Is Travel The Easy Way Out?

Today’s guest post is by stevewade from the TravelPod forums. He wrote a topic that created some interesting opinions. Is travel the easy way out? He agreed we could share his thread here and is looking for more feedback on what others think as well. The thread has great discussions and is definitely worth a read. One opinion in particular that I liked is what ScottWoz said.

“I know so so many people who choose to live an unfulfilled 9-5 clockwork existence and complain and complain about it. Yet they continue to sit around marinating in it. They are simply scared, which is perfectly natural and definitely not a criticism. And OBVIOUSLY I’m not criticising staying put in a place and working hard either. I did it for ten years in one place and now I do it intermittently on the road. Like Sianeth said ‘Each to their own’and all that. It’s just the times I hear the constant chirping about being lucky just ribs me. Luck? Grow up. Choice, yes.”

With Meet, Plan, Go coming up next month, I felt this couldn’t have been brought up at a better time. Below is the threads topic.

This is something I’ve been thinking about recently. A lot of people particularly parents for example think that when their kids choose to take a gap year or go traveling around the world for a pro-longed period of time instead of settling down, getting a job and starting a career etc that they are ‘taking the easy way out’ and going galavanting and enjoying themselves choosing fun over the ‘real’ world so to speak. So many people see traveling as some silly little thing for people who don’t want to take control of their lives or have responsibilities.

When you actually think about it, finding a career / job is the easy option. It’s the people who left education and went straight into their career that have taken the most obvious route, they did something that everyone does. It’s not a difficult decision to make, you just find a job and work. It’s not something that requires much thought or planning generally. It’s certainly not something that takes much courage to do. It’s the people who choose not to take a career break and travel but continue with the 9-5 daily grind all their lives who have taken the easiest option.

Where as taking a year out for traveling requires a lot of courage. You need to be determined, independent, very sure of yourself and the decision you’re about to make, confident that you can go away for such a long period of time in far away and foreign places and it takes a bit of forward thinking and planning. It’s certainly not for the faint hearted.

So many people see travel as the simple option or the ‘easy way out’ but is it?

Opinions please…

80 Comments

  1. zhinnn on July 28, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I think just the fact that parents would try to discourage their kids from travel shows that it’s NOT the easy way out! Especially if the family is close, then it would be really hard for someone to travel when their family frowned upon it.

    Starting a career straight out of school in most cases is the easiest option, because it’s what you’re expected to do by everyone- family, society, even friends. The whole highschool, college, career thing is so rehearsed that there isn’t much risk involved at all.
    Just my opinion of course.

  2. zhinnn on July 28, 2010 at 11:26 am

    I think just the fact that parents would try to discourage their kids from travel shows that it’s NOT the easy way out! Especially if the family is close, then it would be really hard for someone to travel when their family frowned upon it.

    Starting a career straight out of school in most cases is the easiest option, because it’s what you’re expected to do by everyone- family, society, even friends. The whole highschool, college, career thing is so rehearsed that there isn’t much risk involved at all.
    Just my opinion of course.

  3. almostfearless on July 28, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Is traveling the easy way out? Yes. I know that’s an unpopular answer, as travel itself is not easy… getting the nerve to go isn’t easy…. working from the road (if you do) isn’t a walk in the park either. But travel makes me insanely happy. It would be much harder for me to make a 9-5 work. It’s harder to change the system from within. Dropping out and defining your path isn’t easy, but it’s easier than getting your corporate job to let you take 3 months off a year or work 6-2 or bring your baby to work. It was MUCH easier to just say “screw it” and make my own path.

  4. almostfearless on July 28, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Is traveling the easy way out? Yes. I know that’s an unpopular answer, as travel itself is not easy… getting the nerve to go isn’t easy…. working from the road (if you do) isn’t a walk in the park either. But travel makes me insanely happy. It would be much harder for me to make a 9-5 work. It’s harder to change the system from within. Dropping out and defining your path isn’t easy, but it’s easier than getting your corporate job to let you take 3 months off a year or work 6-2 or bring your baby to work. It was MUCH easier to just say “screw it” and make my own path.

  5. Steph on July 28, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I think it depends on your intentions. For some people, taking off around the world is a great way to run away from your problems (temporarily anyways). But long-term travel requires a re-examination of your outlook on life, your goals and priorities. It’s never easy to live outside the box and I think it antagonizes a lot of people who don’t like having their basic ideals challenged.

  6. Steph on July 28, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I think it depends on your intentions. For some people, taking off around the world is a great way to run away from your problems (temporarily anyways). But long-term travel requires a re-examination of your outlook on life, your goals and priorities. It’s never easy to live outside the box and I think it antagonizes a lot of people who don’t like having their basic ideals challenged.

  7. Andi Perullo on July 28, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    I’m not sure I can really add more, since I think you hit the nail on the head! I couldn’t agree with you more. I have encountered this challenge my whole traveling life. At first I found it ridiculously frustrating, now I’ve embraced it. Most things in life that are special you have to fight for. Bring it on! 😉

  8. Andi Perullo on July 28, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    I’m not sure I can really add more, since I think you hit the nail on the head! I couldn’t agree with you more. I have encountered this challenge my whole traveling life. At first I found it ridiculously frustrating, now I’ve embraced it. Most things in life that are special you have to fight for. Bring it on! 😉

  9. Keith Savage on July 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Easy is a relative term, but taken in the context I think it’s meant to be taken here…it’s both easy and difficult. It’s easy to quit. It’s easy to not start. But those decisions are just the tip of the iceberg that you usually can’t (or shouldn’t) make unless you have a plan. It’s hard to make a life of travel work. The whole digital nomad thing – that’s a grind in itself.

    People glamorize travel and understandably so – it’s almost synonymous with vacation. Maybe the way to look at this situation is to say that it’s difficult to find what will make you happy in life.

    • Michael on July 28, 2010 at 6:17 pm

      Good call Keith. It’s true that it can be both easy and difficult on either direction.

  10. Keith Savage on July 28, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Easy is a relative term, but taken in the context I think it’s meant to be taken here…it’s both easy and difficult. It’s easy to quit. It’s easy to not start. But those decisions are just the tip of the iceberg that you usually can’t (or shouldn’t) make unless you have a plan. It’s hard to make a life of travel work. The whole digital nomad thing – that’s a grind in itself.

    People glamorize travel and understandably so – it’s almost synonymous with vacation. Maybe the way to look at this situation is to say that it’s difficult to find what will make you happy in life.

    • Michael on July 28, 2010 at 7:17 pm

      Good call Keith. It’s true that it can be both easy and difficult on either direction.

  11. craig zabransky on July 28, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Is see 2 things here; is travel easy? is it the easy way out?

    Travel is easy as Christine says – YES. If that is your passion. Whatever your passion is, once you are there…it is not difficult to be excited to do it, create it, live it. It fuels you.

    As a way out? The easy way out? Whatever problems you have, guess what they travel with you. You can never get away from yourself, regardless of how remote the destination. You are there with you. So, no it is not a way out at all. (but it can delay, yes)

    For me, travel was not the way out, but perhaps the way forward. I realize all my decision were based upon it my entire career and life really. And now traveling / writing…. well it brings me closer to that goal. So, yes its getting easier.

    stay adventurous, Craig

  12. craig zabransky on July 28, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Is see 2 things here; is travel easy? is it the easy way out?

    Travel is easy as Christine says – YES. If that is your passion. Whatever your passion is, once you are there…it is not difficult to be excited to do it, create it, live it. It fuels you.

    As a way out? The easy way out? Whatever problems you have, guess what they travel with you. You can never get away from yourself, regardless of how remote the destination. You are there with you. So, no it is not a way out at all. (but it can delay, yes)

    For me, travel was not the way out, but perhaps the way forward. I realize all my decision were based upon it my entire career and life really. And now traveling / writing…. well it brings me closer to that goal. So, yes its getting easier.

    stay adventurous, Craig

  13. Nick Laborde on July 28, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    I can only speak from the perspective a a aspiring traveler that will be embarking on my trip next year. I would say that traveling is not the easy way out in any respect that I can think of.

    Conforming to the status quo is the easy way out.

    I know this from personal experience, I’ve done it for many years …

    I can’t understand how stripping your whole life down to a backpack could possibly be viewed as the “easy way out”

    • Michael on August 11, 2010 at 10:33 am

      I agree.

      Going on a path that’s outside of the norm wasn’t easy to share with others for me at first.

      Backpacking hasn’t been easy at all but it’s at a difficultly and a way of learning that I prefer to live than being in a job I hate.

  14. Nick Laborde on July 28, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    I can only speak from the perspective a a aspiring traveler that will be embarking on my trip next year. I would say that traveling is not the easy way out in any respect that I can think of.

    Conforming to the status quo is the easy way out.

    I know this from personal experience, I’ve done it for many years …

    I can’t understand how stripping your whole life down to a backpack could possibly be viewed as the “easy way out”

    • Michael on August 11, 2010 at 11:33 am

      I agree.

      Going on a path that’s outside of the norm wasn’t easy to share with others for me at first.

      Backpacking hasn’t been easy at all but it’s at a difficultly and a way of learning that I prefer to live than being in a job I hate.

  15. Eli on July 29, 2010 at 9:28 am

    I can see where you’re coming from. A lot of people can’t really seem to understand why we want to travel. It seems to me to be a social conditioning thing. Most people have it ingrained in their heads that the best way to live life is to climb a career ladder and hopefully have enough money invested at the end to retire comfortably. They criticize traveling becuase it is different. It’s not the majority’s choice, and we live in a society ruled by the norm and the majority.

    • Michael on August 11, 2010 at 10:29 am

      Absolutely. I had to hurdle over a few people telling me I was crazy to quit a well paying job to travel. It was certainly ‘outside the box’ idea within my social circle. Eventually they said “I wish I could do that”.

  16. Eli on July 29, 2010 at 10:28 am

    I can see where you’re coming from. A lot of people can’t really seem to understand why we want to travel. It seems to me to be a social conditioning thing. Most people have it ingrained in their heads that the best way to live life is to climb a career ladder and hopefully have enough money invested at the end to retire comfortably. They criticize traveling becuase it is different. It’s not the majority’s choice, and we live in a society ruled by the norm and the majority.

    • Michael on August 11, 2010 at 11:29 am

      Absolutely. I had to hurdle over a few people telling me I was crazy to quit a well paying job to travel. It was certainly ‘outside the box’ idea within my social circle. Eventually they said “I wish I could do that”.

  17. Andrew on July 29, 2010 at 11:55 am

    I agree with Craig in that it isn’t a “way out”. Way out of what anyway? Way out of life? No. Way out of responsibility? Maybe. Way out of your problems? Yes, sometimes. The thing that my expat move has taught me more than anything is which problems were mine and traveled with me and which were external placed upon me by my situation. I didn’t have fewer problems living abroad, actually ended up with more on average; but I understand them better and have had bigger rewards.

    Even the phrase “easy way out” brings up themes of escaping to me. Travel shouldn’t be an escape, but an entrance into something grander. Ok, maybe that is all high and philosophic, dunno.

    • Michael on August 11, 2010 at 10:37 am

      The problems I have now backpacking might be more compared to when I was working in a cubicle but the problems that I do have I don’t seem to mind as much. And certainly any issues I had before I left still followed me no matter where I went. Travel isn’t an escape from personal issues. Perhaps an escape from the cubicle life though? An escape into happiness for some?

  18. Andrew on July 29, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I agree with Craig in that it isn’t a “way out”. Way out of what anyway? Way out of life? No. Way out of responsibility? Maybe. Way out of your problems? Yes, sometimes. The thing that my expat move has taught me more than anything is which problems were mine and traveled with me and which were external placed upon me by my situation. I didn’t have fewer problems living abroad, actually ended up with more on average; but I understand them better and have had bigger rewards.

    Even the phrase “easy way out” brings up themes of escaping to me. Travel shouldn’t be an escape, but an entrance into something grander. Ok, maybe that is all high and philosophic, dunno.

    • Michael on August 11, 2010 at 11:37 am

      The problems I have now backpacking might be more compared to when I was working in a cubicle but the problems that I do have I don’t seem to mind as much. And certainly any issues I had before I left still followed me no matter where I went. Travel isn’t an escape from personal issues. Perhaps an escape from the cubicle life though? An escape into happiness for some?

  19. lifeinasack.net on July 29, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I don’t see it as a cop-out, rather taking advantage of a situation. If you just graduated college or are in transition between careers, why not go for a few months? It’s a great way to break the doldrums of daily life.

    Not only that, traveling broadens your views and you’ll learn a ton, not only about the places and cultures you visit, but also yourself. Think of it as a growing experience, something that you wouldn’t get sitting in a cube or at home.

    • Michael on August 11, 2010 at 10:44 am

      Yeap. Most definitely a growing experience that can not be obtained at a cubicle or home.

  20. lifeinasack.net on July 29, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I don’t see it as a cop-out, rather taking advantage of a situation. If you just graduated college or are in transition between careers, why not go for a few months? It’s a great way to break the doldrums of daily life.

    Not only that, traveling broadens your views and you’ll learn a ton, not only about the places and cultures you visit, but also yourself. Think of it as a growing experience, something that you wouldn’t get sitting in a cube or at home.

    • Michael on August 11, 2010 at 11:44 am

      Yeap. Most definitely a growing experience that can not be obtained at a cubicle or home.

  21. Jessica Tudzin on August 2, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Travel is the easy way out??!! Of what? Responsibility? What about a responsibility to yourself to live life to the fullest? I have met so many people who don’t have an interest in travel. I personally don’t get that mindset at all. I thought we were all programmed to explore, but it turns out that not all of us have that gene. I feel sorry for those who don’t get it. I can’t imagine a life without travel. It makes reading better, food tastes better, wine tastes better — and it’s all because you’ve gained a frame of reference from traveling. Hey man, when you’re too old to travel, and you’re stuck with just your memories, what do you want them to be? Okay, now go make them.

    • Michael on August 11, 2010 at 10:56 am

      I like what you said about things getting better because of travel. It’s so true. My tastes in food has grown to a new level because of travel.

      • Stephanie Ganea on March 19, 2011 at 7:39 am

        I totally agree with that comment as well. Well said! It’s certainly true!

  22. Jessica Tudzin on August 2, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Travel is the easy way out??!! Of what? Responsibility? What about a responsibility to yourself to live life to the fullest? I have met so many people who don’t have an interest in travel. I personally don’t get that mindset at all. I thought we were all programmed to explore, but it turns out that not all of us have that gene. I feel sorry for those who don’t get it. I can’t imagine a life without travel. It makes reading better, food tastes better, wine tastes better — and it’s all because you’ve gained a frame of reference from traveling. Hey man, when you’re too old to travel, and you’re stuck with just your memories, what do you want them to be? Okay, now go make them.

    • Michael on August 11, 2010 at 11:56 am

      I like what you said about things getting better because of travel. It’s so true. My tastes in food has grown to a new level because of travel.

      • Stephanie Ganea on March 19, 2011 at 8:39 am

        I totally agree with that comment as well. Well said! It’s certainly true!

  23. ChinaMatt on August 5, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I went for the career after college, got a little bored and headed for grad school. After that I had a choice: take a well-paying, but boring job in New Jersey or a low-paying job in China. I chose China because it would help me decide if I wanted to continue teaching in the US (which I do) and it would force me to learn a new language.

    • Michael on August 5, 2010 at 7:46 pm

      Are you still in China? Where in China are you? I start teaching in Xi’an in 3 weeks. I’m pretty excited!

  24. ChinaMatt on August 5, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    I went for the career after college, got a little bored and headed for grad school. After that I had a choice: take a well-paying, but boring job in New Jersey or a low-paying job in China. I chose China because it would help me decide if I wanted to continue teaching in the US (which I do) and it would force me to learn a new language.

    • Michael on August 5, 2010 at 8:46 pm

      Are you still in China? Where in China are you? I start teaching in Xi’an in 3 weeks. I’m pretty excited!

  25. Angie Main on August 7, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Hey! Really like your article. Always had the travel bug and after 12 years of working and lots and lots of thinking decided to just go for it and take a year off to travel the world. Found it a huge decision but knew in my heart of hearts it was the right one. Have just read the book Blink and in some ways agree with the philosophy of it that for the big decisions you should, sometimes, just go with your gut instinct and not pore over it making lists of the pros and cons!
    Travelling is amazing though for me not the easy way out as I have been trying to learn new skills along the route (currently Spanish and to play the charango!) and to learn and try to immerse myself as much as possible in the local culture. For me I appreciate travel so much after so long working hard and not sure if I would appreciate it as much if I hadn’t worked so long before I did! Anyway your article certainly made me think! Angie

    • Michael on August 8, 2010 at 10:09 am

      I been meaning to read that book too.

      I’m attempting the charango as well! I just had a string break and I’m no longer in South America. It’ll be a mission to fix now haha.

      • Angie Main on August 8, 2010 at 10:33 am

        It’s a good read! was thinking it might be a bit of a chore to get through but flew through it as it was super interesting with loads of anecdotes.
        The sizes of charango sizes are 1st – 0.40mm, 2nd 0.60mm, 3rd thick 0.70mm, thin 0.40mm, 4th 0.50mm and 5th 0.70mm. Not sure if this helps! The charango is pretty difficult isn´t it? A

  26. Angie Main on August 7, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Hey! Really like your article. Always had the travel bug and after 12 years of working and lots and lots of thinking decided to just go for it and take a year off to travel the world. Found it a huge decision but knew in my heart of hearts it was the right one. Have just read the book Blink and in some ways agree with the philosophy of it that for the big decisions you should, sometimes, just go with your gut instinct and not pore over it making lists of the pros and cons!
    Travelling is amazing though for me not the easy way out as I have been trying to learn new skills along the route (currently Spanish and to play the charango!) and to learn and try to immerse myself as much as possible in the local culture. For me I appreciate travel so much after so long working hard and not sure if I would appreciate it as much if I hadn’t worked so long before I did! Anyway your article certainly made me think! Angie

    • Michael on August 8, 2010 at 11:09 am

      I been meaning to read that book too.

      I’m attempting the charango as well! I just had a string break and I’m no longer in South America. It’ll be a mission to fix now haha.

      • Angie Main on August 8, 2010 at 11:33 am

        It’s a good read! was thinking it might be a bit of a chore to get through but flew through it as it was super interesting with loads of anecdotes.
        The sizes of charango sizes are 1st – 0.40mm, 2nd 0.60mm, 3rd thick 0.70mm, thin 0.40mm, 4th 0.50mm and 5th 0.70mm. Not sure if this helps! The charango is pretty difficult isn´t it? A

  27. Kelsey Freeman on August 30, 2010 at 8:20 am

    “When you actually think about it, finding a career / job is the easy option.”

    Umm…clearly you haven’t tried to find a job in this job market any time recently…

  28. Kelsey Freeman on August 30, 2010 at 9:20 am

    “When you actually think about it, finding a career / job is the easy option.”

    Umm…clearly you haven’t tried to find a job in this job market any time recently…

  29. Kelsey Freeman on August 30, 2010 at 8:36 am

    I’m going to be a voice of dissent here (because hey, I’m an argumentative person). For me (and, I think, a lot of people), travel is the easy way out.

    Right now, here in the US, what I’m doing is hard: I’m working a shitty job for 45 hours a week that barely pays me over $1000 a month. After my rent, food, and payments toward my debt, I have about $200 per month left over (at best), most of which gets spent traveling on weekends and on my hobbies. It’s hard. I rarely have any time to myself because I work 12pm-8pm and thus don’t have much time in either the morning or the evening, and it’s hard to even have all that much quality time with my partner (because he works normal hours). It’s hard, but I do it because it allows me to stay here and have a life with my partner (who does not have a job/skillset that can be done overseas or on the road) and pursue my hobbies (through which I have many friends).

    By comparison, travel is easy: I could, tomorrow, pack up and move back to Korea to teach English again. I’d have a 20 hour a week job that pays twice what I make here, with next to no living expenses. I could just as easily go to Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal, Argentina, or Slovakia and get a job as a teacher. I wouldn’t earn as much, but again, I’d have more than enough money for a relaxed lifestyle, with a much less stressful job than I have here. It’s really not all that hard to pack up your crap and head overseas, and I have never really understood why so many people make it out to be. Yeah, being surrounded by a foreign language is hard, but you get used to it fast – same with strange food, etc. Travel is the easy way out – the life is easier.

    Now, I haven’t moved back overseas because doing so would mean leaving my wonderful partner of three years behind. I don’t mind us being apart for 3-6 months at a time, but anything beyond that is more than I care to do again (we were apart for a year while I was in Korea). But, my argument still stands: travel is the easy way out, as it doesn’t really require much effort and the lifestyle is a lot less stressful and a lot less effort than life back at home.

  30. Kelsey Freeman on August 30, 2010 at 9:36 am

    I’m going to be a voice of dissent here (because hey, I’m an argumentative person). For me (and, I think, a lot of people), travel is the easy way out.

    Right now, here in the US, what I’m doing is hard: I’m working a shitty job for 45 hours a week that barely pays me over $1000 a month. After my rent, food, and payments toward my debt, I have about $200 per month left over (at best), most of which gets spent traveling on weekends and on my hobbies. It’s hard. I rarely have any time to myself because I work 12pm-8pm and thus don’t have much time in either the morning or the evening, and it’s hard to even have all that much quality time with my partner (because he works normal hours). It’s hard, but I do it because it allows me to stay here and have a life with my partner (who does not have a job/skillset that can be done overseas or on the road) and pursue my hobbies (through which I have many friends).

    By comparison, travel is easy: I could, tomorrow, pack up and move back to Korea to teach English again. I’d have a 20 hour a week job that pays twice what I make here, with next to no living expenses. I could just as easily go to Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal, Argentina, or Slovakia and get a job as a teacher. I wouldn’t earn as much, but again, I’d have more than enough money for a relaxed lifestyle, with a much less stressful job than I have here. It’s really not all that hard to pack up your crap and head overseas, and I have never really understood why so many people make it out to be. Yeah, being surrounded by a foreign language is hard, but you get used to it fast – same with strange food, etc. Travel is the easy way out – the life is easier.

    Now, I haven’t moved back overseas because doing so would mean leaving my wonderful partner of three years behind. I don’t mind us being apart for 3-6 months at a time, but anything beyond that is more than I care to do again (we were apart for a year while I was in Korea). But, my argument still stands: travel is the easy way out, as it doesn’t really require much effort and the lifestyle is a lot less stressful and a lot less effort than life back at home.

  31. Tanya on August 31, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    I agree and I don’t agree. I do agree when you say that it takes lots of courage to leave your 9-5 job to go wandering around the world. As you said, most people spend their life complaining without doing anything about it. On the other hand, as a traveler myself, when things are mundane or not as I’d like them to be, the first thing that comes to mind is to leave everything and travel. It’s my way of sometimes escaping the problem which is not always ideal.

  32. Tanya on August 31, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    I agree and I don’t agree. I do agree when you say that it takes lots of courage to leave your 9-5 job to go wandering around the world. As you said, most people spend their life complaining without doing anything about it. On the other hand, as a traveler myself, when things are mundane or not as I’d like them to be, the first thing that comes to mind is to leave everything and travel. It’s my way of sometimes escaping the problem which is not always ideal.

  33. locations espagne on November 19, 2010 at 12:28 am

    When I used to travel there are so many things which I have to considered my job,family,home etc etc..So its not that much of easy for me..But whenever I get time I mostly take 1 day trips to relax..

  34. locations espagne on November 19, 2010 at 1:28 am

    When I used to travel there are so many things which I have to considered my job,family,home etc etc..So its not that much of easy for me..But whenever I get time I mostly take 1 day trips to relax..

  35. Connie Hum on March 7, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I get that a lot! So many people think I’m running away from responsibility or something when I quit my job and gave up my NYC apartment to travel the world. What they don’t understand is that traveling is just another challenge and it comes with a whole new set of responsibilities. It may be unconventional, but it’s most certainly not an “easy way out”!

    • Tony Bermeo on July 21, 2011 at 8:53 pm

      sometimes unconventional is key

  36. Connie Hum on March 7, 2011 at 9:58 am

    I get that a lot! So many people think I’m running away from responsibility or something when I quit my job and gave up my NYC apartment to travel the world. What they don’t understand is that traveling is just another challenge and it comes with a whole new set of responsibilities. It may be unconventional, but it’s most certainly not an “easy way out”!

    • Tony Bermeo on July 21, 2011 at 9:53 pm

      sometimes unconventional is key

  37. Stephanie Ganea on March 19, 2011 at 8:02 am

    I do agree with a lot of past comments that traveling takes a lot of courage. To leave your home, your family and friends and most of your possessions is not necessarily the ‘easiest way out.’ Traveling in itself is ‘work’ sometimes, as not everyone has the luxury to sit on a beach for an entire year without working or some kind of struggle in the learning process that comes with travel. I think travel is essential if we want to grow to our full potential. What’s more humbling and enriching than embracing and learning from another city or country’s culture?

    I also don’t think traveling can necessarily be considered all that easy, as it’s a hell of a lot harder to give up your life’s security, financial security specifically. Unless you’ve saved up a good chunk of change to go gallivanting across the globe, chances are you will be on a tight budget, having to worry about how you’re going to fund your next exploration or ‘chance to grow,’ not to mention you’re next meal, on a trip and this isn’t always easy. What’s easy is accepting a salary and working 9-5 or any other combination of 8 hours slave work. What’s not easy is giving up a steady paycheck in hopes of seeing the world and learning a thing or two about yourself and all the possibilities out there. I could go on all day about the room for growth and new development of skills etc. that come with travel; it’s infinite really.

    I also fully agree with you when you say, “It’s just the times I hear the constant chirping about being lucky just ribs me. Luck? Grow up. Choice, yes.” I couldn’t agree with you more here. There’s so many people that wallow in their lives and the daily grind and become jealous of you and your traveling, it’s inevitable. But, really who has put them in the situation they are currently in? Who’s preventing them from traveling? Chances are they have a big part to do with it. So pack your backpack or suitcase, take your confidence and sense of adventure and leave the naysayers eat your dust. Maybe they’ll get a postcard if they’re lucky and didn’t doubt you too much. 😉

  38. Stephanie Ganea on March 19, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I do agree with a lot of past comments that traveling takes a lot of courage. To leave your home, your family and friends and most of your possessions is not necessarily the ‘easiest way out.’ Traveling in itself is ‘work’ sometimes, as not everyone has the luxury to sit on a beach for an entire year without working or some kind of struggle in the learning process that comes with travel. I think travel is essential if we want to grow to our full potential. What’s more humbling and enriching than embracing and learning from another city or country’s culture?

    I also don’t think traveling can necessarily be considered all that easy, as it’s a hell of a lot harder to give up your life’s security, financial security specifically. Unless you’ve saved up a good chunk of change to go gallivanting across the globe, chances are you will be on a tight budget, having to worry about how you’re going to fund your next exploration or ‘chance to grow,’ not to mention you’re next meal, on a trip and this isn’t always easy. What’s easy is accepting a salary and working 9-5 or any other combination of 8 hours slave work. What’s not easy is giving up a steady paycheck in hopes of seeing the world and learning a thing or two about yourself and all the possibilities out there. I could go on all day about the room for growth and new development of skills etc. that come with travel; it’s infinite really.

    I also fully agree with you when you say, “It’s just the times I hear the constant chirping about being lucky just ribs me. Luck? Grow up. Choice, yes.” I couldn’t agree with you more here. There’s so many people that wallow in their lives and the daily grind and become jealous of you and your traveling, it’s inevitable. But, really who has put them in the situation they are currently in? Who’s preventing them from traveling? Chances are they have a big part to do with it. So pack your backpack or suitcase, take your confidence and sense of adventure and leave the naysayers eat your dust. Maybe they’ll get a postcard if they’re lucky and didn’t doubt you too much. 😉

  39. Brian on April 7, 2011 at 11:52 am

    “Easy” presupposes many things. It presupposes that someone else is picking up the tab, because it isn’t ‘easy’ to save enough money to sustain your self on the road. Nor is it easy to hold off societal pressures to spend, and accumulate things. It presupposes that travel, especially independent budget travel, is the same thing as a luxury vacation. One may be ‘easy’ but the other is challenging. It presupposes that the traveler is not working, but the reality is that many do. Mostly it presupposes that it is ‘easy’ to choose a minority path, to have priorities and objectives that are quite alien to the world at large. Being different is never ‘easy’ and it never will be.

    • Michael on April 15, 2011 at 3:43 am

      Well said.

  40. Brian on April 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    “Easy” presupposes many things. It presupposes that someone else is picking up the tab, because it isn’t ‘easy’ to save enough money to sustain your self on the road. Nor is it easy to hold off societal pressures to spend, and accumulate things. It presupposes that travel, especially independent budget travel, is the same thing as a luxury vacation. One may be ‘easy’ but the other is challenging. It presupposes that the traveler is not working, but the reality is that many do. Mostly it presupposes that it is ‘easy’ to choose a minority path, to have priorities and objectives that are quite alien to the world at large. Being different is never ‘easy’ and it never will be.

    • Michael on April 15, 2011 at 4:43 am

      Well said.

  41. Nick Berggreen on April 25, 2011 at 10:57 am

    People will find any way to rationalize the mistakes they’ve made so they can avoid admitting to themselves that they’ve led a wasted life.

    For those who do have the “wander bug,” it’s not the easy way out–it’s the ONLY way out.

  42. Nick Berggreen on April 25, 2011 at 11:57 am

    People will find any way to rationalize the mistakes they’ve made so they can avoid admitting to themselves that they’ve led a wasted life.

    For those who do have the “wander bug,” it’s not the easy way out–it’s the ONLY way out.

  43. Sasha on April 30, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    It’s an interesting notion this “travel is the easy way out” of course it’s stupid because travel can be damn hard! It’s not exactly a walk in the park when you realise you’re running out of money, or loose your passport, get mugged, all sorts of things can go wrong with travel, it’s not like it’s just some big relaxed holiday on a tropical island.

    That being said being an Australian I was never told I was “taking the easy way out” when I took a two year gap year, I was never told I was stupid for not going to university and instead working and saving to travel and I was never told I was wasting away my life by moving to China. I wasn’t really aware that there was an anti travel/gap-year stigma until I met other foreigners. Even some of my American friends in China who are the same age of me constantly bang on about the fact I didn’t go to university, “why wouldn’t you go to University? You realise now it’s gonna to be harder to find a job!”….etc Well big deal, I was working my arse off then travelling Europe. What I’ve realised It’s a cultural thing. For Aussies, Kiwi’s and Brits we’re definitely encouraged to take a gap year if we’re not sure about a future career or just want to have a break after 13 years of study before diving back into study stress again! At the careers fairs there are heaps of programs encouraging people to go see the world, not rush into a career. Even many careers advisors tell us in high school that the universities/workplaces found that people who had taken a gap year and travel or lived abroad were much more mature and focused. It makes me happy to be Australian, I never had to put up with people saying I took “the easy way out”, in fact so many of my friends took gap years that if you were the one who didn’t then you were the odd one out!

    • Michael on May 1, 2011 at 7:56 pm

      It really is a cultural thing. Even after two years of travel, back at home people still think what I’m doing is a bit out there and that eventually I’ll “snap back to reality”. In Australia though I found people were really laid back and interested in what I was doing instead of asking me what I was going to do after.

  44. Sasha on April 30, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    It’s an interesting notion this “travel is the easy way out” of course it’s stupid because travel can be damn hard! It’s not exactly a walk in the park when you realise you’re running out of money, or loose your passport, get mugged, all sorts of things can go wrong with travel, it’s not like it’s just some big relaxed holiday on a tropical island.

    That being said being an Australian I was never told I was “taking the easy way out” when I took a two year gap year, I was never told I was stupid for not going to university and instead working and saving to travel and I was never told I was wasting away my life by moving to China. I wasn’t really aware that there was an anti travel/gap-year stigma until I met other foreigners. Even some of my American friends in China who are the same age of me constantly bang on about the fact I didn’t go to university, “why wouldn’t you go to University? You realise now it’s gonna to be harder to find a job!”….etc Well big deal, I was working my arse off then travelling Europe. What I’ve realised It’s a cultural thing. For Aussies, Kiwi’s and Brits we’re definitely encouraged to take a gap year if we’re not sure about a future career or just want to have a break after 13 years of study before diving back into study stress again! At the careers fairs there are heaps of programs encouraging people to go see the world, not rush into a career. Even many careers advisors tell us in high school that the universities/workplaces found that people who had taken a gap year and travel or lived abroad were much more mature and focused. It makes me happy to be Australian, I never had to put up with people saying I took “the easy way out”, in fact so many of my friends took gap years that if you were the one who didn’t then you were the odd one out!

    • Michael on May 1, 2011 at 8:56 pm

      It really is a cultural thing. Even after two years of travel, back at home people still think what I’m doing is a bit out there and that eventually I’ll “snap back to reality”. In Australia though I found people were really laid back and interested in what I was doing instead of asking me what I was going to do after.

  45. Jamie on April 30, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Great insight! When I divulge that my husband and I are moving our family to China for the next two years, and we plan to begin a life of travel, we are met with utter disdain! I’ve felt the harsh glances that accompanying the “You’re a bad parent” thought. But, you are right! It is fear! Why must be so afraid to experience the world? I am tired of living under the veil of sitcoms and 9-5 life. I want my children to develop a real understanding and appreciation for life! We are lucky, we are lucky that fear won’t stop our motivation to experience life!

    • Michael on May 1, 2011 at 7:53 pm

      Very nice. Good to hear you didn’t let others fears attach to you.

  46. Jamie on April 30, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Great insight! When I divulge that my husband and I are moving our family to China for the next two years, and we plan to begin a life of travel, we are met with utter disdain! I’ve felt the harsh glances that accompanying the “You’re a bad parent” thought. But, you are right! It is fear! Why must be so afraid to experience the world? I am tired of living under the veil of sitcoms and 9-5 life. I want my children to develop a real understanding and appreciation for life! We are lucky, we are lucky that fear won’t stop our motivation to experience life!

    • Michael on May 1, 2011 at 8:53 pm

      Very nice. Good to hear you didn’t let others fears attach to you.

  47. Tony Bermeo on July 21, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    This article is great insight. I completely agree. While getting a job and starting your career is without a doubt important, it’s those who think outside the box and explore uncharted mental territories that learn to define themselves.

  48. Tony Bermeo on July 21, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    This article is great insight. I completely agree. While getting a job and starting your career is without a doubt important, it’s those who think outside the box and explore uncharted mental territories that learn to define themselves.

  49. Richard on September 30, 2011 at 2:26 am

    Why spend your whole life worth working and stressing, by the time most people feel they have made it in life, its too late for them to travel and see the world. Ive worked 2 years out the last 4, im sat on a remote beach in the Philppines writing this, most people would say I’m lucky, im not I just made the decision to go, the rest was easy, its all about choices.

  50. Richard on September 30, 2011 at 3:26 am

    Why spend your whole life worth working and stressing, by the time most people feel they have made it in life, its too late for them to travel and see the world. Ive worked 2 years out the last 4, im sat on a remote beach in the Philppines writing this, most people would say I’m lucky, im not I just made the decision to go, the rest was easy, its all about choices.

  51. SamRoberts on October 31, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Couldnt agree more! The amounts of times ive had the ‘You’re so lucky’ and ‘I wish i did it at your age’, really bugs me. The people that think it is easy should give it a shot, but the majority wont because theyll be too scared to leave everything they know behind. If its that easy then go for it, why would anybody want to choose the harder more stressful path. Im only 18, and three days after my 18th i started travelling. Ive been to 4 places soo far, and have worked my ass of in each country, just so i can earn enough money to carry on travelling. A fare few have asked me why not college and university? Travelling teaches you so much about the world and more importantly yourself, more than any college or university can ever teach you. College and University will always be there when and if im ready to choose that path. Taking that first step into travelling was the best choice i have made so far, it was very hard leaving my friends and family, and leaving the place i knew and all my belongings, and even though i still work ridiculous hours,  ive given myself an opportunity to see the world, and i enjoy everything so much more. (note ‘ive given myself the opportunity’ not luck at all). Anyway had my say… Happy Travelling 😀

  52. SamRoberts on October 31, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Couldnt agree more! The amounts of times ive had the ‘You’re so lucky’ and ‘I wish i did it at your age’, really bugs me. The people that think it is easy should give it a shot, but the majority wont because theyll be too scared to leave everything they know behind. If its that easy then go for it, why would anybody want to choose the harder more stressful path. Im only 18, and three days after my 18th i started travelling. Ive been to 4 places soo far, and have worked my ass of in each country, just so i can earn enough money to carry on travelling. A fare few have asked me why not college and university? Travelling teaches you so much about the world and more importantly yourself, more than any college or university can ever teach you. College and University will always be there when and if im ready to choose that path. Taking that first step into travelling was the best choice i have made so far, it was very hard leaving my friends and family, and leaving the place i knew and all my belongings, and even though i still work ridiculous hours,  ive given myself an opportunity to see the world, and i enjoy everything so much more. (note ‘ive given myself the opportunity’ not luck at all). Anyway had my say… Happy Travelling 😀

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