The travel life is an enticing one for those that do not have an opportunity to live it, and intoxicating for those that find themselves always in motion. Many are curious to understand what life is like for those that have the gift of seeing many destinations in regularity. There are some common questions that people routinely ask those who travel, and often, the inquires are misguided. Here are five unfair questions that frequent travelers are often asked, and if you are the one curiously inquiring, what questions can be posed instead.
(photo credit- www.theflightattendantlife.com)
"What's your favorite destination that you have ever visited?"
Why this is an unfair question- The question essentially asks a traveler to compare diverse experiences, choosing the one that stands out above all others. The problem with this is that time, seasons, people, and life in general have a way of influencing, making direct comparisons of two very incomparable events inaccurate.
What you can ask instead- A different question to pose could be this: "What is one of the most unique places that you have ever visited, and why does it stand out to you?" This type of question will begin a discussion, most likely yielding a longer conversation, consisting of more depth, interest, and story.
"Do you ever want to settle down?"
Why this is an unfair question- 'Settle' is a grating word for most souls caught by wanderlust. Settle implies that travelers exist outside a realm of normalcy, and that the act of not following a typical life path is strange, or wrong. Whenever I am asked about settling, I find myself feeling like I have failed, as if all that I have accomplished, or experienced up to this point is meaningless without having a house, a dog, a husband, or a baby.
What you can ask instead- A question that can give an interesting perspective surrounding this topic could be this: "What are three things that you are hoping to understand better, or accomplish through your life of travel?"
"Are you scared to travel alone?"
Why this is an unfair question- This is not a relevant question as there are many moments when a traveler is scared to travel alone, many times when that same individual craves solidarity, and many trips when solo is an empowering, as well as a needed experience.
What you can ask instead- "When was a time that you traveled alone that challenged you, and when was a time that you enjoyed solo travel?"
"Where do you live?"
Why this is an unfair question- Some travelers live constantly between take-offs and landings, an existence of always being between permanent residency, and a permanent address.
What you can ask instead- "Where do you spend most of your time between your travels?" or "What feels the most like home?"
"[When/What/Where] is your next trip?"
Why this is an unfair question- As much as a traveler loves the adventure of the next place, the average person also likes to enjoy time to regroup after months on the road. The question about where, or when, or what one is doing next implies that living in the present is not ok. Of course, planning for the future is important, but when going away is a typical act, there is a tendency to never completely appreciate the experiences had.
What you can ask instead- "What is one thing that you are looking forward to over the next few months?"