This week I read a post shared on my news feed by one of my favorite travel bloggers, Oneika the Traveler that became food for thought. Oneika establishes that Travel Bloggers have to stop telling people that everyone can travel and that it is a travel-snobbish thing to say. I totally loved this post because it made me think in so many things. I agree and disagree at the same time with some of Oneika’s points and I decided to write this to explain them better.
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I agree that not EVERYONE can travel. I am also sure that there are people lucky enough to have a powerful passport that allow them to go around the world freely and we can’t deny that. Here comes the things on which I don’t totally agree:
– Not everyone can travel thanks to mom and dad: If you ask me, most of what I have gotten from my parents while traveling has been complementary. I have worked hard and saved to travel because it is one of my priorities. Most of the money I save is definitely for air tickets and any other expenses I would have in my destinations. I can say I am thankful of what my parents have done for me in order to travel, but NO, they barely did not helped my with university and/or traveling, I tried to make the most by my own. Most of the things I was able to achieve on those matters were gotten with my own effort. I am pretty sure that I am not the only travel blogger that has been through the same experience.
– People with disabilities can actually travel: I am sure that in this case the mindset, the will, the health and the financial situation work their own unique roles. I have a friend who 10 years ago became handicapped because of a car accident, and I must say is one of the strongest persons I have ever met in my life. This same girl a few years ago was dating a guy who is blind and both of them decided to go to Europe. Who are we to say that they are not able to do that? That’s what they wanted in that moment and they have the will to achieve. Unfortunately, there are many cases on which things don’t work as good as they worked for them, but at the same time, we cannot say that everyone who has a reduced mobility should not be seeing the world. I feel like we can’t make a generalization in this type of situations.
– Mindset? I try not to be a travel snob, but I will always admit that traveling is a huge passion for me and when I talk about it, I put my heart on everything I say. I have noticed that sometimes, when people are too passionate about something, they might sound to others as snobs. I am sorry if I have ever sound snobbish in one of my posts because it has never been my intention. It was just passion speaking by itself.
Going back to the mindset, I must say once again that this is all about passion and priorities. We all know someone who asks us how do we get money for traveling but spend $600 on a new phone or $300 on just going out during a weekend. I will not condemn this people in any way, they have their own priorities and I am not to judge others, but that is exactly the reason why I have money for traveling. I try not to go out often if I don’t need to, so I can save the most. Going out at least will cost you $20 (gas, food, tolls, you name it!) My passion is traveling and I value every single penny I spend on it. For other people, their passions are their cars, going out on Friday night or buying a new purse. I think that is what the mindset is all about.
Now I will talk about privilege: I know I am lucky enough to actually make money from home because the skills I studied allow me to be able to find freelance jobs that don’t require me to get out of my house to get them done. I am lucky enough to have a part time in a place I can walk to. I am privileged that these things actually allow me to travel as much as I like to, even though that in this moment of my life I am limiting it because of other life decisions.
With this post, I am not trying to make a huge debate. In fact, I am totally thankful that this text brought me to these conclusions. I agree with the fact that travel bloggers are always looking forward to inspire others. One thing that we as travel bloggers should start to do is to stop thinking that our readers are all alike. We must agree that if there is something wonderful about the travel writing world is that all of us who write have all different experiences and, that is exactly the same thing that happens with our readers.
I think that this is more than just pretending that everyone can travel, is about understanding that people are not necessary alike. Not all the travel bloggers goes through the same experiences and not all of them approach their traveling experiences the same way. I think we should stop pretending that all our readers will approach our posts as well, same way as we don’t experience a destination the same way. Let’s just celebrate out differences and stop telling people what they should do!