Great reasons not to travel

Danger sign in Wai-o-Tapu thermal reserve

I’ve been travelling for over two years now, but it took me a while to get round to getting started on the long term travelling jaunt.

It was always something I wanted to do, but at a point in the future when the time seemed “right”. So I would put it off.

The issue with this approach is that the time may never actually seem right, and suddenly you realise that the right time was at any point in the past.

So here are some great reasons that you can give yourself not to travel, and even better reasons why you should ignore them and just go for it!

Because your job needs you

I know, the company you work for loves you. The whole place is liable to fall apart the moment you get away. Why else do you need to work those long hours? Sometimes you don’t even take the vacation days that are available!

If any of this sounds familiar, take some breaths. No-one, whatever your company may tell you, is irreplaceable (scratch that if you’re self employed ;)). The company you work for will be more than capable of replacing you should you leave.

Banksy Rat Race

Sure, it may cost them some time in training, and they would rather not go through the hassle, but at the end of the day, a job is just a job. Your life, your experiences and your happiness should be your priority, not the bottom line of a company where you happen to spend the majority of your time.

Your family responsibilities are too great

I hold my hands up. I don’t have kids, or family ties that hold me back from fulfilling my dreams. But time and again I have read, heard about, and met travellers who are having an absolute whale of a time travelling around the world with family in tow.

Yes, travelling with kids presents a whole number of unique challenges, but it is absolutely more than do-able, even for long term expeditions.

Girl with balloon

You can’t afford it right now

Ah, money. It seems unfair that we spend so much time earning it, and have so little time to spend it. And yes, I admit, travel does require some funds to achieve.

But you can travel for far less than you think. Head to South America or Asia, and your travel budget will probably go an awful lot further than you might imagine. On top of that, there are countless guides and posts from travel bloggers who have been there and done that, offering you advice, ideas and tips for saving money.

Menu prices

If you are really strapped for cash, why not think about earning as you go? The working holiday visa scheme, for example, lets you work and travel in a whole number of different places.

If you’re not eligible to take part in that, other organisations, such as VSO, can help you get an unforgettable experience. Sure, it may not be all beaches and sipping cocktails, but it’s going to be pretty darn memorable all the same.

You may even have a skillset that is portable, that lets you work from wherever you are. However you achieve it, don’t let a lack of funds hold you back from achieving your dreams.

It’s too scary

I am told on a semi-regular basis that I must be awfully brave to do what I do. I’m not totally convinced by this. Anyone who has met me I am sure will let you know that I am hardly the gung ho crazy type. Well, ok, maybe a little.

A scary drop

But seriously, travel these days is easy. Anyone can do it. Millions of people are roaming the globe. Something like 100,000 55+ year old people are currently driving around Australia in campervans, the so called grey nomads. There is a destination and experience out there to suit every taste.

What the hell will you do when you get back?

I know, planning for the future is an Important Thing To Do. With pensions and all that important stuff. And if you don’t do it, well, you’ll be living in a cardboard box in your eighties whilst all those people who did squirrel away their monies will be dropping cold coins on your head, or refusing to buy your copy of the Big Issue.

Actually, I have no response to that. It may be that I end up on the streets living in a cardboard box. But that could happen anyway. No job is entirely secure. But these days, a career break of one or two years is hardly a resume destroyer. Many employers may look upon it favourably – some may even offer a sabbatical as an option.

It may be that after travelling for a while, you decide you want to do something else with your life anyway – replace the office walls with something a bit different. Who knows. Life is an amazing adventure. Don’t be afraid to treat it as such.


You’ve left it too late

Having spent all that time waiting for the right time, you have now decided you are “too old” to travel. Please. No-one is too old to travel, or do anything for that matter. Take Hugh Hefner for example. Well, ok, maybe he’s not the greatest example. But still. Age is no barrier to hitting the road. See my aforementioned Grey Nomads example. And there are plenty more examples where they came from!

The sands of time

Your friends / relatives / pet think it’s a bad idea

Change is a scary thing. Routine is not. Routine is easy. Your wish to break away from routine, and make some kind of massive change in your life, is not only scary to you, it is scary to other people too. You are going against the norm. People will react to this, some positively, some negatively.

Don’t let what other people think get in the way of achieving what you want to achieve. Take their advice on board, hear them out, and then work out what you want to do with your life. After all, you’re the one who has to live it!

The Norm is Watching

Well, I’ve gone on long enough. My point, I hope, has been well made, and it’s a point that extends far beyond just travelling. I’m not saying travelling is right for everyone. But if you ever find yourself wishing, dreaming, or wondering how you could achieve something, don’t waste time thinking of reasons why you can’t do it. Focus your efforts on making the dream come true instead, I promise you, it’ll be more than worth it!

As always, I’d love to hear your feedback on any of the above. Shout out your thoughts and feelings in the comments below.

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  1. Nice post, Laurence!

    I badly wanna travel all around the world (I'd like travelling forever!), but I admit that I often find myself thinking about what the hell I will do when I get back.

    Aynway, I think you forgot the most important reason not to travel: what should I do with my girlfriend? I don't want her to come with me, because I know this is not her dream, it's mine, and she wouldn't be happy after all, and I don't wanna leave her behind, because I love her. I think about this every single day and I cannot find a solution.

    I guess I need more time to decide, or wait until I get mad!


  2. Thanks!

    The thing is my gf is the kind of person who likes relax travelling, like visiting resorts and so. And I love looking for adventures. It's difficult mixing both things. And she feels bad if I travel alone.

    I think the final solution will be a not happy ending :(

  3. There are so many reasons not to travel but so many more to travel. My friends and family all use the reasons you have given to try and convince me to put down some roots. What will I do when I come home is the main one - I reply 'who said anything about coming home?'

  4. That's an excellent response Mike! Luckily I have a nomadic family
    anyway, so home has always been a fairly moot idea! When we do gather
    together, wherever that place is becomes our home for the time we share
    together, plus, our many adventures give us a whole lot of stuff to talk
    about :)

  5. Excellent stuff. Thanks for the post!

  6. Great list....I'll admit that a few of them have held me back for a while, but that is slowly peeling away:)

  7. Eric and I figure we'll make a living in our impoverished old age by sharing stories from a lifetime of travel on a kind of never-ending vaudeville circuit of nursing homes....

  8. There are always going to be reasons not to travel, I mainly just call them excuses :)

  9. Awesome. These are just those excuses that keep everyone living 'vicariously' through us and not doing it for themselves!

  10. Great article Laurence! Truly hope you inspired a few people to get off their butts!

  11. My pet definitely thinks it's a bad idea. She tells me every time I come back from traveling. ;) Great post.

  12. Preach! My god, to people actually think their companies need them? LOL

  13. I'm about to take off on an open-ended journey (eek! Less than two weeks from today!) and definitely asked myself all of these questions!

  14. Don't inspire too many people to travel, mate. It's already crowded enough out there as it is!! :)

  15. Such a great list! I'm nearing almost 2 years on the road as well and I wouldn't change it for anything!

    I hope this list inspires at least one person to make the leap!

  16. So true... and even though sometimes traveling can be dangerous, if you're aware of your surroundings, you should be fine, and if you're not, you'll learn a lesson that will change you life completely, and in the end it's worth it anyway! see what I mean:


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