We all end up in places that we just don’t totally love.  It just happens.  I like to keep things real here and have mentioned when I don’t like things or places.  I’m pretty sure I’ve done posts of most of these, but I want to get into it a little more.  I think it’s important that people don’t just talk about how awesome travel is because it’s not always perfect.  The number of days I’ve cried for some lame reason like food or not knowing how to do anything is ridiculous.  But it happens.  It’s not all glamorous.  I love, or at least like, most of the places I’ve visited, but I’ve had my fair share that I just plain didn’t like.

Lanyu (Orchid Island) – Taiwan

Why I didn’t like it

I wasn’t very prepared.  I didn’t realize how big the island is.  It’s not that huge, but you can’t easily bike around it in an afternoon.  It was fairly hilly and to get good views you had to go alllll they way to the top which would be extremely difficult on a bike.  If you can rent a scooter and feel confident driving one, I would recommend that.  I think it would make a world of a difference when visiting.

I couldn’t find food.  Yeah, I couldn’t.  find.  food.  Sounds ridiculous, right?  I was staying in a tiny village without any restaurants and I couldn’t find any shops to get snacks and the only 7/11 was on the other side of the island.  My first day I rented a bike and biked to the next village where I found a restaurant.  I got bacon wrapped french toast.  There was a little shop next door where I got a bunch of snacks for later.

I was supposed to stay for a week and ended up staying for two days.  It was just not the right time for me.

Would I go back?

Yes

Why?

The island was super pretty and with a little more planning it could be awesome to explore.  There are beaches, at least one cave, lots of culture, and some ruins up on the hill.

Tikal Guatemala

Why I didn’t like it

I think a lot of things just didn’t work out.  It was the fourth ruin site I saw within three weeks, maybe?  I may have been ruined out.  So, to the point.  I didn’t see any wildlife.  My camera died like, right away.  I hated how my pictures turned out because of the lighting.  They were either super dark or really washed out, except for a few towards the end.

The whole site is crazy huge and there’s so much to see, we had no idea where to start.  We ended up going with a tour even though I don’t think we paid for it, but we have no idea.  You really need a lot more time to see even a little bit of this.

Would I go back?

Yes

Why?

Like i said, there is SO MUCH to see here, one visit just doesn’t do it justice.  I would definitely go back with a guide and fully charged batteries.  When I see other pictures from there, I always say how much I really need to go back, so yeah.

Leon Nicaragua

Why I didn’t like it

could not get my bearings here.  I was pretty much always lost.  I felt safe walking around on my own, so that wasn’t it.  I’m not totally sure exactly what it was that I didn’t love, but there was something.  The city wasn’t super pretty and I didn’t get to go up on the roof of that church, but I don’t know if that was it either.  There was just something about it.

Would I go back?

Yes

Why?

There are tons of volcanoes in the area that I would love to climb.  I would also like to just explore the city more and, of course, go up on top of that church.  I know a lot of people really like Leon and I definitely think it deserves another chance.

El Nido Philippines

Why I didn’t like it

The town itself is fairly underwhelming.  It’s super busy and I almost got run over way too many times.  Food was expensive and there wasn’t much to do in the town.  The beach wasn’t super great either.  And the ride there from Puerto Princesa was super rough and I would highly recommend Dramamine and sit towards the front of the van or bus if you get car sick.

I wanted to go to Nacpan, but a tricycle was like 20-30 dollars to get there and I couldn’t find anyone to split that with.  The island hopping tours are worth it, but everyone goes to the same beaches at the same time so they’re all super busy.  Las Cabanas beach is nice, but there are tons of other super nice beaches that I was probably comparing it to at that point.  There was just a lot less that I liked than things I didn’t like.  For all the hype, I was fairly disappointed, but still glad I went.

Would I go back?

Probably not

Why?

It’s a trek to get to and there is really only so much to do there.  I don’t think Nacpan would be worth the trip on it’s own because that’s pretty much the only other thing I wanted to see there.  I also don’t dive or really like snorkeling and that’s the main activity in the area.

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Grand CanyonArizona

Why I didn’t like it

I think I was National Park’d out.  It was like the fourth or fifth park on our road trip and we were just worn out.  We didn’t do any hikes or go into the canyon itself.  We just drove and stopped at the overlooks to take pictures.  Neither of us loved it and actually said it was our least favorite place we saw on our trip.  Weird, right?

Would I go back?

Yes

Why?

I would love to go back to hike the Kaibab trail and see the North Rim.  I think hiking and going in the canyon would be a totally different and awesome experience.  I would love to go back this summer, but we’ll see.

Red Frog Beach – Panama

Why I didn’t like it

We ran into a not so nice person on our walk to the beach.  Without getting super into it, we paid our boat driver (who we trusted) and he gave the money to the right people.  Some giant guy stopped us, and only us, on the walk to the beach and demanded we pay.  (There was no one at the little stand when we got there.) We said no and he continued to yell at us to pay him.  He let us go and then on our way back followed us to yell at us even more (and still no one else.)  He said he was calling the police, called someone, then just let us go.  It was not a fun experience and I cried.  That was more reasonable though because I hate getting yelled at.

When we got to the beach though, it wasn’t pretty, it was cloudy, the waves were super rough, and we didn’t see any red frogs.  It was just not a good experience.  I’ve seen pictures of the beach in the sun and it looks really nice, but we just didn’t get that at all.

Would I go back?

Nope

Why?

All of the above.  It was just not a good experience and there are plenty of other beaches I would rather go to.

Carlsbad CavernsNew Mexico

Why I didn’t like it

Yes, it was cool, I’ll give it that, but it wasn’t the coolest cave experience.  It was basically a sidewalk underground with lights all over the cave pointing out the features.  It wasn’t a bad experience by any means, just not exciting.  I like caves and would totally go back if it was more of a spelunking sort of thing.  It wasn’t quite adventurous as I would have hoped, but I guess I didn’t expect that either.

Would I go back?

Nahh

Why?

There’s not a whole lot of other stuff to see there and it was pretty out of the way.  Maybe I would go back if I was in the area to explore more above ground or for a more thorough trip through the cavern, but only if I was already close by.

Rainbow BridgeUtah

Why I didn’t like it

I’m honestly not sure.  It’s not that I didn’t like it, but it just wasn’t as WOW as everyone makes it out to be.  I’m glad I went, but it was just not as cool as I imagined.  I wish I could say more of what I didn’t like, but I don’t know.  I’ve never really known how to explain it.  It is cool for an arch, but it’s just that, an arch.  Or bridge, I guess.

Would I go back?

No

Why?

I already went twice.  The hike isn’t tough, but it’s not one of those things I would want to keep going back to.  I would much rather see new things, especially on the lake since there is so much to see.

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