People say you should travel; you should visit foreign lands and try new things. Explore the world! they say. Open your eyes to new cultures! they suggest. But I call bullshit. If you travel, it will ruin your life, and I am a prime example. You will never be the same. You will be bitten and infected by a bug that will gnaw at you for the rest of your days. So be warned! These are the top 5 reasons you should never ever travel.
1. You will fall in love.
I heard this so many times before I set off for Buenos Aires. Teachers, friends, family, and even strangers would get this presumptuous look on their face, as if they held all of the secrets of the universe, and they would kind of sigh and say, “You’re going to meet someone over there and fall in love!” And at that point in my life, I was beyond confident that that wouldn’t happen. No freakin’ way, I had sworn off Latinos. NEVER again would I date another one! I was going to finally be free in Buenos Aires: an independent, single woman. I refused to let any man woo me.
I met Victor and fell in love two weeks later. I thought about keeping it a secret forever because I dreaded that sing-songy chorus of “I told you so’s”.
Traveling creates a very hospitable environment for love to grow. It might be the vulnerability you feel when you travel alone, or the eagerness to find someone and latch on, I don’t know. But what I do know is that you are bound to fall in love while traveling. And whether it’s a long-lasting, serious relationship that turns into marriage like mine, or an intense, other-worldly fling, BE WARNED!
2. Your mind will never go back to its previous dimensions.
Once you see and experience certain things: extreme poverty, different cultures with their traditions and ways of doing things, unique political ideas, you can never un-see them. With every place you visit, it gets harder and harder to keep your mind bubble-wrapped and stuffed into that same sized box it once lived in. You will go back home, wanting to keep thinking the way you always did, but you won’t be able to. You’ll want to remain ignorant, but you will have seen too much, your tolerance for others growing exponentially, forever stretching out your mind. So if you’d like to continue living in your bubble, believing whatever it is that you believe about the small, sheltered world you live in — do NOT travel, whatever you do! Don’t let your boat be rocked, or your beliefs be challenged, or your political creed come up short—stay where you are!
3. You will lose friends.
Vacations are okay. Even certain study abroad programs won’t disrupt your social life too much. But when you start traveling for weeks and months and years at a time? DANGER! You will lose friends. Because you have so selfishly been off traipsing the globe and have missed countless social events and birthday parties, your friends will start to resent you (as they should!!).
Your despicable posts and pictures from your travels will disgust them, and rightly so. How dare you be off in another place? If your friendships somehow manage to survive your escapades abroad, they are still probably doomed. You’ll come home and start talking everyone’s ear off about where you were, what you did, who you met, the life-changing experiences you had, blah blah blah, and they will start to avoid hanging out with you. You will have less and less in common with people you grew up with all because of that pesky little travel-bug. So it’s best not to start! Keep your friends that you may or may not have anything in common with and don’t you dare go travel!
4. You will start to question everything.
When you get back home after a long, “fulfilling” trip, the questions will inevitably set in… Why do I pay so much money to live here again? Isn’t there more to life than a 9-5 job? Why doesn’t this feel like home anymore? And buddy, when you start asking yourself these questions, you will be in for a horrible surprise. You will begin going against the grain of society, shunning conformity in pursuit of “happiness” and “fulfilment.”
Traveling will fill your head with nonsense about the true meaning of life and will make you quit your fantastically beige job in an office, or even worse, make you blow off plans to continue studying something that you almost kind of were interested in sort of. Just follow my advice and DON’T ever start. Stick to your 15 days of vacation a year, or you’ll be sorry.
5. You will never be able to stop.
All of your free time will be spent searching for cheap flights. You will feel restless, antsy, and achy all over until you go on another trip. You’ll get the night sweats, and will lay awake at trying to relive that crazy night in Rio or that epic surfing adventure. You’ll hang a map up in your dining room and daydream about the many places and parts of the world that are left to explore. You will have a full-blown addiction, unable to reach that high again until you’re off on another adventure. Anyone who has traveled before for an extended amount of time understands this, and I think would agree with me — YOU SHOULD NEVER TRAVEL, or you’ll be left wanting more.
I feel like it’s my job as a current travel junkie to spread the word about this epidemic known as traveling, and to hopefully convince you to avoid the temptation. Travel kills, guys. Remember that next time you see a cheap flight to Barcelona and are seduced by the idea of going somewhere else. Stay as close to home as possible, fastening an electric dog collar to your neck if you must.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
Other folks bitten by the travel bug, how do you cope with your disease and when did you contract it?