Why You Should Hate Travel
Travel is bad.
There are thousands of websites that will do their absolute best to tell you that this isn’t true, but you can’t shake the fact: travel is bad.
Travel has always been bad. Back in the middle ages, nobody went travelling because they wanted to travel for the sake of it. They went travelling because it was necessary. But today, travel is no longer necessary. The internet has helped us with this. All of the sudden, the world is at our fingertips... and we don’t even need to get out of our chairs. In today’s digitally connected world, it’s perfectly possible for me to make friends in other countries without ever visiting them, see the sights of a country from photographs that someone else has taken, and comment on other cultures using the knowledge we’ve gleaned from other travelers.
If I can do all of this, why should I ever get out of my chair? Why should I go through the hassle of packing my bags, pushing my way through an airport, and taking a plane to a strange land full of strange people who can’t understand a word I say, when I can have the best of everything at the tap of a few keyboard keys?
So now, I’ll give a few reasons why we shouldn’t travel.
1. It’s uncomfortable.
Travel always has been uncomfortable. Back in the day, it meant sitting on a donkey until your thigh-pits were sore, riding on a rickety wooden boat across a stormy ocean, or trekking through jungles and over mountains without a decent pair of shoes. Travel is still uncomfortable today. There are strangers sitting next to you, hacking up a lung. There are strange customs and hand signals that everybody seems to know but you. There are bags to drag across airports; bags that lose wheels on the conveyor and bust open as you’re stepping onto the tarmac. There are children to feed, strange currencies to get used to, gasoline to pay for, pickpockets, giant rats, lawyers, policemen, quicksand, and large bugs. Travel is not comfortable. Some people would say that it’s part of the adventure and fun of travel; to go to strange places; to meet strange people; to do and eat strange things. I’m quite happy here in my bed with my chocolate and coffee, thank you very much.
2. You aren’t exposed to other cultures.
If you never travel to other countries, you are safe from the harmful effects that the differences in culture might have on you and your children. Some people would say that the effect that a new country might have on you is good; that it helps you to expand your horizons. This may actually be true; however, is it worth it? Don’t we do enough weird things already? Do we really need to go travelling around to see the weird things that other countries do? Are we willing to go to so much effort just to see something new? This is what the internet is for! My suggestion is, instead of going surfing in Bermuda, go surfing on the internet and find pictures of Bermuda. Turn on an electric fan to mimic the wind; I’m sure there’s a YouTube video of ocean waves. And although you won’t be able to say to the world, ‘I went surfing in Bermuda,’, you’ll have had a cheap, satisfactory experience, without ever having to leave the comforts of home, or having to go through the trouble of learning how to surf.
3. We’ve got better things to do with our time.
Travel is painstakingly long. You waste days just getting from one place to another, and that’s not counting the time you spend while you stay at those places. There are far more entertaining things to do. Watch television! Eat chips! Sleep in late! Play video games! These are comfortable activities that don’t require any physical or mental work whatsoever. Travel, on the other hand, is completely physical and mental work, although I’ve heard there’s usually a little fun mixed in here and there. On one hand you’re dragging bags and shouldering boxes until your arms are sore, and on the other you’re flipping out because your travel schedule needs to be completely rewritten and you leave in five minutes. Work like this isn’t fun, is it?
So if travel is uncomfortable, culture-shocking, and you can do other things with the time, why does it remain so popular?
Some people would say that, for all the problems there are with travel, it’s worth it because you experience things you would never experience, meet people you would never meet, and do things you would never have done. They would say that travel is educational, and teaches us to think about more than ourselves; that it broadens our horizons and opens our eyes to the differences in the word all around us.
Hooray for them. I’m going to live the comfortable life right where I am, thank you very much. Have fun, out there, in the civilized wilderness... good luck.
William Wellman is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program
All photos courtesy and copyright William Wellman