Travelers are a unique group of people that are both admired and sneered at. Almost everyone wants to travel extensively, but only a handful of people actually do. Those who don't travel often feel the need to console themselves by coming up with reasons why they can't travel or why they're better off not seeing the world.
Here are five traveler stereotypes and why they are oh so wrong:
5. Travelers are arrogant
Some people think it's arrogant to start every sentence with, "Well, when I was in Bali..." Those who don't travel often feel as though they're being belittled by their lack of global experiences.
The Truth: Sometimes travelers have a tendency to talk a person's ear off about all of the places they've been. Usually it isn't because they're bragging, but it's because they're excited about everything they've seen and done. If traveling is a big part of someone's life, that person is going to talk about it often. Just like if your cat is a big part of your life, you're going to tell everyone about the time she ate a bumble bee.
4. Travelers have a lot of money
If someone can afford to spend a year in Europe, they must be well-off.
The Truth: Yes, traveling can be expensive. But if everyone could afford hotels, why would backpacking and CouchSurfing exist? Most travelers don't have any more money than the average person, but they make it work. Traveling is that "something special" that global nomads save up for; they'll live off of Ramen for a year if it means they can go to Costa Rica for six months.
3. Travelers don't work
Some people think that travelers have poor work ethic because they spend all of their time seeing the world rather than climbing up the corporate ladder. Only the weak actually use vacation time, right?
The Truth: In order for someone to take a sabbatical and still have a position waiting for their return, that person must have worked their arse off in the past. Or for travelers who don't have the option of taking a sabbatical, working or teaching abroad are options that allow them experience a new place while earning a buck. Many travelers, especially young explorers who have barely entered the work force, work while they travel.
2. It's easy for travelers to get up and go
Travelers are often stereotyped as free-spirited world wanderers who don't have any important relationships or responsibilities to tie them down. People will look at them in awe and say, "Wow, I wish I could just get up and go like that."
The Truth: You can get up and go! Anyone can. Travelers aren't mythical creatures, they're risk takers. They are just as afraid to get up and go as everyone else, but they do it because they know it'll be worth it. Travelers have families that they're close with, significant others and an entire life that would need to be put on hold in order to go to Malaysia. It's a tough decision for everyone. But people who really want to travel won't just dream about going; they'll make sacrifices and actually go.
1. Travelers are avoiding the real world
Too many people scoff at travelers as people who are just avoiding responsibilities and the daily routine of "the real world".
The Truth: Yes, traveling can be a great change from "the norm," but it certainly doesn't free you from responsibility. Traveling takes a lot of planning, time managing and budgeting; it creates work rather than hiding it. More importantly, who defined "the real world" as staying in one spot and working a 9-5 job? You'd think the real world would be, well, the actual world! Some could argue that travelers are running to the real world and living life they way it was intended.
What are some other stereotypes or misconceptions you've heard about travelers? Share in the comments below!