Stop Telling Me To Travel, I Have No Money

Hamed Saber
Hamed Saber

Do you think I don’t want to go to Rome? Do you think I don’t want to stand on the beaches of the French Riviera and have gorgeous men in thongs or whatever they wear walk by me and tell me how beautiful I am while they smoke skinny European cigarettes? Do you think I don’t want to backpack across China? Do you think I don’t want to surf off the coast of Australia? Do you think I don’t like the idea of meeting new friends in Sri Lanka and then jetting off to Norway for a few weeks for a change of weather?

Of course I do. I want these things just as much as anyone does, maybe even more, because I’ve seen so few of them in my short life. I litter my scrapbooks with pictures of black-and-white Parisian cafes, with Thai beaches, with Peruvian mountain ranges. I have dreams, just as any of you apparent millionaires do. I want to go places that aren’t my couch, my job, and the bar two blocks away. These things all seem both frustratingly within my grasp and a million light years away, though, because I have no money. And because of this, I will not be hopping on that plane any time soon.

You see, I have this thing called a job. It’s not much, but it provides me with benefits, and stability, and apartment to go home to every night. And, at least as of right now, I don’t get to save as much as I would like to because I am young and my salary is not yet that impressive. I am saving slowly, but I am likely going to put it towards other things, such as eventually buying a house or investing in something. Or maybe having children, I don’t know. And I will eventually put some of that into the travel I would like to accomplish, but that eventually is not now, because I just don’t have the funds for it yet.

I also can’t ask for that much time off of work, but that is another story. For now, I am glad to be gainfully employed. I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

However, I would really appreciate it if Pinterest, my friends, asshole acquaintances who can’t stop telling me how “life-changing” their two weeks in Tibet were, and everyone else could stop telling me how much less of a person I am because I am not currently living it up in the south of Spain. I want to do these things just as much as anyone, but I am not in the financial position to do so. And there is nothing more frustrating than being told that there is “nothing stopping me,” when I have such clear, painful evidence to the contrary every time I look at my bank account.

I am not less cultured because I don’t often get to leave my home state. I am not less interesting or intelligent or worthy because I fill my blog with places I would like to go but have not yet been able to. There is nothing wrong with me, and I don’t appreciate being talked down to like I am Quasimodo who has never left the bell tower just because the prices on Kayak make me weep internally when I log onto their website for kicks. We have to stop being so elitist about the things that travel does to us, because it’s just not an option for everyone, and it’s unfair to act as though we are a second class of citizens because we have not been to Kenya.

I do not begrudge your travels (yes I do), but I just want to stop hearing about how I neeeeeed to get out and see the world, and how the only thing standing in my way is myself. Because I know what’s standing in my way, and it’s called having health insurance and reliable transportation. And as long as I want to plan for a future that will hopefully someday come to fruition, those are going to remain my priorities. So stop being pretentious, and start being compassionate. Or you can just give me your tickets and hotel booking, I will also accept that. TC mark

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