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Too often, I have heard people say, “I cannot travel.” Followed by the usual excuses of finances, home life, or some fantasy idea that travel is only for the young. Now I am here to tell you that traveling can be for anyone. The biggest barriers to people traveling are money and the idea that when you’ travel,’ it must be some glorious and luxurious trip that you saw some influencer take.
First off, let us define what travel is. The dictionary simply states that travel is where you go from one place to another. That is it. I think that many people romanticize this idea of what a trip should look like. We are so bombarded by social media of what a perfect trip should look like. Drinks on a beach in Mexico, swimming in crystal blue waters, staying in an overwater bungalow in Fiji, anything that produces any sort of jealousy among the common folk. Sure, these are great trips, but they are not always obtainable for the everyday person. There can also be downsides to these trips that are not often discussed or published on social media. Travel time, jetlag, debt, over-tourism, to name a few.
I love these trips and want to go on as many as possible, but I do not think they should be the travel standard. People should not feel guilty if they are not able to go on a trip like this. One of the ugly sides of travel blogging is people showing off. They are not showing what it is like to be an everyday traveler. Sorry, but I will not show up in Greece wearing a big pink ball gown, cascading down white steps just for some pictures. You will find me in shorts and a tank top or my bathing suit, enjoying my vacation.
Travel should be about enjoying somewhere, going where you can afford, and experiencing something you have never experienced before. I think with the pandemic hitting, people’s focus on travel has changed. There is more focus on traveling locally because people just want to go somewhere. There is nothing wrong with this idea of thinking. I think it is healthy to do something different every once in a while and explore where you live. Many people do not have expendable income at the moment, so this does pose a bit of a barrier as to what you can do. Try doing some research on low cost/free adventures in your area. Go out for walks, explore different areas, go to the park, learn about tourism in your city or neighboring cities if you can.
If you want to take a bigger vacation somewhere else, make sure to save up and do lots of homework to get the most out of the vacation. Do not feel discouraged if your vacation looks different from someone else. Do what you love, makes you happy, and makes you feel fulfilled. Follow social media accounts that inspire you and know that not everything people post is what your trip is going to look like. Sometimes it might be a weekend away with the kids, a road trip of your country/province, a free local tour of your city, or it could be across the sea. If you can take a big trip, then do it. It is incredible to be able to experience other cultures and landscapes. Now is the time to start saving money, planning, and dreaming.
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