with your right hand over your left shoulder in order for it to come true. The fountain is simply breathtaking and it will be a scene travellers will remember for a lifetime, however getting a great view of the fountain can be troublesome as the fountain draws in million of visitors every year. Large crowds can discourage tourists to visit a certain location, however the Trevi Fountain is still a mist see while in Italy.  As beautiful as it is, there has been times when the fountain is a subject to vandalization, therefore ruining something that is to iconic to those who visit it. You expect to see a beautiful fountain, but in reality it is demolished.

1. Red Beach, Panjin, China

via: Curiosity/ Travel + Leisure

Coated with a type of seaweed that only turns red in autumn, Red Beach in China is covered in Sueda. This marshland is essential for migrating birds and is important to the system surrounding it. Red Beach is not your typical beach, in the sense that you most likely will not be seeing people enjoying some fun in the sun. Even though it is called a beach, only a small area is open to the public, the rest can be explored by walking along a wooden walkway that spans out to sea. As beautiful as this place is, it is important to know if you want to see the beach at its best you can only visit during the autumn months and can only be enjoyed from afar or on a small part of the beach. Most people have in mind a beach that has red sand, but in reality the sand in not red it is just covered in red coloured seaweed.

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