There are a lot of misconceptions around travel. Some of these misconceptions make people too afraid to travel. Others have the potential to reduce the enjoyment of your trip once on the road. Don’t let misconceptions around travel hold you back. Here’s the truth about 5 of the big ones.
1. It’s dangerous.
By far the largest misconception when it comes to travel is that it’s unsafe and dangerous to travel.
The reality is that the world is no way near as scary a place as the news likes to make us believe. The news only filters out the bad stuff as that’s what gets them viewers and readers. A headline that says “All was peaceful in Spain today” is going to get them a lot less readers than a headline about someone having been attacked.
The world is not a scary place. Sure there are some particularly dangerous locations, but for the main part the world is reasonably safe. I’ve been traveling for almost 2 years on this trip alone and the more I travel the clearer it becomes everyday that the world is actually a lot kinder than you would think.
2. Travel is a privilege of the rich and only the rich.
Travel is not something reserved only for the rich; it’s actually a lot cheaper than you would expect. Travel is perceived as expensive because when we think of travel we think of how much it cost when we last went on a weeklong holiday. But travel is not the same as a holiday.
With holidays the focus is generally on relaxation and comfort meaning we stay in fancy resorts and eat out at nice restaurants. Travel, on the other hand, is more focused on the exploration of places. You don’t need a fancy resort if you’re going to be out and about exploring all day. Hostels, and even hotels, can cost as little as $1 a night in some places. Where I am at the moment I can get delicious meals for 75¢ a time.
3. If you care about your career you can’t travel.
A lot of people worry that going traveling will put them behind in their career. They worry that it will put them behind not just in terms of years spent on the job but also because it will cause future employers to have a negative perception of them. If they take a few months, or even longer out, they think they’ll be perceived as being a lazy slacker.
This could not be further from the truth. A lot of employers look favourably on travel nowadays since it is recognised that there are numerous benefits in terms of personal growth to travel. Traveling makes people more practical, better able to handle unexpected situations and more tolerant of others.
It also makes your CV much more interesting since traveling will no doubt cause you to discover different, more unusual interests you never knew you had and even at times to learn new things.
Thanks to travel I can now put on my CV that I speak 4 languages, am a best selling author and have interests that vary from dancing salsa to surfing to reading just about any book I can get my hands on. Those items make me a lot more interesting and employable than my previous hobbies of going to the gym and hanging out with friends did!
4. Solo travel will be lonely.
If you’re thinking of going on your travels solo, please believe me when I say you do not need to worry about being lonely.
It is so easy to meet people when traveling. In fact at times it is actively hard not to be lonely! I know that might seem implausible given in day-to-day life back at home it can be hard to meet new people but traveling is completely different to that. Many people travel solo therefore those that you meet on the road are much more open to interactions with people they haven’t met before, and pro-active in starting conversations.
If you stay in hostels it’s even easier since there are common rooms. Even those traveling with others are usually open to meeting new people in hostels. That’s part of the reason people stay in them. Not just because they’re cheap, but because they’re sociable too!
5. It’s all beautiful sunsets and scenery.
I love traveling, clearly, and it is one of the most beneficial life experiences I think anyone can have. That said, it’s not all fun. When you travel, there will be a lot of long journeys where you have to spend 16 hours on a train or get a complex combination of boats and busses to get between locations.
Some of those journeys can be great (like the train ride through the hill country in Sri Lanka). They can also be exhausting. This is especially true when things don’t go to plan, and they will often not go to plan. There will be delays at times, transport that breaks down and last minute cancellations.
Traveling will frequently require a lot of patience. Even just planning where you’re going to go can be an incredibly frustrating and time consuming experience with a lack of easy to find information. Those photos you see of other people traveling where it looks they just spend their time seeing one amazing sight after another are just showing the highlight reel.
They don’t show you all the time and effort that went into finding and getting to those amazing places. If you go into traveling expecting that it will be just one incredible experience after another, you are likely to have a hard time. Make sure you realise that you will have to put in time and effort to travel as to ensure you have the most enjoyable travel experience possible.
Whatever you do, don’t let any misconceptions about travel put you off from going traveling. It really is one of the most beneficial life experiences you can ever have. Just make sure you go in with realistic expectations so you can enjoy it as fully as possible.
This article was written by Chantell Glenville, a best selling author, entrepreneur and traveler. Her latest book, Travel For Your Life, is now available on Amazon. In it you’ll discover how to quit your job, travel the world and transform you life. Chantell also shares her advise on travel, including suggested routes around countries to reduce planning time and essential traveling tips on her website www.TravelForYourLife.com. Sign up to her blog to follow her travels or follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Bloglovin’.