Post by Grace O.
Image by Unsplash
From vlogging to blogging, looking at pictures to watching six-second videos, binge watching a tv series to pinning a crafter’s ideas, media in today’s society has given us every opportunity to live
someone else’s life.
I find myself spending hours learning about the lives of others, from outlets like YouTube, Instagram, and Netflix, rather than spending time to live my life.
Apparently, I’m not the only one: research shows that the average teenager spends over seven-and-a-half hours per day surfing the internet, keeping up on social media, watching tv, and playing video games.
I think it’s time for a change. I want to start having adventures of my own, living my life, making a difference, seeing the world-
I want to travel.
But, some people don’t share these same goals. While this is understandable, it’s a shame. Only 30% of the 308 million people in the United States have a passport. This is most likely due to some common misconceptions people have about traveling. I’m here to blow those misconceptions out of the water. So, without further ado,
The Two Most Common Misconceptions about Traveling
#1 It’s Too Expensive
Traveling can be costly, but it doesn’t have to be. There are hundreds of travel blogs dedicated to cost effective travel, and many of them revolve around saving money in three main categories:
- Airfare: USA Today writer Angela Brown offers in depth advice on this topic. She explains how to save money in ten easy steps. Brown says that saving money on your flight is a “combination of research, comparison shopping and the ability to be very flexible with your travel plans”.
- Room and Board: Book your room as far as possible in advance, and consider enrolling in a hotel loyalty program if you plan on traveling a lot.
- Dining: Making lunch your main meal will save you a significant amount of money; lunch menu items tend to be priced lower than dinner menu items. Also, It’s important to save and splurge when eating out. For example, you could splurge on escargot at an expensive French restaurant one day, but save at a more economical cafe the next day.
If traveling is out of reach financially even with these tips, a mission trip or volunteer opportunity abroad could be a more reasonably priced option.
#2 It’s Too Dangerous
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “do one thing everyday that scares you”. And, it’s true, the idea of spending a week or longer in a foreign country is definitely frightening. However, people often get frightened by travel because they believe it’s unsafe.
While it’s true that some places are incredibly dangerous to travel to, many places are just as safe as where you are right now. As a matter of fact, there are many resources to help you determine a country’s level of danger.
For example, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs keeps an updated list of travel warnings and alerts for countries; the Canadian government put out this map to highlight which areas of the world you should avoid traveling to and which areas require normal security precautions.
These resources, along with the following advice, should help minimize your risk of danger abroad:
- Follow Your Instincts: if a situation you’re in doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Do what your gut tells you and use common sense when walking around at night.
- Keep Your Money Protected: crossbody bags and fanny packs are a must. Yes, you will look touristy, but your chances of getting robbed decrease significantly.
- Have a Plan: map out where you’re going before you go when traveling on foot; pulling up directions on Google Maps before heading out never hurt anyone. If you do find yourself lost, walk with purpose. People who appear confident don’t seem like easy targets for criminals.
- When Possible, Use the Buddy System: having someone who can watch your back is incredibly valuable.
Traveling Is Not for Everyone
Not everyone has the travel bug, and that is perfectly fine. It’s also understandable; leaving the comfort and safety of home is a scary thing to do. However, I think the experience of world travel is worth the risk,
Image by WikiImages
because the world is a beautiful place.