Privilege and travel – there’s a link says Felicia
Next time it’s getting tough, with bedbugs or a rising stink in the dorm, just remember you’re lucky. It’s way too easy to take things for granted. Two bloggers this week have helped us reflect on this. Ciaofelicia, over at ciaofelicia.com, recently wrote “I Can Travel Because I’m Privileged“. Hear her out. She writes that:
I really don’t pay for much on my own. I’m 22, live at home, and don’t pay rent. I don’t pay for my cell phone bill or car insurance either. I didn’t have to pay for my bachelor’s degree, so I am not in debt. My family is all healthy and there is no one that needs me there to take care of them. I am American, white, and healthy. If I were to get sick, I have enough family that I would be taken care of and would never be alone on the streets. I am beyond privileged. And a year ago, I would have never had the humility to have been able to say that.
By contrast, “it seems to me that everyone who travels wants to share about how they worked so hard to be able to travel…” But that, to Ciaofelicia, is only a half truth: “[I]t’s not as simple as just working hard. What about the people who are discriminated against for being of color, the people who have to stay at home and work to support their family, and the people who don’t have a great family to financially or emotionally support them? No amount of hard work will allow them as much ease to travel as I have.” A point to reflect on, we reckon. There’s a lot of be grateful for.
The passport – one of the greater unspoken privileges?
And one taken up by Melai Campilla, who illustrates vividly the difficulties of being a nomad on a “third world” passport in her recent post “The Truth about Traveling on a Third World Passport“. Sadly, Melai writes, “Asians or third-world passport holders can’t travel on a whim.” Conveniently, most bloggers “fail to mention […] their citizenship and mighty passports”, a huge leg up and one that allows “travel […] without visa in over 150+ countries…”
Folks without such fancy passports have to accept long and tedious visa processes, proving their job and income down to every last detail. Most visas don’t allow work, and you’re hit by the low buying power of your savings compared to the places you visit. Add to this “familial responsibility”, huge in Asian cultures, and something that leaves you feeling guilty about your travel priorities.
It’s tough, certainly, but that’s not a reason to lose heart: “Don’t let anyone talk you down about your dreams”, Melai writes. “If you want to travel then by all means work hard, save more and reach that dream. Slowly. You don’t need to do it [in] one shot.” Will you get there, she asks in her post. “Definitely!”
That’s it from us this week. FN.
What are your friendly tips? Don’t be shy. Let us know by leaving a comment below.