Everybody LOVES to travel, right? If the internet, and conversations, and advertisements have taught me anything, it’s that travel is the best possible thing you can do and perhaps the only way for you to become a full, well-rounded, and cultured individual. Commercials show frazzled families finally finding some release because they got away and traveled. Tinder bios boast “Loving travel” as if having an opinion on overseas travel were a requirement to even have a profile. Dinner party conversation circles around where people have traveled and where they plan to go next.
But what if you, like me, don’t travel?
What if you can’t afford it? What if you’re scared of planes? Or what if you just don’t really care? Because I just don’t really care. I might do it one day. I might not. I kinda want to go to Japan, but I could also never go, and still be pretty okay about it.
Believe me guys, I have heard how amazing traveling is and how I MUST do it, but:
I just, don’t really care.
I don’t really care to travel and I think it’s absolutely fine, but when I tell people this, they look at me like I’ve just admitted to living at the bottom of a well for my entire life.
I have lived in Southern California my entire life. I’ve been to NY twice. Been to a couple Mexican resorts on vacation. And been to a couple major U.S. cities in my nearly thirty years of existence and THAT’S IT! I haven’t been to Europe. I haven’t been to Spain. I haven’t been to Thailand though I KNOW “it’s totally the Hawaii of the Southeast” and I know y’all have been telling me I HAVE to go. I haven’t seen historic museums or climbed ruins or shared a beer with someone whose accent doesn’t sound like mine.
A couple practical reasons I have not.
I don’t save my money so I can travel. It’s just not how I want to spend my savings. I save my money so I can pay off student loans, and get expensive haircuts, and buy more Nikes. I just don’t want to save up a few grand so I can wear a backpack and stay in a hostel. Maybe one fancy day I won’t have any credit card debt and I can just pay in cash for a trip to Europe but until then, I’m chillin, here, in my apartment.
The second I got out of college I wanted to dive head first into a career. I started a job the day after I graduated from college and that didn’t leave much time for even a two-week getaway. Plus, the money thing. I needed a job first to have money to travel, it’s a vicious cycle y’all. Working was more interesting to me than travel, and I know that sounds insane, but that’s just how it is. Also, everyone I know who has stayed in a foreign city for longer than a week didn’t have a 9-5 job. Some found themselves laid off and booked a last minute trip. Others somehow magically found themselves with a one-month gap before starting a new job. I don’t know how people do this.
To be honest, if I can take a chunk of time off from work, I’m going to spend it horizontal, by a beach somewhere. Call me shallow but I’m not going to take time off work to walk around a foreign city on my feet struggling to grasp another language. I’ve heard your arguments about how I’m not cultured enough and that’s probably very true. You’ve seen more foreign museums than I have. Congrats. Let me take my Paid Time Off and spend it sipping a margarita on a vacation three-hours south of Los Angeles that I paid for with a Travelzoo coupon. I literally don’t care.
I don’t HAVE to do anything
When I jokingly tell people that I haven’t gone anywhere, they always remark with “Oh you HAVE to travel” or that I “MUST travel.” Well, it’s not a requirement, tbh. Also, I don’t tell you that you HAVE to get all your clothes dry-cleaned.
I can get perspective anywhere
There’s a feeling like one has to disconnect from their “real” life in order to find their “true” self. Ehh, if my girl Elisabeth Kubler-Ross has anything to say about it, I can find peace anywhere. She says, “There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub.” I’m enjoying spending my money on therapy. Even though a legit journey to find myself sounds like a lot of fun, I find my therapist to be more effective.
It’s a luxury
I have friends who travel all the time and who do it by saving their money and rewarding themselves with travel and that’s awesome. I respect that, but I already covered how I don’t want to spend my hard earned savings on traveling, because I’d rather spend it on -> #ShoesHaircutDebt. But then I have friends who travel because it’s a luxury. They have jobs that can let them drift away for a month. Or they freelance and can work from wherever. That’s a luxury, too. Or they have parents who can gift them with a plane ticket, or a place to stay when they quit their job to travel.
I liked college too much
Everyone asks me, “But why didn’t you study abroad! It’s the easiest way to get in some travel.” My sister traveled a lot in college, I just chose a different path. She traveled in college but I stayed local and did internships and joined a sketch troupe and partied more. Tomato-tomahto.
But at the end of the day, travel is just VERY LOW on my list of priorities. Instead of defending my reasons why I DON’T travel, I really should just say, I don’t really care to?