Am I Running Away? *Travel Shaming* and More!

Hi there! Feels like quite sometime since I updated you guys. A lot has been happening lately but I will be back fully, I promise.

So, am I running away?

I had a recent experience with someone who was brutally honest with me and told me that she thought people who traveled were insecure in their own lives and wanted to run away from their problems. She said she was worried that might be the case for me. Her concern had me thinking about this and all the other times people in my circle had expressed similar concerns.

So, it is possible to spend money, go experience something new and exciting which you believe adds value to your life and it can still be considered as being insecure or running away? Now don’t get me wrong, I do not consider traveling to be a noble cause to be applauded. It is a personal choice, a lifestyle for me and nothing else.

Am I upset by this misconception? No.  I just want to point out to you how an innocent lifestyle choice can easily be misconstrued and misunderstood. Nevertheless, if you are passionate about it and it hurts no one, do it.

Travel shaming is a thing and whether you like it or not, people do it. They will consistently question your life’s choices, especially when they do not understand it. I have heard them all; statements like,

“Can’t you sit your a** somewhere”

“Won’t you go broke?”

“How many more vacation days do you need?”

Didn’t you just get back?”

“Give the money to charity”

“Focus at work”

and my personal favorite – “How will you find a husband if you do not stay in one place?”.  

Sometimes it comes from a genuinely good place but other times its just being plain judgmental.

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The moment in my life when I realized that no matter how you choose to live your life today, people will always find something wrong to say, was the beginning of true freedom.

So, dear friends,

I am not running away from my problems or insecurities. I am however, running towards a life full of endless possibilities, learning and fulfillment. There is a big world outside of my domain and I am determined to see it all, you should too.

We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.

Love always,

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About the author

Working Professional by day, Travel Blogger by night. Here, I share my personal life and travel experiences as well as helpful tips to help readers start their own travel journey. Want to talk? Contact me on info@theufuoma.com. Don’t be a stranger!

20 Comments

  1. Ufuoma! That GIF! LMAO

    Ugh.
    I sincerely wish people would just mind their business more, y’know?

    Like.

    Is it your consign?!
    Thought not.

    Love and light always. <3

  2. I can totally relate! It’s so annoying when people are so judgemental, but I guess we’ve all just got to shrug it off and keep living a life that makes us happy 🙂

  3. Girl, I relate to this on so many levels! I’ve been told by more than a few people that I’m clearly just running away from my problems. But in reality, I’m running towards the life I want. People think that just because it doesn’t fit the rigid lines of what they were told to want, then there must be something wrong. But hey, we’ll just keep living the dream over where while they continue their regular lives!

  4. Oh man, I haven’t experienced much travel shaming from family and friends but if anyone ever suggested I “donate the money to charity” I might suggest they do the same with the money they spent on their new flat screen TV. No one has the right to tell you how to spend your money, and you’re right, experiences are so enriching. You do you, girl!

  5. I’ve felt the same way before! This post puts a lot of my same thoughts into words. It’s so hard to explain to people why travel is so fulfilling! Thanks for sharing!

  6. I’ve gotten aaalllll of these questions! My favourite is “How will you find a husband if you do not stay in one place?”, too! I love how you’ve put everything out there. And it’s so true, people are always going to judge, no matter what we do. So let’s just keep on travelling!

  7. I never knew that there was people travel shamed. But of course they do,like they do anything they don’t understand.
    I hope to start to travel more next year by God’s grace.

  8. The only travel shaming I get is that I “just waste my money”, or “why don’t you just give back that money to your family/to the charities”. Which is still pretty annoying. And I only travel once every few months, I can’t imagine what travel shaming other long term travelers get. Thanks for sharing your perspective!

    xx, Richel Goes Places

    1. ‘I just waste my money’ is definitely the most prominent one that I get and honestly, it gets old.

      Thanks for reading, Richel.

  9. I also didn’t know about ‘travel shaming’ – as a word until I began blogging in the travel space. In the past, I would get a little upset about it, even thinking about a recent conversation I had with a friend about balanacing work and travel annoys me. I wouldn’t get into the details of it here but yes, like you said, sometimes, it comes from a good place. Other times, not so much.

    Anyway, since I am looking for ‘oyinbo’ husband, I better start travelling more! 😛

    1. It is a thing, even though a little subtle but it does bite. Don’t let it get to you. I have somehow managed to develop a very thick skin and can hardly be bothered.
      Haha! Good luck finding ‘oyinbo’ husband. Invite meeee because I know it’s gonna be a destination wedding and another ‘excuse’ to travel. Haha!

  10. This is weird and I never even thought people travel shamed. But now that I think about it, I guess they do. I just think ‘shaming’ is too strong a word. But yes, I’ve heard of people say ‘ where are you going to’; ‘sit in one place’ spend your money on better things (like a house) etc etc. I also heard someone say to my friend who travels quite a bit’ if you’ve gone to all of these places o your own, where will your husband take you!!’ Looool. People must learn to respect others’ choices!

    http://www.KacheeTee.com
    Staycaytion in Cornwall, England – So Pretty!

    1. Maybe shaming is a rather strong word but yeah, it does exist. LOL at the comment made to your friend. I have definitely heard that before. It’s funny! I mean, sometimes it comes from a good place but like you rightfully said, people need to respect the choices of others.
      Thanks for stopping by, Kachee!

  11. I love your articles. You add value to people’s lives by letting them see different parts of the world through your lenses. I did not realize travel-shaming was a thing until this post. Well, one day, we will all grow old- and I say this because I hung out with my 90+ year old grandma for sometime before she passed–we will grow old and all we will have left are the memories we made. Old people repeat the same experiences over and over! Now would we rather tell out boredom-prone grandkids about the time we sat our butts at home or the time we had mofongo for breakfast in Ol’ San Juan!
    Haha! Lighten up, travel-shamers!

    pagesbyike.com

    1. Hahaha! “Lighten up, travel-shamers!” Indeed!
      Absolutely love this comment! It reminds me of one of my favorite songs, “One Day by Asaf Avidan”. It goes like this, “One day baby we’ll be old, oh baby we’ll be old, think of all the stories that we could have told.”
      And yes to not boring our grandkids out with stories of when we sat our butts at home! Lol.

      Thanks for stopping by, Ike!

  12. Welcome back girlie! Always nice to read your travel articles. Nice to hear your perspective because I thought these things also. Lifestyle choices will always be questioned but if it makes you happy why not?

    1. Thank you Ronke! It’s great to be back from the one-week hiatus!
      Yes, lifestyle choices will always be questioned but passion always prevails, doesn’t it?

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