Travel envy is a real thing; while much of travel blogging, travel photography and the nomadic lifestyle is an incredibly positive experience, there are always some people that can’t quite wrap their head around the idea. Whether it’s a flippant comment, an ignorant question or just downright rudeness; every travel blogger is faced with negativity eventually.
Well, it all comes with the territory I’m afraid, and if travel blogging is something you’re considering as a long term career, coping with the good, the bad, and the ugly will, sooner or later, become a part of every day life.
So why give a travel blogger a hard time?
I can’t imagine why out of all the photos that clog our news feeds, it appears as though travel photos are what makes people so angry/sad/annoyed.
I suppose it’s really confusing for us because we’ve always seen travel photos as a source of inspiration, especially when we’re looking to plan our next trip. Actually, did you know that approximately 52% of people choose their next vacation spot based on seeing their friends photos online?
The truth is, I think a lot of bitterness comes from an unjustified feeling of helplessness. People often wrongly write things off as impossible and become embittered towards those in more fortunate positions; looking in on a life that feels completely out of reach. The thing is, for the vast majority of us, a life of travel is 100% within reach (more on that later), all it takes is a change of mind-set and an adaptation of lifestyle.
We’ve had a long time to think about this one, my fellow travel lovers, so here are our top 4 reasons why people will give you a hard time for travelling too much! – (and why it doesn’t matter!)
(1) They think you’re made of money and/or wasting money.
“How do you afford to travel all these places?”
This question always makes me laugh.. Since when was it ok to ask people about what they can afford? Can you imagine if we turned around and said, “How come you CAN’T afford to travel?” Yeah… bye bye friendship..
To give a real answer though – they’re wrong on both counts. I discovered that traveling was my passion a while ago and made a conscious decision to spend all my time and money on experiences abroad. This, of course, meant cutting back on expenses at home (this meant no new clothes, no going out for dinners, no partying, no fancy new cars) – but hey, $200 on a boozy night out? Or a flight? I can tell you there’s no contest.
While my peers and I work roughly the same hours and make about the same amount of money, our life experiences are worlds apart because of the daily choices we make.
We put very little value on owning material possessions and focus our attention on new experiences instead, and we’re extremely happy living that way. In fact, it’s actually been proven that this makes people happier!
I admit, it does take money to travel and not everyone has the same disposable income. But, if travel means as much to you as it does to us, there are always ways to make trips happen. Especially now with the rise of internet platforms such as Couchsurfing (meet and stay with locals for free from around the world), Grabr (make money while you travel) and the enormous amount of other ways you can make money while traveling the world – there’s just no good reason not to (if it’s what you really want).
(2) They literally can’t relate to your way of life.
“Why are you always gone?”
“Isn’t it tiring?”
“But… it’s so FAR… was it worth it?”
First of all, there are no right answers to the questions I’m constantly asked by friends who don’t seem to “get” my lifestyle. And, likewise, I really struggle to understand theirs. A 4 hour road trip on the weekend is as baffling to them as their 4 hour Netflix binge is to me, but I don’t question their motives or the reasoning behind THEIR actions. At the end of the day, each to their own!
(3) They think you’re bragging.
Isn’t social media in its entirety one giant platform for bragging? That’s what it seems like anyway. All the baby photos, the food pics, the status updates about a new job/car/partner, showing off your engagement ring, your graduation/wedding/new home photos… what ISN’T a brag?! Seems like if you’re that easily offended it’s probably a good idea to stay off social media. Or just unfollow me :D.
We’re also just passionate about travelling and passionate about photography. We share pictures because we enjoy sharing beautiful places with our friends and hope to inspire them to get outdoors. If we can get just one person off their couch and into the mountains with our content then we’ll consider ourselves a success.
(4) Your photos make them feel bad about themselves.
Ahh, social comparison. We all do it. And if you say you don’t, you’re either doing it subconsciously or you’re lying. It’s the way humans are programmed and the only way to tell how well you’re doing in life, isn’t it? I think the best phrase I’ve heard recently is, “losers focus on winners, winners focus on winning”. If we all focused a little more on our own lives, and living to the fullest, I think we’d all feel a lot more fulfilled.
The problem with social comparison on social media is that we only ever see our friends’ highlight reels. A bombardment of achievements clutters your news feed on a daily basis, and if you’re having a crappy day (or month) you’re going to end up feeling pretty shitty when you look at it. If my friend has recently lost her job and she logs onto Facebook to see photos of me exploring waterfalls in Bali, what’s going to happen? She’ll probably feel even worse about herself and probably resent me just a little bit.
My takeaway from all this?
Most importantly, yes these are issues you’re probably going to face, but it is 100% worth it if it’s in the pursuit of something amazing. We live in an incredible time where traveling can be a career. People reject what they don’t understand and there’s no sense in becoming embittered by it or brought down by negativity. Educate where possible and enlighten those willing to view the world and its possibilities from a different perspective.
If traveling makes you happy, then please don’t stop.
If you’ve taken some incredible photos while you were gone, please share them – Because there are people on your feed, like me, who love seeing them and who support you.
and if your friends get jealous or angry about it – find better friends!
Befriend other travelers. I’ve found that the more travel bloggers and photographers I encounter on Facebook, the more travel-friendly my feed becomes. This is the kind of energy that’s good for you. Happy Travels!