We get it: A lot of people love to travel and a lot of people do not love to travel. However, hating each other for our personal choices is pretty uncool. I thought we learned that in kindergarten? I’ve come to the conclusion that those that feel the need to pretty much scream through their writing “STOP TRAVELING YOU ARE WASTING YOUR LIFE” need to sit down and read this little list of four reasons they think they hate those that travel.
1. You Think Travelers Are Just Running Away From Life
This seems to be a favorite among the travel-hating groups often thrown at those who like to explore the world. The belief that anyone traveling must be trying to escape the pressures of society to get a real job and hunker down with a 9-5 is the go to reasoning among the “You Need To Stop Traveling” smear campaign. But you know what? They got this one right. Go ahead, high five yourselves. You deserve it because this is the only one you are going to get.
Of course, this doesn’t speak for all travelers but it’s true for a lot of us. We are tired of the societal constraints imposed on us. Who said that a 9-5 is the only answer to a successful existence? Why must we live behind our little white picket fenced bubbles and conform to the gym-going, every-Saturday-we-eat-at-the-same-spot masses if we really don’t want to be there? It’s not just the excuse that we are only young once but it is the true fact that we only LIVE once that gives us the motivation to choose the life that makes us feel like we are really and truly living to our fullest potential. So I guess it’s half true — we may be running away from the life you deem the only “correct option,” but we are running with open minds towards the life we truly want.
2. You Think We Are Traveling on Daddy’s Dime
This is a common misconception from the non-traveling folk that every single travel Instagram posting, twenty-something has unlimited credit limits that are all forwarded to their father. I’m sure there are some out there that are lucky enough to have this but a majority of us do not. We save and we sacrifice the everyday so-called necessities you require to get by. For instance, I’ve never had a car and my job has always been a walk or public transportation ride away resulting in car and insurance payments I do not have that will equal an extended Euro trip next year.
Also, a little bit of research goes a very long way. There’s this thing called “error fares” that just allowed many travelers to purchase round trip flights from the US to Auckland, New Zealand for $200. Of course, if we all had a credit card to max out this wouldn’t matter but unfortunately, like I said before, many of us travelers do have a budget and deals like this are what we patiently wait and strive for because we are using our own hard-earned money that we so carefully save in order to afford this way of life.
3. You Think Travelers Don’t Leave An Impact
The assumption that the only thing travelers do is just look at neat stuff and enjoy a vacation while invading another culture’s way of life just exemplifies the type of travel you would partake in because yes, some people choose to spend their experience in another country doing this. You, for example, probably would if you think that’s what everyone else in the world must be doing when they spend time in a foreign country.
Luckily for the world, a lot of travelers choose to immerse themselves in a foreign culture in a variety of ways that not only leave an impact on others but impact themselves even more. By representing your own culture when you travel, you are exposing others to a true example of your own country as well as opening channels for communication between different cultures. In a world that is so often contorted by media, it is important for these interactions to occur or else you will be constricted to the false representations of different nations and their people that are so often projected upon us.
Furthermore, the amount of foreign service projects that successfully occur (hello peace corps) because people have a want/need to travel AND give back seems to be constantly overlooked by those that continuously shout about how nothing was ever accomplished because people just wanted to travel (shoutout to Charles Darwin for traveling five years in order to provide enough evidence to support the evolutionary theory).
4. You Think We Only Travel For The Instagram Likes
If you are seeking validation from the masses, then you need to find an outlet that provides you with that but travel is not that outlet. Traveling can make you feel more alone than you have ever felt. When you are walking through a busy city by yourself, unable to ask which way is your hostel because you don’t speak the language, you will realize how very small you are in this very, very big world.
I don’t travel for others. I travel for myself, to enrich my own life and learn about other cultures that lectures and history books did not fully teach me. It’s also very rare that there is enough wifi available to see the amount of likes given to anything I post so trust me when I say that I don’t need others to look at my personal accomplishments and celebrate them, I only need myself to be proud of who I am and what I’ve done.