Stop Telling Me I Need To Travel

180644_10150373635175254_3188581_nI am a huge proponent of the staycation and advocate strongly for living someplace you love and learning where you live.  Why bother?  Because you spend the majority of your waking hours and life there.  Why would you not want to?  There is always something new to be discovered, something beautiful to be found, something unique to do, a special tradition or culture in which to immerse yourself, and a history all it’s own just waiting to be discovered no matter where you live.

I haven’t been anywhere in oh, at least the past 5 or 6 years.  But I have vacationed.  I have travelled.  And I just so happen to be at a point in my life where currently I staycation.  It is economical, it saves time, stress and paperwork, and making the most of the place you call home and learning to appreciate it in a new way adds quality of life to the remainder of the days you spend in your real life.

But let me first be clear, there is huge difference between travelling and vacationing.  Which I will touch on momentarily.

It can get a little frustrating and defeating for people not in a position to leave the borders of their own home or nation that over half of the advice you’ll read online is always travel, travel, travel, vacation, vacation, vacation.  I actually hear it most often from my coworkers, family and friends.  I haven’t left my home not out of lack of desire, but because of lack of funds, time and other priorities.

Some of these advisers will even get so lowbrow as to be critical of others who can’t or just don’t do it.  Some of us simply do not have the financial wherewithal or the time to be able to do so.  Some have other priorities and commitments – let’s say a one income home, a home that requires work, a housing/bill payment that is near unmanageable, a (sick and/or surly) pet or an aging or ill family member.  For those of you that get down on yourself because you can’t, your eyes and minds can in fact be opened by reading, through learning from others, even by watching television – sometimes even more so than the actual doing would have.

If you have the ability, desire and wherewithal to travel or vacation, by all means you should do so.  It is a fantastic thing to do, and there is so much out there to see and learn.  But others shouldn’t be judged and made to feel as if their lives are not whole because they can’t or because they are content doing otherwise.  Just like the one time (and I won’t say where I worked at this time) I was denied my vacation requests one summer and was advised I should, “Take a trip during winter like everyone else”…. at a stage in my life where I couldn’t so much as afford a trip to McDonald’s, let alone to the lowliest 1 star resort in some winter hot spot.

 

The part that I find appalling about many of the people telling me that I should travel and broaden my horizons is that it is most frequently being told to me by people I know that rarely go so far as the compound and beach at the best all inclusive resort they could afford, never indulging in or really experiencing the local culture.  Some may partake in excursions, but one pricy sightseeing half day excursion is not so much broadening your horizons as it is a comfortable day trip customized and peddled to privileged tourists, to places only the tourists generally frequent.  Or in some places, where only the tourists are allowed to frequent.  Immersing yourself in local culture is not the same as sitting on catamarans drinking rum punch, eating 5 star dinners cooked by celebrity chefs.  This is vacationing; not travelling.

 

The sad part of this is frequently the same people cannot tell you what is going on or all there is to do where they live, their home’s history, or even much about what goes on inside their own nation outside of their own hometown.

I experienced this somewhat the other day when I was once again being regaled with the same previously heard stories of a one week sight seeing trip to an Asian country that occurred almost a decade ago.  Yes I had heard all about the one gondola ride, the one bike ride, the one boat ride and the Russian tourists that person had met up with and flirted with the entire week.  But what about the cuisine, the culture, the language, the economy, the resources, religion, the people who actually live and work there, the absolutely anything besides the photos of the two Russian girls posing at the hotel?  Then, when I commented on the petroglyphs and abandoned gold mines on the lake here and this amazing rock passage on the water that is literally right on the edge of town I was met with a blank stare and a ‘huh?’.  These things are less than 10 minutes away!

I’ve discussed other cultures and practices and foods and customs and holidays with these self professed more worldly travelers, and have even recounted my drives through Mexico, my journeys through the jungle back roads, the towns I had encountered in the more desert like regions, the crime and absolute poverty I had witnessed in the border towns and outside of the resort areas, the houses we rented, the best local groceries and markets and the fishing and local fare, my walking and bussing adventures around the towns, the locals I had met and associated with, only to find out they knew very little of these things anywhere they had traveled and had no interest in learning or doing them.  I have been shut down by, “You’ve never been to an all inclusive?!”, “I only travel 5 star/first class”, “I’ve been to way more countries than you”, “I travel a lot; I’ve done spring break every year!”.

 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I know that for my having only visited 3 countries many think that they have something over me and that I have never really traveled, but as far as I am concerned, neither have they.

 

And this was something that I became aware of long ago (well before I ever stepped foot on this turbulent financial rollercoaster that I have been on for some time and am just finally getting off of) thankfully; that there is a difference between travel and vacation; but also that many of us were interested in other places, but never truly taking the time to enjoy and get caught up in the majesty of where we live and to figure out our own hometown’s and nation’s secrets or to learn and see what the tourists here do.  So I started making a point to.  And now that my budget and time constraints prevent me from doing and seeing more, I am glad that I have taken the time to make enjoying and discovering where I live a priority.

I have all but mastered the art of the staycation.

I have picked up the maps leading me to the artwork on buildings around town, gone through the local museum, done graveyard tours, have stayed at and eaten at our local fishing resorts, have had my picture taken at city hall, the old retired tug boats, the local landmarks and exhibits.  I have foraged for local resources, I have golfed, skied, taken canoe trips, kayaked, waterskied, kneeboarded, sailed, ran, biked etc, etc, all over my town, and still have so much yet to learn and see.

 

I know the people and the cultures in my town.  I know all of the best restaurants and the best things on the menus, I know my local shops and where to get everything, and where the best deals are, I get welcomed at many restaurants and businesses by name, and even get special deals being on familiar friendly terms with many of the shop owners.

I have lived in a few different provinces.  I have taken trips across the country seeing everything we possibly could with my family, and have even taken a solo 5000/km road trip from Ontario to the northernmost reaches of Alberta and back, making a point of trying to see the things I had always overlooked my previous dozen or more trips the same way.

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I’ve been known to do strange things like even in my own hometown, but all across Canada, to make an intentional wrong turn just to see where it would take me, or to hop out in the bush, a blink and you’ll miss it town, or the roadside in BC and Alberta to just wander around and see if I could see or learn something new, or to go climb that rock that just seems to be calling my name.

 

No, I may not travel right now, and while I could always swing the extra cash to hop along on your one week all inclusive vacation with you, I don’t want to.

I’m going to staycation and keep enjoying what my home has to offer.  In 2-3 years from now my slush fund will be padded, the loan I had to take out because of an emergency will be paid off, my credit will be fully restored, my finances are on track finally so that I will be sitting in a much, much better position than I am now, and I will have accumulated an extra week’s vacation time at my place of employment due to years of service.  And when that happens, because I am allowed to carry over an extra year’s vacation time, I will have 2 1/2-3 months of vacation time under my belt and the actual means to not go sit at an all inclusive resort of someone else’s choosing, but to take myself on my dream trip to New Zealand and the Polynesian Islands.

Where I plan to learn more about the indigenous culture/s, take a few thousand pics in Middle Earth, learn to bone fish, take a boat out to the deserted islands and take advantage of some of the many camps set up on them that anyone is free to use so long as they are vacant, shop at the local grocers, meet the locals, visit some farms, and search for any charitable project that will have me that gives back to the community.  What a dream it would be!  That is the point at which I know these years of being broke, of learning to budget, of living tight fistedly, of staying home instead of setting myself backwards financially by just eking out enough for a just okay one week winter vacation will have been worth it.

But for now, stop judging me.  Stop presuming what my circumstances are.  Stop telling me I have to travel and that I am cheating myself by not so doing; that if you can do it (with your dual income household, lack of kids/pets, manageable or nonexistent payments and/or lack of responsibilities) then I should be able to also.  Especially if you’re only spending one week on the beach at the cheapest hot spot sell off.  It hurts me because I did not choose to be in the position I am in.  Though more than anything, it annoys me, because I also just so happen to find it arrogant.

For now, I’ll just keep suffering away, whiling my time, spending 3-4 weeks a summer in 80 degree weather sitting on the beach on one of the most beautiful lakes you’ve ever heard of.

 

Author: thebrokegirlsguidetobetterliving

Welcome! I am "thebrokegirl", aka Mandy. And what makes me a broke girl? Being a single income household, living the best life I can alongside my big grumpy dog obviously, but also because I'm not perfect - I'm broke - I'm a work in progress, which is exactly how I want to stay! My passion for writing, research, trying new things and wanting to help and inspire others are what inspired me to start this blog. So what makes me an expert on better living? Nothing! I'm just a girl trying. And what is better living? It's mindfulness, small changes, simple acts, baby steps to help make your day, your health, your environment, your life just that little much better. I'm on a lifelong journey to level up my life, and invite you to share that journey alongside me!

28 thoughts on “Stop Telling Me I Need To Travel”

  1. My two fav takeaways: (1) “I am glad that I have taken the time to make enjoying and discovering where I live a priority;” (2) “If you have the ability, desire and wherewithal to travel or vacation, by all means you should do so.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting Josiah! Those were the two key points I wanted to express, and I’m so happy that you picked up and highlighted them 🙂 Now that I’m finally back home, my 3 weeks staycation finally come to a close I can get back to real life, and back to the things I enjoy about my day to day grind, and back to getting caught up on all of the amazing things you have to share with the world 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How my fingers have learnt off by heart the next phrase, “Mandy,I totally agree with you! ” (Hey even auto predict knew what I was going to say!😂)
    We are the masters of the staycation. We adore being in our own place, spending time in the garden and going here and there with little monkey. And when we lived in Cyprus? I could never fathom why friends/relatives were spending hundreds of euros on flying abroad when every other nationality in the world was ending up … in Cyprus!
    I worked in 5 star resort a few years ago in Cyprus singing and it was one of these all inclusive places. Packed each year . No Cypriot culture to be seen anywhere, ,except at the buffet and 1 themed restaurant on the resort. I made sure we sang at least 3 Greek songs to force some culture down their throats! 😂
    Anyway. ..people generally are C words when it comes to regaling you with their “knowledge “. You’re the thicko for staying home and truly relaxing your soul and they’re the experts for getting paralytic every night in a country whose capital city they probably don’t even know let alone pronounce.
    People are so self involved there is NO WAY they’ll consider any of the things you mentioned.
    And I tend to see conspiracies everywhere so the whole promotion of travel and leaving your home to , I don’t know expand your blah blah blah, to me , sounds like a way to get people to spend money,get into debt, become miserable, drink to forget, and be far from home where they are secure and happy. In this way they are less confident, more scattered and thus easily controllable and brainwashed.
    So , yes. You’re doing something that less enlightened people could never do.
    Lots of love.
    Thanks for a brilliant post 😙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh, you ARE the best!! This was a fun read to come home to 🙂 You’ve reminded me of the best social media hashtag I have yet to come across #ilivewhereyouvacation 🙂 I have always lived in touristy towns (my parents fault, not mine haha), though Cyprus may very well have them beat for sure! Number two on my must see before I die list is Greece – I plan to eat and drink my way across the coast and Crete and Santorini (being rumoured resting places of Atlantis) are on the hit list!
      I’m so happy to have you echo my thoughts on the issue – I would really love if you did a piece with your own thoughts on the matter actually 😉 I love the way you word everything, and you have a very decisive (educated) opinion on absolutely everything that would make even the most mundane of issues a pleasurable read (not that you write about mundane issues that is – just that you could, and it would still be a compelling read).
      I overthink absolutely everything and have pondered travel/vacation/staycation to death, as is my usual practice…. and this was prompted by having yet another acquaintance with a home business and a successful spouse having come home from yet another trip, deriding others who didn’t take the opportunity for ‘growth’ as she saw it, and insisting that people need to reprioritize their lives and sacrifice in order to take advantage of the same opportunities she availed herself of. It wasn’t in a pleasant ‘I wish everyone could do this’ fashion, it was a ‘You people just make excuses and are only living half a life’ manner.
      I have nothing but happiness for people who do the things they love, am excited for them when they fulfill their dreams, will giddily go through thousands of photos of vacations with them – but they shouldn’t come at others expense, or be critical of others when they don’t know their situations.
      That being said, I have had opportunities to travel the past couple of years (outside of having had financial issues), but haven’t due to other priorities being higher, and because I would have had to miss out on my amazing summers here where people pay thousands to come and visit! (One could easily spend 5-10 thousand CAD to spend a WEEKEND fishing at a 5* resort here!!!)
      And as you can see from my photos, when my priorities are in line and the stars are in alignment, I have traveled and vacationed and knocked off many of the things on my bucket list, but right now, making myself a home here, enjoying my home, enjoying what my home has to offer, and working on making a better life for myself and my mutt is the priority, and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on a thing!!
      p.s. I went traipsing about one of those abandoned gold mines this weekend, and it was such an adventure!

      Like

      1. And I agree wholeheartedly that people are missing out on all of the wonderful things they could be learning when they spend obscene amounts to travel long distances and then sit inside their compounds/resorts. What are you getting out of that, that you couldn’t get at home?? Where does a person live that is so utterly bland that paying to sit in a hotel experiencing nothing is preferable to spending good times at home with loved ones and enjoying what their own home has to offer? My friends tell me they’re jealous of me taking roughly a month off this summer to enjoy camp and the beaches and taking advantage of all our town has to offer, yet they’re all saving up their holiday time to spend a week each on a beach at an all inclusive resort, because that’s all some of them can afford. They could have had 2-4 weeks off this summer and sat on a beach here. Some of them will really adventure and make it a wonderful experience for which I will be absolutely over the moon happy for them, but others will just sit in a chair by the pool drinking cheap highballs, adding another country they know absolutely nothing about to their countries visited tally. Priorities 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi ! I read this this morning after sleeping about 4 hrs and being a tad miserable and this perked me right up. 😊
        Also,in the span of about a month, you’ve mentioned superheroes, The Sound of Music and now Atlantis???? I mean, you could turn me, woman-I’m telling you! 😂😂😂😂
        I actually thought about doing a post when I read yours and it hasn’t fully developed in this brain of mine yet but I may let it percolate (mmmm, coffee…) and then get it out there. Thanks for complimenting me AGAIN by the way. Too lovely,you are.
        Yes, that woman sounds like a right cow. A lot of it probably comes from envy of you and how different your life is to hers. She talks a big game but deep down probably feels trapped. My little psych analysis there! 😂
        I’ve been looking in through the window of your life for a couple of months now and from this side it seems like you’ve got things sorted and those that you don’t, you’re working tirelessly to get them sorted. I’d tell whoever says differently or even implies things to kindly eff off.
        Oooh mines! Sounds like an Indiana Jones film!!
        Sending lots of hugs your way X

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Glad I could make you smile!!
        Haha, and steal you away from your hubby and kids? I couldn’t live with myself 😉
        ❤ ❤ ❤ coffee ❤ ❤ ❤ How do people live without it???
        Love the psych analysis haha – you missed your calling!
        I'm a work in progress. Always going to be. I wouldn't have it any other way!
        If you do decide to write some incarnation of it you'll have to let me know – it'll be a do not miss for sure!!
        And btw, I love Indie ❤

        Liked by 2 people

      4. 😂True!!
        I’ve actually started it so watch this space as they say 😏
        Indie. ..I may have to rewatch them now…😁😁😁
        ❤❤❤❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You have written a wonderful article here. I have heard so often, travel as being advice people give to young people all the time. Oh, you’re young, go travel. You have made excellent points to counter that advice. We have similar issues but it’s people wanting us to come and visit them. We are in the middle of a major house reno, trying to sell a house and go tiny all at the same time. Our relatives (we have many out of state) keep asking (begging) us when we are coming to see them. We tell them we can’t afford it, and that is when the guilt begins. We ask them to visit us and we get a myriad of excuses. Yet they visit other people all the time. My next trip is back to Ohio where I grew up. My niece is getting married. Then it’s off to Texas to work for a month. Otherwise, having travelled for work so much, a staycation sounds nice.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much!
      That all sounds wonderful! It’s all about deciding what your priorities and limitations are, and we’re all different there. I would love to get out and see more, but I have other priorities that mean so much more to me. And I love where I live! I live here because I adore the summers here on the lake. 3 weeks on the lake right outside my doorstep, or 1 week (minus two days travel) at a hotel in winter and pinching pennies all summer…. there’s hardly even a choice to be made!
      The wedding should be fun, and after travelling all through Texas visiting my grandfather there I expect that even though you’ll be working that you’ll be getting much enjoyment out of that trip as well 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I love it! I have been lucky enough to both vacation and travel and there IS a difference. Anytime you want to come to the travel to the US (which right now, I know can be a little scary) you are welcome to stay with me and my family and I will show you all the best places in my small town as long as I can travel to Canada and visit. It will be one more country to add to my travel list. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I very much appreciate that!! I would offer right now to return the favour, though my little apartment barely fits me right now lol…. I’m hoping it’s not too long before that changes though 🙂 I’ve always loved driving through the States! So much to do and see and experience outside of just the BIG cities. Travel is not in my immediate future, but it is definitely going back onto the priority list once I’m a bit more settled with my slowly improving finances here 🙂
      And you definitely need to get to Canada! We have mountains, ocean, prairies, desert (yes, desert! Though not people’s typical expectation of one), lakes, forest, cities, the works! There is something for absolutely everyone 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You are absolutely right. Travel is not a vacation if you’re doing it right. It’s an education and enrichment. A vacation (which for me means REST) is actually BEST done in your own home.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly! Travel to me is learning, seeing, immersing and experiencing. Vacationing is lying around ‘anywhere’, and indulging. One I find is worth the money, the other not so much, since I can relax and indulge and stress far less from the comfort of my own home. Thanks for reading and for the valuable input 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You have made some really good points here that are rarely voiced. ‘Travel’ has become ‘the latest trend’ so to speak – with the growth of social media pressure to be seen to be ‘travelling’. You are right about there being a difference between a vacation (holiday) and travel. Travel is educational, it’s about tasting and experiencing other places and environments in a non superficial and genuinely interested way, beyond what the brochures show you.

    I dislike that cliche about travel broadening your horizons (although it can have this is effect) – it is condescending to say the least (when most of the world’s population cannot afford to visit other countries for the fun of it, especially outside of the western world) but it’s what the media and social media project as something we should all be aspiring to.

    On the flip side, some package deals to Spain/Turkey etc often work out cheaper than trying to put a holiday together in the UK, you don’t have to organise hotels, food etc if it’s all inclusive – so people go for the easy option.

    I do think we should all make more of an effort to explore where we live, even if only by day trips to keep costs down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for such a thoughtful comment! I wasn’t exactly sure how well this post would be received, but I think people were able to pick up that I wasn’t criticizing others who chose to travel and vacation, but rather a certain attitude – I really do think if people are able to get out and see more of the world (and desirous of doing so) that they should. But as you say, it’s the cliché about ‘broadening your horizons’, as if it’s the only way it can be done, and forgetting about the circumstances of others when criticizing their choices not to. I’m not sure if I got that part across too clearly, but I hope I did anyhow 🙂

      I know exactly what you mean when you say some package deals are less costly than ‘vacationing’ at home would be – I used to be a travel agent prior to my current employment, and I had people looking at hotel packages for their families two provinces over. They were shocked when I told them that I could send them two countries over (all inclusive) for less than their ‘local’ hotel stay. Can you guess which one they chose? 😉

      I don’t begrudge people the all inclusive vacation – I think it’s wonderful. Though if your hotel stay, eating hotel food, within a compound is being used as a source of snobbery, to belittle others who have no choice but to vacation a little more close to home, then I will criticize you lol

      It is a shame to me so many people do not take the time and put in the effort to experience their own localities. It always makes me a little sad, wondering where and how bad a place must be for that to occur!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I very much agree with your points, and I’m partial to a good dose of ‘all inclusive’ when I can get a chance lol – and I ‘got’ your point so I think it is coming through if people read your post properly! Hopefully (as with most things in life) people will gradually mature as ‘travellers’ and broaden their horizons to their home countries too x

        Liked by 2 people

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