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20 Emotional Traumas Of Travel - Dangers

“What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, Stand a little taller, Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone, What doesn't kill you makes a fighter." - Kelly Clarkson


20 Emotional Traumas of Travel

I am an Indiana farm boy, and as be the culture, we farm boys sort of endure trauma, problems, and headaches, it is against my culture to complain. We more or less think,
“Listen up, Shut up, Grow up, and deal with it.”

--- A rant is a signal of emotional trauma...

It the John Wayne approach of life, and really the same for 80 percent of the planet, we see talking about problems as a weakness, something people exploit, so best to not expose. (Unless Super) Although this is not trendy, or politically correct for the USA, it is my opinion after 20 years of living abroad, in 107 countries, that best to listen, shut up, and grow up, but most important is to deal with problems as they arise, but anticipation is solution. Only a human can anticipate problems weeks ahead, and modify, or adapt, solve, yet only a God can know all the problems in advance.

We Indiana farmers are aware, maybe we have a little more common sense, practical knowledge. And, what is practical knowledge? The definition of practical is something learned by an experience, rather than by reading, or theories, it is a hands on approach. To be good at farming, one needs to be a “Jack of all Trades.”

To travel, we need to be a “Jack of all Trades,” or pay.

How to avoid emotional travel anywhere? We must anticipate 80 percent of the problems, plan ahead, and solve 20 percent right on the spot. If we are person who can fix a light switch, download apps, patch drywall, and change spark plug, maybe reboot a smartphone to factory mode, then our lives will be easier, and cheaper, we will have the practical knowledge to adapt. Don’t be afraid, anyone can have practical knowledge, travel the world and deal with it, sort of raw, and all over the place.

There is no way to avoid these travel emotional traumas. --- it is best to be able to adapt, 

  1. Hunger Emergency Trauma: Not eating for 24 to 48 hours.

  2. Cold, Freezing Trauma: Examples would be air conditioning on bus, plane, or a hotel with no heat.

  1. Cultural Trauma: An example would be a person pissing on your leg.

  2. Noise Trauma: An example would be a rooster crowing for 3-10 hours.

  3. Confusion Trauma: There are subject, or situations that some people can never learn, or understand, like maybe how to design a nuclear bomb.

  4. Bodily Urination, Defecation Trauma: We will watch people, if you have yet to see man, or woman piss in public, then keep traveling.

  5. Traffic Danger Trauma: The road rules of Europe, or USA will be deeply missed as a traveler.

  6. Medical Fear Trauma: Fear of dying.

  7. Loneliness Trauma: When people return home quickly.

  8. Beggars Trauma: When a person cannot say no, this is signal they have this trauma.

  9. Dirtiness Trauma: LOL Laugh Out Loud -- We just do not know how dirty it can be....

  10. Malcontents Trauma: An example of this is, the "I hate the USA" people who rant.

  11. Malnutrition Trauma: There are countries so dirty, it is hard to eat anything, and people develop boils, pimple, etc.

  12. Losing the Plot - No Filters of Friends, to say, "You are talking crazy."

  13. Insects: This is a problem when a person has never experience insects.

  14. Salespeople Trauma: An overwhelming when people follow us, never stop.

  15. Negotiating Trauma: To look a person in the eyes, many people fold, and feel resentments because they failed.

  16. NGO, Missionaries: I suffer from this, I cannot bear to watch them take nice little old peoples money and spend it foolishly. 

  17. Danger of getting killed: Self-Explanatory.

  18. Robbed Trauma: If you have never been robbed in your life, then welcome, bienvenidos, it is common abroad.

  19. Natural disaster, but same for USA, volcano, floods, typhoons, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.

  20. Terror attacks.

 Many people arrive home with a form of PTDS, Post Trauma Distress Syndrome, or they arrive home capable of changing their world for the better.

Thank you,

Andy Lee Graham


I wrote a Travel Blog, 20 Emotional Traumas Of Travel - Dangers --- We are having some problems here weaving this into the Hobo Traveler Talk Wall.


Hi Andy,

Just enjoyed reading your perspective on 20 Emotional Traumas of Travel. Interesting. I guess you would know. Although I sort of understand where you are coming from, I do kind of wish you wouldn't generalize about Missionaries and NGOs. There are wonderful, conscientious, and extremely hard working people in both groups (even though admittedly, there are questionable ones as in any group). I have known many people whose lives were positively affected and who were given useful schooling/training, & hope and a future as a result of the efforts of people in some of those organizations, despite their imperfections! Just sayin'... :-)

It was really great to be able to meet you, briefly, while I was there in Pana this last week and wonderful to see you have recovered so well from your broken bone trauma, and that you are the picture of health right now. Way to go Andy!!! Thanks also for letting me actually see and try on one of your vests. They are really cool. I am convinced and have just ordered one from Amazon...and am having it sent to my Mom's in the U.S.A. Can hardly wait to start putting it to use!!!


Andy, I concur with the above. Many good and many bad NGOs. You too have started two NGOs for which you have solicited funds. Moma Says and malaria screen were each noble intentions.


Mama Says is a spin off of the Malaria, and in so many ways Mama Say's is meant to stop NGO's, by empowering people, I wish to make them moot. I believe the only aid needed is sharing of knowledge, which is the goal of Mama Says, there is the exceptions of great natural disasters, which is where the Red Cross works great. I continually work to stop NGO's, but need help, we have a line of T-shirts coming out to pay for it, wish I could make faster progress, but I am alone.


Andy ,Living close to Washington, DC I know retires who worked for USAID. Most thought the common denominator to failure was no exit strategy. I think some NGOs it is their salary for life mentality.


Should Bill Gates not attempt to eradicate polio?


Patricia thank you for buying the Hobo Pro Travel Vest this site is supported by sales of Hobotraveler Brand Products sold on Amazon.


Hello hobos
I like the list of travel traumas. I have experienced many of them . I feel I deal with them pretty well apart from.... I can NEVER except the dreaded cockroach! I have been awake from air travel and train travel over 16 hours and been in a hotel room longing for sleep but eyes kept firmly open watching cockroaches and covering them with containers( I can’t kill them) and spilling out from drains and picture frames! So I fail that trauma!

I think if I read the trauma list out to my friends/family it would put them off travel!
The NGO one certainly has got mixed reviews!
I have always had confused feelings about this issue and certainly question the numbers of NGOs which is huge in some countries like Bangladesh , I believe the most in any country and Bangladesh is STILL getting poorer!
The whole system appears flawed with NGOs imposing apone rather than enabling the people to help theirselves.
But I am far from knowledgeable on this subject.
Then from the news in crisis and disasters NGOs work well and do amazing work. I guess It’s a complicated situation.
I did laugh at the ‘ cultural trama’ Example Andy. I think I remember reading you had a leg pissed on incident? I’m sure it was very unpleasant but it does read funny. Do you think that’s actually a cultural trauma?
It’s not actually a cultural thing to piss on someone’s leg in any culture is it ? You can get pissed on by a drink fuelled man in uk many a weekend night! Lol
But yes there are lots of cultural traumas and I haven’t experienced half of them yet!
I have one I like to tell which I believe is a cultural trauma or was as it might not happen now.
When getting up from sleep pod on night time bus in China I forgot to put my shoes on and trod on so much hocked up mucus on the floor. Yekky! Everyone in China appeared to spit on floors even buses but was a normal thing to clear throats.
Thankyou for the emotional trauma list I really enjoyed it.


Lynn, as I see it, trauma is something highly unexpected, and hard to forget, there are culture where the dominating culture disgust us, whereby we wish to forget, and not talk about, like the spitting in China, or India, or getting off a bus in Bolivia in the middle of the night and the men have pisses so much we cannot walk without walking in their piss. A girlfriend here in Guatemala went out a small village 20 years ago, and they through rocks at her.

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