When I start telling people about the countries I have visited and places I have seen, we usually end up with this conversation:
Friend: Wow, you are so brave. You have travelled to so many countries. I wish I could do that as well.
Me: Well, why don’t you? It’s not as hard as you think it is. You just need some courage to do it.
Friend: Yeah, but you know. I could never leave my country, I will get homesick, I have a boyfriend and not enough money.
Me: It’s all about priorities, you know. If you want to do something, you will find way to do it.
Friend: Yes, I know. But still, I couldn’t do it.
I am really getting tired of such conversations. They are never-ending. It’s true that travelling on your own, without a plan seems daunting, and it’s not for faintest of the heart. But I always do my best to encourage people to go travelling as often as possible.
The truth is, that people only understand from their point of perception and my entire endeavor is just a waste of time.
We all have these preconceived notions about travelling and in this post I want to break them.
1. I don't have enough money to go travelling.
The biggest misconception people have about travelling, is that you need to be rich to start travelling. It breaks my heart every time I hear it and I wish people would be more educated in that area. You need to be rich to start travelling only if you seek high-end experiences in luxury resorts or if you want to go with the travel agency. If you truly dream of travelling the world and seeing the beautiful places on our planet, you will find the way to do it. You will save some money, sleep in cheap places, eat street food and even try to earn some money on the road to finance your next trips. Travelling has never been a matter of money, but matter of courage.
2. I have a family. I cannot travel.
Who says you cannot travel with your family? I have met hundreds of families during my travelling; some of them were travelling for months, some of them just for a short time. I even come across a family of 5 people, travelling around the world.
But it’s true that in case of travelling with a family you need to be a bit well-off and have a lot of savings.
3. I will get homesick if I go travelling.
Getting homesick during your travelling is completely normal and it happens to everyone who is away from home for a longer period of time. There is nothing wrong with being homesick - it is an indicator you love and care for your family. BUT the sooner you realize that homesickness only prevents you from enjoying the life and experiencing new things, the faster you will overcome it. Our mind cannot be stretched by new experience if we choose to live our life in the same place with the same people. Our family will still care for us and love us dearly, after we come back, so why not explore the world and see what it offers.
After all, we never know what may happen on the road or whom we may meet while travelling.
3. I am too old to go traveling.
Again, during my journey I met people from all backgrounds and ages. And I felt the most inspired by the elder people. For young people it’s very easy to go travelling, because some situations require proactive thinking and fast movements. Young people tend to have more energy and are well versed in digital technologies. During travelling you may encounter some unexpected situations, where you need to think and act fast. Although younger generations tend to perform better in these situations, the age should never be an obstacle when it comes to travelling.
Once I was sharing the dormitory room with an elder woman, over 60 years old. Among all backpackers there, she was the first one to help and give advice.
4. I am afraid of flying.
That may be difficult problem to overcome, since flying is related to almost every travel experience. But you don't need to travel by plane, you can easily ride a car or travel by bus. In that case you are only limited to nearby destinations.
Or the better idea: try to overcome the fear of travelling! The fear of travelling exists only in your head and as soon as you acknowledge it, you are able to control your thoughts on flying.
5. Nobody wants to travel with me.
What will happen if you travel alone? You won’t be dependant on anyone, you will have time to reflect on your life, do the things you have always wanted to do. If you will be always waiting for someone to travel with you, you will be waiting for the rest of your life.
6. Travelling is dangerous.
I thought travelling was dangerous as well, until I started travelling. I was influenced by social media and I heard some unpleasant stories from people who were travelling. I thought there will be criminals lurking at me all the time and that safest bet would be not to travel at all! But I couldn’t be more wrong! Eastern Asian countries, especially Japan, Taiwan and South Korea are the safest countries in the world. Even safer than Europe!
And the last one. This one actually doesn't fit into the context, it only implies one of the misconceptions people have about travelling.
7. Travelling is always bed and roses
Travelling is one of the most beautiful and liberating experience in the world. Travelling makes us humble and reveals us the hidden gems of our planet. But it can also get tiring and depressing.
I dedicated one whole post on how travelling isn’t perfect all the time.
You will find it here: The ugly truth of being constantly on the road