Most people have unrealistic expectations of their holiday. Research has found that people in average expect more positive experiences in their vacations than they actually experience.
This phenomenon is called “Rosy prospection”, and involves that we consider events more positively in advance. In addition, people normally remember their vacations afterwards as more positive than it actually was.
We do not expect things like long queues at the airport or museums, crowds on the beaches, pocket thefts, and food that will give us diarrhea. Because if we expected these things, who would actually go on vacations again?
Furthermore, they have found that depressed people often have more realistic expectations. In other words, maybe it is good to have unrealistic expectations before travelling on holiday? At least psychology-professor Larsen from the University of Bergen claims so. He sees it as a healthy sign that people expect more from their holidays than they actually get.
However, having unrealistic expectations before a holiday, can get pretty serious for some people. I have already written about the Paris syndrome, and that several people are hospitalized due to the disappointment they feel when realizing that Paris was not like they expected it to be.
That being said, it is not only in Paris this happens. There are more city-syndromes (that still are not formal diagnosis), where people are hospitalized due to the disappointment they feel when a tourist attractions are not like they expected. But here it is important to mention that most of the people getting these syndromes have a psychiatric history from before. But some still do not have.
I have to agree that I have been disappointed as well and expected more from some of the tourist attractions I have seen. The Pyramids of Cairo, and Taj Mahal are two of the places that where not as spectacular as I expected. However, it did not make me hospitalized even so…
But that I usually forget about the long queues, the tiring long flights, the stomach ache before a vacation, and that I am very excited instead thinking about all the amazing things I will see and do, is very true. And that these things sometimes are not as fun or amazing that I expected it to be.
Have you ever experienced having unrealistic expectations to your holiday?