I know… I know… I know…
This is a travel blog, and one of my goals is to inspire you to pursue your own worth exploring moments.
I get it.
I have the audacity to tell you that travel is overrated while in another country.
I am probably either the worst or best person to tell you this little secret. (After all, I have only been traveling since May 27, 2021)
When I first booked my plane ticket to Turkey, it was an interesting time in my life.
Things were happening at light-speed, people were getting married, others were having kids…. It was weird. (And I am only 22!!!)
So, I did the thing I always said I wanted to do in college, and I bought a plane ticket.
Looking back, I should’ve asked myself if I actually wanted to travel.
Or was I obsessed with the idea of traveling?
Those are two very different things.
Traveling according to the USA
I think the American definition of traveling is the type of traveling that is overrated.
Or even… the American definition of travel is bad!
Americans glorify travel, envisioning a luxurious rejuvenation of body, mind, and spirit.
Or it’s for the Instagram Highlight Reel.
This luxurious life is why everyone (me) wants to be the next big travel influencer.
My definition for American travel is: A temporary escape from the monotony of life.
Alright, I want to start some controversy.
Monotony is good… for most people. (Oof)
Doing the same thing creates habits, progress, a greater sense of belief and understand, comfort, and most importantly, efficiency.
But full-time travel is not an escape from everything, and it sure as hell is not comfortable.
Traveling is stressful and exhausting. (Yes, exhausting things are opportunities for growth. Ask any parent.)
Look, I am not always a fan of traveling to new destinations, which is funny. (I especially don’t like bouncing from city to city within a specific country.)
Full-time travel does not allow me to engage with the people and culture, which I find way more fulfilling than photography.
Think about the time you once said, “I need a vacation from my vacation.” (You aren’t the only one, trust me.)
Well, full-time travel mostly restricts that.
Full-time travel is a constant planning phase. For example, here is what has happened in the past week.
- In route to one destination, I was notified that my lodging for that night was cancelled. Why? I don’t know. (Update: This has happened to me three times now….)
- I have to figure out how to get to places, daily. This can be difficult when you don’t speak the language. (Thankfully, most people are friendly and accommodating.)
- More than once, I have thought, “How can I start making money?”
Additionally, the luxurious style of travel is non-existent.
- I am writing this from a bus. (Honestly, a lot of my work happens when I am traveling in buses.)
- I haven’t washed my clothing in about two weeks. (Look, I don’t understand either. However, my clothing doesn’t stink…. yet.)
- You have to be hyper-observant, especially in big cities, that you keep an eye on your stuff. Travel influencers, bloggers, vloggers.. whatever you want to call us…. carry a lot of expensive crap.
The Travel Influencer’s Duty
As a group, the USA and Travel Influencers need to be more transparent about why traveling is overrated.
This includes me.
Traveling can be stressful, and if there is one thing I’ve noticed, traveling might even be bad for someone’s health!
Since traveling, I’ve now gotten sick (not food poisoning) two times! That never happened to me!
I also believe that attempting to vlog, photograph, and blog everything prohibits one from being fully-present! (This is actually why I am slowing down the YouTube videos a bit…)
I have felt homesick, thought about quitting and going back to the United States, and so much more.
But what keeps me going are the people I meet, the other blogs that I read that I empathize with, and the food. (Just kidding on that last part, but I love the food I eat.)
I believe the reason travel is *overrated is due to how Americans use the word “travel.”
We use travel as a verb, instead of the noun.
Confused? Let me explain.
Whenever we say “I Travel,” we place OURSELVES in front of travel. We deem the cultures, food, and people as less important as the experiences we have. We are using the culture for our own personal gain.
To fill our Human Highlight Reel.
To look good.
But when you use travel as a noun, these things (culture, experiences) develop us into a new person.
This being said, from here on out, I am going to use travel as a noun. And I challenge you to do the same.
For me, this means be more focused on being in the present rather than always taking photos and videos.
And I think this can help prevent burnout, as the life of a digital content creator (at least the way I was doing it) was exhausting.
Content Creator Daily Life
For perspective, I wanted to show you the day in the life of a content creator.
09:00: Do something
13:30: Do Something
19:00: Work, Upload Photos
I did this schedule non-stop for about two months.
Obviously, work days look a little bit different.
And I am always altering this schedule every week to figure out what works for me.
But it’s not too glamorous, and I have to be very careful.
I don’t take weekends off, and if I do, it’s one day per week.
Good Days and Bad Days
Now that I have vilified travel, I am here to say that travel is not all bad.
Sorry, I am convoluting.
You learn so much about yourself, and I would argue you learn more about yourself during traveling than you learn about other cultures.
Travel teaches patience, contentment, and how you react in stressful situations.
You learn how to interact, start conversations, and make friends.
But for me, most importantly, I have learned about the concept of good days and bad days.
Learning how you interact with individuals on these days is important. (Probably the most important thing I’ve learned during travel.)
But I still have a long ways to go.