Travel is a Privilege

Travel is a privilege

Merriam Webster says to travel is to journey. I will be the first to admit that travel is a privilege. If I did not reside on American soil, most of the world would not be open to me. It was only during junior year of undergraduate studies that I made my first journey to Europe and I caught a bad case of wanderlust. There’s a misconception that travel is reserved for an elite few — for those who can afford to sit poolside at lush resorts in far flung places. Some people relish in that. For me that’s not travel. 

My idea of traveling is transplanting my physical body in a different spot on earth in order to experience the planet, food, culture, and people from a first person perspective. Going on a journey. I want to be immersed in the experience. That can be a resort, or it can be wandering the streets. Especially with the internet and social media, it’s incredibly easy to know a place without even leaving the house. You can explore Google maps to your heart’s content and know the earth in this way. To me, that’s not enough. It’s like reading the synopsis of a book or a movie and pretending you know it. I think to travel is to be intimate with a destination. It doesn't mean you have to navigate it with the prowess of a local, but rather you are getting to know the different facets of a place and its people.

Know that travel doesn’t mean you have to go far. You can get to know the place you live in. It’s incredible that for as long as I’ve lived in New York City (consisting of five boroughs: Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island and my native Queens) there are so many places I’ve yet to explore. Neighborhoods I’ve yet to know. I might have been to more neighborhoods in London than I have in New York City. I’m working on “traveling” within my own city and getting to know it. I’m sure there are people that don’t reside here that know this city better than I do.

Travel is a privilege, yes. But if you have somehow stumbled upon this post, you are probably privileged enough to be able to travel. Best of luck and safe journeys.