“But WHY will you travel?!”
That’s the usual question I get whenever I tell people I’m traveling somewhere, either alone or with company. My reply to them is simply “because I want to travel” – but that doesn’t seem enough reason for the majority and they start to make their own theories. Some really offending and hilarious ones. Here are 5 common frustrating misconceptions about (solo) travel that you have to stop believing NOW.
01 | “She’s wasting her time”
After giving out my usual reply, people(mostly elders) would automatically give a raised eyebrow, followed by their heads deliberately shaking from left to right indicating disappointment. Thinking I’m only wasting time and money on my trips. It may be a waste for others, but in my perspective, doing what makes you feel most alive is never a waste of time. In fact, traveling is the exact opposite of wasted time. It gives you the opportunity to be amused, to learn, to grow, to try something different, to push you out of your comfort zone, to be inspired and to inspire – and that, in my opinion, is how to live.
02 | “She’s probably rich AF!”
Most people think that traveling is expensive, which automatically leads them to a theory that all people who travel are filthy rich. Not true. Ever heard of low-cost carriers and hostels? How about the term backpacking? Workaway? WOOFing? Coushsurfing? People who assume traveling will break your bank account have never even heard about those terms, or maybe they have, but they’ve never had the guts to try it themselves.I just laugh whenever someone claims I’m rich, because ironically I’m the person who doesn’t have the latest gadgets or branded clothes. I don’t get to eat regularly at nice restaurants or spend money partying every weekend. Screw that! I don’t even have a stable source of income! But how on earth can I still afford to travel? If you’re interested to know. stay tuned for my next posts. 🙂
03 | “She’s looking for trouble! It’s DANGEROUS!”
I agree that there is no place in this world that is 100% safe, but I disagree that everywhere outside your comfort zone should be called ‘a dangerous place’. Just because you are not familiar with a country/city, doesn’t mean there are rapists on the streets waiting for you to get out of the airport to kidnap you – which is what I think adults imagine whenever I say I’m traveling alone. Just like where you live, there are places where it is safe and where you shouldn’t go. The same applies whenever you travel to a new country. The key to being safe is – good RESEARCH and learning how to trust your instincts. So please, I beg you, do NOT let those fears stop you from your dreams to travel, because you are missing out on a lifetime experience.
04 | “She’s running away from the REAL world!”
The real world – what does that even mean to you? IF your definition of the real world is to work your ass on a stable 9 to 5 job that you passionately hate just to earn enough cash to pay the bills, live in a routine-based lifestyle and get stuck in a rat race your whole life, THEN GO DO THAT. But you have no rights to tell me that it is irresponsible to chase my own dreams and to live the life I imagined, instead of living a life that was constructed for me by the society. “You have to get a degree! You must get a full-time job! You have to invest on a house or a car! You should only marry a rich man! YOU SHOULD BE A ROBOT!”
What other ‘rules’ do you have to obey to be what they perceive as a successful person? Here’s a secret you probably won’t believe, YOU don’t need to obey those rules. Those rules are made up. YOU don’t need permission from anyone to chase your dreams. YOU can create your own definition of success. YOU have the power to create the life you’ve dreamed of.
05 | “She’s looking for men!”
My best friend and I were accused by my own mother that we were traveling alone because we wanted to look for men. I really didn’t know how to react to this hilarious yet offensive judgment. Just to be clear, I’m happily in love with the man of my dreams. And even if my best friend is currently single, she is perfectly self-assured that she doesn’t need to desperately look for true love. True love finds you, no matter how cheesy that sounds.
The same thing happened as and when I decided to travel solo. There were many reasons why I wanted to do it. One of them was to heal myself. No, I didn’t get my heart broken by a guy if that’s what you’re thinking. I needed to heal myself from my own destructive thoughts and broken dreams. It’s when I realized I was living a life I was most terrified of. I was stuck in a routine. And when I realized I was going through that path, I broke down. My body wakes up every day, lifeless. No passion. No motivation to live. I was a total mess. I didn’t know what I wanted with my life, or rather I knew exactly what I wanted, but I wasn’t doing anything to get it! The thought made me depressed for weeks or months even, till I finally decided to just book the damn ticket. I’ve always wanted to travel solo, so I did. THE POINT IS – I travel for my own sake, and not for anyone else. It is my passion.
Have you faced any of these travel misconceptions before? If you’re also going through similar judgments on your dream to travel the world, your job is to ignore all the negativity that these people constantly throw at you. THEY cannot help you reach your dream. Why listen to them if they haven’t even done it themselves? Listen to people who defied the norm and succeeded. Find inspiration everywhere you go. Focus on what makes you feel alive, rather than what kills you.