There is a lot of misinformation out there about travelling and unfortunately, it stops many people from following their dreams and seeing the world. Here are three of the biggest myths that are holding people back from travelling – and why they are simply not true.
Travel is Expensive
If you want to go on a luxury cruise or stay in a five star hotel, travelling will be very expensive. However, if you think that this is the only way to see the world you need to stretch your imagination a little bit. The chances are, if you are currently living in a developed country in the Western World then you are probably spending more per month than me when I was travelling in Southeast Asia for 10 months. What people need to understand is that if you choose to travel in a country where the average wage is similar or lower to that of your own country, then the local people will be paying the same or less for things than you do at home. Therefore, there is no reason why travelling in these places has to be more expensive than you living the way you do now.
Don’t get me wrong, travel can be expensive. Some of the amounts that people spend when they go to the same places I do sometimes blows my mind – but so does the amount that some people spend when living in one place. Again, with the assumption that you live in the Western World, I truly believe that there is a standard of travel to suit every budget. Also, going travelling for an extended period of time such as a few months or even a year doesn’t mean that you have to go into your savings. There are many ways to travel the world and work along the way.
Back in Canada I have met some people who are much more well off than I am who single out the expense of travel as the reason why they don’t go explore the world. This is either an excuse because they don’t really want to travel in the first place, or a needless misunderstanding of the price of travel.
Travel is Unsafe
I can completely understand why this misunderstanding happens. When you switch on the news or pick up a newspaper, the stories that come out of other places in the world are always about trouble, violence and other scary things. Furthermore, every time something unfortunate happens to a traveller it becomes national news in both their home country and the country they are travelling in. The same thing could happen to them in their home town and it may only make local news.
When you filter information like this, it gives you a false perception of what happens when travelling. Coupled with things like parents worried about their kids visiting another country and Hollywood films like Hostel and Taken, people who haven’t travelled much can really fuel the paranoia that travel is unsafe.
What I have learned from travelling is that some places can be more dangerous than others. However, with good practices and a bit of research there is no reason why you can’t visit any destination (within reason) that you want to go to without getting attacked, murdered, stabbed or robbed.
Travel is Something You Can Only Do When You Are Young
I don’t agree with seeing travel as something that you do for a little bit while you are young before settling down into a job, buying a house and living the rest of your life in a conventional routine. I think that travel is something you can work into every stage of your life, even when you have children or when you are older.
I’ve met lots of interesting people while on the road and while many of them have been young, they haven’t all fit within the 18-25 age bracket. I have met some fascinating travellers who are more than double my age and every age in between.
If you love travel and you want it to be part of your life, it really doesn’t have to be a one-off trip that you take for a few months when you are young. If that is all you want from your travel experience that is fine, but if that only leaves you wanting more then don’t feel pressured to fit into this limiting mould.
These are just a few of the myths that hold people back from following their travel dreams. What other things have you heard that are holding you back from travelling? Do you believe that they are true?