When it comes to travelling, people love to ask questions. Ordinarily, travel is something that I love to talk about, but certain questions are, well, questionable. Most of these questions are directed to the longer-term travellers; the ones that leave at 18 and return home, bearded, at the age of 38 and live life permanently in flip-flops whatever the weather.
Don’t you think you should grow up?
For some reason, some people associate travel with a refusal to grow up. They see it as a way of shirking responsibility and reality. In some cases that might be true. But travel is also a way of trying to understand the world and yourself. Travel can encourage you to ‘grow up’ by revealing to you what matters and how you want to live your life. It can be a real coming of age experience.
Don’t you want a real job, a career?
A lot of travellers are travelling because they hated their ‘real job and career.’ Some have decided that they don’t want marriage and children and therefore this decision to travel doesn’t impact on anyone else. Some work whilst they travel whether they write, volunteer or work in conservation. The definition of a ‘real job’ tends to indicate one that is rooted to a specific place. Finding a job that you can do digitally gives you greater freedom.
What about settling down?
Again, not all travellers want to settle down. Some have in the past and didn’t like it. Others want to but in the future. How many settled people are itching for an adventure? There isn’t a rush to settle down. The only limitations on us are those we put on ourselves.
Don’t you get bored?
Bored of travel? No, Janet.
How do you save your money?
I don’t mind people asking me this question and I think I’ve covered it here, but sometimes this is asked in a condescending way. Everyone has a different income and life situation. Someone with a mortgage has greater financial constraints than someone like me. On top of that, people like to spend their money differently. Some want to save for a home, others for travel and some like to spend their money on drinking, clubbing or maintaining their hair, nails and tan every other week. Some people really do struggle to save because their financial situation is challenging. In situations like this, the focus probably wouldn’t be on saving for travel but on trying to find a way to earn more or cut expenditure to live more comfortably. Understanding how people can afford what can be difficult from the outside as you don’t know who has inherited money, has a lucrative career or puts everything on credit!
Doesn’t anyone miss you?
Again, this question can be asked with an edge of cruelty. Ah, you can travel because you don’t have anyone who loves you back home. In fact, I think being loved back home encourages you to go out into the world as you know you have a safe base to return to.
Are there any questions that really raise your hackles as a traveller or any questions that you purposely like to ask just to wind travellers up?
All my love