I have stated before my girlfriend and I hold down regular 9-5 style jobs, 40 hours a week all year long. Now there is some debate in the blogging world as to whether people who travel like this are “real,” travelers or not. Many of the most famous travel bloggers online are the ones who live out of a backpack traveling the world never staying in one place for very long. And while we do hope to one day do this as well right now it’s just not in the cards. I have way to much debt to rely on such an unconfirmed paycheck each month. My girlfriend has, until we started traveling, never really left the area she grew up in and isn’t ready to take on such an overwhelming task until she is a little bit more experienced.
But does that mean we are not travelers and just tourists. Or does it mean we are not travelers because we don’t always travel outside of the country. A lot of the time we travel to destinations within the United States. While we love globetrotting as much as the next person it’s hard for us on our limited income to take more than one big trip a year. But we want to see all we can of this world and luckily for us there is more than enough in this country to see that we probably couldn’t see it all in one lifetime.
What makes a real traveler is the question here though. In my mind the destination or duration of a trip is not what makes a “true,” traveler. No, what makes a traveler is a thirst for new experiences. An inherent need to see the wonders of the world you would not see by staying in your comfort zone. A traveler is one who isn’t content with doing and seeing the same thing day in and day out. We plan our lives around the goal of traveling; whether it be budgeting our monthly expenses, preparing travel plans, or finding extra ways to make money to go one more elaborate trips. We are travelers! No matter what anyone else says or thinks I know we are travelers because it is the most important thing to us.
Believe me we dream of one day getting an RV and traveling for an unlimited amount of time all around the Americas, being debt free and able to backpack around Europe and Asia, or chasing summer for the rest of our lives; but it’s just not in the cards. You can run away from your troubles but when you come back they will be right there waiting for you, so for right now we balance work and “normal,” life with out travel plans.
The question remains though is why is this even an argument? Why are full time travelers so quick to dismiss part time travelers as posers? The love of travel should connect us all through a shared passion, rather than divided us. Full time travelers claim to be so open minded as a result of their travels yet are so quick to blow of this core group of people working so hard to see the world one vacation day at a time.
While I don’t yet have the answer as to why this happens, I am trying to change that mindset. And while I love reading full time travel blogs for fun, I tend to read other part-time travel blogs when planning a trip. For people trying to maintain a full time job and travel a blog like this is very important. Whereas a full time traveler can opt to spend weeks or months discovering all the amazing things an area has to offer, us par-timers learn how to pack a whole lot of experience into a very little bit of time. We can’t just walk down the streets in every part of town to get where we’re going because it may take hours and we wouldn’t get to see everything on our itinerary. Sure you may miss out on some things but you’ll see much more in the time you have. Most importantly though don’t let other people tell you what or who you are. As long as you are getting out in the world and trying something you have never tried before in a new area you have never been to before you are a traveler. You are doing something most people only dream of and you should be proud