I often hear from people who say they wish they could do world travel more but they don’t. They know there are thousands of reasons to travel and thousands of places in the world to see, but they stick pretty close to home. Most of them, are fully capable of devoting themselves more to world travel but their choices prohibit them or, more often, give them excuses not to venture further than their local grocery store. I made this list to help make these people more comfortable. Please remember, many a truth is said in jest.
Reasons Not to Travel the World
1) You are comfortable with and embrace your prejudices.
Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
But, what’s wrong with being narrow-minded and vegetating in your own little corner? Developing “charitable views of men” might irreparably alter your personality and cause you to lose friends. You could <gasp> even make new friends and start seeing your old friend’s prejudices for what they are and that would be sad. Your improved outlook may even cause you develop broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and you like your prejudices just the way they are.
2) You just aren’t interested.
Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
But, what the hell does he know and besides, how is some old Greek guy even relative today? He never imagined how effectively life could be examined on television, talk radio and the Internet, right from the comfort of your own living room. The media does a great job of finding what is important and sending it directly to you. There is no reason to go experience anything in person because you can do all the examining you need right where you are. While we are at it, who is Socrates to determine what “worth living” means? I am sure he could never imagine a world that had reality television, video games and pre-packaged foods in an infinite variety of styles. Isn’t that enough?
3) You don’t like being too stimulated.
Poet William Cowper said, “Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all it’s flavour.”
But, living a life with too many flavors is unsettling and disorienting. You know your limitations and have found a comfortable balance. Too much spice, like too many colors, or too many notes in a symphony, may seem appealing to some but you prefer to live life in a quiet, beige existence. Variety means being exposed to a huge palate of spices and notes and colors and that can feel overwhelming; and you don’t like being too stimulated; ever.
4) You will get hurt or surely lose everything you have worked for.
Helen Keller said, “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”
But, that was so last century. She never experienced a world where there was health insurance, car insurance, mortgage insurance, pet insurance, job loss insurance, life insurance, legal insurance, flood insurance and funeral insurance. With all of those insurances security is most certainly assured. Danger has practically been eliminated from life, at least at home. What is the point in having adventures and doing world travel now? Medical advances mean we are all going to live forever. Besides, who is Helen Keller to determine what nothingness means?
5) You can’t afford it.
Henry David Thoreau said,“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
Henry David Thoreau couldn’t imagine a world where so many of the things we have today are so worth the amount of life we exchange for it. This guy lived in a tiny shack on a pond, so he couldn’t have conceived of the joy of having a McMansion and maintaining it for the mortgage company. He didn’t have cable so how could he have known, how it is so worth it, to sacrifice life for and in front of big screen televisions? He didn’t even have a car so how could he know the joy of sitting in traffic to go to work to pay for the really cool ride that gets you there? Besides, travel is very, very, very expensive. There is a reason there are no poor people living in Asia, Europe or South America; it costs too much. And even if there were poor people, they certainly couldn’t be happy without 50 pairs of shoes (to wear in their cool car and at work) and credit card bills.