Five Barriers I Have to Overcome to Travel the World

If I had a dollar for every time someone tells me, “you’re so lucky” in reference to my travels, I’ll probably have enough money to overcome one barrier listed in this post. Travel may seem like such an effortless act from the outside, but there are hurdles to overcome, at least for me.

While I am thankful for the privilege to travel, there are certain barriers that make it challenging for me to travel. Wondering what they are and how I overcome them? Keep on reading.

Topic: Five barriers I have to overcome to travel the world.

1.) Holding a “weak” passport

I talk a lot about my Nigerian passport and how it is sometimes frustrating to travel with. As I travel more, I find ways to navigate the challenges, but it doesn’t get easier. Having to apply for visas, get the proper documentation, and wait for a decision to be made, is quite discouraging, but I persist.

How I overcome: I have a solid travel plan for the year, apply for visas months in advance, and have a US visa that gives me access to some cool countries.

READ: How I maximize my Nigerian passport

2.) Limited finances

I wish I had a ton of unlimited disposable income that I could put towards my travels but that isn’t the case. I am not a beneficiary of a special trust fund (sadly) and I have other life commitments and financial responsibilities to attend to. What this means is, funds are limited and must be allocated properly. While travel can be affordable, it isn’t exactly cheap.

How I overcome: I spend smart and plan properly. I also say no to activities I have no interest in. I try to minimize my daily expenses, and save as much as I can.

READ: How to fund your travels

3.) A full-time job

I work full time (Mondays through Fridays, 9 am to 5 pm) at a global technology company and spend most of my time at the office. Sometimes I wish I could travel for longer periods of time, but I have 22 days of paid vacation to work with. This results in shorter trips, limited travel time, and sometimes forfeiting travel plans for another time.

How I overcome: I put a solid plan in place at the start of every year and arrange vacations on long weekends to maximize my time off. I also take weekend trips and use up all my vacation time.

READ: How I travel while working full time

4.) The color of my skin

I haven’t been on the receiving end of any significant racial profiling while traveling but I will be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly conscious about the color of my skin while traveling to certain countries. The consciousness comes from knowing that there are certain stereotypes attached to people who look like me.

How I overcome: I try my best to be law-abiding, have all the proper documentation, and try to blend in as much as possible. This way, I can avoid any form of profiling as much as I can, or at least try to.

5.) My gender

Traveling as a woman is still somewhat a big deal and something to overcome, yes, in 2018. There are times when I have been catcalled while walking the streets of certain countries and been treated differently because of my gender. It also limits my travel experiences because I sometimes have to pass on experiencing the nightlife of a new city while traveling solo because of the possible risks associated.

How I overcome: By staying empowered with knowledge. Knowledge is my secret weapon, as well as being super vigilant and aware of my surroundings.

READ: What you probably didn’t know about women traveling the world

Regardless of the above mentioned barriers, I still love to travel because the experiences trump the drawbacks, ten times over. And you know what they say? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I hope you are inspired to go on adventures despite the possible hurdles you may have to cross.

“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” – An African Proverb

What about you? What barriers do you have to overcome to travel? I’ll love to hear from you in the comments below.

Until next time,

Thank you for reading,

 

 

 

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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!

16 Comments

  1. Thankfully I haven’t experienced any of the barriers you have, but I can certainly sympathize! I love that you’ve included how you’ve overcome these barriers.. No doubt it will empower and motivate others with similar concerns!

  2. I’m fully with you 🙂 on points 2, 3 and 5 ! I’m a full time worker and a part time Travel blogger… The good thing is that I work for a worldwide company allowing me to attend workshop and training everywhere in the world and keep on travelling even at work ;-). Finance is also very big on my list !

  3. I love that you’ve shared with us how you overcome these barriers. Even though it’s difficult, you persist – that is true passion for traveling right there 🙂
    I also love that final quote “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors”. I’m going to remember that 🙂

  4. This is so motivational! I love it. Thanks so much for the share and keep up the hard work. Happy travels! ✈️

  5. smooth seas is one of my favorite quotes! This is great to think about, its all about prioritzing. We are traveling (AGAIN) in a week and everyone is like “What?” But we make it a priority with our time and finances.

  6. Having a weak passport seems like such a hassle. No fun at all! I’m blessed that I travel on an Australian passport. Congrats for pushing through!

  7. I’m sorry you have to deal with barriers related to your skin color, gender and passport — that shouldn’t happen! I totally relate to the limited vacation time and money though. 22 days is actually pretty good here in the U.S. — when I started working I only got 10 days, and even that was considered a lot.

  8. Great post and unbelievably we have the same 5 challenges! I also hold a weak passport, I am Asian, I am a woman, I work full time and I don’t have an endless pool of money. But you know what, it just makes the travel that we actually do all the more exciting and cherished. And the other thing I always have to remind myself is that where I live is an amazing place to visit too so I like taking weekend trips to discover my own back yard!

  9. Important lists! But I am envious of you having 22 days of vacation. In the U.S. we have only 14 days for the year!!!! Imagine that 🙁

  10. FINANCE is very big on my list, especially living in Nigeria where travelling to a West African country is as expensive as a travelling to a different continent. One thing i do is visit two countries at the same time .

    Getting a three way ticket helps too, like flying emirates to United Kingdom, there will always be a stopover, i might as well spend few days in Dubai.

    Great tips baby girl.

  11. Limited finances is a big one. Lool @ not having a trust.

    I think one of the biggest barriers I have is indecisiveness. Sometimes I’m spontaneous with planning, other times I can’t decide for weeks if to book a ticket, even when there’s a great deal staring at me. So this year, I’m making the effort to be decisive, and just do it.

    I’ve definitely hesistated to book trips to some cities because I worry about being black in those places. I don’t know if that will permananently keep me away from those places but it definitely comes up as a concern.

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