Why Your Obsession With Travel Means You’re Living A Mediocre Life

There is a personality type that has been absolutely driving me nuts recently. Every single time I overhear peers talking about their incessant itch to “travel and see the world” before starting a “real job” or “considering grad school” I want to punch a wall.

The truth is that my generation has been completely brainwashed by bullshit #millennial propaganda. Cute little listicles featuring chic pictures of young sexy people standing on the edge of waterfalls, that tell our generation that life is only worth living if we “travel.” Instagram travelers who ~perfectly~ filter every single picture they’ve taken while exploring Europe on daddy’s dime.

Do you want to know what I believe, honestly? The only people who want to travel incessantly are people who have, or want, completely mediocre lives.

You don’t make an impact by being a “traveler.” You don’t actually do anything at all. You just see. You just enjoy. You just leech off of people who are actually living lives worth living and doing jobs worth doing.

Nothing great in this world is accomplished through travel for the sake of #travel. Did Albert Einstein wake up one day and think, “Wow I just need to do some sightseeing, and then maybe sometime later in my life I’ll do something that’s actually significant!”

Did John D. Rockefeller — one of our country’s greatest businessmen — spend time taking cute pictures of buildings in faraway places? No, he worked. He created. He built something. He actually did something meaningful. The minute he became an adult, he was working his way up!

Being obsessed with travel is just a quiet concession that you don’t have anything worth doing or creating. You don’t create while on the move, you create when you stay in one place and focus on accomplishing your goals. Being obsessed with travel means you don’t actually have any goals, you just want to YOLO your way through an insignificant life.

“You’re only young once,” and “Enjoy your youth” are phrases that people have appropriated to justify months, and years of idle labor and laziness. I agree, you are only young once, and we should ALL be spending our youth provisioning for our future selves.

Being obsessed with travel means you are afraid to try anything — so you run. You run away from a stable income, from a prosperous future, from the difference you could actually make in the world. You run to faraway countries where you can take menial jobs — that you would be embarrassed to take back home — to net just enough money to sustain your “growth” that doesn’t actually grow any part of you.

Granted, that’s not to say a periodic vacation from time-to-time is a bad thing! Taking a week or two a year to rejuvenate is scientifically proven to make you more productive and healthy. But this incessant need to “travel the world” for months and years post-college is not healthy, and everyone promoting it is sucking our generation into a giant pyramid scheme where nobody comes out ahead (except the chic travel bloggers I suppose…) Don’t forfeit your youth to the present, invest it in your future!

You are worth so much more than #travel. You are worth an imprint on this world, something that people will remember you for — and that absolutely won’t be travel.

Let’s get to work. TC mark

For more travel writing, check out A Thousand New Beginnings by Kristin Addis here.



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  • http://Embewrites.wordpress.com EmBe Writes

    I was having this same exact thought yesterday. What I’m growing to realize is that those that I know that are pushing for constant travel are trying to fill a gap, they are trying to fill a void because, they aren’t happy.

    They are trying to find their happiness in travel, eating out, spending all kinds of money, and living a less than they deserve life. It’s like people that attempt to buy the love of another. Money can’t buy happiness, and it can’t buy love. Not if it’s true anyways.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • http://thewanderingdropout.com/ Maija

    Lol. Just because your perception of travel is as something non-productive and non-importNt because it doesn’t contribute to your future wealth, doesn’t mean everyone has to feel the same. To me, your ideal life saving and working up the career ladder sounds awful too. Why complain so much about what others do? Just don’t follow the #travel hashtags and you’ll not have to write little rants about people who choose a different lifestyle to yours.

  • http://www.life360degrees.com Life360Degrees

    Ok. I never looked at it from this angle. But hey, that’s so true. I have stopped counting the number of people who say I want to travel the world before I do this and that. But how many people say I want to make a difference to the world before I do this and that ? A question worth asking.

  • http://teaandtakeaways.wordpress.com teaandtakeaways

    “You don’t create while on the move.” You sure about that?…

  • https://brenicojayblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/25/why-your-obsession-with-travel-means-youre-living-a-mediocre-life/ Why Your Obsession With Travel Means You’re Living A Mediocre Life – Lifestyle Writing
  • http://seattlesillysweetheart.wordpress.com J

    While I agree with a lot of what this article has to say … I want to disagree with the not creating while on the move statement. I’d say it depends on what you do for a living. I have a successful career that allows me to work from anywhere, and I’m lucky in my job to actually make a significant impact on the world at the same time. My job encourages us to find a work/life balance that allows people to take trips and explore the world. Sure – not everyone has my job, and not everyone has that luxury.. but I’d be careful with the over generalized statements. :)

  • Bea Romero

    Bravely written. I think this should go viral so that people will be able to realize it. It’s good to travel but we must not focus our entire youth by just exploring the world. We must be preparing for our career goals and to the things that contribute for the betterment of this world. :)

  • http://chintanlalwani.wordpress.com Chintan Lalwani

    But without seeing the world if you just write about it than isn’t it being plainly ignorant? How about mixing it up? Travelling broadens the mind, but when you do it on Dad’s dime it defeats the purpose of growing up. It’s ironic how you compare jobs in terms of money and not hard work and challenges.

  • http://strangemoods.wordpress.com odianem

    I agree with this article so much. And I have just been really feeling like this “traveling trend” is just another trend. It’s just another distraction from us stopping everything to just be still and realizing the kind of life we want and need to live. Everything in these times is so “go, go, go! obsessed” that it’s getting scary, actually.

  • http://girlsarenotmachines.wordpress.com Jessica

    Travel is a way to experience different cultures, get out of your comfort zone and realize that the world is bigger than the little town you were born in. Also, plenty of people create on the go. I don’t see how advocating for never leaving home is somehow revolutionary… Some people want more than the world they have always known. Just because you don’t doesn’t make you better than them.

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