Who doesn’t like posh and luxurious stuff? I mean really, isn’t this what we all work and aim for? A better, more comfortable life and frequent spoils for ourselves. So why is it that, lately, many travelers are shaming those who “overspend” (according to them) for their vacays and claiming they could or should do this and that instead?
Yes, it has come to my attention that many people who travel on a budget have become very judgmental towards others who don’t.
Hey you, I said MANY, not ALL, so hold your horses!
As with many aspects in life, separation and discrimination is inevitable, even in something as simple as travel. We have moral and ethical travelers, tourists, posh travelers, nomads, missionaries, backpackers, solo travelers, group travelers– you name it. And whether you like it or not, whether you are a part of it or not, the shaming is real.
Instead of fighting about who’s doing it right and trying to lure people to become like “us” so we win (wtf), why don’t we embrace the fact that people are actually out there exploring the world now more than ever? Why can’t we just separate travelers into 2 groups: The ones who respect the culture, nature and laws of each place they visit AND the ones who think it’s a good idea to get married in a Greek Orthodox church and take a picture in front of it with the bride blowing the groom because they think it’s funny. AKA: “the disrespectful and ignorant tourists we all hate”. (And I am not even religious.)
To me, that is fair. What is not fair, though, is shaming someone who decides they want to and can spend $10,000 for a 3-day trip in Paris. Actually, if it’s their own hard earned money, or daddy’s hard earned money, or even a boyfriend’s/husband’s non-blood-diamond-involved money, I applaud that. Why wouldn’t they? The world’s most famous travel bloggers and fashionistas sleep in 5-star resorts and go on helicopter and hot air balloon rides. They carry their customized LVs and fly business class and why the hell not? You follow them for a reason. You follow them because you like that too. It’s inspiring. It’s motivating. You wish you could do it too and from the bottom of my heart, I wish one day you do.
I got the idea for this post from one of the groups I’m in on Facebook. There was a girl planning a 25-day trip to several European cities (Paris, London, Monaco, Venice etc) with her husband and she was asking if the amount of 6500 Euro would be enough for the both of them, excluding the flights and accommodation. Right away, I thought, yes! But later, I realized that 6500/2 = 3250 per person. For 25 days! And I wasn’t really sure it’d be sufficient. Heck London, Venice and Monaco can be pretty expensive. I went through the comments to see what others had to say. It only confirmed my theory above. Outraged ladies saying how they travel for 2 months on $1000, that people earn that amount (6500) in 1 year, and more. I’m telling you, 80% of the comments were like that. Don’t you love when you ask an innocent question on Facebook and get a whole bunch of judgment in return? I’m sure the girl got her answer, but not without a ton of crap in the process.
I have a question for these ladies and for every like-minded person. Has it ever occurred to you that some people would NEVER consider sleeping in a hostel? Or stay on a strict $5 lunch budget? Do no shopping and cook dinner at the hostel’s kitchen and consider this a normal, fun vacation? I’m one of them!
I need my privacy. I want my own bathroom. I want to eat at the expensive restaurant and possibly go on a VIP tour. I want to treat myself to a nice, designer handbag and a spa treatment. I want to buy a lot of gifts for my loved ones back home and I definitely don’t want to do any laundry or cooking while on vacation. THAT is what I consider a holiday. It’s not about how often I go, just HOW I go. Hostels and camps are just not my cup of tea. I prefer to go once a year and to go in style. I prefer to go for a week or even less, and be carefree, spoiled and happy, than for a month and have expenses listed and daily budget calculations. What’s there to be ashamed about?
To me the purpose of traveling is not just to “go and see”. It’s about experience and creating the best memories possible. Sometimes that comes at a price. That said, I have nothing but respect for those who choose to travel differently, as long as they respect my style too. Diversity is beautiful – Don’t try to put everyone in the same box.