Before we begin, I just want to make it clear that this post is not meant to dissuade anyone from traveling, rather this is for all those who feel bad about not being one of those free spirited folks who leave everything behind to travel.
I see a lot of “inspirational” articles doing the round these days which tell people that they should leave everything behind and take a year off to travel, or why its the greatest idea to quit your job and travel and so on.
More often than not, such articles leave me quite annoyed simply because how easy it must have been for someone to just pen those words without even taking into consideration the viability of what he or she has written. It looks fabulous especially when coupled with a picture of a person on a cliff with a distant look, as if embarking on a new adventure and an instagram filter added to make that image even more dreamy.You read it and look back at your life in retrospect and heave a helpless sigh knowing that this is probably something you will never be able to “achieve”, but you know what, 99 percent of the world does not "achieve" this anyway.
Personally I love traveling, seeing a new place gives me the kind of happiness I probably wont get from a lot of other things. I am all for traveling and discovering the world, but I know that it’s pretty stupid to encourage someone to leave their job, responsibilities and everything else behind just to travel, or worse make them feel bad about not being able to. That is the most irrational thing someone can say to another person who is looking at ways and means to travel. I too love traveling, but honestly I won’t just give up everything or sell off everything just so that I can travel when there are obviously other ways to do that.
Not everyone can just drop the life they have been so carefully building to take off and travel recklessly. Such things are nice to read and share on social media, but that’s just about it. Unless you have a bottomless trust fund, I believe its rather foolish to quit your job and just travel, or leave everything behind, uproot your life and take off. I might get a few boos for what I have written here but let me explain.
Not everyone is privileged and that is a true fact about life. While it is easy for a few people to take off to exotic locations at a drop of a hat and moderately easy for some others to plan an annual vacation, but there are many others who work hard to take care of their daily lives that it becomes difficult for them to be able to afford even a single decent vacation. The very people who can quit their jobs to travel are the people who probably didn’t need a job in the first place anyway. Yes you will see a few odd couples who sell everything off and take the plunge to travel together but is that something everyone can do? Not really. People have responsibilities, it can be their children, their ageing parents or even themselves, when you have so much depending on you, it is not at all possible to see your life off and go to a faraway island or go sailing around the world. The whole idea of leaving everything behind to travel is for the privileged- the ones who have more than the sufficient amount of money to do so or the ones free from any kind of responsibility. For the rest of us, its difficult to imagine something like that and no one should feel bad about it. Even if you do decide to become one of those people who will spend their life’s savings on travel or work their way around the world doing odd jobs like cleaning toilets at a restaurant to sustain themselves while they travel, do you think you could do that forever? If yes, then go ahead, but if you are hesitant then what you need is better planning not day dreaming about being able to travel without any woes.
But that doesn’t mean that you should not travel or see new places, you may not be able to give up everything to do that but you can work out some factors in your life, learn a few hacks for traveling cheap, save while living a decent and comfortable life, and take off to a new destination once a year or so. There are many inspiring stories you and I have read about people without the financial means to travel extensively and how they have overcome that, I think there was something about a tea shop vendor from India who saved and traveled the world with his wife or about a woman who has traveled the world by doing odd jobs at the countries she has visited and stayed at. Yes such things have happened and no I don’t think I can be someone who works her away through traveling or such, and I believe a majority of the people too feel the same. So does this mean that we cannot travel, well no, it doesn’t. It only means that one shouldn’t read such “encouraging” and “inspiring” articles and eventually feel bad about themselves or their lack of ability to be a “free spirited soul”. I call major bullshit on such articles. So the next time you decide you want to travel, don’t feel bad that you can’t just put your life on hold and go all out, rather take a few days off, travel to some place you can afford and come back to real life once you are done, and start planning your next trip!
These pointless articles are good for movie scripts and magazine but one does not need escaping life, but just some good planning to be able to travel. And honestly if you have other priorities than just checking off a list of places you could possible want to travel to, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! It’s a great feeling to be able to work, earn a living and being independent and there is no need to let go off all of that just to be one of those people who leave everything to travel, ever wonder what happened to them when they ran out their savings?
So take off the instagram filters from these jaded articles and dont even try taking their contents seriously, because not everybody has to quit their jobs or sell their property to travel!