Dear Experienced Travelers,
I hope you realize how blessed you are. Blessed with the financial ability, blessed with many vacation days, blessed with a fantastic ability to research and budget (and follow that budget), and even blessed with living somewhere so close to other countries (talking to you, Europeans). I hope you are grateful for all of the exciting things you’ve experienced, the beautiful places you’ve seen, and the lovely (and maybe not so lovely) people you have met. After being involved in a travel-based community for almost a year, it breaks my heart to hear so many complaints about such little things… Things that so many people, even in first world countries, will never experience.
Dear Experienced Travelers… I hope you realize that everyone is different and has their own style of traveling. It’s absolutely wrong to judge someone for how they like to travel, or anything for that matter. As long as we are treating people and cultures with kindness and respect, does it really matter what they choose to see? Some people love seeing big capital cities, and seeing the iconic sites and buildings, while others love the small-town feel. Some love being fully prepared on a week-long trip, while others enjoy the backpacking lifestyle. The traveler vs tourist debate is absolutely silly, and quite honestly, can get mean and disrespectful. A person isn’t any less or worse of a person because they choose to see and do things differently than you.
Sure, it’s great to encourage others to step a little bit outside of their comfort zone. It’s also equally as important to realize that everybody has a different comfort zone. Not everybody is going to want to skydive, try fermented local delicacies, or ditch a map and get lost in a new city.
Dear experienced travelers, please understand that not everyone has the luxury of a 2 + week vacation. Others can only do a short 3 day trip to see the popular sites. I hope you understand that everyone lives different lives, and we all have different situations… and that’s okay.
Dear experienced travelers, if any of these apply to you, please know I still love you. You’re still loved and valued, even if you have said or thought some of these things. We’re all human and we all make mistakes. The main point is we can ALL take some time to become better people for ourselves and the world around us.