It’s ok NOT to travel the world

If you ask people where they want to go on their adventures, their answer will be ‘travel the world’ but most people don’t really mean it, I know I don’t and you probably don’t either.

In case you haven’t noticed, the world is pretty big. There’s a lot of ground (and sea) to cover and you’re not going to be able to get through it all in your gap year (unless you happen to know Superman or have a time machine). So you pick specific places to go to. Maybe you choose Asia because it’s cheap and an easy route to do or Australia and New Zealand because you get to work and save money. We all have our own reasons for our destinations.

These places offer amazing experiences but you’re not really ‘travelling the world’ are you? You’re not visiting every country within each continent; you’re being selective and it’s totally acceptable to do that.

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I’m just as happy in the middle of nowhere…

 

I went to Asia and I’ve been to Africa but I currently have no desire to go to India (although slightly tempted to head there for Holi Festival), I don’t want to go to the Middle East and I don’t ‘care’ about Eastern Europe. Yeah I know, you’re all gasping in horror, just like I would if you said you weren’t interested in Africa but we’re all different. Sure, I could miss out on ‘blah blah blah’ over in Russia or something amazing somewhere in the Middle East but right now, I just don’t care. It’s not that I’m being arrogant to think that nothing in those countries would interest me, it’s just that for the moment, I have priorities. Just like you do.

Maybe going to India has always been your dream since the day you first saw a documentary about the Taj Mahal or you want to go and explore the depths of Russia – go for it! It’s not my adventure or your friends and families it’s YOURS. Sure you might get some weird looks if you say you fancy going to Uzbekistan but who cares? You have your reasons for going and that’s all that counts. People are still going to be jealous when you catch that amazing sunset or when a local invites you into their home for lunch.

Maybe when I’m older and my priorities/ideals have changed, something will inspire me to explore a little further out of the ordinary and head a little more into the lesser known parts of the world but for the moment, I’m quite happy to follow in the steps of millions of people before me and head to Asia, Australia and New Zealand; after all, there’s a reason so many people go to there. Besides, it takes some serious money to travel the world. You haven’t just got mainland countries but all the little islands in the middle of nowhere…are you going to visit every single island in Micronesia? How about travelling to the middle of the Pacific Ocean for Pitcairn Island? No, I didn’t think so. But if you want it, go for it!

…as I am partying with my ladyboy friends!

Likewise, who cares if you set yourself 5 days somewhere and up staying for nearly 3 weeks (I did that in Koh Tao, Thailand) – it’s your journey. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t get somewhere that was on your itinerary; you were obviously having too much fun with your new found friends. What DOES matter if the fact that this is YOUR time to do whatever you want. No one’s going to care if you went to the middle of nowhere in the Middle East or partied it up on Koh Phangan; all their care about is that you had the time of your life and enjoyed yourself.

So instead of telling people you’re going to travel the world, tell them that you’re going to travel YOUR world.

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26 comments

  1. I’m struggling to think of places I wouldn’t ever want to go – although in some cases there’d have to be a regime change first! But I do love my own home and friends too much to join the “long-term travel” brigade, so I know I won’t get to see everywhere I dream of…. but I’m making a start 😉

  2. This is so true. It’s so important to pick a few places that you want to go. It would be virtually impossible to travel the whole world unless you were a multimillionaire or had years and years and years to do it.

    If you say to yourself, ‘I want to travel around SE Asia’, you can realistically do this and you’ll feel like you’ve achieved something when you’ve seen a lot of it. But if you simply say, ‘I want to travel the world’, you’ll never end up seeing it all and you’ll feel like you haven’t accomplished anything and like you aren’t getting anywhere.

  3. A really nice post Toni – we feel pretty similar and have absolutely no desire to visit India (something we’ll save for when we’re older I think) or the Middle East (apart from Jordan, of course).

    We’re all for encouraging people to travel, but most importantly do whatever makes you happy – not what other people tell you to! 🙂

  4. Nice post! I now feel totally the same, once upon a time I would have said ‘I want to travel the world’ though. What I really meant however was, I want to go see the parts that interest me, this would have been more accurate. There are some places I have no interest in visiting.

    On a slightly related note, I recently had a go a creating my ‘where i’ve been’ map and adding it to my blog. I thought i was fairly well travelled, but my map showed i’d seen just 10% of the world. Reality check. Seeing the whole world … long way to go and highly unlikely.

  5. Indeed. Everyone has different priorities, and mine have even shifted over time. Make your journey YOURS.

  6. Poi

    Great stuff – I have no desire to go to India either or Scotland again anytime soon haha. Everybody makes these decisions when they decide to go everywhere they just don’t want to admit they don’t fancy so and so…

  7. nice post toni… i just wanna travel almost to anywhere, no specific destination actually, i realized that what i enjoy the most is experiencing a new place 🙂

  8. love the end quote on this Toni!

    I go to heaps of places and all I do is see them from the ocean – I’m the first to admit I’m shit at travelling if there’s surf involved – but I’m stoked with that. I didn’t save a whole heap of money to do things on someone else’s bucket list!

    🙂

  9. Rachel – haha got to agree with you on the regime changes 🙂 It’s great that you feel happy at home and only want to ‘pop out’ of the country…everyone is different right?! And yes, starting is always a good point 😉

  10. Monica – Oh to be a multimillionareness 😉 Exactly, sometimes when you set a monumentous goal, you’re almost setting yourself up to fail but if you break it down into regions, as you say with SE Asia, then when you conquer each region, your self-esteem will go through the roof…love your point hun! 🙂

  11. Anthony – why thank you baldylocks 😉

  12. Kieron – Thank you; glad you liked it! Glad to hear I’m not the only one that wants to skip India and the Middle East (for now). Exactly! Do what makes you happen…well said 🙂

  13. Neil – Thanks! haha I’ve done one of those ‘places I’ve visited’ maps before…suddenly makes you feel totally pathetic but then, if you’re not interested in certain places, it’s bound to happen. Besides, when they take into consideration the gazillion islands all over the world, is it any wonder we haven’t visited them all?! 😉

  14. Heather – exactly…that’s my point; priorities change over time etc and you should do what makes you happy. Our priorities will probably change several times over our lifetimes 🙂

  15. Poi – haha well said…’they don’t want to admit that they don’t fancy so and so’; it’s true. Everyone says the world because it makes me them sound less picky about the world but as long as you enjoy yourself, who cares where you go and how long you stay for!

  16. Flip – good for you! It’s great that you recognise you want to go everywhere your feet and mind will take you 🙂

  17. Chris – Thanks hun…I quite like the quote too 🙂 I’m the same as you but with diving…if there is a good beach, gorgeous water and weather with good dive spots, you can’t tear me away. Exactly…go through your own bucket list, not someone elses…love it 🙂

  18. AGREE.I honestly don’t have any strong desire to visit South Africa, New Zealand, Peru or Mexico – all pretty popular places, but could I live if I didn’t go there? Sure!

    You’re not missing anything by not going to Moscow, by the way. It’s a miserable, miserable city full of miserable people. Hated it.

  19. AGREE. Though to be fair my to-go list is growing bigger than my not-to-go list partly thanks to other travel bloggers posting awesome posts & photos.

    At the top of my head – Russia, Canada, Brazil, India are the “not-yet-to-visit” list!

  20. Jerick – haha yes, my ‘to do list’ is definitely growing because of others but as you say, there are still places that you don’t want to visit…for now anyway 🙂

  21. Talon

    I love what you have to say. It is SO true. The important thing is it’s your journey. When we were in Central America many travelers were stunned when I said I had absolutely no desire to go to Costa Rica. I’m sure there is value there, and I know many who have loved it. It just doesn’t really draw me. We also planned on staying for a month in Medellin, Colombia. When we got there, we decided almost 2 weeks was more than enough and left. Rigid itineraries just aren’t that good in my opinion, and why go somewhere just because someone else thinks you should. It’s YOUR life, live it!

  22. Talon – You’re right, it’s definitely YOUR journey; no one elses and everyone’s opinion is different. As they say; one man’s junk is another man’s treasure and that’s the same on the road; someone might love and place and you might want to move on pretty quickly. It’s your life, your journey and your decisions 🙂

  23. The first thing I noticed reading travel blogs was “Wow these guys love traveling”. Wait! Hear me out.

    I’ve always been a nerd for stuff. I like comedy, going to shows, meeting people, going to art shows, watching sports etc… I figured because these were things I loved, its what I would seek whereever I went. I viewed my traveling experience like a movie – 1.Narrative 2.Characters 3.Setting

    I found that most travel blogs only catered to the Setting. Largely appealing to history buffs, sightseers and foodies which was a specific niche that didn’t appeal to me.

    For me, the Movie of my travels isn’t simply based on Setting. I just want it to be interesting.

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  24. Aahhh finally, I meet someone else who has no desire to go to India! I was just talking to one of my friends about this and they were so floored when I told them India didn’t appeal to me. And yes, we all “want to travel the world”, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty of it, I’ve actually narrowed down these places around the world, picking the only ones I reeaaallllyyyy desire to go to.

  25. Antoinette – yay! Welcome to the club! I’m always floored when people say they DO want to go to India 😀 I think if we had vast amounts of money available then yes we probably would eventually travel the world but for now it’s all about priorities on our lists 🙂

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