I am a traveler with plans to make it full time. I hear a lot of things from others about my lifestyle.
And I know everyone gets judged by their lifestyle. I know it’s not just me.
However, there are a lot of misconceptions about traveling perhaps due to it not being a common lifestyle.
I have listed the top comments I hear about my life with my response.
Here we go:
1. I’m jealous
Jealousy is tricky. Before I begin I want to acknowledge that my privileges have helped me get where I am. For one, I am an American citizen with a passport that allows me to go almost anywhere.
For those of you who believe that everyone can and should travel should take a step back and realize that this assumption is not true.
So before I talk about my point I want to make it clear that some people's priorities are simply surviving and the things some people, including me, are jealous of can be petty compared to other people's viewpoints.
Now, if you're jealous of my lifestyle then I get it. At times, I'm jealous of other people, too.
There are many things out there that we want but it all comes down to priority.
My priority has always been to travel. I don’t remember a day as a young kid that traveling was not a dream of mine.
So maybe before you convey that my life is jealous-worthy, step back and think about how everyone has their goals and struggles but we all prioritize what we want. Also, think of all the things you have accomplished and are thankful for.
Say this instead: “That inspires me!” or “I love that you’re doing what you love”
2. Oh, you have a boyfriend! How is he handling this?
I am a solo traveler who has a boyfriend. Every time that comes up people are like, “woahhh really?!”
Sometimes I get, “how is he letting you do this?”
This question is not up for discussion. If you have ever said that then I need to you go crawl in a hole and never come out. K thanks.
Ask me this question and I will be happy to open up a discussion—“how does he feel about that?”
And do you want to know how he feels? He is proud, supportive, and helpful! He loves that I’m chasing my dreams.
3. Do it while you can!
I have an entire blog post about this one statement because it’s probably the one I hear the most. You can read it here: http://goo.gl/6ccgL6
My goal is to travel for my entire life and that hasn’t changed since I was a kiddo. Hearing people tell me that this point in my life is my only opportunity and implying that travel is not for grown adults is more than annoying.
Say this instead, “It’s smart to travel now! I hope you continue following your dreams!”
4. I wish I had done that when I was young!
Travel is rewarding no matter what age you are. I know travel has become more accessible for millennials due to technology but why not try it now?
Many people have this perception that travel is for young people who can live on very little luxury, party and meet new people because they haven’t “tied” themselves down.
There are so many diverse travelers out there who are different than this generalization.
Keep it simple. Take a mini vacation for the weekend where you don’t have to drive or fly far!
5. Be safe! I hear of so many women like you getting robbed and raped!
Oh ok. *eye roll*
This disgusting comment is worth an entire blog post.
I am not a delicate flower that needs protection. I am an independent, intelligent woman who can manage living on my own.
If something happens to me it is not because I was being stupid or unsafe. It’s because this patriarchal world is messed up.
Also, stop trying to scare me. Fearmongering is rude.
Instead, say this: “I wish you luck and safety through your travels!”
6. What are you going to do when you come home?
This question is super common. This one isn’t necessarily annoying because I totally understand the curiosity. But I’m traveling now, trying to make a living out of it, and plan to continue this journey. I’m building something right now.
Say this instead: “I can’t wait to see what you do with all of this experience. I will be following your posts and am always down to hang out when you are back in town.”
7. …”while you’re on vacation”
Seriously if you say this to me I’m going to roll my eyes and say BYE. I’m not on vacation. I’m traveling and it’s exhausting because it takes a lot of work and independence.
Traveling is a process, a lifestyle, a quest, and a fulfillment. Not a vacation.
Vacation is a break from life. Pretty much, travel and vacation are on opposite spectrums.
Say this instead, “Sometimes I feel like your life looks like vacation but I’m sure there must be a lot of hard work behind all of that.”
8. Stop complaining…you’re living the life!
I have a right to feel the way I do! I might miss my old life or get homesick. Sometimes I feel lonely and bored. Sometimes I’m lost as to how to do what I’m doing.
It’s OK that I feel this way. Please don’t tell me I can’t express my feelings.
I might be living a great life but if you think my life is that much better than yours then it’s time you do some self-reflecting. Don't you think?
Let’s be real, travelers do have fun! Travelers meet new people and try new things. But that doesn’t mean our life is easy or that we are better than needing your support. Remember this post when you’re about to say something to anyone about his or her lifestyle. Everyone is working hard and making personal decisions. Don’t judge. Simply support!