Travel Is Dangerous, Don’t Go

Daniella Urdinlaiz

So I went travelling.

Many asked if travelling was fun, I remember answering with a mere, cold “yes”, because deep down in my heart I know how dangerous it was.

I am unsure if travelling has become a bandwagon everyone jumps into or people who call themselves travel addicts really understand what travelling means. It used to mean having someone to sort out your hotel rooms and tickets to museum, it used to mean having a driver, a tour guide, and a translator. It means visiting places you never see before, it means exploring old buildings in a place you have been. It means shopping malls, group pictures, and nice foods.

Then the internet comes, and things change.

The word “travelling”is sacred, it becomes a social media dream many pursue. “Backpacker” becomes a new, respected identity which many want to be labeled as one. As a free, brave soul you choose the path less taken. You walked the path to feed your social media profile, you take so many pictures on the way, you were proud and can hold your head high because they have gotten you the highest number of likes ever. You were so happy people cannot be oblivious about it. Checking your notifications keep you so focused you didn’t get to look at the colour of the sea, the flowers on the mountain, to experience your exhausted feet, or to talk to the person you were travelling with.

Is travelling about experiences and exploration, or is it about your vanity and the number of likes stated below your pictures?

Do you remember how the water choked you when you first snorkelled? The first kind of fish you saw and thought was beautiful? The way a Nemo  fish bit your finger?

The time you gasped for air when you feel the beauty of Beng Mealea with your fingertips? The first try of Cao Lao in Hoi An, the homestay with no heater that made you regret removing your shirt for a shower? Or the time you ran across the road in Vietnam that is full of motorcycles?

Actually… It is only worse if you remembered.

Because every tiny detail reminds you of how lively you could be at new places. Everything revealed to you that you are still the sociable person you once thought you are, you easily open up to other travellers, share foods with the locals, and have casual talk with the street vendors. You then come to a realisation to the possibility where you can still explore, still feel happy, still.. be yourself.

Many said travelling helps you to know yourself better, while for me, it only helps to knock me on my head makes me remembers who I am again. It is very similar to meeting an old friend after years of not talking to each other.

Remember about sitting in the classy office in a tall building? Now that this memory comes back, it only makes you a greedy son of a bitch. You cannot be satisfied with the money you earn, the bags you buy, the movies you watch, or the tasks you complete. Because heck, there are so many other possibilities out there, why climb this greasy pole while you could climb a mountain (don’t fall lol)? Why acquire meaningless objects when you can acquire experiences? Why stay on a small spot on the map, eat the same food everyday, when you know there are more out there for you to see?

You know, maybe I could feel better if I was the one who post 10 statuses everyday on my trip. Maybe then the financial ability to acquire an iPhone 6 or an apple watch or a Michael Kors bag will satisfy me.

Maybe I am just a stupid, ungrateful, bitter bitch.

Travelling develops your characters, teaches you independence, establishes open-mindedness, opens up the world for you.

You see how travelling is dangerous now? Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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