Please Don’t Travel: Why Real Travellers Want You to Stay Home

If you're a hard-head, a hothead, or a meathead, just stay home

I’m about to let you in on a secret that every traveller knows (but will never tell you).

We want you to stay home.

That’s right, even though we share tips on My Five Acres about getting out and living a life less ordinary, in reality, we want you to stay right where you are.

You see, just like the world can’t sustain 7 billion people all eating meat every day, or 7 billion people who all have cars and TVs, it also can’t sustain 7 billion of us traipsing around the world and shirking our responsibilities back home.

The monuments, beaches, and museums of the world are already too crowded. Have you ever tried to get a look at the Sistine Chapel or to wander quietly around the Forbidden City? It’s a worse crush than being in the front row at a One Direction concert.

So for the sake of the rest of us, please don’t travel.

I’m about to let you in on a secret that every traveller knows (but will never tell you). We want you to stay home.

If you like things to be “just so”, stay home.

When you’re travelling, nothing comes pre-packaged and perfect. You have to adapt, compromise, and thrive on change. If you like everything in its right place and can’t handle surprises on a daily hourly basis, stay home.

If discomfort scares you, stay home.

On any trip, no matter how expensive and luxurious, there will be moments of discomfort. From time to time when you travel, you will have to squeeze into tiny spaces, rub shoulders with hordes of other people, get sweaty, be cold, eat distasteful food, and smell some noxious stinks.

Please Don't Travel

If you depend on perfectly air-conditioned spaces with tasteful furniture and floors you can eat off of, stay home.

If you can’t be offline for more than a couple of hours, stay home.

Do you start going a bit batty if you haven’t checked the news (or Facebook, or Twitter, or Buzzfeed) for the last two hours? Do you get anxious that you’re missing important emails or a life-changing Apple announcement? You can be connected almost anywhere on earth these days, but if you’re going to spend your entire trip staring into a tiny screen anyway, stay home.

If you already know everything, stay home.

On the road, you will learn things that will blow everything you thought you knew right out of the water. People and places will surprise the hell out of you if you let them.

Fashionably dressed at the Lama Temple.

They do practice religion in China, no matter what we’ve been told.

If your mind is like a solid block of cast iron, if you already know everything about everything, if cold hard facts cannot shift your point of view, please, stay home.

If America is the best country on Earth, stay home.

Hey, my US buddies. I know you’ve been victims of propaganda, compelled to listen to the phrase “America is the best country on Earth” on repeat since you were a baby. But, if all the studies on worldwide healthcare, standard of living, education, poverty, and happiness have not forced you to entertain the possibility that there are plenty of countries that are “better” than your dear homeland, please, for the love of God, stay home.

If you just want to party hard, stay home.

I never understand why people travel half way around the world in order to get wasted in the youth hostel every night (with other people who also travelled half way around the world to get wasted in the youth hostel every night).

Related: Strange Animals

Bottoms up at Ten103, Koh Ta Kiev.

Bottoms up at Ten103, Koh Ta Kiev, Cambodia.

If you want to spend your nights getting drunk and your days sleeping it off (or worse, taking a bus tour with sour-smelling hangover sweat and a haggard scowl on your face), please stay home.

Travel isn’t for everyone

Not everyone wants to travel and not everyone enjoys it when they do. We don’t all like the same things, which is what makes us so interesting as species.

Thank heavens for that!

If you’re not curious, if you’re not interested in what makes humans human, if you don’t want to explore your own capacity for growth and change and you like your comfort zone, dammit, then travelling is not for you. Unless you feel a powerful call to explore, adventure, and find out what’s on the other side of this planet of ours, please, just stay home.

You’ll leave more room for the rest of us out there in the great unknown.

What do you think? Are we all better off if most people don’t travel, or should everybody be forced to get out there and see the world?

If this post made you smile, please share.

10 comments

  1. Comment by Angel

    Angel Reply June 16, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    This is a funny great read, in particular when you say “If you just want to party hard, stay home.” I’ve never understood that either. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

    • Comment by Jane

      Jane June 17, 2015 at 11:32 am

      Thanks Angel. I sometimes wonder if people start travelling and then just can’t figure out what to do once they get somewhere – so they just get drunk instead of having to be creative? Or maybe it’s just the lack of responsibilities on the road free people up to do stupid things?

  2. Comment by taowestventures

    taowestventures Reply May 21, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    What a great read! I’m a bit guilty of being that guy who thinks he knows everything. But that was the beauty of travel for me personally was that much of what I believed to be true was wrong when I started to get out into the world. But worse than that is when you’re travelling and you run into the person who thinks they know everything and wants to tell you about it. Like the title of your post. I just want to tell them to stay home. LOL. Thanks for the post.

    • Comment by Jane

      Jane May 21, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      I used to know everything when I was young and had never left Canada. Now I know almost nothing and I can only attribute some of that to old age. You’re totally right about the windbags who can’t stop telling you everything they know, they are the worst. Especially because they’re usually wrong about everything!

  3. Comment by Andréa Jones

    Andréa Jones Reply May 21, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Yes! Love this. People always question me when I travel alone or have the desire to go to different countries! The world is a beautiful place to explore. And those who don’t get that can just stay home. LOL

    • Comment by Jane M

      Jane M May 21, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      I think most people find that out once they travel, it’s the ones that can’t see the beauty when they’re in it that really get to me!

  4. Comment by Rebecca

    Rebecca Reply May 20, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    This is me to a tea – I have travel shame now :-( haha great article

    • Comment by Jane M

      Jane M May 21, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      Do you mean you’re one of the people listed above? Or all of them? Yikes!

  5. Comment by david

    david Reply May 20, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Hahaha…The stereotype of the moronically chauvinistic USonian is just true enough to make me cringe in embarrassment–certainly you Canajins are aware of how how much of certain kinds of nonsense there is south of the 49th. Truth is, fortunately,those people are rarely found wandering in the sorts of ‘uncomfortable’ places that you or I might prefer anyway, so we can MOSTLY avoid them, and the embarrassment of the image of my country that they convey…..I have friends–very nice people, mind you– who are much entertained by my adventures abroad, but whose own idea of international travel is a sunny beach with a cabana boy that speaks enough English to take their drink orders. Not my idea of travel, nor (obviously) yours, but it works for them, so I don’t argue… Mark Twain said, I think in Innocents Abroad, that “travel is fatal to bigotry and narrow-mindedness,” Point taken, and it presents a dilemma: one wishes that certain people WOULD travel, so their consciousness could be raised enough to be a better element of our body-politic when they get home….. You’re right, though, in wondering about the madding crowd of boorish Americans, drunken Ozzies, fish-and-chip demanding Brits, and certain other nationalities, etc.– why do they bother? One wishes (as you are) that they would stay home and be out of the way of those of us who ‘get it.’. At the same time, one hopes that they get a touch of subliminal education that they would not have gotten otherwise.. All the best, on a road less traveled..

    • Comment by Jane

      Jane May 20, 2015 at 10:11 am

      This is such a well written comment that I hardly feel fit to reply. Writing this for me was a bit tongue-in-cheek, since I agree that travel will cure most of the ills I’ve listed in the post. On the other hand, I did meet a handful of people like this in “uncomfortable” places and just had to wonder why they left home in the first place.

      Having lived in the US for almost 10 years, I do adore Americans, and even think the whole “our country is the best” thing is cute. I was shocked to discover that some of my best friends, who are well educated, well travelled and not your typical “rah! rah! USA!” types still heartily believed that if you didn’t live in the US, you should be pitied. I made the mistake of trying to argue the point once… never again.

      Anyway, I am with you on the dilemma this presents. I guess I wish certain people would travel, but just not to the places where I am. :)

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