I am not gonna tell you to travel.
In fact, unless you outright ask me, I won’t even encourage it. I have always maintained the position that traveling is a personal experience. We all have different needs, wants, and, in varying phases in our lives. Like the well-worn adage, not everything that works for me will work for you. There are tourists who just want to cover all the picturesque sites. And there are tourists who waste an afternoon away getting lost in back alleys and finding themselves in some third wave coffee shop. Some of us are budget travelers who can maximize every single peso they spend and are hard to pin down because of the mileage they cover. Then there are some who would splurge on posh accommodations and eat meals that require a diversity of utensils, once a year. The 1% goes on a yacht trip every weekend. Some just want to immerse themselves in foreign cultures and eat authentic local cuisine. Shoppers go to stretch out their negotiation muscles. Others have items on their bucket lists to cross out. There are parents who can’t leave their children behind, and would rather spend their money on tuition fees. There are fur parents with pets that don’t do well in pet hotels. Some people hate flying. Some people get seasick. There are people who enjoy their expensive coffee and latest gadgets more than traveling. And you know what? That’s okay.
With most of the people I interact with on social media in their 20s, my feed is flooded with listicles of why you should or should not do things. Most of these are, surprisingly, travel related. As much as I enjoy traveling, solo or not, I also acknowledge that the choice to do so is a mix of privilege and priorities. However, the pressure to do so is staggering, and there are even debates on being a tourist or a traveler. Even movies advocate travel as a way to be enlightened or an escape where all your problems magically wrap themselves up and the pieces fall into place. It has not happened to me yet, but it could have happened to anyone. The only way to find out is by doing you. So I am not gonna tell you to travel. But I’m gonna tell you to do you.