Travelling long haul has become much more accessible over the last few decades, with more people going further afield for their holidays, but with long haul flights still costing as much as the average person's monthly wage, not everyone can afford to spontaneously pack their bags and fly halfway across the world. A few days ago I had a conversation with a few friends about holidays which lead to everyone reeling off lists of exotic places they had visited. When I then told them that the furthest place I had visited is Europe besides a press trip to Thailand (which I'm very honest about and admit I probably couldn't afford it back then) I was met with a look of bewilderment and it made me feel really uneasy. I have never been to America, Australia, most of Asia or the Caribbean, but does this mean my travels are any less significant? Everyone says that travel is an 'enlightening' experience and that you're a much more rounded person for travelling to places that are off the radar, but there's still plenty of culture for people to absorb by just visiting Europe alone.
As an amateuer travel blogger I feel quite a lot of pressure to go on exotic holidays and take Instagram shots of myself donning a floppy hat straddling across an infinity pool. I feel less of a travel blogger because my flights are two hours not 12 and I'm not constantly in the air.
There's so much pressure to live up to what everyone else believes you should be doing in your twenties and having a materialistic life. It's the same when it comes to what clothes we wear and what handbag we own. Instagram plays a huge part in this as many people use their timelines as a way to showcase their extravagant lives, but what we don't always see is the credit card debt, the amount of 'gifted holidays' especially with bigger influences and whether they are honest about whether they could afford their stays in the first place. Of course, for every five influencers that want to brag about their holidays, there's a dozen who have saved hard for years to afford their travels. We can never really know what goes on behind the scenes and because of that, we should try hard not to beat ourselves up about trying to live someone elses idea of a perfect lifestyle.
Long story short, it is okay not to be able to afford or even want to fly further afield. People have different circumstances and it shouldn't make you feel any less of a person. We shouldn't be made to feel like our only chance of enlightenment is fly halfway around the world. Travel is about what you make of it and if you travel somewhere, even if it is an hour away and make precious memories that you will love and remember for the rest of your life, that shouldn't be deemed insignificant. You have your whole life to travel, don't allow anyone make you feel bad for waiting a bit longer than others.