There are many questions that newbie travelers hate. These 5 questions are common for newbie travellers. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I hated this question when I was a kid. I reflect back to this age-old question an aunt, uncle or random old dude would ask me, and my response would change every time: “Astronaut” or “Firefighter” or “San Francisco 49ers head coach.” Instead, the more realistic answer should’ve been, “Shit, how the hell am I supposed to know? I’m a fucking kid.”
Fast forward 20 years later, all grown up, I still more or less field the same heavy-handed questions from co-workers, friends, and loved ones. I hate it. I hate it not because they’re stupid questions, but rather they’re questions in which I have to explain constantly.
For any of you newbie or would-be travelers, planning to hit the road for an extended period as I am, I hope this article helps you navigate through these tough questions I personally often get asked. You’ll find it becomes tolerable once you approach each question with a hint of mild manner humor.
1) WHAT DO YOU DO?
The first common question that newbie travelers hate. My answer varies depending on who I’m talking to. If it’s someone who seems open to new ideas, I go ahead into my spiel, explaining to them that I’m a blogger, and I help people explore the world beyond the confines of their cubicle. On the flip side, if I’m speaking to a more critical or judgmental individual, I like to fuck with them and respond with: “Male stripper” or “drug dealer.” These answers tend to halt any and all follow-up questions dead in its tracks.
2) WHAT’S YOUR FIVE-YEAR PLAN?
Haha, and I said there weren’t any stupid questions. Do people believe they can predict what they’ll be doing five years from now? If they can, kudos to them, but that’s not how I operate. Work, relationships, goals, likes, dislikes, and preferences all can change in an instant. If you told me five years ago that I’d start a blog about travel five years from now, I’d think you’re bat shit crazy. I don’t think I even knew what a blog was back then.
Whenever I get this “five-year plan” question, it takes every fiber in my body to keep me from kicking the person in the crotch. Instead, I go with the more civilized approach and tell them, “I plan on owning an ice cream truck that sells only one flavor: Rocky Road.” I usually get a few laughs.
3) WHAT IF IT DOESN’T WORK OUT?
Will it be the end of the world? Of course not. For whatever reason (and it would have to be a significant one) the whole travel thing doesn’t work out, I’ll come back home. An irritating question that newbie travelers hate.
Human beings have an uncanny ability to envision the absolute worst-case scenario – as if apes taking over the planet is a plausible idea. We worry and have an aversion to risk. We fear the unknown. If fear drove every decision I made, I’d still be stuck in a cubicle today, clacking away at my computer doing mind-numbing processing of useless data.
Therefore, I don’t have a real answer to this question. I shoot the arrow, see where it lands, and figure shit out from there. Nothing cripples action more than worrying about “what if it doesn’t work out?”
4) WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO FOR MONEY?
Another question that newbie travelers hate. Again, “male stripper” and “drug dealer” are my go-to answers to this question. In all seriousness, however, if you want it bad enough, you’d do whatever it takes to make your travel dreams a reality. Save, quit going to bars and clubs, start a side hustle, freelance, teach abroad, work in a hostel, there are myriad of ways and opportunities to fund your travels.
The OG (Original Gangster) mentality toward money is to save for a rainy day. Well, what if that rainy day doesn’t come, then what? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for having a 401(k) retirement plan, and I suggest starting one ASAP if you don’t have one already. However, we save, and save, and save, and by the time our 70th birthday rolls around, and we’re ready to travel, we don’t have the physical capabilities to handle the rigors of the road.
Jim Rohn said, “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” I couldn’t agree more. Time is our most precious commodity, and I prefer to use that time traveling, creating, and spending it with the people I love because honestly, nothing else matters.
5) WHERE DO YOU ENVISION YOUR LIFE HEADED?
This question is disguised as, “What exactly are you fucking doing with your life?” It’s admittedly a good question, albeit an annoying one because people stuck in the traditional time warp don’t like my honest answer. Let me start off by mentioning where I DON’T see my future self: Behind a cubicle, working a traditional 9 to 5 job, and living my life based on what society has deemed “acceptable.” I’ve experienced all that shit, and I hated it.
Life’s too short to do the stuff you don’t like doing. Thus, I envision my life revolved around family first and foremost, then traveling, creating, whether it’d be through blogging, writing, or making videos, being my own boss, and living life on my terms. It’s an answer most close-minded individuals won’t understand, but I frankly don’t give a rat’s ass. I’m sticking to it.
TO FINISH UP
There you have it: The five questions long term newbie travelers HATE. We hate these questions because they’re difficult to digest, ones that we currently may not have a concrete answer to. That’s okay. You don’t need to have all of the answers right now. You don’t need to explain yourself. Just pack a suitcase and go. I’m sure you’ll figure it out along the way.
Do you guys get these questions a lot? How do you answer them? Are there any others you’d like to add? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.