"Did you know, you can quit your job, you can leave university? You aren’t legally required to have a degree, it’s a social pressure and expectation, not the law, and no one is holding a gun to your head. You can sell your house, you can give up your apartment, you can even sell your vehicle, and your things that are mostly unnecessary. You can see the world on a minimum wage salary, despite the persisting myth, you do not need a high paying job. You can leave your friends (if they’re true friends they’ll forgive you, and you’ll still be friends) and make new ones on the road. You can leave your family. You can depart from your hometown, your country, your culture, and everything you know. You can sacrifice. You can give up your $5.00 a cup morning coffee, you can give up air conditioning, frequent consumption of new products. You can give up eating out at restaurants and prepare affordable meals at home, and eat the leftovers too, instead of throwing them away. You can give up cable TV, Internet even. This list is endless. You can sacrifice climbing up in the hierarchy of careers. You can buck tradition and others’ expectations of you. You can triumph over your fears, by conquering your mind. You can take risks. And most of all, you can travel. You just don’t want it enough. You want a degree or a well-paying job or to stay in your comfort zone more. This is fine, if it’s what your heart desires most, but please don’t envy me and tell me you can’t travel. You’re not in a famine, in a desert, in a third world country, with five malnourished children to feed. You probably live in a first world country. You have a roof over your head, and food on your plate. You probably own luxuries like a cellphone and a computer. You can afford the $3.00 a night guest houses of India, the $0.10 fresh baked breakfasts of Morocco, because if you can afford to live in a first world country, you can certainly afford to travel in third world countries, you can probably even afford to travel in a first world country. So please say to me, “I want to travel, but other things are more important to me and I’m putting them first”, not, “I’m dying to travel, but I can’t”, because I have yet to have someone say they can’t, who truly can’t. You can, however, only live once, and for me, the enrichment of the soul that comes from seeing the world is worth more than a degree that could bring me in a bigger paycheck, or material wealth, or pleasing society. Of course, you must choose for yourself, follow your heart’s truest desires, but know that you can travel, you’re only making excuses for why you can’t. And if it makes any difference, I have never met anyone who has quit their job, left school, given up their life at home, to see the world, and regretted it. None. Only people who have grown old and regretted never traveling, who have regretted focusing too much on money and superficial success, who have realized too late that there is so much more to living than this."
Wunderkammer: Did You Know (via realquiet)
Some people have health problems that make travelling impossible or impracticable. If you have any of the many, many, many physical or mental conditions which require consistent supervision and treatment, you are not going to be in a position to up and leave. Getting access to care takes time and stability. You can’t just rock up wherever and expect to get an appointment and be dispensed whatever meds you need to keep you going. You can’t expect the whole world to have the facilities you need to keep up with your treatments or to deal with any emergencies. Even conditions which are easily managed in someone’s day to day life - something like diabetes, say - can still mean travelling in some parts of the world is out of the question. And then there’s the matter of continuity of care, of staying with physicians who know your medical history and your needs.
Some people are in situations that make travelling impossible or impracticble. There are people who are only able to afford to live in a first world country because it is a first world country, and without support from the state in the form of income support or healthcare or whatever else they would be dropped (further) into poverty, and would suffer. Getting that kind of support anywhere requires a permanent address and full-time residency. To up and leave is not an option (even if the person in question has the financial means to do so - and that may be unlikely). Not everyone has a salary, even a minimum wage salary.
Some people have duties to others that make travelling impossible or impracticable. If you’re a carer, if you’re the only one looking after your parent or sibling or SO or child, then abandoning them to travel the world isn’t going to be an option. Sure, you could leave your family, but what would happen to them?
Conclusion: not everyone is free to travel the world. To have the health and the financial resources and the lack of commitments to allow you to up and leave is a privilege. To suggest otherwise reeks of ableism. There are reasons people don’t travel which have nothing to do with superficiality and material wealth and everything to do with survival.
(Source: susannacole, via icarus-flew)