Let me first start by asking you a serious question. Have you ever felt shamed in this way, when it comes to travel? I have and it’s been weighing on mind after recently reading an article.
The article I read was about travel/vacation shaming. The title immediately sucked me in, but as I continued reading I realized this happens to me pretty often (both in real life and online). The author not only shared some of the comments she receives due to her love of traveling, but also those of some travel bloggers, writers and people who simply love to vacation and work hard to make their passion a reality.
My frustrations grew as I read the passive aggressive and some down right mean comments people have received because either what they do for a living requires they travel often, or it’s their passion so they have made it a priority and figured out a way to make it a reality. I happen to fall into both categories at times. I travel for business and pleasure.
Since my mind was racing on overdrive after reading the article plus hearing a few things that bothered me, I was inspired to finally share my feelings on this topic of shaming.
What exactly is travel shaming?
Let me give you a little backstory first:
When I was growing up in Philadelphia our family couldn’t afford to travel, and my parents must not have been aware of all these free things to do in Philly.
The wallpaper in my bedroom was a map of the world when I was a kid, and I used to sit and stare at it for hours and dream of all the places I would visit someday.
My Dad would take us on day trips to amusement parks, museums, or the shore, but that was about it. The first time I was ever on a plane wasn’t until I was 19 years old.
I actually used to hate planes because I would get awful ear pain during my first few flights, and now I write about where you can find the best airfare prices.
My how things have changed…
In my early 20’s, after my son was born, I took a job with an insurance company that required me to not only fly often, but fly alone many times. After I had a few solo trips under my belt I was hooked.
Ever since those days travel has been my obsession, especially once I learned some international travel secrets to make it easier and more affordable.
Fortunately I married someone who feels the same way and also encourages that (even though last year I had to remind him of his love for travel).
Thankfully we are in a different situation than my parents were back then and we are able to travel frequently and pass on our wanderlust to our kids.
Traveling holds a special place in my heart, so its tough when I receive negative comments about my lifestyle.
Some of the questions/comments I receive:
- I don’t know/understand how you and your family can afford to travel so much? (It’s not for anyone else to understand)
- Who is paying for your travel? (None of your business)
- Must be nice to travel so often. (Yes, it really is because I have dreamed of this since I was a little girl)
- You guys are so lucky. (I wish people knew how hard we work to be able to make our travels happen)
- There must be something wrong since you travel without your husband and kids. (Nope)
- Who is “watching” your kids while you are traveling? (Luckily they have two Dads, so we’ve got it covered)
- I can’t believe you pull your kids out of school to travel. (They both get great grades in school, plus are well-traveled)
- You are going away again? I don’t know many moms who would just leave their kids like that. (That’s my favorite)
There are many more, but I am sure you get the point.
Now don’t get me wrong I have no problem with people asking me about my travels or how I found a particular deal, like this Paris trip, (because I am really good at that), in fact I welcome those questions.
However, what I do have a problem with are the snarky, intrusive and even cruel comments I sometimes receive for doing something that makes me happy, brings me joy and doesn’t infringe upon anyone else’s livelihood, like visiting Disney fairly often.
One of my main goals and hopes by sharing my love for travel is to encourage people to get out and see the world, both near and far and with only a carry on.
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Have you ever felt shamed?
Have you felt shamed before, whether it was for travel or in some other way, especially when it comes to doing something you love?
There are so many ways people shame others and after I asked this question in my InstaStories I received quite the response.
People shared that they have been shamed for things in their life such as:
- biblical beliefs
- not working outside of the home
- working outside of the home
- for being introverted
- being “geeky”
- their pets
- quitting a corporate job and not using their degree
- not renewing a special license
- choosing to skip family events due to sick kids
- deciding to breastfeed (or deciding not to breastfeed)
Have you ever felt shamed in this way like me but are ready to keep on traveling?
You don’t always have to understand or accept what people are doing, but please ask your questions minus the sarcasm.
As much as I am glad to hear I am not alone, it saddens me when I see people putting their energy and effort into worrying about others in a negative way. No one should feel shamed for doing what they enjoy, but instead should feel supported.
Here is a favorite quote of mine, which has become my life’s mantra over the past 20 years: “Stay far from timid, only make moves when you heart’s in it, and live the phrase sky’s the limit.” – Biggie Smalls