Don’t Guilt Trip People about Not Traveling

When I studied abroad in Ireland in 2012, I was beyond ecstatic and grateful for the opportunity to see another country.  I had never went overseas before, let alone by myself. It was my first taste of being on my own and making financial decisions that help me now.  I will admit that Ireland was not the first choice (Japan, why did you have to be so expensive?), but the experiences there will stay with me for the rest of my life.

 

After my overseas jaunt, I was riding off the “wanderlust” high and read travel articles every time I had a break from schoolwork.  I was planning to change majors and research careers that allowed me to travel around the world (because apparently that could be a job).  Then I found a few travel blogs that smack sense back into me and reveal the dark side of traveling.

 

The Travel Guilt articles.

 

These articles are not necessarily malicious but they do not take into account the varying opportunities accessible to others. A mother who doesn’t have a support network that could watch her kids while she jaunted around the world. A recent graduate that has piled on debt that cannot be put off for any longer. Chronic illness can also make it hard to travel extensively. Sometimes, it is simply that the person you’re telling to travel finds their wanderlust satisfied through books and destination-focused blogs.

 

I never really cared if other people were well-traveled, have traveled, or were homebodies.  Coming from a world that going to Disney World was based on years of saving, planning, and luck, I didn’t really think traveling out of my home country was a possibility for me.  It was seen as something you can do as a wealthy person or well-connected to people who would help you along your globetrotting.

 

If you write travel articles, I’m not saying to stop because there is an audience for your niche. All I ask is that you remain mindful of different perspectives about traveling and the socioeconomic barriers that prevent many people from traveling.

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