You Don't Have to Justify Not Traveling

I've been writing this blog a little over two years now. And while I'll be the first to admit that I occasionally get off on a tangent, it's probably fair to say that I primarily write about travel.

Most of my friends and coworkers know that I write this blog, but when I first meet new people it sometimes takes awhile for them to learn about Sarah Going. And when people figure it out, they do something in common that is so odd to me I felt compelled to write a post about it.

They start justifying why they don't travel.

Choosing not to travel doesn't require an excuse.

Let's start with the obvious: you don't need to justify not traveling. Because in general, you don't need to justify anything you choose to do with your money or your time. And if you choose to do something other than travel, that is 100% your business.

Personally, I'll go further than saying your money and your time are your business. I want you to spend both in the way that makes you most happy. If you don't choose to travel, and you are happy with all the things you buy and do instead of traveling, then I am happy for you.

You should spend your money the way you want to spend it.

Even before anyone starts justifying their decisions to me, my primary assumption is that they prioritize their money the way they want to prioritize it. Because that is my primary assumption about everyone. After all, if you are an adult who earns your own money, you have the power to decide how it is spent.

I read a lot of travel blogs, so I know why the sentence I wrote above may be met with some raised eyebrows. There are a lot of articles in this travel blogging space that make a primary assumption that the reason people don't travel is because they are in some way incapable of making adult decisions. The articles will go so far as to tell you that you should not spend your money on anything that isn't travel, and if you do, you must be a corporate drone who has been brainwashed.

Now my eyebrows are raised. I write about topics I find interesting that I think add to the discussion, like whether or not experiences make us happier than material purchases and the fact that there still seem to be misconceptions about how expensive travel is. But I'm writing to provide information that an adult can use to make their own decisions.

I'm not telling anyone they should travel or they'll be unhappy.

Because I don't know every human being in the universe personally.

And neither does anyone else who is writing a travel blog in the year 2018.

You should also spend your time the way you want to spend it.

I feel like we often discuss how to balance competing priorities for our money, but we don't always talk about how the things that are competing for our time can prevent us from traveling. What it means to travel if you have a full-time job that in any way limits your ability to take time away from work is that you have a very limited number of days to cover everything you need to do in the year.

If you are in the U.S. and plan to have a baby this year, you probably aren't going to be taking any international trips. Because you'll likely need every vacation day you have if you want to take time off work for maternity leave.

If you have a family member or friend you are close to that is getting married, graduating, or celebrating any other significant life event, you'll probably want to use your vacation time to celebrate with them this year.

And that is your choice to make.

If you actually want to spend your money and time on travel but don't, you're welcome here too.

I'm running a risk bringing up this last category, and that is the reason I brought it up last… almost as a disclaimer. I read a lot of travel blogs, so I understand why people automatically think that they need to justify not traveling. Because a lot of travel blogs I read are glorified attack ads against people who have the audacity to do anything with their money and time except travel.

Those "corporate drones" who are "wasting their life" working for "the man" must just be too stupid to realize travel is actually life-changing and easy and cheap, so maybe the travel blog you write attacking them for their life choices will break them out of their shells once and for all, right?


There is a category of people who actually want to travel, but haven't yet. They want to spend their money and time on travel, above all other priorities. But they don't, for a variety of reasons. Most travel blogs I read assume this is the only category of people that exist. They then make an assumption that bullying these people will somehow help them to spend their money and time on travel, since that is what they want to do.  

But I don't think bullying helps. 

There are perfectly legitimate reasons to be timid about international travel, and solo travel in particular, if you've never done it before. And there is so much conflicting information about planning a trip and where to go and when to buy flights and virtually every detail of travel that you can think of online, it's no wonder to me that people get intimidated. My goal for the content I write is to provide honest, actionable information that you can use if you want to travel but haven't yet.

But if you choose not to use that information, and/or choose not to travel right now (or ever), you're welcome on this blog too.

And you'll never owe me any justification for your decisions.

Or anyone else, for that matter. 

If there is ever any type of content that would help you plan a trip that you can't find elsewhere, or any questions you have that you can't find answers to, please let me know and I'll do what I can to help. And as always, thank you for reading!

Travel, MoneySarahComment