The word ‘wanderlust’ has a bad, bad rep. The hashtag #wanderlust is more likely to give you pangs of jealousy and self-deprecating pity than inspire you to go out and explore the world. It should not be getting all this flak, really, but it has.
While many Millenial folks are embracing the YOLO movement wholeheartedly, jumping head first into feeding their souls and passion, charging ahead with hedonistic mantras, some of them* are not so keen to abandon everything, leave it all behind and chase whatever it is that people chase when they embark on a journey of their own design. Student loans, family obligations, fear of “insert whatever it is” are some common reasons. Plenty of websites have already delineated step-by-step detailed ways about how to travel and make money at the same time to counter the angsty camp of people who keep insisting ‘I can’t afford to travel’.
So, is the need to have a job in order to travel what ticks people off so much?
Growing up, we are generally trained to believe that you should only ‘enjoy’ AFTER you put in the hard work, that is, pay your dues. And travelling, for some people, fall under the category of enjoyment. Think gorgeous star-hotels with staff waiting hand and foot on you, spas and massages, exquisitely-prepared cuisine, being whizzed from one amazing sight to another in the comforts of an air-conditioned vehicle. So if you visualise travel as such, of course it is going to take a lot of money — for the majority of us, doing a trip like that would be a once-a-year luxury, considering the fact that you have to pay the rent, bills, debts and groceries etc., plus set a little aside for rainy days. Just living day to day is not easy, so when you read that someone *gasps* QUIT THEIR JOB (how DARE they, in this sordidly dismal economy?!) *gasps even louder* TO TRAVEL…
Oh my goodness, the audacity! Instead of feeling happy for or proud of this person for chasing their dreams, they channel jealousy, angst and even fierce animosity towards the person. Some people would even go as far to point out that it is always a “white, privileged, middle-to-upper class” individual who “most likely worked in a white-collared, well-paid job”, so of course they are able to save up, then quit to go travelling. I would say, yes there are definitely people who fall under the above descriptions – I say, good for them, some people are made billionaires within 5 years of hard work, some people are born sitting on large oilfields, shall we all hate on them too? (On this note, give us someone different for a change, folks at BBC Travel. ;-) )
When eyes fall on a “I Quit My Job to Travel” article headline, it simply grates on people’s nerves. I am a firm believer of chasing your dreams as long as you can afford to deal with the whole situation (not merely being able to afford it financially). Still, the title is short of annoying me like fingernails scraping across a chalkboard. Why? In six words, they made it sound so easy. There is zero relatability. Worse still, since practically everyone wants to travel and are limited by various reasons, this article is shoving it in people’s faces like ‘I can do it, what’s your problem?’