Why You Shouldn’t Travel (And Why I Don’t Believe You)

by Brenna Holeman
 Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, Peru

“I don’t know,” he mused one night over Skype. “I mean, I want to travel, but I’m so comfortable here. It’s so easy. Maybe I like this routine.”

I was talking to a friend of mine who had been planning a backpacking trip to South America, apparently setting out later on this year. I knew how much he wanted to travel; he had talked about it all the time. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, he came up with a barrage of excuses for why he shouldn’t, couldn’t, simply can’t travel.

And you know what I said to him?



“You’re so lucky!” People have told me. “I’d love to do what you do.” Well, in all likelihood, you can.* Far too often we let excuses cloud our ultimate goal; we hold ourselves back. Many other bloggers have written similar articles, but I’d like to be another person to reiterate how, with a lot of determination, these excuses can be overcome. I’m also aware that this article assumes that travel is indeed a possibility in your life, which is, of course, a great privilege, one that shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Not everyone wants to travel, and not everyone can travel, but if you believe it’s a possibility (both financially and emotionally), and it’s something you truly want to do, here are some excuses you shouldn’t let hold you back.

Travel Excuse #1: It’s too expensive.

Make no mistake about it, travelling can be expensive, especially in certain parts of the world. On average, I budget for approximately $1500 a month when I travel. That covers accommodation, food, transportation, museum/sightseeing fees, and splurges on fancy meals, market purchases, or scuba diving. I’ve gone higher than that, of course, but I’ve also gone lower. Last year I spent about $14,000 CDN in South America over 9 months, and I was able to do whatever I wanted to do, stay in nice hostels, eat at lots of great restaurants, and dive over 30 times.

“$14,000?” You might say. “I can’t afford to do that!” Well, actually, you might be able to. When I lived in Toronto for six months, I was averaging at least $2000 a month with rent, bills, transportation, going out with friends, groceries, and shopping. My life on the road is considerably cheaper. I’m moving to London in August, and I know that my settled life there will be far more expensive than, say, travelling around South East Asia. Here’s a post I wrote about how to save money to travel the world, because I do think it’s imperative to plan and monitor your finances (before, during, and after) travelling.


Travel Excuse #2: It’s scary/dangerous.

 Shit happens, definitely. But shit happens everywhere. I’ve travelled around many of the so-called dangerous countries in the world – Colombia, Morocco, Mexico, Thailand, Brazil, Egypt, etc. – and I’ve travelled to many of them solo. I’ve had some close calls, but never anything major; I’ve never been mugged, robbed, or seriously physically hurt (I say seriously because there’s a story I’ll tell one of these days). Here are a few stories I’ve heard from friends: a girl got jumped on the street in broad daylight by a gang who took her purse; a guy had his phone stolen when he tried to help someone with directions; a car was surrounded by men and the driver forced out by gunpoint. South America, right? Nope. All of that happened in Toronto. The point is, bad things happen to people all over the world.

Don’t believe all of the naysayers who claim that travelling is really dangerous. I’ve actually found the opposite to be true – people are really friendly and eager to help. I’m not going to go backpacking solo in the Congo anytime soon, but if you do your research and stay vigilant, your chances of experiencing any violence while travelling is low.

Paris France
Paris, France

 Travel Excuse #3: My boyfriend doesn’t want me to go/my girlfriend won’t let me go/etc.

 A few years ago I was dating an abusive, jealous alcoholic. He was a massive jerk, in other words, but I was completely blind to any of this. I somehow remained blind to this for over a year, during which we travelled to a few countries together and he moved to be with me. One day, as we were looking for a new apartment together, I started talking about my dreams to visit more of Asia. I told him how I wanted to travel around Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, and Laos for about six weeks. What was his reply?

“If you go, we may as well break up.” This guy had done all sorts of lousy things to me (so many that it would be a blog post on its own), but when he said this to me, a light switched turned on. All of a sudden, I knew he wasn’t the man for me. If he couldn’t wait six weeks for me, how could we ever plan a meaningful future together? I broke up with him two days later.

Your story might be different. You might be dating someone who is actually a lovely person, and you don’t want to lose him or her. If you are dying to travel, though, and if you think that your relationship won’t survive the distance, perhaps the relationship isn’t meant to be. I don’t want to be one of those overly-dramatic romantics who believes that true love can stand the test of time and absence…oh, who am I kidding, I do believe that. I have been in four (yes, four) long-distance relationships over the past eight years, ranging from six months to two years. Ultimately, they all ended, but they didn’t end because of the distance. They ended because we weren’t right for each other. If someone really loved you, he or she would understand how much travelling meant to you. If you are on the same page and want to travel together, even better.

And just a reminder, being single while travelling is pretty great, too. There’s always a chance for a travel fling, but if it’s just you and the world…that’s cool, too!


Travel Excuse #4: It’s lonely/I have nobody to travel with.

 I get a lot of emails from people who are worried about travelling solo. Have I ever felt lonely while travelling? Absolutely. More often than not, though, I’m surrounded by people, and fascinating people at that. When you travel, you not only meet likeminded travellers, you meet locals who can teach you about the country you’re in. You get to interact with people from cultures you may never have had the chance to interact with in your hometown. There are tons of ways to meet people and form long-lasting friendships when you travel – it can be as easy as starting up a conversation at a hostel, or taking a local cooking class. I’ve found that it is far easier to meet people on the road than in the places I’m living. Alternatively, you can join a tour group; G Adventures puts together some fantastic tours (I did one through India in 2011, and am still friends with many of the people I travelled with).

Oh, and when I’ve been lonely? It’s always been because I isolated myself, or was having a bad day. So get out there. And don’t forget to smile.

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Travel Excuse #5: I have children.

 I don’t have kids. I don’t plan on having kids for a while (though my age/ovaries are telling me I better get a move on). I’ve always thought, however, that if I have kids, I will travel with them, and take them on the road. My parents certainly did – we managed plenty of trips a year, often road trips through neighbouring provinces or a holiday down to America. In later years, we ventured further, to Europe. We loved it, as I’m sure most kids do. Think about what your children are interested in, and focus the trip on that. Do they love the outdoors? Rent a camper van and drive around a country for a few weeks. Do they love dinosaurs? Find an area that is known for its archeological digs. If your child is an introverted bookworm and you attempt to bring him on a physically-challenging hiking adventure, well, then yes, he might hate it. Work together as a family to come up with a creative, fun holiday that you can save toward and look forward to.

There are tons of great blogs that talk about travelling with kids, and how you don’t have to throw away your passport once you become a parent. Here’s a huge list of them.


Travel Excuse #6: I’m going to get sick.

 Yeah, you probably will. You’re eating weird food, drinking possibly contaminated water, and putting your body in a lot of strange situations. Oh, and there are bugs to bite you, lots of them. At some point you will be on a freezing overnight bus with a fever of 104, trying your best to only vomit when the bus pulls over for a bathroom break (not speaking from personal experience or anything).

And? Getting sick is just something you might have to deal with, much as it is at home. Stay mindful of your body, and stay as healthy as possible. Bring medicine from home. Aside from that, there’s not much you can do. I acknowledge that I get sick, on average, once every two or three months on the road, but that is definitely not going to stop me from leaving home. I always say, I could die of a brain aneurysm while sitting on my couch in Canada, so I may as well get out there and live life to the fullest. And if I fall and hurt myself, or if I get food poisoning, or if I get attacked by bedbugs, well, that’s just the price of getting out there and exploring (and sleeping in sketchy beds).

El Nido

 El Nido, The Philippines


Travel Excuse #7: I don’t have the time; I’ll do it next year. 

 Really? Will you? If you have the dream to travel, try to make it a top priority. Otherwise, the years will start to slip by and you’ll accumulate more and more responsibilities that will make it harder to leave.

“I’d love to do what you do,” friends have said to me. “I just can’t right now, though; I still have six months on my lease and I don’t think I should quit my job.” I get that – but if you think you can work toward travelling long-term, start to make realistic changes in your life (such as looking into a sublet, or finding out if you can take a sabbatical from work).

When I hear people say these things, I often say, “Just buy the ticket.” Seriously. Buy your ticket for six months or a year from now if need be. You can always cancel it or change it if necessary. But I guarantee that once you have that ticket, you’ll start to work toward creating the best adventure ever. I also guarantee you won’t regret it.


Taj Mahal

Agra, India

Travel Excuse #8: It’s hard.

Yes, it is. Sometimes travelling really sucks, actually. Your mind almost always has to be on: you need to be thinking of where to stay, where to eat, where to buy sunscreen. You need to convert money. You need to speak new languages. You need to follow maps and buy bus tickets and keep an eye on your belongings. You need to be very present a lot of the time; you can’t just go through the motions like you might be able to do at home.

If you love travelling, though, all of those things will be a rush. They will fill you with adrenaline, make you excited to be in a new place with new people. Travelling is hard, definitely, but it is also incredibly rewarding. All of these difficult things become easier and easier with time and experience, and it is a fantastic way to learn about yourself and about the world around you. Travelling is difficult, but it is so worth it in the end. So, so worth it.

Travel Excuse #9: You can’t decide where to go. 

If you can’t decide where to go, that doesn’t mean you just shouldn’t travel. I recommend thinking about what makes you happiest at home – is it hiking or being outside? Try somewhere with lots of outdoor adventures, like Chile, Iceland, or New Zealand. Do you thrive in cities? Try New York or London or Istanbul. If you’re nervous about travelling somewhere really far away, start with smaller, closer-to-home trips and see if you enjoy it, then work your way further. Sometimes, you don’t really know what you want (or where you want to go) until you start exploring.


Travel Excuse #10: I’m comfortable (or perhaps complacent) in my life at home; do I really want to leave it behind?

 This excuse applies to those interested in long-term travel. As I said to my friend on Skype: “Everything you love about being home will still be there if you want to return” – another privilege not to be taken for granted, of course. What’s holding you back? Your friends and family? There’s Skype, and Facebook, and WhatsApp, and email, and so on. Your apartment or house? You’ll find another one, or it will still be there, or you’ll fall in love with a new city and live there, or you’ll sublet it or rent it out. Your job? You’ll find another one of those, too, or you’ll work while on the road. You worry that you’ll miss coming home and sitting on the couch and watching TV? Oh dear God, seriously? GO. Go now. Go as soon as you can. The longer you stay, the more responsibilities you will accumulate and the more solidified these excuses will become in your mind.

If you truly want to travel, do it. Don’t let any of these excuses hold you back. I promise you, you won’t regret it, not one bit.

 Have you ever used or heard any of these excuses? 

 Brenna in Chile

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

*I don’t want to be insensitive to the fact that there are some issues that we cannot overcome. Not every single person can travel. But if you are guilty of using these excuses for your reasons not to travel, I urge you to reconsider.

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Briana C. July 9, 2013 - 7:50 am

This is a great post and a good reminder to myself! I love to travel and it is a huge part of my life. But even I sometimes find myself believing some of these. Namely that it is hard and that is expensive. The expensive part comes into play because I am getting ready to travel to Europe. The hard part just has to do with me being lazy, and the fact that it does take a lot of planning.

Ultimately though it is all worth it, both the money and the hard work. When I am on a plane headed towards a new adventure, those are the very last things on my mind. Instead I am realizing how utterly worth it all was. Every single sacrifice I made to get to that point is worth it.

I just have to keep remembering that while I am on the other side working my butt off to have the money to buy that plane ticket! 🙂

This Battered Suitcase July 9, 2013 - 12:49 pm

Yes! Exactly. There have been a few times when I’ve thought, “Why am I doing this? Why am I forcing myself to save all that I can? Do I really want to do this all over again?” And I quickly realize that, yes, OF COURSE I do. Travelling is my favourite thing to do, so why wouldn’t I push myself in order to accomplish more of it? We are our worst enemies sometimes!

Thank you for your comment!

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures July 9, 2013 - 1:11 pm

I love that you debunked these excuses!!! Amen sista!

This Battered Suitcase July 10, 2013 - 2:08 am

Ha ha, thank you Andi! I love your support.

Chelsea July 9, 2013 - 4:38 pm

Loved this post!!! A lot of what you wrote about truly hit home. I was bitten by the wanderlust bug about 12 years ago and travel every chance I get, whether it is stateside or out of the country. There is so much out in our world to explore and immerse ourselves in.

I agree with what you said “you will find a way.” My friends are always asking me where I’m off to next and that I am lucky to be able to travel. I tell them that I make traveling a priority in my life, so do I buy that expensive pair of shoes or save that for my next adventure… I know that getting time off work can be difficult for people, but again I feel that you can make it happen if you really want to explore. I’m a teacher so I get quite a bit of time of to travel.

Since my friends have many excuses, I am now looking into a solo trip or joining a gap tour. I was looking into the India or Morocco trips. I visited the Middle East earlier this year and fell in love!

I love that you are out there exploring the world! Although, I would love to be an expat, I still make traveling a priority. You are such an inspiration for woman travelers! I love reading about your adventures. Keep living the life!

This Battered Suitcase July 10, 2013 - 2:10 am

Totally agree with you! I’d much rather a great weekend trip than an expensive pair of shoes. I’ve always joked to my family that the man who gets down on one knee and proposes with a pair of plane tickets will be the one I say yes to (not the one with the diamond ring).

It’s great that you get so much time to travel! I had seven weeks a year when I lived in Japan, and it was amazing. I really loved the tour I did with G Adventures through India (that specific one isn’t offered anymore) as I got to see so much but still had quite a bit of my own time. We were up every day at 5am, but sometimes I need someone to motivate me to actually get up and spend the whole day sightseeing! Otherwise I just while away the afternoon at some cafe…

Thank you so much for your comment!

Sojourner W July 9, 2013 - 5:39 pm

What a great post! There are so many excuses out there as to why people decide not to travel and I also feel like there’s a lot of judgement out there towards people who choose to travel and make it a part of their lifestyle.

I think that maybe fear is the biggest source of the excuses and judgement. Exploring a central market and trying new foods while not understanding the languages circling around, is thrilling to me, but to some, I think it’s a horrifying thought.

Travel of course doesn’t have to take you that far out of your comfort zone if you don’t want it to. We can all set our boundaries and budgets. Most of us can take at least a few days out of the year to go somewhere, to do something, if not a few months or a year. A little planning and prioritizing can create the space for a beautiful adventure.

You make a great case for travel, keep it up. Somebody somewhere will read your post and be inspired to action.

Enjoy your time in London too. What a great city to call home for a little while!

This Battered Suitcase July 10, 2013 - 2:13 am

I TOTALLY agree with you that fear is the biggest source of the excuses and judgment. It’s much easier to say, “Oh, I can’t travel, I can’t afford it,” than admitting that you might be frightened, or, gasp, don’t want to travel (which is totally fine, it’s not for everyone). I have a friend who would find that market you’re describing a nightmare.

Thank you for your insightful comment, and for your words of encouragement!

Rika July 10, 2013 - 12:49 am

Amazing!! I’m gonna send this to everyone who gives me one of those excuses 🙂 And I have to agree on buying the ticket – what great advice – that’s what I did to really motivate myself and I surprised everyone including myself with what I accomplished in the six months leading up to that departure date. Now I’m about to celebrate a year away as an expat and couldn’t be happier that I did it!

This Battered Suitcase July 10, 2013 - 2:14 am

Ha ha, great! I already received one email telling me I was too harsh, but sometimes we need a kick in the pants to get motivated. I did the same thing with my ticket to SE Asia a few years ago – bought it without really knowing or planning anything. In the end, everything worked out perfectly! I’m so happy that you have found such an amazing life abroad.

Tom July 10, 2013 - 6:15 am

Love, love, LOVE this, Brenna! People always get hung up on the cost, but I don’t think they’re looking in the right places. They’ll tell me how expensive hotels are, then I’ll introduce them to hostel sites – and they’re amazed at how nice AND cheap they can be. Ditto airfare. I introduced a colleague planning a trip to SE Asia to Air Asia, after she was lamenting the cost of a flight from Bangkok to Phnom Penh with Thai Airways. I remember telling her the link, her eyes widened and she exclaimed, “thirty-two dollars?!?!” She booked the flight then and there.

As for the relationship thing, I had a similar-ish experience with my first boyfriend, who actually remains a good friend and was thankfully never an alcoholic. We’d talked about doing a round-the-world trip together, and he entrusted me with the itinerary. I made one that included eastern Europe, north Africa, south-east Asia. I showed it to him, and his response? “I’m not going to any of those places.” “Why not?” “They’re not interesting.” “OK…..so where do you want to go?” “Canada, the USA, Australia. Maybe Japan.” “Anywhere else? What about western Europe?” “No, it’s boring.” I knew then that he wasn’t the one for me. Unlike my current boyfriend, who is super supportive of my trip, and has waited almost three months for me.

Getting sick – yes. Although it did defeat me once, in Turkey. It was 43C, hot, I was projectile vomiting for 24 hours and then had the shits for a week. I hadn’t had a conversation in seven days. I booked a flight home to the UK, right before my birthday, meaning I wouldn’t be going further south into Syria – which I really regret now, but it was so the right decision at the time. Now if I get sick? I deal with it. My stomach was wreaking havoc on me during my last couple of weeks in Colombia, but whatever, I went out, enjoyed the country, but always made sure I knew where the nearest toilet was (thanks, Juan Valdez Cafe!)

Phew, this is a long comment! To sum up: if you really want to travel, you CAN, and this post is spot on, Brenna.

This Battered Suitcase July 11, 2013 - 2:34 am

Thank you, Tom! I love personal and astute comments like this. I believe that travel is much more attainable than (some) people think. I’ve also passed along various accommodation or flight websites, and friends can’t believe how cheap it really can be. Air Asia holds a very special place in my heart.

The situation with your boyfriend sounds all too familiar. I think a lot of people are genuinely freaked out and/or disinterested with travel, or travelling to many places of the world (my dad’s like that, he has his favourite spots and THAT’S IT). Sometimes I need to take a step back and remember that, no, not everyone actually wants to see the entire world. It’s so great that you’ve found a man who supports your passion – I’ve yet to find someone who does, who truly does. A lot of people assume that it’s something I will outgrow, but, like you, I know I’m a traveller for life.

Your situation in Turkey sounds vile, and I understand why you booked a flight home. I was thisclose to booking a flight home from Thailand when I had a lung infection; sometimes I regret NOT booking the flight home, because I probably would have recovered in a week or so (compared to pushing myself and staying sick for months). I could have easily flown back to Asia when I was better. Moral of the story: we can always kick ourselves for what we’ve done, but I try not to do that.

To sum up: you’re awesome, and thank you for the comment!

Jackie DesForges July 10, 2013 - 6:36 am

Couldn’t have said it better. With travel, like with literally anything else in life, if you want it badly enough, you need to actually make an effort to make it happen. It won’t just magically become an option one day. I think the money thing is the biggest issue for most people — I am constantly asked how I can afford to take trips so often (which I think is somewhat rude, to a certain extent — you don’t see people with “normal” hobbies getting asked how they can afford those) and I just point out to them all of these things they spend their money on that I’ve given up or don’t even think about because I put my money towards this instead. I do miss my pedicures but for now the plane tickets make up for it.

This Battered Suitcase July 11, 2013 - 2:27 am

Yes. YES. If you want it badly enough, you will work as hard as possible to get it.

And I’m with you that it’s slightly rude to ask how we can afford to travel, or what my salary is – I understand if it’s a private email from an inquiring reader who hopes to do the same, but I’m always taken aback when it’s someone I just casually meet. I don’t ask anyone how much they make or how they can afford their rent, or their car, or the clothes on their back.

sallycb July 10, 2013 - 6:49 am

AMEN. I wish my ears could just filter out the questions/excuses that everyone says when they talk to me… it drives me crazy when I hear these alllll the time!

This Battered Suitcase July 11, 2013 - 2:19 am

Yes, it’s amazing how often we hear these things!

Oneika the Traveller July 10, 2013 - 9:52 pm

Loved this! Another great post as usual and I’m gutted I won’t be in London when you move back! Meet up somewhere in Asia?

This Battered Suitcase July 11, 2013 - 2:22 am

Aw, thank you Oneika. I am so sad, too, I really feel that you and I would become even better friends if we lived in the same city. I DEFINITELY support the idea of meeting up in Asia!

Alyssa James July 12, 2013 - 3:06 am

This is a great post, Brenna!

I’ve been thinking about these things a lot lately as I plan my next escape…much to the chagrin of my mother. She’s just like, “Well, what are you gonna do there? And then what? And then what?”

After awhile it just gets tiring trying to explain to people that I’m not really too concerned about having one of those careers that people have forever… Maybe that’s a bad thing? I wish I could become a teacher and travel abroad but as it turns out, because I took an interdisciplinary program, I have no teachable subjects…and, well, I don’t enjoy teaching! (Props to those who do, but I grin and bear it when it pays for my travels)

I hope that I’ll fall into something that I enjoy and that allows me the lifestyle I want. I don’t think our generation is really one for compromise – we want it all! I work hard at the things I enjoy doing so I don’t see why people don’t think it’s good enough because I don’t wear a suit or go into an office all day.

What do you say to the naysayers? You know, the ones who say “Isn’t it time you start working on your career?”

Yours in Travel,


This Battered Suitcase July 13, 2013 - 5:16 am

This is an awesome comment, and one that I feel could even be it’s own post (aka you should write it!). Thankfully I am surrounded by really supportive and open-minded people who rarely question what I’m doing or what I have planned for my life. That’s not to say that they don’t actively talk to me about it…they are just really encouraging and almost never negative. It helps that my parents didn’t get into their careers until they were a bit older – my dad was in his mid-30s when he became an investment advisor and my mum was 40 when she started writing – so they’ve always been extremely helpful and approving of my life choices.

I find that the biggest naysayers are usually people my age. I can’t believe how often someone will start talking to me in a bar or something and then casually condescend my lifestyle or make fun of it. I’m honestly shocked that people are so rude. FUCK those people, seriously. How dare a stranger question what I’m doing with my life? I often think that they are just jealous, or very close-minded. “When are you going to settle down/get married/have kids/start a career?” – we don’t all have the same goals in life.

When it comes to a family member, I understand how that would be really difficult to conversation to navigate. I honestly don’t know what I would say, only to stress that I love my life and I’m really happy.

And I feel you on the teaching bit – I love teaching adults, but I’m not sure that I want to do that for my entire career. It served me really well in Japan and allowed me to save a ton of money, and I’m glad that I will always have that as something to fall back on, but I’d like to make a career of something else. IF I even have a career, that is…like you, I might not have something for “forever”! I’ve felt that most of my life has been really spontaneous, and I’m sure it will remain that way.

Realllllly want to chat more about this with you!

Alyssa James July 14, 2013 - 12:11 pm

Pretty much, you are my idol – come back to Toronto! ha. People stink sometimes and I think anyone who doesn’t conform or give in to those pressures are total bad-asses.

It’s crazy because a disproportionate number of my high school friends have kids and got married in their early twenties (and I mean early, as I’m 24) when compared to my friends from university. Small-ish town folks who never left, I tell ya.

P.S. London is a go (Shhh!) =D

This Battered Suitcase July 15, 2013 - 2:12 am

Ha ha – you are too kind.

And so many of my friends are already married, engaged, or seriously committed (I don’t mean committed in the mental institute kind of way…or maybe I do…). Almost all of them have steady careers, too. I’m older, of course, but I just haven’t wanted that life yet. I think it’s great that they’ve found what makes them happy, though! We each have a different path in life…

Also…WHAT. London……….is a go…….to live there?? I’m kinda freaking out. Think of the adventures we will have!!!!

Alyssa James July 16, 2013 - 11:04 pm

Yay!! I am SO excited about London. I can’t say I’m not in the seriously committed pile – I’m moving continents for the guy after all (and myself too ha) – but we have relatively the same ideas about life and travel for now, so it’s all good.

Nells July 14, 2013 - 2:10 am

Awesome post and agree on every single point. The excuse about the boyfriend really hit home as I used that as an mental excuse – amongst some of the other excuses – for not teaching English abroad. But when I took the initiative, he was so supportive and said ‘Do your thing!’ So grateful to have him in my life but I miss him terribly.

This Battered Suitcase July 14, 2013 - 4:47 am

It sounds like you have a keeper – it’s awesome that he was so supportive. That’s so important in a partner! I understand how much you must miss him but, after this distance, you will be closer than ever.

Erika from Chimerikal August 4, 2013 - 8:17 am

I’m only just now finding your blog (came across it as I was creeping through the comments on Young Adventuress) and I am thoroughly enjoying what I am seeing so far, for sure! I’m diving into your posts and I’m excited — it’s like curling up with an old book (except it’s a new-ish blog…) and I love that.

I’ve read a couple of your other posts so far but I felt like commenting on this one because the truth was slapping me so hard in the face I couldn’t resist. 🙂 What I like — and that you are pointing out in several ways — is that we all have different priorities and if we really want to travel, we can have that. But here’s the thing: that’s the secret to just about anything in life. If we want it, we can find a way to make it happen, but there’s typically a trade-off. And most people aren’t willing to make the trade-off for traveling… for whatever reason.

Another thing I found interesting is that in our lives, we live in seasons. Right now, I’m having a season of staying put. If this was any other time, I’d read this and go out and make it happen. But for some reason, I found a sense of comfort in reading these and still thinking, “Hmm, I’d like to stay.” Considering that I’ve moved who knows how many times in the past several years, that’s a new and different feeling, but I’m so glad to be aware of it and your post really helped me with that. I do think traveling again is in my future, but it’s not a burning desire at this moment and I trust that when the time is right, I’ll not be so attached to those things that get in the way.

And I also love this because I can see myself coming straight back to this article when I’m ready to go and letting it encourage me and be that extra fire I need to get my booty-behind in motion to go. For now, I choose to stay. And that’s what I feel like you’re saying here — it’s not necessarily luck, but a choice (that many of us are so privileged to make).

Thanks for this. 🙂


This Battered Suitcase August 6, 2013 - 7:40 pm

What a wonderful comment to read, Erika. Thank you!

Firstly, thank you for your thoughts on my blog in general, I’m so glad that you are enjoying it so far. I do hope you’ll stick around.

Secondly, I totally agree with what you’re saying about choice and about living in seasons. I feel like that a lot; sometimes I want to stay, sometimes I want to go (OK, I mostly want to go, but you know what I mean). I’m looking forward to settling in London for a while and having shorter holidays.

Thanks again for your lovely comment, and I’m so glad to meet someone who shares a similar outlook on life and travel.

Kayt_luree December 26, 2013 - 10:44 pm

Your words are very inspirational. I am definitely an overly analytical lady, which has come with age. I am in my mid twenties and have never left the country. I have a massively free spirit, but A strong sense of structure, which enables me to think about the now sometimes. I am at a crossroads and need to find my true happiness. I haven’t decided if I should go back to school, postpone my amazing job, stay with the love of my life, or just say screw it all, and travel. I do have the ability to come back to my job, which is nice. And I know that if my relationship is meant to be then its, well, meant to be. I am at the point to just nail two countries next year, if I go. What would be the best way to do this without screwing myself over when I get back?

Marcela March 3, 2014 - 6:30 pm

I just accidentaly click on your blog and I have to say I love it!!
I ve always say that my dream will be to travel around the worl and somehow, by reading your blog make me realice that It is totally possible!!
I hope to do it one day and I really wish that you keep doing it for a really long long time.!
Tons of love from México!

Brenna Holeman March 3, 2014 - 10:58 pm

Thanks a lot, Marcela! I’m so glad that you are enjoying the blog. Don’t worry – I’ll keep doing this for as long as I’m able. Happy travels!

Loris Yamauchi April 5, 2014 - 6:33 am

At times I find that people always depend on their family or friends to work it out with them. But going in clusters often is not possible. Each one gives his or her own excuse and at the end of it, we ourselves as well cancel the plan as no one is coming along us. We feel what we would do alone, exploring an unknown territory?

Brenna Holeman April 5, 2014 - 11:09 am

Well said, Loris!

Victoria April 12, 2014 - 8:49 am

Hiya! I’ve just found your blog and love all your points and just how many times have I had to describe these very same things to other people LOL! Thankfully, my husband and family are used to my craziness and are very supportive!
We also have a son. I didn’t take him to India and Vietnam when I went ‘cos he was 3 and 5 then and the grandparents were dying to have him, but I’ve taken him everywhere else and he’s great. As long as he’s got his books, games and plenty to eat LOL, he’s good to go!!!

Now he’s 12, the sky is the limit so for 2014, it’s Cologne, Poland, Thailand, Indonesia, Qatar, and Bavaria!

Brenna Holeman April 12, 2014 - 12:20 pm

Wow, what an awesome comment! I’m really glad you posted this here, I think it is possible to travel with kids (at least, I hope to in the future). What an exciting year you have lined up!

Victoria April 23, 2014 - 5:03 pm

The pleasure is all mine. I’m really enjoying reading your blog. All still very much relevant as far as I’m concerned, no matter how long we’ve been travelling!

And yes, it’s absolutely possible to travel with children. The trick? Start young. As young as you can. Our first trip with my son was when he was 3 months old. We strapped him on our backs and I breastfed (excuse me!), so we were very flexible. I also have only the one child so that’s not a problem either LOL!
Brilliant post by the way.

Bec Woods August 12, 2014 - 12:24 am

Although these excuses have not stopped me travelling altogether they did postpone my long-term travel plans for quite some time.

My dream to move to London, which is finally happening in November this year, has been 7 years in the making. Yes, 7 years! And I used the excuses of a partner, a car, a personal loan, phone contracts/ gym contracts (the list goes on) to trick myself into thinking that I’m happy with my current life in Sydney and that I need to forget about a life in London. It seems fate has a different outlook for me though.

Armed with my UK visa I figured that I would make the most of this trip and tack on another travel plan that has been several years in the making which is backpacking through Asia.

My plan is to travel for 3 months throughout Asia before relocating to London and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.
It’s not always easy to overcome the excuses but it’s a great feeling when you do. 🙂

Brenna Holeman August 14, 2014 - 2:08 pm

That’s such a great comment! Congratulations!! I think that we all can get caught up in the excuses, but as you said it is an amazing feeling when you can overcome them and put a plan into action, whatever it may be.

Best of luck and I’m sure you’re going to have an incredible time!

Sarah Pybus April 9, 2015 - 2:20 pm

I’ve just come across this post while flicking through your blog and can really relate! I’m self-employed and have always dreamed of travelling around Japan. I’ve got the money and have decided to start planning now and go in about a year’s time. Still, the doubts keep creeping in. I’ve got some great clients, and what if they all find someone else while I’m away?

I have to keep reminding myself that other female freelancers I know have taken long maternity leaves and all their clients came back – one month is not going to destroy my career!

Jeff Clarke July 4, 2015 - 8:33 pm

This is an interesting article, but I would like to add my own experience. I have travelled a fair bit in Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean area but with increasing years I now find I have little desire to travel great distances when there is so much of interest within my own country (England). My main interests are the countryside and its social and natural history and I now find that I can find an enormous variety of places of interest to me without travelling far. I have found that people who travel widely sometimes know more about far-flung locations than they do about the area where they live. I don’t think that my location is special but within a good day’s walk there are Roman forts, churches dating back to about 1250 and many other historic buildings such as the oldest railway station in the world. A short drive from here can also produce ancient. There is so much to discover on your own doorstep! I would not say to anyone to not travel, but before you do make sure that you know where you are coming from.

anon August 15, 2015 - 12:15 am

What if those are not excuses? Some people just don’t like travel deal with it. For someone who travel a lot and probably claims ” travel broadens your perspective”, you are pretty narrow-minded when you listed number 10.

Brenna Holeman August 15, 2015 - 12:41 am

Um, you clearly didn’t read the article very well, “anon” (these kind of comments are always anonymous, hah). As I stated in the beginning, “Not everyone wants to travel, and not everyone can travel, but if you believe it’s a possibility (both financially and emotionally), and it’s something you truly want to do, here are some excuses you shouldn’t let hold you back.” I also state that same point in #10. If someone doesn’t want to travel, obviously they shouldn’t do it, and there’s nothing wrong with that. This article is only for those who actually do want to travel in the first place.

Please don’t jump to conclusions without actually reading the words I’ve said, and please don’t make assumptions about my beliefs. That, to me, is very narrow-minded.

Rose March 28, 2016 - 10:13 pm

what about ‘I’m just not interested?’ I DO NOT want to travel and I’m sick of people telling me I “do, really, I just worry about *insert any of the excuses above*”. No, I just DON’T WANT TO. Don’t make me. Don’t try and convince me. The excuses in this article aren’t ‘holding me back,’ I CLING to them to try and shut people up when they tell me why I “should” be wasting my time travelling instead of achieving what I actually want out of life.
I don’t mind if others want to travel, just stop telling me I want to when I don’t.

Brenna Holeman March 28, 2016 - 10:42 pm

Wow, there is a lot of hostility in that comment. As it’s stated multiple times throughout the article, I’m debunking these excuses for those who really do want to travel but believe something is holding them back. I’m totally cool with people not wanting to travel, as I mention regularly on this blog. I’m just sorry that you misread the article and it caused you such anger and aggression.

Rose June 4, 2018 - 8:23 pm

Sorry if that came across as aggressive. I’ve had people try to push me to travel including close friends, when I’ve stated many times I have other priorities, and it upsets me because some of those priorities are really important (eg fertility treatments) and get downplayed by my travelling friends. Sorry I misread it (and it took me so long to come back to this; I forgot about it and re-found it today). It is a good article for those who really want to; I should have read it more carefully. I was on a bit of an angry rant about travel at the time. I’m very sorry for my hostility, deeply, and for misreading this.


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