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Old 07-16-2011, 02:10 AM
 
Location: U.S.A.
94 posts, read 194,051 times
Reputation: 59

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I found an article recently and it definitely made me think. It'd be interesting to have a discussion on the merits of long term travel.

http://scholti.wordpress.com/lonely...leben-zerstort/ (broken link)
Originally written in German, translation isn't mine

Quote:
LONELY PLANET DESTROYED MY LIFE

It all started really harmless. One month of Thailand and a Lonely Planet guide. No packaged holiday anymore. The first time that you discover a country on your own. Alone without booking any hotels in advance.
One part that particularly rang true, and is an attitude I hate from travelers:

"After three month you come back and realize that nothing has changed. Your friends are talking about the same things they have talked about three months ago. But it seems to be so unimportant: Someone got an internship in a company, somebody had especially good sex the last weekend or someone has problems with his girlfriend. That can’t be true. In three months you have experienced as much as others in three years. "

And yet I had the same problem coming back to earth after a year-long travel. The author articulates one of the more negative aspects of traveling: it can alienate you from your home and make you become far too egotistical for your own good. Many long-term travelers give up much of their financial and professional stability, haven't seen their family or closest friends in months or years, and only work temporary jobs so they can feed their addiction. Most people do nothing outwardly productive while traveling, so of course it feels great and carefree. There is nothing particularly noble about being drawn to the exotic either. It's literally an escape, just like most other drugs.

Just like the author, I wanted a short trip to soothe some itchy feet, which just got stronger over time. I struggle with it now more than I did in the past. Just like a proper addiction, it's something that never really goes away. Like most things in life though, in my view the proper thing is balance. But it's hard to balance this when most things in life don't take kindly to a half-year absence (try explaining that to your boss, girlfriend, or landlord).

What do you guys think of the article, and if you have wanderlust, how do you balance that into your life?

Last edited by Cornerguy1; 07-16-2011 at 11:14 PM..
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,951 posts, read 36,196,266 times
Reputation: 9489
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ez Mode Pls View Post
if you have wanderlust, how do you balance that into your life?
I found that teaching in Korea/Japan to be good for that...work your way up to a uni job, and enjoy up to 5 months of paid vacations.
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,325,418 times
Reputation: 36087
The thing that I found when I got back from traveling, was that nobody asked me anything about where I had been. Literally Nobody.. I guess they were just too embarrassed to ask question like "Just where IS Africa, anyway?" Or else, Americans are so comfortable in their abject ignorance and malinformation about the rest of the world, they don't want any facts or reality to disturb their slumber. Every once in a while, somebody will hear about something outside the USA that fascinates them, and they will ask me "Did you see the Great Wall of China?" No. End of conversation, change the subject. Unless it occurs to them to add "You mean you went all the way to China, and didn't see the Great Wall?" These are the same people that, if they knew you had been all over the USA, would ask if you if you've ever been to the Mall of America.

That's how Lonely Planet has destroyed my cultural and intellectual and spiritual link with Americans.

Last edited by jtur88; 07-16-2011 at 10:16 AM..
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:15 PM
 
503 posts, read 947,005 times
Reputation: 246
travelling is nice, but after a while I think you need some stability, some place you can call "home".

It doesn't have to be boring, and it doesn't mean you can never travel again. If you don't like your home country, you can always move and find a better one. And even at home you can live the life you want. There are many different kinds of jobs, for example my job allows me to travel for 3 months a year. That's great, and enough for me. When I'm at home in Belgium I read books, movies, go to friends I really like for some drinks, visit my family, but I also have many foreign friends here, for example Russians. I married a foreign woman. And every few months we're off again, with my wife or with friends, to some crasy country like Cote d'Ivoire or whatever, or Thailand, for some serious adventure and wild partying. The positive side is that you have more money to spend, which makes your stay there more pleasant.

And by the way the things backpackers and travellers talk about are not necessarily more interesting than what people talk about at home. It all depends which people you hang out with.

Also, we have one kid now, and he goes everywhere with us when it's possible. If he has to go to school, and we want to travel, he stays with my mother. No problem. Why do you have to choose between a life of travelling or a boring family life?

Maybe next year we'll decide to move to Argentina if I can get a job there. Only for a year to try out. If we want we can still come back and take my old job back, in Belgium that's possible. For the kid that will be interesting too, children adopt very quickly if you learn it to them at a young age.

Last edited by takeo3; 07-16-2011 at 03:25 PM..
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:27 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,589,616 times
Reputation: 7604
I have known a lot of perpetual travelers thanks to my time in ski towns, which have high populations of transient people.

One common trait I have seen is that too much of one thing isn't good. It's all cool at first, but after a while these people all ended up with a fugitive mentality. Always on the run from one place to the next, from one seasonal job to the next. You see them mentally change and it isn't good. They have no home base and kinda lose connection with the real world and reality.

I find when you have a home base and a life, then taking these trips you can really gather some perspective to bring back to your own life. Some of the perpetual travelers get an ego built up about real world people, but ultimately someone has to work and produce.

Ultimately you get older and sicker and those that worked sporadically and blew all their money on travel, it was much like blowing your money on any other addiction. Like a friend on mine, he's been a wanderer for 25 years and he's now living in the back of his car at 67. And due to his living conditions, his health has suffered.
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:32 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,589,616 times
Reputation: 7604
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
The thing that I found when I got back from traveling, was that nobody asked me anything about where I had been. Literally Nobody.. I guess they were just too embarrassed to ask question like "Just where IS Africa, anyway?" Or else, Americans are so comfortable in their abject ignorance and malinformation about the rest of the world, they don't want any facts or reality to disturb their slumber. Every once in a while, somebody will hear about something outside the USA that fascinates them, and they will ask me "Did you see the Great Wall of China?" No. End of conversation, change the subject. Unless it occurs to them to add "You mean you went all the way to China, and didn't see the Great Wall?" These are the same people that, if they knew you had been all over the USA, would ask if you if you've ever been to the Mall of America.

That's how Lonely Planet has destroyed my cultural and intellectual and spiritual link with Americans.
Everyone has their own interests and while Americans get smeared as being country bumpkins that don't care about the rest of the world, I have found in my travels just as many if not more, uninformed, ignorant, uninterested people out there in the world as the USA.

This view that America sucks and the rest of the world has this incredible, enlightened view and great peace and acceptance is a major fallacy perpetrated by leftist pseudo intellectuals.
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:10 PM
 
Location: In my view finder.....
8,521 posts, read 13,998,526 times
Reputation: 8079
WOW........I cannot believe no one asked you?

I would have been on you like white on rice.

I work with a lady that is from South America and I always talk to her about that. She loves to share info and how to get the deals and where to go to enjoy that part of the world like a local.





Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
The thing that I found when I got back from traveling, was that nobody asked me anything about where I had been. Literally Nobody.. I guess they were just too embarrassed to ask question like "Just where IS Africa, anyway?" Or else, Americans are so comfortable in their abject ignorance and malinformation about the rest of the world, they don't want any facts or reality to disturb their slumber. Every once in a while, somebody will hear about something outside the USA that fascinates them, and they will ask me "Did you see the Great Wall of China?" No. End of conversation, change the subject. Unless it occurs to them to add "You mean you went all the way to China, and didn't see the Great Wall?" These are the same people that, if they knew you had been all over the USA, would ask if you if you've ever been to the Mall of America.

That's how Lonely Planet has destroyed my cultural and intellectual and spiritual link with Americans.
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:11 PM
 
Location: In my view finder.....
8,521 posts, read 13,998,526 times
Reputation: 8079
We're not talking about too much of a good thing. That's extreme to say the least.





Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
I have known a lot of perpetual travelers thanks to my time in ski towns, which have high populations of transient people.

One common trait I have seen is that too much of one thing isn't good. It's all cool at first, but after a while these people all ended up with a fugitive mentality. Always on the run from one place to the next, from one seasonal job to the next. You see them mentally change and it isn't good. They have no home base and kinda lose connection with the real world and reality.

I find when you have a home base and a life, then taking these trips you can really gather some perspective to bring back to your own life. Some of the perpetual travelers get an ego built up about real world people, but ultimately someone has to work and produce.

Ultimately you get older and sicker and those that worked sporadically and blew all their money on travel, it was much like blowing your money on any other addiction. Like a friend on mine, he's been a wanderer for 25 years and he's now living in the back of his car at 67. And due to his living conditions, his health has suffered.
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:12 PM
Status: "Thinking of the future..." (set 1 day ago)
 
5,231 posts, read 8,045,547 times
Reputation: 4270
Um, Lonely Planet destroyed your life?

I don't think so!

Think, you destroyed your life!

Lonely Planet is just a guide book, what you do with that information depends on, well, you.

Plus, who knows of Lonely Planet before they make their first trip abroad? I think only couch travelers, those people that only read of faraway places but never really visit them (or anywhere.)

You learn of Lonely Planet after you made your decision to travel.

It's all about you, always was and always will. And guess on who the responsibility falls?

Yeup. You again.

You would take the credit if everything went well, in the "gosh, I'm so lucky for deciding to travel around the world" type; simply take responsibility when things go not as you planned, too.
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:14 PM
 
Location: In my view finder.....
8,521 posts, read 13,998,526 times
Reputation: 8079
I'd go as far as saying, the title was written to attract readers.



So no, it LITERALLY did not destroy the persons life.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Antonio84 View Post
Um, Lonely Planet destroyed your life?

I don't think so!

Think, you destroyed your life!

Lonely Planet is just a guide book, what you do with that information depends on, well, you.

Plus, who knows of Lonely Planet before they make their first trip abroad? I think only couch travelers, those people that only read of faraway places but never really visit them (or anywhere.)

You learn of Lonely Planet after you made your decision to travel.

It's all about you, always was and always will. And guess on who the responsibility falls?

Yeup. You again.

You would take the credit if everything went well, in the "gosh, I'm so lucky for deciding to travel around the world" type; simply take responsibility when things go not as you planned, too.
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