Reid is my fiancé and is everything I am not –
He was born and raised in southern Virginia, and has lived there his entire life. Before last November when I forced him to fly to Arizona to meet my family, he had never been further “west” than Georgia.
Outside of our trip to Arizona, Reid has never even left the East Coast. He had never dreamed of seeing the desert, flying over a city of lights at night, or going to a country where English is not the first language.
To someone like him, travelling isn’t on the radar and why would it be? All of his friends and family are here. Everything he has ever known is within a couple hours drive. He is comfortable and safe.
Like many people, Reid thinks travelling is:
Unaffordable… who has the money to pay for things that you can do at home?
Let’s start off by stating the obvious – everywhere has something unique and different that you simply won’t be able to find at home and it won’t always cost an arm and a leg.
Take D.C. for example – the Smithsonian has 19 museums that you can visit for free. You can also visit famous landmarks like the White House (including a tour), the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the National Mall, the Capitol Building (including a tour), and the Library of Congress for free. You can get from point A to point B in the DC metropolitan area for dumb cheap using the Metro which runs from 5:00 AM – midnight (M-TH), 5:00 AM – 3:00 AM (Fridays), 7:00 AM – 3:00 AM (Saturdays), and 7:00 AM – midnight (Sundays). If you want to go out in the city to one of the MANY nightclubs, restaurants, or bars, you can simply take the Metro there and back for just a few dollars instead of having to pay for Ubers, Lyfts, or taxis.
If camping, hiking, and nature is more your speed, then you can plan a trip to somewhere like the Grand Canyon or any other national park which generally have very low costs of parking and admissions if they aren’t free.
The truth is, traveling isn’t as expensive as you might think and there are always great deals to be found.
Something you have to do with friends and/or family… so if they aren’t down, it’s a no-go.
First off, traveling alone isn’t a bad thing (this is a whole other conversation in itself). But second, if you grow up around like-minded people, it might be easier to start small. In Reid’s case, none of his family or friends have much interest in exploring the world outside of their little bubble. No one was encouraging or influencing anyone else to try new things! Now that I have opened Reid’s eyes to what the world has to offer, his tune has changed and he is all about getting out there. Dare I say, he has even started to get excited about planning our next vacation in 2022?!
Sometimes, you just have to convince one person to take the leap with you and then you have a travel buddy for life. I personally don’t know anyone who has gotten a taste of travelling and didn’t end up with wanderlust.
For people who don’t have reasons like visiting family or friends in other states/countries to take that first jump, try starting with something local – for us, that would be taking a trip to northern Virginia to see Washington, D.C.
A waste of time because A) work, B) chores/errands/things you just have to do, C) planning a vacation is time consuming, D) the US is the best country in the world *insert eyeroll*
Please refer to this little blog post.
All of those things and all that work will always be here when you get back. You can either treat yourself or spend every weekend for the rest of your life doing mundane things that bring you no joy.
Planning a vacation doesn’t have to be time consuming. You can hire professionals consultants to do the heavy lifting for you so all you have to do is show up and enjoy.
Anyone who has ever left the US understands this plight. Now, I’m not here to shit on my home country and don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of things I love about America. HOWEVER, if you are one of those people who doesn’t feel the need to travel simply because you think America has it all, think again.
I can name 3 countries off the top of my head that have better food: Italy, Belgium, Mexico. I can easily name 3 countries that have the most amazing Christmas markets that you would never find in the US: Germany, France, Austria. How about 3 cities that have architecture and art that are more than 500 years old (keep in mind the US is less than 250 hundred years old)? Vatican City, Paris, Heidelberg.
There are so many incredible things about travelling that have nothing to do with “who’s the best” and have more to do with once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will change the way you view the world.
Stressful & anxiety inducing… because what if you spend all this money and waste all this time and you don’t like your destination? What if you’re scared of trying new foods? What if you get lost, kidnapped, robbed, or poisoned?!
Listen. Terrible things happen every day in the US, whether it’s in a different town, city, or state. No matter where you are, bad things could happen. Think of it this way, my best friend – who is Italian and lives in the UK – says she is terrified of the US and would never want her son to grow up here. Why, you ask? Because school shootings happen so regularly in America. These thoughts and fears are relative to where you grew up, where you live now, and what you consider a threat. If you heard a non-American say these things, your first thought would probably be along the lines of, “that’s not true! Kids here are very safe, there are safety officers at schools, it doesn’t happen as often as the media makes it out to be” – unless you’ve been in this particular situation. Don’t let unfounded fears deter you from spreading your wings. Who knows, you may love what you find out there.