When telling friends, family and random strangers about where I am headed during my year of travel, the reaction, 9 times out of 10, has been somewhat like this…
Hayley: “well I’m starting in Africa and then heading to Mexico and…”
Them: (a look on their faces like I’ve just told them I’m going to join the fight in the Afghan war), followed by “are you insane?/what the hell for?/it’s so dangerous/I saw on the news/a friend of my neighbours uncle went there and…”
Hayley: (rolls eyes, shakes head, and bangs it up against a wall for the tenth time that day)
Have you noticed there’s always that story of someone’s friend who went there, got kidnapped and held for ransom or was robbed by a syringe wielding junkie? Now I know these things can happen, but is it going to stop me from going? No.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for taking advice from people who actually know what they are talking about. But after hearing the above scenario for the hundredth time, from people who have never even left the State, let alone travelled overseas, I have developed a motto of sorts. It goes a little something like this:
IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN THERE, YOU LOSE YOUR RIGHT TO GIVE ME YOUR OPINION ABOUT IT.
…unless your opinion is “great, that’s so exciting”.
I highly recommend developing a similar motto when planning a holiday or RTW trip, or feel free to steal mine. It’s completely universal.
I’ve also come to the conclusion that maybe I need to add a #11 to things I have learned while travelling, and that is to accept that not everyone is going to be as excited about your trip as you are. And I’m ok with that.
Is it just me, or is this a common thing among other travellers? Please feel free to leave a comment, share your stories or put me out of my misery.