Travel Doesn’t Need To Be A Competition

photo credit: me

Travel is something that can be very enriching for a lot of people. While it’s become a social media fueled expectation for Millennials and Gen Z people to travel, traveling is a great thing to do when you genuinely want to do it.

What I’ve noticed during some brief conversations with other people who have traveled is that there can be a weird competition with who’s traveled further. I have traveled a lot, but it’s all been within North America so far. Growing up, my parents took my sister and I to various iconic places in Ontario and we also saw a few cities in the U.S. As a young adult, I flew out west and explored several areas in Alberta and B.C. Some people who have been to Europe or Australia or Thailand look down on those who have never left the continent, even if the length of time you’ve traveled has been longer.

I just wanted to say that travel is not a competition. Travel is meant to be an individual thing. Some people enjoy the immediate area they live in and don’t have a lot of desire to venture to other areas. Others like exploring all that their country has to offer. A few will travel the world – crossing the ocean to see other countries or continents. Our reasons and goals for traveling are unique. Of course, I will always encourage people to travel if they desire to do so. I would love to see Europe and Australia and Africa one day. Those places just aren’t at the top of my list of priorities. Canada is a big country and there’s a lot to see right here. However, I enjoy hearing about people’s experiences who have been to countries I’ve never seen. I think it’s interesting.

It’s far nicer when we can share travel stories for the purpose of enriching the listener. As a millennial or Gen Z person, you’re not obligated to travel just because social media tells you to. It should be something you do because you really want to do it.

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33 comments

  1. I agree. Travel isn’t a competition. Living in Europe originally, and now in Western Canada, has given me the opportunity to see a lot of countries and amazing sites. However, there are places which simply don’t interest me, as well as places I think are dangerous. So, I will never visit those. Travel should be something you do for yourself, not something you should do to compare yourself more favourably with others.

    • Yes that’s a great point that some places just don’t entice you. As a white woman I’d never travel alone to Mexico, South America, or Thailand. It could be safer with a group but I’m not that interested anyway, aside from Costa Rica or Cancun. ๐Ÿ™‚ And there’s resorts for that. ๐Ÿ˜‚
      That’s so true that travel should be for yourself.
      Its so cool you moved from Europe to Western Canada. Gosh I miss BC. I definitely want to see Europe.

  2. Absolutely! I want to go where I want to go and not care about what other people are doing. I unfortunately married somebody who feels the need to keep up with others. If somebody else went somewhere, she wants to go there too. Fortunately for me, and also unfortunately, we don’t have the financial resources to go everywhere that everybody else is going. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. You are right, travel is not a competition. I’ve traveled a bit because I’ve moved far, immigrated, and for business, first as an exchange student to the US, business trip to India, worked in Germany, etc., but I would probably not have done that on my own. Also certain places should probably be avoided. I was apprehended, held at gunpoint and interrogated in the Soviet Union. Canada is a very big country with a lot of nature, which I have not explored. It’s what you want to do with your time. There are so many hobbies all bringing experiences.

    • That’s so true. Travel is enriching whether it’s 2 hours or 20 hours away. Also that’s so crazy about your experience in the Soviet Union. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ You’re right there’s more risks in certain areas.

  4. I’ve encountered travel competition, combined with judgement, from many folks of all ages, but mostly folks in the 55 and up age range (I’m 71). As someone who hasn’t had the means or time to travel as much as I’ve always wanted, I see a dismissive attitude when I talk about the local travels I’ve done. But those local and in-country travels have been absolutely wonderful and fulfilling experiences.
    I have a solo trip to Cairo scheduled for this late autumn and this is something I’ve wanted to do since I was 10 yrs old. I am looking forward to it, even as it will probably be the last out-of-country travel experience I can afford.
    Thanks for a very well-written and interesting post.

  5. Completely agree! When I went on my solo trip to Barcelona last year I didnโ€™t even bring โ€˜photo worthyโ€™ outfits. Just clothes to be comfortable, happy and truly enjoy my time away.

  6. I completely agree that travel is not a competition and it’s important for people to do it at their own pace and for their own reasons. It’s unfortunate that some travelers feel the need to one-up each other based on where they’ve been or how far they’ve traveled. Everyone’s travel experiences are unique and valuable in their own way, whether it’s exploring your own backyard or traveling to the other side of the world. I also appreciate the reminder that social media should not be the sole reason for traveling – it should be a personal desire and a way to enrich our lives and expand our perspectives.

  7. I completely agree with you! Iโ€™ve also traveled quite a bit in Europe, and I absolutely love it. But I donโ€™t have the desire to constantly be on the road. I much prefer slow travelling, taking the time to really get to know a place and end up feeling like I belong there. Unfortunately I do find myself feeling rushed to be seeing all the best spots in Asia, to travel to each continent by a certain age and say โ€œI did this! I went there!โ€ When in actuality there is nothing to prove. Travel should be something personal and for your own growth and pursuit of wonder. Some countries and cities simply donโ€™t appeal to me, and there are some that I can revisit again and again and againโ€ฆ not a waste of time. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Yes there’s some places that really speak to you and when you’re there it feels special while other places don’t interest you at all. That’s great you’ve done lots of traveling, but you definitely don’t want to feel rushed when you travel, though if you’re touring or traveling for business I can understand why you wouldn’t have time to thoroughly explore every place you’d like. At least you can always return another time to enjoy it more. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. This is such a great post! I firmly believe that it doesn’t matter how far have you travelled or to how many countries you have been to. Perhaps travel competition is part due to the modern day obsession with social media. The affirmation that comes with the likes. It’s especially noticeable in hostels where pretty much every group conversation turns into bragging contest with backpackers trying to one up each other ๐Ÿคช
    I believe that when it comes to traveling, there are no winners or loosers. I find that speed is stressful and prefer to enjoy slow travel. Thanks for sharing and have a good day ๐Ÿ˜Š Aiva xx

    • That’s very true! I noticed during a few hostel stays that many people wanted to brag about how many countries they’ve been to. Plus when I’d mention I didn’t go to Europe yet they’d say something snarky. ๐Ÿ˜‚
      Yes social media can create competition and it can even influence where people go, even if they’d rather go somewhere else.
      Ooh I like how you mentioned slow travel. I think that’s nicer, too. You can enjoy each area and soak it in rather than see a few major points and move on the next day.

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