Scrolling through Facebook during one of my adventures, a curious question crossed my mind – what defines travel?
I am a member of various travel blog groups as well as groups for female solo travellers and there is often some contention about what travelling is. Can you think of yourself as travelling, or enjoying travel, if you never leave your home country? Can you really identify as a travel enthusiast if you don’t go away for months at a time? Does going back to somewhere that you’ve been before make you any less of a traveller? Are you really seeing the world if you only go to cities, beach resorts or isolated hideaways?
The definition of travel is, quite literally, “make a journey”.
Therefore by definition all of the above count as travelling. Furthermore I think that we should encourage and support all of the above to be recognised as travelling and respected.
As far as I’m concerned, travel is a very personal thing and that is what makes it so wonderful. It is so diverse and so flexible that it can literally be tailored to any lifestyle. Travel is the kind of hobby that can meet any time frame, any interests and can be as far in or out of your comfort zone as you want it to be. The main barrier to pursuing travel is money but I think that there is always a way to make it happen, you might just have to wait a little longer.
So my message to the people on social media (and presumably real life) who try to make people feel that their version of travel is not valid is:
Just because you want to, and are able to, spend six month exploring the jungles of South America does not mean that that is for everyone. It is not in some people’s natures to want to pack up and leave for long periods of time. It is not in some people’s natures to want to travel across the globe. Some just want to explore their own continent or country. How many people really know every corner of their own country? Six months travelling around South America is just as valid a travelling experience to cityhopping in Europe, or to spending long weekends exploring different corner of you’re own country. In fact if anything I would say that the latter is incredibly important, because I’m sure you can’t really appreciate what the world has to offer if you don’t understand your homeland.
So to anybody who wants to experience travelling I urge you to go forth and spread your wings however much you are comfortable, to stay true to you and to not let anybody make you feel as if your adventures aren’t valid.