Traveling is a Privilege

My dream is to travel. My purpose for traveling is to explore somewhere new. I read an article recently titled Let’s Stop Pretending Travel is Accessible to EveryoneThis article spoke to me in multiple ways. The insecurity I have is that because I’m not traveling, I’m not living life right. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, but it sometimes can put me in a sad mood because of all the places I still haven’t been to.

Electric Forest 2015, I learned a lot about budgeting for travel. (Rothbury, Michigan)

Referencing the article, money is a big concern as to why I don’t travel much. My family isn’t upper middle class, so I never went on family vacations. My travel bucket list grows exponentially of places that I would love to see in my lifetime. I have been trying to save to help make these dreams a reality. When you have to budget within your family, traveling becomes very low on your list of priorities.

The second point this article makes is budgeting may not be enough. Time off from work is huge. If you’re lucky, you get paid for being on vacation, but depending on where you work, this might not be feasible. That’s a lot of money to lose for a week of fun. Airfare is also not cheap. I casually glance at flight prices and it always saddens me. Budgeting is a great skill to learn and I wish I could do this to travel the world.

Fonz Statue 3
Milwaukee, Wisconsin is a pretty cool place. Summer 2015. 

Finally, this article mentions privilege. I’m a white, cis woman. I don’t have to fear that I’m going to not be allowed in a country because I’m trans. I’m also straight, so I don’t have to fear being targeted for being gay. America has come a long way for gay rights, but other countries are so far behind. I’m lucky because I may be safer off in other countries aside from other groups of people.

Millenium Park 4
Millennium Park, Chicago. Take me Back! 

Instead of shaming someone for not traveling, understand the reasons why they don’t. My biggest advice to combat the travel shaming is to appreciate the little trips (like Chicago SO MUCH FUN! ) and to focus on my small goals like graduating college in a couple months. Traveling is so amazing, I’m just not at a point in my life where I can commit to it.

14 thoughts on “Traveling is a Privilege

  1. I definitely relate to this! My first “real” vacation was this year to New Orleans (I usually have to spend my vacation time and money going home to visit family). I love my family but I want to see a lot of other places. My next dream destination is Scotland 🙂


  2. I want to travel and see the world. I’ve been trying to save up, but every time I have to dip into my savings for financial reasons it kills me because it makes me feel like I’m never going to get there. Facebook and Instagram don’t help because you start to see your peers going on these amazing trips and you feel so left out.


  3. Don’t feel guilty at all because you can’t travel to far away destinations. Instead focus on short trips like you said! Or even explore your own city! My next destination is Hong Kong only because we are in the middle of the pacific and tickets are not too expensive!


  4. What an amazing, honest, truthful post! Social Media seems to be full of photos in exotic destinations, and it does lead to FOMO.

    You are lucky America itself has so many amazing places to visit, especially for short breaks. It’s also an amazing country for road trips!


  5. Don’t feel guilty, the right time will come. Also, don’t get nervous because you might not be travelling as others do. My family couldn’t afford vacations either, and they had to work a lot. Going to live in Japan was almost impossible. So, I searched for ways to make it happen (I found a scholarship). Once in Tokyo, I worked part time and was able to afford trips to Australia, NZ, HK… But, it wasn’t fancy: backpack on my back, youth hostels, mostly eating sandwiches. The extras were for my geeky passions. It took me a lot of time (years!) to make it happen. When I started to work full time, things were more difficult… You need time to travel! It isn’t easy, and you might need to postpone the whole thing because of money AND time. Also, as parents grow older you have to visit them more often, reducing your options.
    The question isn’t how much you travel or if you don’t travel at all, the question is the quality of the things you do and if they tune with you. Also, what things you do with whom. You can do things alone, with friends, with family. At the end, what counts it isn’t how many countries or places you’ve visited (most of my friends have visited far more countries and towns than I have), nor the museums you’ve been in, but the fun and what you’ve learnt from the things you’ve done. Reading a book in a nearby coffee shop next home might be more fruitful than visiting the Burning Man. What fills your heart with joy and the memories you share are the key ❤


  6. I absolutely love this post! And completely relate. Travel IS a privilege. As someone who grew up in a relatively poor family, I haven’t been to many places. I attended college and currently live in the state I was born in. Appreciating the little trips are SO important, I agree. We’ve been taking our daughter to different places – road trips, museums, etc. because it’s what we can afford but I long to be able to travel to other countries with her while she’s little and expose her to so many other cultures! In time, I’m sure we will manage a few trips, but travel is definitely something that just isn’t an option for everyone.


  7. I can definitely relate to this. Travel is something I want desperately, but just can’t financially justify at this point in my life. Definitely hoping it’ll happen someday, though! And yay for graduating soon!! Maybe your graduation gift to yourself should be a trip to Harry Potter World??


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