While traveling, I would often come across people who are traveling long-term. Believe me, I admire these people and sometimes wish I could do the same. What irritates me is the arrogance of some travelers who have the luxury of time. Today, someone said to me, “Flying is not real traveling.” Yes, because you have all the time in the world, 18 hour bus rides are doable. And I get that having the locals gawk at you is an unique experience, but to disqualify someone else’s experience as “not real travel” is rather presumptuous. This, coming from a man who came into someone else’s house and asked for coffee and started to eat food without asking, tells me that I should dismiss it. But what bothers me is the general perception that if you’re not spending a month traveling around a country, living on a commune, traveling by the most arduous route possible, or spending a year wandering the world, then your travel is somewhat less than that of others.
To that, I’d like to say “fuck off.” As people who have the luxury of time and money to travel, coming to places like Vietnam emphasizes the fact that the majority of the world does not have that luxury. Having a place that grounds you does not mean that your life is limited. Knowing where I’m going next on my travel does not make you more of a free-spirit.Life has many possibilities and alternatives, that you travel and the way you travel are only one of many.