Traveling Excuses

April 1, 2014
When it comes to traveling abroad, I've heard every excuse in the book.  I lived in France for 9 months, Italy for a year, and in Korea for three years.  I probably had about 50 different people say that they were going to come visit me, but only my two younger sisters made good on their word and visited me in Italy.  Also, one childhood friend did make it out to Korea.  I kind of think everyone else is crazy for not coming!  If I had a friend overseas who was inviting me to stay with them for free and who knew the area really well, I would jump at the chance and try my very best to visit them!  I know sometimes people have legitimate reasons for not being able to travel, but I find the following excuses pretty lame.

"But it could be dangerous."  A lot of people told me this one about Korea, which is funny because I felt way safer in Seoul than I would in a big city here in the States like Chicago or NYC.  Newsflash--danger is everywhere!  Do your research and don't put yourself in a stupid situation to minimize risks.  I'm not suggesting that you go and visit a war zone, but think about where you live and please remember that it is not crime-free.  This excuse doesn't fly with me because nowhere is 100% safe.

"But I don't have enough money." I know that I am privileged to be able to travel, and that is not something I take for granted. I am aware that a lack of funds is a very real reason why many people do not travel. However, here I am focusing on people that COULD or DO have enough money to travel but simply do not prioritize or budget their money properly. Some people like to splurge on designer clothes or a chic apartment.  I prefer to take my extra $ and put it towards my traveling fund.  First, I pick where I would like to go, and I figure out how much I think it will cost.  I always round up in case there is an emergency.  I set a time frame for myself and put a certain amount of money aside every week that goes right into my traveling fund.  It's all about setting reasonable goals for yourself and following through with them.

"But I don't have time." I've done a lot of my traveling when I was a student through study abroad programs because I figured that in "the real world," I would not really get that much vacation time.  I've also taken trips when I was between jobs or right when my contracts ended.  Since I plan on going into education, luckily I will have some time in the summer to travel.  I know that this isn't the case for everyone and that sometimes it is hard to get time off of work or you might have a responsibility to your family, but the truth is that if traveling is high on your list of priorities, you have to try to find a way or else opportunities will continue to pass you by.  One of my friends that I studied abroad with in France didn't get to travel much in the past few years because her job wouldn't let her take the time off.  She quit her job and is now taking a 6 month trip around the world!

"But no one will go with me."  I don't think that not having a travel buddy should stop you from going where you want to go.  When all my friends were going to Thailand on vacation, I opted for Vietnam and no one was interested, so I did the trip alone.  I'm an introvert and really don't mind being by myself, but for those that might not like that, it is usually easier than one might think to make new friends while traveling.  I'm not a very outgoing person, and I still made some friends while I was on my trips.  Staying in guesthouses or hostels makes it easy since there are often common areas that everyone shares--I've made some pals just by making my dinner in the kitchen.

Some pics from my solo trip to Vietnam...




"But what if I get sick?"  Again, can you not get sick at home?  Get the recommended vaccinations and just make sure that you have international health insurance, and you will be able to get medical care overseas.  I got food poisoning in Portugal and had to leave in an ambulance because of severe dehydration and got taken to the hospital and given an IV.  Sure, it was a little scary, but food poisoning could have happened anywhere.

"But what if I can't speak the language?"  Since English is my mother tongue, I've been really spoiled since so many people in other countries who work in the hospitality industry are able to speak it.  At hotels, I always ask the workers at the front desk to write out the address of the hotel in their language and ask that they add a few directions to it.  I carry the paper with me in case I get lost.  If I couldn't find my way back, I know I'd usually just be able to hop in a taxi and give the driver the note.  I have also taken guide books with me and have had to point at phrases before.  It's also amazing how much gestures and body language can help you out.  In some cases, I ended up learning some helpful words and phrases.  I was by NO MEANS even the slightest bit fluent in Korean, but just knowing how to say a few basic expressions really helped me out significantly.

"I'll travel later in life."  I dated this one guy who told me that he was "so into" traveling but that he hadn't actually gone anywhere because he said that his dream was to just do it all when he retired.  I didn't take him seriously at all!  If you're that "into" wanting to travel, why would you put it off until then?  Plus, I don't want to only travel when I'm old and limited by what activities I can do.  Sorry, but I don't picture many senior citizens going white water rafting or paragliding.  Also, you never know what will happen...I'd rather travel now AND later.

I say that if you really want to travel then, if you are able to, seize the moment while you can and just do it!

What are some excuses you've heard that you are not on board with?

18 comments on "Traveling Excuses"
  1. What a great post! Bummer more people didn't get out to visit you.

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    1. I would have loved it if more came! I love being the "host."

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  2. Oh man, yes to all of these. When I was a grad student in Scotland I had a MASSIVE apartment all by myself with two sofas, so of course I invited everybody I knew to come visit, but in the end the only people who came THE ENTIRE TIME I WAS THERE were my dad and uncle, haha. I'll admit that language barriers can still make me nervous sometimes, but that's not an excuse to not go.

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    1. Too bad we didn't know each other then! I could have stayed in Scotland and you could have visited Italy!

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  3. thank-you for making this post! it gave me a little bit more confidence for when i travel this summer, and take a plane by myself (which i have been previously dreading). it's worth taking the risk, it is a shame that hardly anyone visited. seems like such a waste of an opportunity! their loss i guess.

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    1. That's exciting!! Where are you traveling to? Have the best trip!

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  4. One thing I majorly regret is not traveling abroad while in college. This post comes at a perfect time, because I have the opportunity to go to Australia next month and I was waffling because our tax bill is going to be way more than I thought, but screw it. I need to make this trip happen!

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    1. You know I would say to take the opportunity! You might not get another one like it. :) I hope everything works out for you so that you can go.

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  5. These are all so on point. If there's a will, there really is a way. It just takes some effort. People that make excuses usually are not that passionate about it anyway.

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    1. Yes, I 100% agree with you, but they are the same ones always saying, "I wish I could travel!"

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  6. I agree excuses are just reasons to not try something. If you really want to travel you can find a way to make it into the budget.

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    1. For some people it might take longer, but in most cases it is feasible.

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  7. This is a bang on post! I agree with everything you've said. I find people always use the 'no money' excuse, but can go out for nice dinners, buy nice clothes etc. It's all about priorities. It's not that you can't afford to travel, it's that it's not a priority for you - simple as that. I think sometimes people have a hard time just admitting they don't WANT to travel so they make excuses. Better just to be real and honest with yourself. If you really want to travel, you will make it happen. Simple as that

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    1. I agree! I don't get why people seem to have a hard time admitting that it's just not their priority...I'll admit that exercising isn't mine (though I wish it were!!).

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  8. i love travelling but i'd be scared to travel by myself! for money, you can always find cheaper ways to travel. we plan and work with a budget to travel and it always ends up that we have money left over :)

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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    1. Yes, I always over budget and then save the $$ for my next trip!

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  9. I never say no to a trip! Even when my wallet and bank account are crying...

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    1. Thanks to student loans I feel like I always have debt and probably will for a long time, so I'd still be broke regardless of whether or not I take a trip. :)

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