Travellers. A few words spring to mind when people think of them – bold, intrepid, fearless, experienced, adventurous. Don’t get me wrong, I think of these things too. But there are a couple more words I would use to describe them – pretentious and delusional.
Please bear in mind I am generalising here. Not all Travellers are like this. But have a conversation with a Traveller and you might just find – more often than not – that you can’t. You can’t because they will talk at you, not to you. You may instantly see them as a walking Lonely Planet, and ask some burning questions you’ve always had about Peru or Zimbabwe – what’s it really like? I hope you have a few spare hours for your answer. You may raise some concerns or fears you have about travelling, and this is where the arrogance comes in – you will instantly be met with a furrowed brow, a direct change in attitude. “Don’t be so stupid,” your answer will probably be. “There’s nothing to be scared of.” The person will shut down your concerns/fears/stereotypes and tell you to just go and do it.
Now, that’s a great concept… if you live in la-la land. I’m very much a realist, and the truth is the world is a scary place. Bad things do happen. Not to mention, the majority of us have jobs, families, friends, bills, pets and other commitments to consider in the statement of “just pack up and leave”. It’s a dream that many of us just can’t and won’t achieve. But that doesn’t mean you can’t join the ranks of Traveller. It might take you longer, but if it’s your dream to visit the pyramids, or cruise the Siene, and it takes you years to save up for a 2 week trip, then that’s ok! It’s your dream, they’re your goals, and they can happen on your terms. Don’t let a Traveller tell you different!