Not what you were expecting, right? Everywhere you look on social media travelling is the new black. Not to say wanderlusting didn’t exist before millennials, however amongst my peers (20 something year olds) it’s seems to be all the rage. If you haven’t visited at least 20 countries by now, are you even living your best life? Popular opinion would say no. However, even with the trending craze that is traveling I have no plans to pack my bags and get my passport stamped anytime soon. Here’s why:
It was the year 2016 when I made the most impulsive decision of my life. I decided I was going to chase my master’s degree in an entirely different country. I had never even left the US before this! But at the age of 22 I put all my effort into getting my visa, raising all the funds (and loans) I needed, and I moved to Valencia, Spain to study music. To this day it is still the best decision I ever made. I was able to immerse myself in a new culture, grow in my artistry, develop a second language, and realize I was actually capable of taking care of myself.
After a year long venture of exploring Spanish culture, I was all too ready to return back to the over processed United States. After my return in 2017 I spent that following year readjusting, laying foundations for my career, and struggling through ALOT of growing pains. I’d found myself in a place of financial, mental, emotional, and even physical exhaustion working to find stability after Spain. Yet I’d hop on Instagram and see peers traveling to new countries every other month. HOW?
I knew then and there I was not about that travel life and this is how I made peace with that.
First, I absolutely adore experiencing other cultures but I’d be lying if I said the process of travel didn’t exhaust me. The packing, the getting to the airport, the baggage check, the security check, the walking around with a too heavy carry on to spare a too heavy checked back, etc. It takes a certain level of patience to travel. Secondly, it’s expensive. Like me you’ve probably stumbled across dozens of blogs on how to travel for cheap, but even cheap comes with a price. Where will you stay? How much will tickets be? Do you even have passport or need a replacement (like me)? What will you eat? And don’t forget those random emergency costs that pop up. The costs can slowly add up and you have to have as much financial cushion as possible.
In addition, I found that I wasn’t stable enough to travel. I was still in the process of establishing a steady work flow, trying to move to a new city, and basically lay the foundation for my life. If I decided to up and travel, I’d just be leaving behind dozens of situational loose ends that would be harder to tie upon my arrival. Maybe my peers have already settled into productive lifestyles, but I’m happily still finding my groove.
When it’s time for me to travel for leisure, I want all the pieces to fall together stress free. Not feel like I’m in a race to rush to as many countries as I can before a certain age. We’re all so young and have so much time. I’m okay being honest with myself that a consistent travelling hobby is not in the cards for me right now.
Should you travel young? Absolutely! Should you travel young and flex outside your life means and budget? No. Should you travel if you have the life stability to support your adventures? Yes. Should you travel just to keep up with everyone and post cute pictures? No. Maybe your peers have worked to save for traveling, or maybe their job affords them that luxury. Maybe they actually don’t have it like that and are broke. Whatever the case may be, focus on the timing of your own journey and make plans that fit YOUR life.
I’m a firm believer that there is a time and place for everything. When it’s time for me to spread my wings and venture abroad again, whether due to my career or leisure, I will be more than ready to answer that call. But right now? I’m content matching the puzzle pieces of my life and laying roots right here at home.