All too often I find myself sat at my laptop or on my phone or on the computer during my lunch break at work looking up flights and accommodation in far-off countries. When I’m working, all I’m thinking about is the money I’m earning and saving for my (fingers crossed) big move abroad next year (watch this space – more info on that when the time comes!). So when it comes to people questioning my passion for the foreign and unknown, or professing their distaste for going abroad, I am completely stumped.
Foreign languages and thus cultures have played a huge role in my life for over ten years, and travelling abroad even longer. I excelled in languages all throughout secondary school and I’ve just completed a degree in French and Spanish, ultimately giving a multicultural, global direction to my life and career. I’ve lived abroad in two different countries, and I’ve been to the other side of the world. I cannot imagine a life without travel or a desire to get out there and see all the corners of the beautiful planet we live on. But some people don’t share my passion and simply aren’t enamoured by the thought of hopping on a plane and seeing where they land (obviously not possible, but you get the sentiment). Their internet bookmarks are not filled with travel blogs, AirBnB and SkyScanner, and they’ve never had to condense their life into just 25kg.
No-one likes to be judgemental, but it’s a part of our human nature. You judge people on their appearance when you first meet them, you judge them on their voice, what they say, where they come from, what they do for work. We judge people on their life choices, and one of these, for me, is whether or not someone wants to travel or not. I just can’t wrap my head around the thought that some people, who have the chance, just don’t want to see anywhere else. People who say “ooh that’s amazing, I could never do that” (when they can) and people who restrict themselves because of family or partners (it’s your life – live it), and those people who simply just don’t want to go abroad for no particular reason. I am loath to admit it, but in the first moment of hearing them say those things I judge them and look down on them.
It’s a terrible thing, looking down on someone, and I don’t meant to do it. Of course, I know that the travel lifestyle isn’t for everyone, and everyone has their own interests which sometimes don’t include foreign foods and exotic places. But for someone within whom it is so ingrained and natural to be interested by these things, it’s often hard for me to accept that people can actually live this way and be happy and fulfilled. I feel terrible for looking down on these people, albeit for just a split second. It is their decision and the way they want to live their lives and I should, and do, respect that. But I guess I am a lifestyle snob, because I can’t 100% comprehend the desire to stay in your one country, in your one town, your whole entire life.