Nina Ragusa, Travel Blogger / whereintheworldisnina.com
Millennials travel. A lot.
It’s essentially the hottest thing to do, and if you don’t do it, you’re kinda not cool. (only half joking…)
However, there’s also this set of millennials who are bitter AF about travel.
They think it’s stupid and unattainable because of “real life” like debt. They think the millennials who do travel are mooching, hippy, bums who have no future. Or they are so obviously being fed money into their account by their parents so they can live this type of lifestyle. They even point out that travelers don’t have “real life things” like kids and mortgages to deal with.
Well, to the millennials that don’t travel and think it’s a waste of life/ totally unattainable- You’re wrong. So so very wrong.
Here’s a list of the most common things travelers are sick of hearing from these travel trolls…
Nobody said it was easy to make this lifestyle happen, the only difference is we smash barriers down while others just cower behind them.
So hopefully, this helps explains things a bit better for them and hopefully will inspire them to tackle their obstacles so they can travel too! If that’s what they want….
BUT! WARNING – I’ve heard these lame comments and excuses so many times I can’t help but be a bit snarky… Here’s a hard dose of truth!
1) “It’s clear you don’t have student loan debt like the rest of us! Aren’t you lucky!”
Pardon me while I laugh/cry as I hit “pay” for nearly the tenth year in a row on my student loan payment. $200+ each month has gone to ‘ol Sallie Mae for my student loan repayments. Please tell me again how this prevents anyone from traveling? Pay it each month, just budget it in. It’s not hard. It’s there, it’s not going anywhere.
I’ve been traveling and living abroad for five years and have made every payment. NEXT!
Oh, and newsflash! I’m not alone, plenty of us travel while paying off debt.
2) “How do you even afford to travel so much or live abroad? You probably have your parents funneling money into your account. You’re privileged!”
Lame. Nearly every traveler, including me, has probably written a post or preached from a mountain top that traveling doesn’t need to be expensive.
Give up luxuries, learn to travel cheap, save money, then get on a goddamn plane. Will it happen in one or two months? Nope, it took me two years to get to the point where I wanted to be with money before hopping on that one-way flight, but the point is, it can be done.
Parents giving us money so we can travel? HA!
Total dollars given by parents towards my travels = $0
Of course, there are some travelers out there that get served everything on a gold platter, but the majority don’t. They do this thing called work. It’s where you do something every day for money. They then use that money to travel. Revolutionary! I know!
The line, “you’re privileged” gets to me big time. In some ways, we are – being from a first world country, speaking English, and having a strong currency from our home country, are privileges. HOWEVER many people (looking at you travel trolls) have the same privileges!
Most people making these stupid comments come from where you and I come from and they have a job to pay for their house and internet, so can they access websites using their phone, tablet, and or laptop to troll on them while stuffing Doritos down their throats and sipping on their Starbucks coffee. Ahem – PRIVILEGED!
Now if a starving child from Africa tells me I’m privileged, hells yes, they are 100000% correct. Otherwise, people need to shut up and look at what they have. Those people shouldn’t be jealous that we’re using the same advantages they have wiser than they are. They just need to change their mindset and spending habits.
3) “Traveling is a waste of life. You need to get a real job and just start working already. You can travel when you’re retired.”
Uhm, k. Right, no. Work is always there waiting. There WILL be a job somewhere at some point when you’re ready for it. Traveling when you’re retired is the old way of thinking. Yes, our parent’s generation had that notion in mind and it maybe worked for them, but now? For millennials?
Nah. There’s no better time than now to travel.
Sorry, but I doubt I’ll be able to hike down an insane volcanic crater containing an acid lake in Indonesia when I’m 60, have a broken hip, and can’t breathe correctly after walking for one kilometer due to asthma problems. Sooo, yeah… I’m going to do it now.
There’s only that much you can do when you’re old. Be adventurous now.
Let’s take it a step further – people could open their mind to working online or abroad like I do. Who said people can only travel for ten days a year after slaving away for the rest?
Oh, and also, I’m working like a “normal” person and I have a “real” job, I just happen to do it in different countries and travel often. Why hate on this lifestyle? There are plenty of opportunities out there for others to do this.
4) “You’re just exploiting countries, especially the poorer ones!”
“How dare you take advantage of third world countries to travel more cheaply.”
A lot of millennials know that Southeast Asia is a mecca for cheap travels (As well as a few other spots in the world).
Why is this a bad thing to travel here? Yes, these countries happen to be cheap. We happen to have a strong currency and want to spend it in said cheap country. Said cheap country benefits from millions of tourist dollars getting poured into their otherwise pitiful economy.
Most of the people in these countries DEPEND on tourists for their livelihood. We are a globalized world and many countries need tourism dollars flowing in.
Sure, the travelers who come in and haggle over $.15 are total assholes.
Sure the travelers who come with zero dollars to their name and expect to get everything for practically free are total d-bags.
Sure the travelers who set up a little shop of their trinkets next to the person who makes $6 a day, if they are lucky, so they can make more money for their travels are pretty disrespectful….
BUT- The majority of travelers out there don’t do this. They come to travel and spend their money in countries that need it. So why is that bad again?
There are assholes everywhere, and yes, they travel too. But let’s not group all these people together.
5) “You’re a bum, who doesn’t work, and you’re just mooching around the world.”
OK, in reality, there are definitely people like this. But there are people like this EVERYWHERE.
Oh well, what can you do? There will always be moochers and people who don’t work.
DON’T group people who travel often/live abroad into this category. Just because we post gorgeous pictures of sunsets from an island most have never heard of doesn’t mean that’s our life. You need some amount of cash to travel. So that traveler has either:
- Worked very hard to save money to enjoy their X months or possibly years of travel. Good for them!
- They work abroad to make money for their travels.
- They have some kind of business that can earn them money regardless of their location.
The last two are me. I used to be the first person, but I found work abroad and loved it. See? Not a mooching bum!
So just because these people live differently so they can travel more doesn’t make them a mooch or a bum. The big difference is their priority is traveling while others rather buy a new car, the latest Apple product, or spend cash getting shitfaced at a club. People can choose what to spend their money on. Everyone can choose where to work.
6) “Obviously, the traveler doesn’t have kids to take care of or a mortgage to pay each month.”
Kids? Who said traveling with kids isn’t possible? There are literally hundreds and thousands of families each year who go on and travel with their wee ones.
Living abroad with children? I see it all the time! There are international schools to send them to or home schooling as options. Just simply Google ‘family travel blogs’ and a plethora of information will come up on how families travel or live abroad.
Don’t use kids as an excuse to NOT travel, use them as an excuse to travel to educate them in the best way possible- first-hand knowledge and experience!
Mortgages? Well, first things first, it’s not mandatory to get a mortgage, but for some, it’s a little too late now, right? If it can’t be sold, there’s the option to throw it up on AirBnB or just rent it out to long-termers.
If it’s done right, renting out a place could actually help sustain travels. Worst case scenario – the person will break even on their mortgage each month. I have friends who were able to charge more than what their mortgage was, so they were profiting a few hundred each month.
7) “How insulting! You think I wouldn’t want to travel / live abroad instead of working a 9-5?”
This was my life for two years:
- Work even more.
- Like, work so hard you’re on the brink of a breakdown type of work. I worked three jobs. One of them being a 9-5.
- Don’t do anything fun and save every fucking penny.
- THEN TRAVEL.
That was then – I saved $16,000 in two years (and paid off debts).
Now – There’s never a point where I’m not working while I travel. Sure maybe I’ll have some time off here and there just like everyone else who has weekends, sick days, or vacation days, but traveling while working just happens to look more glamorous.
Many have the 9-5 out of choice. They don’t think it’s a choice, but it is. I chose to have a 9-5 too, but I had goals. My goal was to quit after making a certain amount of money and then finding another way to make money. It took years, but I made the change. It’s not an easy path, but again- there’s a choice.
Oh, and for the record, there are tons of people out there who maximize on their days off and travel often while maintaining a 9-5.
Again, people are making excuses instead of making what they have work / making the changes towards a lifestyle that’s better for them.
If you don’t like where you are in life DO something about it.
8) “ And what about your future? What are you doing with your life?”
Uhm, what about it? Do you know what will happen? Can you tell me my future!?
What does one say to this? We don’t have our lives planned out. Big deal? What’s so wrong with that? It’s not that we are neglectful and don’t think about it, we just want to live life and see where it takes us. Why is this such a crime?
Obviously, the smart traveler will put away some money and take care of themselves, but who cares if we will be 50 years old and not own a home? Does it really matter that my credit isn’t getting established in a country I don’t see myself living in for years and years? Why is it so terrible that I don’t know where I will sleep next week? I’ll find a hotel then! It’s OK! I’ll live!
People should stop being so concerned about the future and live in the now. We all know our future isn’t guaranteed, right?
What happens if an individual dies tomorrow? What will be of all of their future plans? It will be time spent in vain.
I would rather die as someone who was happy and well-traveled rather than die having lived an unfulfilled life, but with a promising future. The future isn’t promised. Make time to be happy now.
It’s not to say we should ignore the future and never plan for it, but for god sakes, let’s stop living in the future and live in the NOW a bit.
9) “Obviously, you’re running from something!”
Oh, yes, it’s so obvious I’m running! Perhaps running away from these closed-minded dumb fucks who have nothing better to do than to put down people who are trying to live the life they want to live.
Why is it that every traveler is running from something? Obviously, we couldn’t be curious about the world, other cultures, meeting new people, wanting to taste new foods, and see incredible sites…
It’s SO obvious that we are running from something… Sorry, but can anyone tell me what that something is? I’m confused. All I want to do is stuff my face with Khao Soi in Thailand, dive the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, meet people from around the world in Rio de Janeiro, ski in the Swiss Alps, and speak to the locals in Papua New Guinea. So WHAT am I running from again?
There’s a slew of other things that are said and thought by traveler trolls about our travel lifestyle, but they would all have answers similar to what I’ve stated above. These are truly the things travelers are sick of hearing!
The main take away, traveler trolls:
Stop hating on travelers, we work for this lifestyle, if anyone else wants to do it, shut up, stop hating, and start working towards that goal.
Hopefully, if you are one of travel trolls, this has opened your mind and has you questioning your obstacles. How can you overcome them so you can travel? If that’s what you want. (Trust me, this isn’t for everyone! Only if you really want to…)
Hopefully, if you are one of the travelers out there getting hated on by the travel trolls, this helps explains things to those who just don’t get you.
Nobody will ever say it’s an easy path to follow. There are plenty of hurdles to job over even while traveling! But it’s all worth it in the end if traveling the world is what you truly desire.
I hope this has cleared the air for those who are absolutely baffled as to how we travel because these really are the top things travelers are sick of hearing.
What’s something a traveler troll has told you before and how did you answer?
Are there any other troll comments I should have included?
PS- Totally coining the term “travel troll.”