The Downsides of Traveling
People constantly talk about the good parts of travel:
- “You’ll see so many amazing things”
- “You’ll meet so many cool people”
- “You’ll learn to adapt to new situations"
But no one ever talks about the worst parts about travel.
1. You will constantly see amazing things, yes, but that may make you feel like home is not exciting. You’ll constantly have an itch to be away.
This isn’t the worst problem to have.
I grew up in a small town. Nothing was wrong with it really, it just didn’t fit who I was.
My desires are to be in the hustle and bustle of things. To be in the heart of a city. To be in the epicenter of innovators and creators, entertainers and makers. That’s what excites me.
Writing this out, I’m not sure if traveling made me think home was boring or home bored me into needing travel. Either way, I realize that as travel becomes so much cheaper, people will not settle for home.
They will find the home that fits their personality the most. No longer are they limited by where they were born. And that’s awesome.
2. You’ll meet a lot of interesting people for sure, from Europe, Asia, South America, everywhere, but they’ll be far away.
You’ll have an extensive friend group all around the world, but since you’re always away from different groups, you don’t get to spend as much time as you’d like building deeper relationships.
The value of a friendship isn’t always based on time spent together. I’ve met many people overseas and throughout the US who I’ve spent limited time with, but feel like we’re best friends.
Chatting over phone and the web is fine, but nothing can really replicate that face-to-face interaction. The distinction between being with your family rather than talking over the phone is huge.
You may not get a lot of time to be with the people you love, but you do learn to cherish that time more.
3. Learning to adapt to new situations is not easy. It is an amazingly frustrating process.
It’s not something you just get when you step off of the plane. It’s long and it’s frustrating to not have friends for a while, to be alone most days, and deal with your inner thoughts.
Sometimes you worry about going somewhere new because it feels like you have to start all over again.
Schools don’t teach you how to make new friends when moving to new cities. They don’t tell you how to take care of your relationships and foster your network.
It’s all something you usually have to figure out yourself.
Luckily there are multiple resources out there to help you navigate this new terrain. Like this and this.
Don’t get me wrong. Learning these skills is extremely valuable and it is absolutely worth it.
But don’t expect any free tickets.
It’s all on you.
Everyone will have their preferred amount of traveling.
If you want to be a digital nomad and work around the world all of the time, you will have a much different experience than a person who travels once a year.
I’d like to travel somewhere new at least once every month.
Domestic, international, it doesn’t matter to me.
Life needs to have adventure. Just be willing to deal with the shit that comes with it.