I’m sorry for being absent but as I mentioned in the past, I get caught up living life and to be frank, there’s something that’s been bothering me regarding my posts, and perhaps it will come off as a rant, but whatcha gonna do. You see, people think that I travel a lot, therefore I must be rich. This annoys me not only because I don’t even travel that much but because I often get all sorts of demented comments such as, “You’re so lucky! I wish I had the kind of money and time you have.”
All that means, really, is that the idiot saying that knows squat about travel or me, and I wouldn’t care about it if only those people would leave me alone. The trouble is that most people think travel is the same as going on vacation, and for most people going on vacation means booking an expensive hotel, buying overpriced “local” crap and eating at authentic tourist trap restaurants. Those people have no idea that I (and people who travel like me) easily travel for a week on what they spend per day, that I stay at hostels or couchsurf, buying dinner or gifts for my hosts, and that I eat at local joints tourists might never know exist because these places are far from the touristy parts of town.
This “lucky” lifestyle actually comes with sacrifices and inconveniences, such as sometimes not having a home to go back to, being awoken by drunk Irish girls at hostels or finding yourself sleeping amid dusty bunnies on a stranger’s floor. But all that – and lots more – comes with the package, and you deal. But most people don’t want any part of the sacrifices, they just want the benefits. A former coworker, for instance, talking about how she envied my travels, was astounded to find out what a hostel is and that people actually choose to stay at them, and said she’d never be able to share a room with strangers. What can I say…
Well, actually, there is something I have wanted to say for a long time now to those people: fuck off. You see, lots of nice people give me feedback on my stories, on and off line, but I also often hear from envious folks and no matter how many times I explain that budget travel is a choice anyone, including them, can make, these folks prefer to believe they’re victims of destiny who were dealt a bad hand, unlike me with my private jet and trust fund, or so they seem to believe. I normally try to help these people see the possibilities because it’s a beautiful world out there but the conversation eventually culminates with them brushing me off by telling me, “You’re so lucky!”
If by “lucky” they mean “person who works hard,” then sure. Or “person who has slept at airports to save for travel,” then right on. Or maybe “person who found herself locked out on New Year’s Eve in Rio,” then you got it! Otherwise, enough. Quit it coz I’ve had it.
The majority of humans on Earth need to work and make sacrifices for what they want. I’m one of those people, and if further explanation is necessary to make the point clear, I’ll illustrate one big difference (among many) between the envious and me (and people like me?): the self-proclaimed unlucky see a flat screen TV and save money to buy it. People like me see the same TV, imagine how long we could travel for with the money spent on said TV, then save less than that for travel. Different priorities, that’s all it is.
In sum, anyone unhappy with their lives needs to take responsibility for their choices, and if anyone wants to wear my shoes they’ll have to learn to put up with blisters. Oh, and get your own shoes.