Make yourself comfortable. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Let’s talk.
(OK, first I’m going to talk. But we’ll get to you soon, I promise.)
I’ve been seeing a plethora of posts lately on how people should travel — specifically whether they should travel solo or alone. Matador Network just published back to back pieces in favor of solo and group travel and Nomadic Matt recently swore off solo travel, settling into a less “Nomadic” lifestyle.
The conversation of whether or not to travel solo is one worth having. Traveling solo can be incredibly therapeutic and a powerful experience in personal growth, but it can also be lonely and it isn’t for everyone.
Regardless, this all got me thinking about the Blogosphere’s tendency to insist that certain types of travel are more or less respectable, life-changing, and/or worthwhile than others.
Digging further to the very backdrop of this theme — ALL travel bloggers are guilty of bias in a unifying passion that EVERYONE should travel.
Which got me thinking even further… wait for it… I swear these tangents have a point.
Is it really fair of us to insist that self-actualization requires a certain amount of stamps in a passport? Is it rude to insist that those individuals who do not travel are less respectable than those that do? If people do choose to travel, who are we to say how and why?
When it comes to how we travel, and whether or not we travel at all, why are we constantly trying to simplify layered life preferences into strict folders of right and wrong?
Now, let me backtrack a bit. I don’t think any of the pieces I mentioned are trying to shove anything down anyone’s throat. They’re providing individual accounts of travel preferences. And I do happen to believe that those with the means to see the world, should try to see as much of it as they can. We were all given this planet to live on so it seems a little wasteful to only experience a very small part of it.
On the other hand, maybe you’ve found a desk job that makes you happy — that’s fantastic! If you love your hometown and prefer to vacation with a small suitcase rather than live out of backpack, good for you!
What I hope to communicate through my blog, more so than any sort of lifestyle hierarchy, is the importance of figuring out what makes YOU happy and pursuing that passion at all costs. I find it terribly unfortunate that social constructs have left populations of unique people feeling coralled into narrow paths of life progress and even worse — bored.
If you’re miserably flipping through friends of friends of ex-girlfriends Facebook profiles at work and finding it more exciting than the job you’re toiling away at for 40+ hours a week, then YES — its probably time for a change. Leave that lousy career and go see the world!
But, if you’ve followed the path from college to career to promotion to professional such-and-such, and you really enjoy it, I think that’s just as respectable as spending months or years on the road. If you love what you do, then that should make it worth your time.
Travel bloggers have unique opportunities to share their experiences, to entertain, and to enlighten their audiences. We can show you that travel isn’t as scary or expensive or difficult as you might think. But as a travel blogger, I’m following MY passion. (Which is why I’m able to devote 30+ hours a week to this little nugget of internet space and not worry about the money.) I love to travel and I want to share that love with those who share my passion, and with those who are curious about pursuing it. I want to create a narrative of how life changing travel can be, but I also want to inspire you to create your own narrative, in your own voice.
If you love the idea of solo travel, let me show you how fulfilling it can be — then go give it a shot for yourself. If you’d rather spend a summer uncovering the very best pubs in Ireland with a group of your best friends, then go for it! And if you’re raising a family and have never felt more fulfilled than when you’re sitting at the dinner table with your kids, then I applaud you as well. Someday, after all this wanderlust leaves my system, I’ll probably feel more drawn towards that image than the idea of fighting off hungry Argentinians for stove space in the hostel kitchen. Ahhh… someday.
The thing about travel, as with anything in life, is that its only worth while if it feels right to you, regardless of what anyone else says.
Alright, time to wrap all this up now that I’ve reached the bottom of this bottle of wine I’ve been cyber sharing with all of you… Wait — no ones out there? Crap, guess I finished it myself…
Stars on the Ceiling is a blog about travel. Its also a blog about living life on YOUR terms. So please, don’t let me or anyone else out there define them for you.
However, I do still recommend seeing the world for more terms to choose from…
What are YOU passionate about and how do you fit that into your life? If travel is your passion, what type of travel is most fulfilling to you and why? Its your turn to share… let’s hear it in the comments section below!