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5 Traveler Stereotypes that are Completely Wrong

1. Travellers have a lot of money

This is the most popular stereotype about travellers. If someone can afford to spend a year travelling around the world, they must be rich. Plane tickets, accommodations, equipment, and endless excursions – they definitely have pockets full of gold.

The Truth: Yes, travelling can be quite expensive. But if everyone would be able to afford hotels, why would CouchSurfing and backpacking exist? Not everyone necessarily knows how everything works, travellers just make it work. Travelling isn’t something exclusive global nomads and mad travellers save up for (though some might); they’ll live off of sandwiches and jam toast for months if it means they can go travelling for half a year. Travelling the world on a budget is kind of an art form, but it is certainly something anyone can learn. Instead of loaded by luxury hotels, travellers are rich in experiences and friendships around the world.

Quite often travellers find jobs during their travels ranging from teaching English abroad to yoga lessons. Some pursue volunteering opportunities abroad that allow them to travel longer and experience the local culture much deeper. Just travelling meaningfully will open up more opportunities to travel much longer than you could as a tourist.

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2. Travellers don’t work

One of the more destructive traveller stereotypes is that travellers have poor work ethic due to spending all of their time exploring the world rather than climbing up the corporate ladder. The vacation time is only for the weak, right?

The Truth: This is the next travel myth to debunk. Maybe travellers would rather be outside, and maybe the definition of “work” is much different, but the travel stereotype that travellers are lazy is just far from true. In fact, in order for someone to take a sabbatical, a long time off from work and still have a position waiting for them after return, only shows that the person must have worked very hard! Also, a lot of travellers work or teach abroad just to earn a buck more to keep going. Many travellers work while they travel and working like that isn’t always glamorous. Scrubbing toilets or working night shifts behind the bar will be okay if it means they can keep travelling.

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3. It’s easy for travellers to get up and go

This is a classic travel stereotype which paints travellers as free-spirited world wanderers who don’t own any responsibilities or have any important relationships to drag them down. People just tend to look at their life experiences in awe and say, “Wow, I wish I could do that. Just get up and go.”

The Truth: Anyone can get up and go! Travellers aren’t some strange mythical creatures doing the impossible, they’re just risk takers. They are as afraid to get up and go as everyone else, but they still do it because they know it’s going to be worth it in the end. Most travellers have families, significant others, close friends, and an entire life that needs to be put on hold so they could go to see the world. It’s not an easy decision, it’s tough got everyone. Those who really want to travel won’t simply dream about doing it, they will make sacrifices and actually go.

4. Travellers are arrogant

Some people consider it as bragging to start every sentence with, “When I was in Bali..” And, alright, perhaps it starts off as a little bit of a humblebrag, but travellers just love sharing their experiences with others! Don’t hush your traveller, listen to their stories instead!

The Truth:  We are not trying to brag or act arrogant just because we might have travelled a little more. Not at all! Often travellers have a tendency to talk a lot about all of the places they’ve visited and seen. It’s not because they’re arrogant or want to brag about it, it’s simply because they’re excited about everything they’ve seen and experienced. When travelling is a big part of someone’s life, that person is going to talk about it more than just once. Just like if your dog is a big part of your life, you’re going to tell everyone about its mischief at home. In both cases – pictures or it didn’t happen.

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5. Travellers are avoiding the “real world”

Too many people make fun of travellers saying they’re just avoiding responsibilities and running away from the daily routine of “the real world”.

The Truth: The funny part is – we’re not running away from the real world, we’re actually running to see it. Of course, travelling can be much different from “the norm”, but it definitely doesn’t take away any responsibilities. It requires a lot of time management, planning, and budgeting; it doesn’t hide work, it creates work. And more importantly, who defined “The real word” as staying in one place and working a 9-to-5 job? You might think that this is the real world, while some could argue that travellers are actually the ones that live the life the way it was intended – the real life.