View Full Version : Not Wanting to Travel: Crazy?

The Linker
2010-02-08, 02:37 AM
So, today I was talking to... a family member. And I mentioned that I have no real interest in traveling to other countries or far-away locales. I can certainly see the appeal in it, and I can understand why a lot of people love it, but personally I don't have a compelling urge to fly to Europe for the sake of being in Europe (just as an example). I imagine this could change as I get closer to the end of my life, but right now I'm not really interested.

He then practically told me that there was something wrong with me and that 99% of people want to travel and see other places. I was a bit taken aback. :smalleek:

But give it to me straight. Am I the only one who is comfortable with just staying in my home country? Anyone else have friends like that? Anyone have friends like that, but frankly you think they're a little off? :smallamused:

2010-02-08, 02:43 AM
Yup, got a friend like that. Mainly because she's happy and busy with what she has now here and because her body gets sick/stuffs the moment a plane takes off.

Me? Heck yeah I want to travel around the world and I like flying to boot so ^^
Part of it is meeting awesome playgrounders.:smallwink:

2010-02-08, 02:49 AM
I suppose it comes down to personal preference. It's not exactly like there's a need to go look at stuff.

Personally, though, I've seen enough stuff to know that seeing it with your own eyes is different than seeing a picture or a video, and that it's the sort of experience I want to keep having as much as possible. It's not going to Europe for the sake of going to Europe quite so much as going because there's stuff there that I can't see here, and I can't help being curious. I also tend to go nuts without a change of scenery every so often.

I don't think I know anyone who has no desire to travel, though.

2010-02-08, 02:53 AM
Why, yes, my good friend, you're clinically insane.


About as far off it from possible.

It's us - the travellers, not the tourists, the voyagers, not the passengers - who are insane. And trust me, we love every gorram second of it. But there's nothing wrong with not being one of us (gooble gobble! gooble gobble!), so don't worry about it.

Of course, if you ever decide you want to travel, Sveden is very nice this time of year... the majestik moose...

2010-02-08, 02:54 AM
As already stated, all down to personal preference. I love traveling. Going places you haven't been to before, seeing new things, new experiences, just love it. It's not weird to not want to travel. Sure, it's probably not the norm, but it's nothing to be ashamed or shunned for. At least, in my eyes.

2010-02-08, 03:01 AM
Traveling to somewhere very foreign is an experience hard to put into words, and personally I think you don't know what you're missing :smalltongue:.

The first time I was going to travel somewhere totally different, I was very nervous, and was this close to not going entirely. I had the same arguments and concerns you have. Once I got there, however, it's a different story.

My advice would be to travel someplace nice anyway, and after traveling several places and you still don't like it, well, you can say I-told-you-so :smallwink:.

2010-02-08, 03:10 AM
I'd like to point out that, for most people, it's not a matter of "going to Europe for the sake of going to Europe", but rather "going to somewhere new to see and experience things you otherwise couldn't". That said, I don't understand it, really, but my Boy's not interested in travelling anywhere (except Japan) either.

Don Julio Anejo
2010-02-08, 03:27 AM
Eh, I'm one of those "I don't really care for traveling" type. In fact, if I lived in a place like London or New York where there's everything, I probably wouldn't even leave the city.

That said, I am the moving around to live somewhere else just to live somewhere else type. My family's moved between 3 different countries and 4 different cities already and I myself plan on moving in the next 3 or so years and then random places wherever life takes me. As long as I can retire to Greece or Provence.

2010-02-08, 03:29 AM
Maybe most people want to travel, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you at all.

For me, travelling is beyond dull. It's practically torture.

The people are even more likely to be horrible, there's rarely anything I'd like to do that I couldn't just do at home and I'm leaving behind what I actually care about for ... what? Somewhere that I haven't seen before? Cities and towns are just that, cities and towns.

It's not really that other places are actively worse all the time, just that there's never anywhere better. I have enjoyed travelling, to certain places.

I just wouldn't want to do it much. Occasional weeks here and there are fine, but I wouldn't want to go away for any length of time.

2010-02-08, 03:32 AM
But give it to me straight. Am I the only one who is comfortable with just staying in my home country? Anyone else have friends like that? Anyone have friends like that, but frankly you think they're a little off? :smallamused:

You are not crazy.

I want to go many places, meet a lot of interesting people, eat lots of intersting food, see lots of interesting sights, etc.

But there is nothing wrong with enjoying your current location just fine. My mother is the same way.

It's when you start passing judgment on those who do want to travel (like my mother) that I think you're being silly. You can't possibly know what will make another person happy. In this sense, your family member is the crazier one, IMO.

2010-02-08, 03:34 AM
I like traveling, just not too far. I have enough places to visit in Europe. Other people want to visit Chili, the USA, Vietnam. Just never had to urge to go continent hopping. I do like going to other countries with different cultures and languages but I can take the train for two hours and get to 7 different countries anyway so it's probably not quite the same as in your case.

2010-02-08, 03:36 AM
I've done it, but I don't care for it. I worry too much about falling afoul of stupid local laws. Not that there aren't laws I disagree with here, but it's a matter of the evil-I-know vs. the one I don't.

Besides, if I travel, it's to see the landscape. I want to get out and hike. There are still plenty of very cool places for me to hike here in the states.

2010-02-08, 04:42 AM
rakkoon: Yes, we North Americans do have a skewed perspective on travel. Strangeness is only a few hours away, but strangeness still has the same assumptions (like measuring distance in car-travel-hours). We don't practice traveling into regions with different assumptions.

Of course, if you ever decide you want to travel, Sveden is very nice this time of year...

Like heck it is! It's cold! (I'mma gonna be freezing my giblets there later this month. One of these years, I swear, I will schedule a trip there during the summer.)

The Linker: I do have the urge to go and see what's over the next hill; I don't have the urge to immerse myself in it. What I did get from having to immerse myself in it, though, was a sense of home. Getting all those assumptions exposed for what they were, and not just the way the world works--it became an immense relief to get back to where those assumptions were true.

2010-02-08, 05:03 AM
Even by car I can drive for an hour each way and get in a different country in all directions (on a Sunday of course) so the difference between state and country is quite important in North America. The USA are a bit bigger than most European countries, geographically speaking :smallsmile:

2010-02-08, 09:49 AM
You are perfectly sane. Oz went to school with people who never even wanted to leave their county.

However, for the travelers, as I consider myself, it's NOT just about seeing Europe to see Europe. It's not going to say I went or flaunting that I have the money to go over there. I know people that do that.

It's way more than that. It's experiencing a culture that, whilst similar in some ways, differs in some major ones. It's actually getting to stand where the peoples I have studied stood (I'm a classicist by training and have studied Roman culture, specifically, and Greek, generally, for the last 8 years of my life). It's actually viewing incredible works of art and feats of architecture in person rather than picture or film. It's meeting the people and finding out what they are REALLY like.

I'm currently saving up to go to Greece or Italy (have not decided yet). I actually have enough to go, but not enough to do it how I want- which would be to stay 2+ weeks. And by that, I mean 2+ weeks in ONE area, not traveling around Europe. To see Europe the way I want to see it would take me...years. I've actually refused to do Study Abroad because if I'm shelling out 8,000$+, I want to be able to see the country I'm in, not study and MAYBE get the weekend off to see it.

I also want to go to: Australia, India, Egypt, and the list is endless, pretty much.

2010-02-08, 02:54 PM
I absolutely hate traveling. That's why I do it.

2010-02-08, 03:47 PM
It's not crazy. I spent the majority of the last eight years living overseas. Travel sucks. :P

Totally Guy
2010-02-08, 05:02 PM
I don't aspire to travel to lots of places. I think it was because I was always taught that travelling is very expensive and has no lasting benefit. So I think that I killed off that dream before it ever developed.

I'm working towards figuring it out. I'm at the stage where I just don't want things. I go out and look at things in the shops and have no desire for any of things I see. So maybe I should try travelling places in my time off. Need someone to accompany me I think... Why would I go alone?

But I would like to see things from an anthropological view point. I want to see cultures and people, not stones and pasts.

Maybe I should try working abroad. The company I work for could send me to Qatar if I volunteered to go but I don't know much about the place. I'd probably make some good money but I'm losing interest in that as a primary motivator.

2010-02-08, 05:02 PM
People usually don't travel for the sake of it...unless they happen to have a lot of money.

I want to travel as I like new experiences and to see new things, yet I guess there are people that don't. There's nothing wrong with that.

However, continuing such thinking can lead to parochialism.

2010-02-08, 06:22 PM
I'm a big fan of travel; I've been to every continent, lived for extended periods in three and worked in two, primarily in Uganda and the UK, but I don't think you're crazy. In some parts of the world, they think us westerners are crazy for wanting to travel as much as we do; the Swahili word for a white person, "mzungu" literally means "one who wanders around".

I do think, however, that you've a lot to gain from travel, potentially:

- A greater appreciation both for other cultures and your own. It's a cliche, but it's also true: you can see your home with new eyes, and sometimes a new appreciation, after you've been away awhile.
- Ace friendships (many of the best people travel - not that I'm biased ;) ). Also, friendships with people you wouldn't normally hang out with, in mixtures you wouldn't expect; I ended up having a fine time exploring the nightlife of Kampala with a PA, a lawyer, and a mercenary medic, for instance. The downside to all this is the difficulty in keeping in touch.
- A fresh start. Travelling to new places facilitates reinvention of yourself, and reinvigoration too, getting you out of your old ruts. They'll still be waiting for you when you return, of course, and you can establish new ones in new places frighteningly fast... but they may not be quite so deep.

The downside:
- Expense, potentially. Depends what you're doing, though, and where. It's quite easy to make money abroad, if you've got qualifications which are lacking wherever you might be.
- Health: talk to your doctor before you go to any country which is either (a) tropical and/or (b) low-to-middle income. Most problems are easily avoided, even prosaic; for instance, in Uganda, the only major, unavoidable risk was the roads.
- Insurance: make sure you get travel insurance to cover all the essentials.
- The law: generally not a huge issue, except (1) be careful about visa expiry etc. and (2) be very, very careful about employment law, business and property law (none of which really affect the casual traveller).

Ways to make it easier:
- Get introduced early by being raised by a family who like travel ;-)
- Failing that, I've always found things easiest when I'm going to visit someone I know and like - you barely leave your comfort zone at all, because you're going to stay with someone you're comfortable being with.
- The package tour is something of a monstrosity... but it's also an easy first step.
- Get good guide books
- Get cheerful travelling companions
- Start out by going somewhere relatively safe where you've got at least a basic understanding of a widely spoken language, and maybe with some kind of support structure. (For instance, I met a girl whose first experience out of the USA was peace corps in Uganda, and she was doing fine).

Anyhow, I've now gone on far too long, and should be getting to bed. G'night!

The Linker
2010-02-09, 12:22 AM
I can definitely see myself traveling to gain a better relationship with the people I travel with. For instance, I see traveling with my friends as something that could be really fun, but maybe that's just because I'm on the other side of the country for a while and haven't seen them for months. :smalltongue: I'd also love to meet some playgrounders, like Dallas-Dakota mentioned. That would be awesome.

Traveling to see other cultures and other places is what doesn't interest me, I suppose. But then, I could do what Starfols said, and just go somewhere and see how it works out. I'll just have to take some friends, and probably go to Britain, where a crapton of playgrounders seem to hail from. :smallbiggrin: