“I’m Too Shy” & 25 Other Bullshit Excuses Not to Travel

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“I’m afraid of getting sick” – Travel This Earth (Twitter|Instagram)

When I first started traveling, I didn’t worry too much about getting sick. People would always say, ‘but how can you go there? Won’t you catch some terrible parasite or infection or have your stomach blow up?” Using ‘possibly getting sick’ as an excuse not to travel is completely legitimate but ultimately, if you look into alternative medicine before your trip then you’ll realize that there are a ton of remedies for most things you’ll encounter on your travels.

excuses not to travel 2

Perhaps your stomach is curling up, leaving you slouched over the nearest toilet dry heaving and pissing poop. Or your throat is sore and itchy and you feel the sickness knocking at your door. That boat ride/ bus ride that sounded so fun and adventurous a few hours ago is now the nightmare from hell because your head is spinning. You don’t have to travel with a medicine cabinet, but stock up on some of these remedies and at least you’ll have a fighting chance.

I always carry activated charcoal tablets on all my trips. The charcoal is cheap, and it eliminates a bunch of toxins from food poisoning.  Mixed with baking soda it can be effective against a spider bite, poison ivy or bee stings. Also, for combating the cold or flu put a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it. Good for sunburns and heartburn as well. Baking soda alkalinizes the body which helps it to digest properly and fight diseases. For the ladies, during the ‘time of the month’ Vitamin B6 + Magnesium will do wonders for you. Take some and thank me later. Ginger candy or just chewing on raw ginger will help with vertigo.

Don’t let a fear of getting sick stop you from seeing the world! Listen to your body, treat it well, and stock up things before you go.

Editor’s Note: I’ve been near death on the Karakoram Highway in Xinjiang and sick as a dog in Thailand, but you best believe I was out and about as soon as I stopped exploding from both ends.


 

“My family won’t approve of my travelling” – Two Monkeys Travel Group (Facebook|Twitter|Instagram|Pinterest)

Family, parents in particular, give you everything. They feed you, clothe you, raise you and keep you safe and warm, so that you can become the best you can be and have a happy and successful life.

That’s the best case scenario anyway. Often though, all of this hard work and dedication comes with a price tag – expectations. Parental expectations vary wildly from between families, between countries and between cultures, some stronger, more conservative and more restrictive than others. I’m from the Philippines, where the accepted cultural norm is to work hard through school, then university if your parents can afford it, get a good job, marry well and then, depending on whether you’re a man or a woman, word hard in your career to support your extended family, or get pregnant and become a stay-at-home mother.

It’s a world of exciting possibilities! I was also expected to do all of these things, so when I achieved a full scholarship the the best university in the Philippines, graduated and started a promising career in Kuwait and dated a good Filipino boy, my family were most please. I was on the right track to happiness, it just wasn’t mine.

When I grew bored and restless, I worried them by selling my possessions and flying to Iraq, but they calmed down a little when I found a great job with an oil company. A few months later, without any warning, I dropped that as well and bought a flight to Bangkok to start backpacking around the world – my father was not a happy man, but here I am, two years on, travelling the world and achieving my own definition of success!

There are lots of pressures on young Filipinos who want to travel, but are held back by family and self-inflicted guilt over abandoning their family responsibilities and we shouldn’t forget our families, but at some point it’s time to think about our own dreams. ​


“I can’t travel to that country! I’m vegan!” – Indefinite Adventure (Facebook|Twitter|Instagram)

It’s common for people to be put off from travelling by dietary restrictions, and veganism is no exception. It’s also no excuse either! Veganism is becoming more and more popular around the world, especially in Europe and North America and with websites like Happy Cow and apps like Foursquare, you’ll never been completely alone trying to find a good vegan meal wherever you are.
vegan travel

Travelling as a vegan in a place where the concept is not well understood and where you might not be understood in your first language can also spur you on to learn more of the local language, even if only to know what to avoid. This in turn can lead to more rewarding experiences with locals, a deeper connection to the place and more of an understanding of the way people there live.

In the end, being vegan is only a barrier to travel if you let it be. Externally, there’s nothing stopping you!


“I can’t travel, I’ve got kids” – 1 Dad 1 Kid (Facebook|Twitter|Instagram)

Like many people, I had bought into the big myth that one can’t travel when they have kids. So, before I started the process to become an adoptive parent, I went to Paris since that was one of my big dreams. While I was in Paris, I saw plenty of people traveling with children, even babies in strollers. I watched them and thought how cool it would be to share the world with your child. While sipping kir royale after a sumptuous meal in a restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, I knew I was ready to adopt, and I began the process as soon as I got back home.
father son scuba

I began testing the travel waters with some road trips. As those went well, I took my son on his first airplane ride, and we went to my home state of Washington (in the US). We discovered our first perk of traveling as a family when we got to move into the priority boarding line. I found it was actually quite easy to travel with a child. It really wasn’t much different than doing things around town or taking a weekend trip to another part of our state. It was so wonderful to be able to create all these special memories with my son. Even the not-so-fun ones like when he slipped on a log and smashed into it with his head. We were in the town of Forks and got to see that Dr. Cullen (from the Twilight series) has a parking space outside the Forks Hospital Emergency Room.

I loved how much time we were spending together on trips and the cool memories, and a couple of years later (2011) we left the US and began a life of full-time travel. We’ve been on 6 continents and in 35 countries so far. We’ve dove with sharks in Honduras, paraglided in Peru, ziplined across a canyon in Ecuador, watched the northern lights in Iceland and so much more. Traveling with my son has been an absolute delight. And in some cases we’ve had additional benefits like being pulled out of the really long immigration line and moved to a special lane for families and others. Because I was traveling with my son, we were invited into homes in Cuba, and people have watched out for us all over the world.

Can’t travel once you have kids? That’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard.


“I can’t travel – I’m depressed” – Aussie on the Road (Facebook|Twitter|Instagram)

People often ask me how I manage to travel with depression. Anybody who has spent any time with the black dog knows that it’s an energy sapping, enthusiasm crushing, soul-destroying bastard that can make it bloody hard to drag yourself out of bed – let alone halfway across the world.

In my case, travel really did save my life. I was miserable in my life before getting on the road, and while I didn’t know to call it depression at the time, repeat visits from the black dog have shown it for what it was.

I’m not going to lie and say that travelling with depression isn’t difficult. It can be ridiculously hard to get yourself to get dressed and leave your hotel room at times, but the rewards waiting for you when you do muster up that energy are infinitely better than what you might have treated yourself to at home. It’s hard to regret stepping out your door when you’ve got beautiful vistas, amazing foods, and fascinating new people waiting out there.

Your Say

What’s the thing holding you back from travelling? Did any of the above suggestions help you attack it from a new angle?
Was there an excuse we didn’t cover?

 

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3 comments

    • I definitely feel like it’s easier to make excuses than it is to actually commit to doing something that excites and scares you.

      I remember when I was planning to leave for South Korea back in 2007, I had plenty of excuses as to why I couldn’t go.

  1. * Hi Chris, can you please remove my previous comment? Because it’s linking to a broken link. The following is my fixed comment with working link (just edit this part out). Thanks.

    Cool article Chris! Turned out well.

    Love this quote from Philly Girl:

    “Travel won’t give you something to show to friends and family outside of the social media selfie. Travel will be an experience, one that changes you from the inside by providing a new perspective on the world.”

    So true.

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