I love my parents. They are probably the nicest and smartest people I know, but I absolutely hate my parents for traveling the world! Let me explain what I mean by this statement. I am an American and most Americans do not think much about the world. They are happy to live in a world that tells them they are number 1 and that America is the greatest country in the history of the world. They buy into this nationalistic world view and are happy to live in a very small bubble. This is the truth and I am not judging them (too harshly).
I was fortunate or unfortunate, depends on how you see it, to have parents that traveled the world. I grew up listening to stories about Mexico, Iran, Israel, India, Egypt, Peru, and many other countries. So, when I graduated from university, I jumped on a plane to see this amazing world my father told me about when I was a child. I have been to China, Thailand, The Philippines, France, and many other countries chasing these unique stories and trying to see the world for what it truly is: a diverse, vibrant, loud and chaotic place full of colorful and amazing people. But also full of pain and poverty, unbelievable inequality and devastating social despair.
I hate my parents for traveling the world because they have opened me to a world my peers did not or were unwilling to see. I never had an American bubble. I am very American culturally, but intellectually I see myself as a world citizen. This has made it difficult to relate to other Americans and to create strong friendships.
By traveling the world for over seven years when they were younger, my parents have passed on the travel bug! I have been bitten and now the world seems boring when I am behind a desk punching numbers into a computer. I feel most alive when I’m haggling over some price in a back alley in Beijing or eating (God knows what) in a village high in the mountains of Laos. I feel at home with a map under my arm and three locals arguing over the best way to get to a fish market I read about on a cool travel blog.
Crashing motor bikes and refusing opium are high on my list of interesting stories. I am foolishly following in my parents footsteps because the life they lived and the stories they have told about being robbed at gun point in Morocco or swimming in the Ganges sounded better than 60 hour work weeks and football on the telly.
The world is too big and to awesome to live in one town. The knowledge, the people, the experiences are all a train ride away! Calling out to me, saying ‘Don’t be boring, don’t settle for anything less than amazing, don’t wait for permission to live your life, travel, travel, travel! The world is just outside, come and play!” Because my parents traveled the world, they have opened a door that is impossible to shut and this is why I love and hate them. By traveling the world, they have inspired me to be so much more than a ‘Yes’ man, a 9-5er, a work until you retire and die kind of person. This makes life harder, but more interesting! This is Trip Bitten, we are planing our escape! Come in join us has we travel the world and provide interesting stories, photos, and adventures. Subscribe today and see the world for what it is and live life to the max! We are Trip Bitten!
GemmaJuly 17, 2015 at 11:50 pm
My parents spent a year pretty much living out of a tent and I grew up with their stories, it’s definitely because of them that I’m traveling. For as long as I remember it’s been my dream, for the past 16months it’s been my reality. Sometimes it’s been hard, but I’ve learnt more about myself and the world than I dreamed about, and all it’s done is increase my desire to see and do more!
Miguel RobergAugust 11, 2015 at 8:50 pm
Thanks for the comment. It’s always funny how we don’t want to be our parents growing up, but at some point we find ourselves doing the same things they did. Where have you been in the last 16 months? What part of the world are you exploring?
UR OL MnFebruary 19, 2016 at 10:50 pm
You missed the part about your parents being on spiritual quest and traveling with the goal of enlightenment not just to escape boredom….