I have read somewhere that over one billion people travel each year, and let's say that is true. Why do so many of us do it? I know I take trips to explore, to see something new, to escape and to forget, to experience, to broaden my horizons, to delve deep into another culture. The reasons are so many, and no matter what they are, they are enough to get me somewhere.
I often listen and cringe at the same time when people try to convince me a certain type of travel is better than the other -- more authentic as they like to put it. Because unless you live almost like a nomad, on a buck a day, you are supposedly really not doing it right and you shouldn't even bother calling yourself a traveler. I don't like pretentious people, not even if they have the greatest tales of countries I'll probably never be able to visit, because too often I feel as they are doing it only to make themselves stand out. So, while I do think one can travel any way one likes, there are reasons why one should not do it in the first place.
1) Trying to impress: I am sorry but nobody really cares where you've been. Yes, everybody asks, but they are secretly thinking: "Ough. That bastard. What does he do to be able to spend three weeks in Nicaragua, Costa Rica or trekking in Nepal?" And honestly are you willing to spend your hard-earned cash for likes on Facebook and favorites on Twitter? You would probably have better luck posting a photo of "Look what my dog did today," then "Guess where I am", when you are standing in front of the Eiffel tower in Paris. Travel only for yourself.
2) Groundhog Day: If you go to a new place and want everything the way you have it at home, please spare us all. Stay at your I-believe-lovely home and beautiful country. I know that in these times you can get the same rooms, the same food, the same drinks anywhere in the world, but honestly do you want to keep paying for the same experience over and over again?
3) At a gun point: I don't care if it's the love of your life, nobody should make you climb Mount Kilimanjaro or walk up and down the streets of Amsterdam if that's not what you like. It's a lose-lose for both of you. You hate it; they hate you for ruining the experience you all probably paid too much money for. Besides you're not making anyone follow your hobbies right -- like playing chess, throwing darts or collecting stamps?
4) Are we there yet: You just want to stay on the beach at the all-inclusive resort; you don't really want to spend your cash going through the villages and watching the villagers dance. You survived the flight and till the one taking you home, you want to stay put and rest. Well, do it.
5) Everyone is doing it. Yes, it may seem that way, but only if you are spending too much time on all the social media. Then you might also think everyone is cooking like the greatest chef, everyone has happy and well-behaved kids and everyone's lives are nothing but great. But are they really? Be yourself, don't do something that it's not right up your alley.
Travel can be one of the most rewarding things in life, but it can also suck, if you don't really want do it.
Then eight hours on a bus that should take only four, pouring rain while you are stuck outdoors or realizing you don't have a place to sleep at eight in the evening, are not just another adventure, but annoying and making you miserable, money down the literal drain with no great photos for everyone to see.
The post was previously published on coolkidzcooltrips.com, where I am smart about more travel-related things.