It’s been almost a year since I packed up my whole life and moved from New Jersey to Ireland. Since then, I’ve met some amazing people, visited a few incredible cities, and realized that no matter how long I live in Dublin, I will probably always hate Guinness. I’ve filled up a few more pages of my passport, and I’ve fallen in love with places that I can only hope to return to one day.
I’m not quite sure how much longer I’ll stay here, where I’ll travel to next, or what I’ll do when I get home. But I can say with complete confidence that this experience has changed my life. Yes, I’ve become a frequent traveler, and I’ll be the first person to encourage you to book that spontaneous trip, throw a backpack over your shoulder, and just go. How could I say that I hate traveling?
Well, before you hit “buy” on that one-way ticket, I’m going to let you in on four reasons why traveling is the worst.
1. You’ll be forced out of your comfort zone.
Ordering food in another language, getting lost and trying to decipher a map of a place you’ve never been to, staying up all night because the strangers in your hostel won’t stop snoring…yeah, you’re not in Kansas anymore. Every day, you’ll have to confront situations that you’ve never encountered before, and sometimes, you’ll have no idea what to do. You’ll have to put your trust in strangers, rely on your instincts, and expect the unexpected. Everyone wants to grow and change, but in the moment, no one likes dealing with all of the obstacles you’ll have to overcome.
2. You’ll never be satisfied with the status quo again.
That first major trip is exhilarating. You show up in a foreign country with no real plan, and you end up having the time of your life. You learn so much about yourself in such a short period of time, and you feel like all your previous conceptions about what your life “should” look like were totally misguided. Going home to a 9-5 job, a long commute, and a small town with the same people you’ve always known feels suffocating. You’ll end up spending hours scrolling through flight deals and destination guides, daydreaming about escaping once again.
3. No one wants to hear your travel stories.
When you get home from an amazing trip, all you want to do is talk about everything you just experienced. Maybe you climbed the Eiffel Tower, and you can’t forget the view from the top. Or maybe you stuffed your face with the world’s best pizza in Rome, and you need to figure out exactly how to recreate it. Or maybe you met a crazy group of fellow backpackers in Thailand, and you want to tell everyone about your awesome new friends. But when you get back, no one seems to find your stories as exciting as you do, and you don’t want them to think you’re bragging, so you end up reminiscing on your travels all by yourself.
4. Your budget has to expand to include travel expenses.
After one great trip, you’re addicted. You’ll probably want to get back on the road, but unless you’ve already racked up a ton of frequent flier miles, that next plane ticket won’t come free. Suddenly, you’re pinching pennies, skipping nights out, eating rice and beans to save a little on groceries, and cursing your student loan payments-what if all that money could go towards another trip?
5. You may never have all your friends in the same place.
Sometimes, you’ll wish that you could just have everyone you love in the same room. And if you had stayed in your hometown, you could probably do that pretty frequently. But spend enough time on the road, and suddenly, you’ll be wondering if your friends from Germany will ever meet your friends from California, or if you could get your Canadian and Italian friends together some time. Looks like you’ll just have to plan a big wedding and pray that everyone can make it.