I read a post this morning about how not everyone has the ability to travel. Not just because people deem it to be ‘expensive’ but that the ability to put your life on pause and leave everything just isn’t a viable option for some people. We don’t all have the privilege to pick up sticks and move when and where we please. Life comes with a plethora or responsibilities be it your job, children, family or even animals. The list is endless.

Montenegrin Coastline
Driving Through Montenegro

I have read endless posts about people ‘living the dream’ and ‘leaving their 9-5 corporate job to travel the world’ which is fantastic. Most of them claiming they started with nothing and worked their way to the top, attempting to give people the hope that they can do it to. The only problem with this is that not everyone can do this. Plummeting yourself in debt with loans or working yourself to the bone to create valuable content for your online platform while on the road isn’t an option for some people, no matter what way you swing it.

Lake Bled
Lake Bled, Slovenia

We take things like travelling completely for granted. I, personally, love taking short city breaks when I can and think nothing of it. If there is a festival or concert I want to see I will price flights to England, or even further afield. I have travelled just for this reason in the past, and will again in the future no doubt. It’s these little trips where I hop on a plane and go somewhere new that I take for granted – as this just is not a possibility for so many people.

Roman Colosseum

I am privileged because I have no family to look after, that I have cats who I can get other people to mind while I am away (for free – I’m luckier again!), that I live right beside an airport and have a job that will accommodate me for days that I wish to take off. I would actually consider money to be the biggest issue for me when it comes to travelling, and even that doesn’t stop me at the best of times because I know some cuts on frivolous spending for awhile will put me back on track. When my friends were taken on holidays when we were younger every year and I only got to go every ‘few’ years I thought the woes of the world were upon me. This is such an ignorant and privileged outlook on life when there are children in the world being forced out of their homes due to war and all they want is to stay at home, those who are in awful living conditions around the world and will never get to experience more than their home town, those who have an illness so bad it makes travelling impossible, the list just goes on and on.

Fort Lovrijenac
Fort Lovrijenac, Dubrovnik

I write this as I’m about to take a half day at work to drive 10 minutes to the airport and hop on a plane to Lisbon for a long weekend. A huge privilege which I don’t even take the time to consider. I want to travel the world, I want to be selfish in my younger years and take care of myself and myself only. I want to visit every continent, explore the places that are hard to get to, try new things and new experiences. If I don’t visit a new place in more than three months I get itchy feet and feel like I’m ‘wasting time’ and I will want to book somewhere new to explore. And I am allowed to want, as is everyone. The difference between myself and other people is I will have the ability to do these things in the future – with little to no obstacles in my way. This, is privilege.

26 thoughts on “The Privilege Of Travel

  1. It’s definitely important to talk about travel and privilege but there is one thing you overlooked, the privilege of a European passport that allows access to almost every country in the world without a visa, while millions of people risk their lives migrating, if they reach their destination alive they then face the precarious existence of being ‘undocumented’.

    1. Definitely! And honestly I think I overlooked this out of sheer ignorance because I have an EU passport and I’m unaware of the extent of other people’s struggles. The Irish passport is one of the most powerful in the world, yet another aspect of travel I take for granted!!

  2. One advantage of living in Europe is how easy it is to get around. 🙂 But I am in total agreement with you about travel. One way or the other, I have always found ways to travel, even if it meant leaving the cat with a weeks supply of food and lots and lots of kitty litter. 🙂 –Curt

    1. Yeah I am lucky to have so many different countries in such a close proximity of where I am from! My poor kitties get left for quite a few days too once and awhile.. they are always a little bit put out with us every time we come back after a long weekend haha! Thanks for commenting 🙂

      1. Laughing… We had a cat that I always left with lots of food and even more kitty litter when we travelled. When we came home she got even by coming to the door of our bedroom and meowing loudly in the middle of the night. She’d keep it up for just about as long as we had been gone. –Curt

  3. So true. Traveling (and living as a bucketlister) is a hard-earned, and rare privilege. It’s taken my decades of hard work to finally be in a position to live the kind of dream you’re describing here. I’m so glad you’re able to get away to take these jaunts, and to share them with us. Isn’t it such a reward to be able to help others to travel vicariously through our images and experiences!

    Bon Voyage!

  4. You’re so right, we’re very blessed! I’m the same as you, I get cabin fever if I haven’t gotten away in a while. What would we do without budget airlines!

  5. Well put! My friends and family always say “travel while you’re young,” because as you get older and older you have more and more responsibilities. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to travel, I know I feel lucky!

  6. This is excellent! Also, since your European, there are a lot of countries accessible to you. I live in a third world country, where our passport has limited countries to go to visa free, and where traveling really is considered a privilege!

  7. Brilliant post! I know I’m very privileged in that I don’t have commitments, although that’s partly because I’ve had them before – I had a business in England that I couldn’t leave! So I’ve never taken travel or time off for granted. But it’s easy to see why people do. I mean yes, I worked hard so I could do what I’ve done, but I’m definitely still lucky. I’m lucky, like Teesh said above, to have a passport that allows me to visit so many countries easily, and to live in Europe where so many countries are on my doorstep. And I’m also lucky to have had the opportunity and determination to just do it. 🙂

  8. I agree! I was lucky enough to get a redundancy with perfect timing! Europe is such an amazing place to travel with countries literally a drive away! So lucky!

  9. Beautiful and true.
    Many times it’s about how bad you want it or how “itchy” your feet really are. But still, the ability to make travel a priority is in someway, a privilege.
    I personally live in a “third world” country and the visa application process to most countries is a pain in the a**. Nonetheless, it’s part of the experience and the thrill for me…the anticipation that comes with visiting a place for the very first time. That’s what keeps me going.
    I love your writing, keep at it! Xx

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