the shocking truth about traveling and 20 reasons to avoid it

I’ve come across a lot of articles about the virtues of traveling recently. They’re either about how traveling will make you a well rounded interesting man full of worldly knowledge and capable of congratulating yourself in 7 different languages or it’s a girls coming of age story about a 6 month long tale filled with excitement, romance, and overcoming challenges to emerge a strong and independent woman.

Did you know there are some hidden truths about traveling that “they’re” keeping secret from you? Did you know that “they” are keeping this information to themselves for fear that if gets out their community would be destroyed? Did you know that I’ve spent time with “them” to unveal these hidden secrets to you?

The secret is that nobody actually likes traveling!  There, I said it.  There’s big business in making people stay drunk on wanderlust, but it’s all a big scam.  Imagine all of the unemployed travel bloggers in the world if the veil was lifted and people learned the ugly truth that it’s better to stay home.

The life of a traveler might look glamorous on facebook where there are no cold wet nights, cockroach infested trains, stomach bugs, or other miserable details that creep up.  During those moments you will learn the most incredible piece of information that all travelers learn eventually; “this is stupid.”

20 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Travel

1. It’s hard work! Lets face it; saving money, getting the time, organizing the details, and making it happen takes a lot of effort. That’s effort you could be devoting towards your career, your relationships, or your fantasy football league. It’s also a lot of work while traveling having to carry so much, so far, in so many modes of transportation while figuring out bookings, itineraries, and balancing your checkbook. Does any of that sound like fun?

2. It’s expensive. The price of a round trip plane ticket to any major city on Earth might cost as much as a brand new television. It’s impossible to make sacrifices in the face of crystal clear ultra high definition programming. A $50 bar tab could be spent living for 5 days in India, but then how would you pay your bar tab?

trees dont grow on money either

You know the old saying.

3. It’s an addiction. You start off recreationally only doing it a couple times a year maybe to see family. Then you start going on weekend road trips with your friends. Next thing you know you’ve booked a ticket to some city you’ve never been to only to be at the point of no return. Eventually you’ll sell your car, lose your job, and find yourself with a one way plane ticket down the rabbit hole.

4. All of your friends are long term travelers, and those people are weird. Seriously. Just think about someone who doesn’t have any grounding in the real world, lives on the fringes of society, and has trouble relating to anyone who wants to have a regular paycheck and their own bed. Not to mention their clothes are always in a state of “I should wash these.” These are the people you will spend your time with. You will be BFFs for 2 days and then friends forever on facebook since you’ll realistically never see each other again.


Would you hang out with this guy?

5. You couldn’t possibly balance a relationship AND traveling. You can only say “see you in a few months” so many times before she stops waiting. Then all that’s left are glimpes of romance that come about in incredibly intense but fleeting moments of beautiful harmony when 2 energies come together for the first time and they can’t separate until one of their visas expire. It’s a life full of awkward first kisses and beautiful goodbyes.

6. You probably won’t find the answers to any questions you have. The only answers will be to questions about experiences, like, “what is like to watch the sunset in Udaipur, Rajasthan?” But if you want to know what the meaning of life is, what is your purpose, or any of those types of questions, you’re better of sitting at home and smoking a doobie than traversing the globe. Traveling will probably just give you more questions, like the commonly asked, “what the fuck?”

sunset in udaipur rajasthan india

This is what it looks like.

7. You will get sick, without a doubt. The water is questionable, the food is questionable, and hepatitis is lurking around every corner waiting to pounce. Traveling in a third world country has to be one of the poorest choices one could make for self preservation. Prepare for excessive pollution, the smell of burning trash, and learning how to say “please stop my shitting” in the local dialect.  Your human shell is fragile

8. People will think you’re cooler than you really are. Because traveling is one of those things that remains elusive to many people, it has been over romanticized. People will begin to think you’ve lived a really interesting life just because you’ve stepped foot in a place they can’t find on a globe. They really have no idea that you’re still that boring guy that would rather sit indoors and play video games all day.

9. You might have to learn another language. I’ve spent enough time in my life trying to learn English, y yo quiero apprendar espanol.  मॅँ नहीं जानता कि इन शब्दों का अर्थ क्या होगा! If you only speak a single language, even if it’s English, you will definitely be limited communicating with locals. You’re either going to have to learn how to talk, or not be able to get food, water, or help from anyone.

reasons to not travel - learning a new language

WARNING: Smoking these might teach you Arabic.

10. Traveling does not make you a good person. Think of the evil people in the world. The political leaders leading children to war, the 1% enslaving the proletariat, and people like Justin Bieber. They have traveled more than anyone I personally know and they all still seem like assholes to me. Compassion, empathy, and an open heart are what make you a good person. Don’t bullshit me, people travel for fun, not to better themselves.

11. You will miss out on everyone else’s important life events. I don’t even get wedding invitations anymore because it’s implied that I won’t be there by the fact that I don’t have an address to mail the invitation to. I missed my friend’s little brother’s junior varsity championship basketball game recently because I was one of hundreds of millions celebrating the festival of colors in the streets of Nandgaon.

12. The food is never as good as your mom’s home cooking. It’s a cute and novel idea to be able to point at random kanji on a menu and hope for the best, but when you’re hoping for a grilled cheese and tomato soup, you might get cow brains. When they do try to cook your favorite dishes from back home, you just end up confused and cheated. Even the McDonald’s are foreign.

reasons to not travel - the food sucks

The worst bread pakora on earth.

13. It’s dangerous. Don’t let anyone bullshit you on this one. Just because some guy with a travel blog survived his stay in a conflict zone doesn’t mean it’s “perfectly safe.” There are dangers in the world and it’s the same world you live in. Don’t be naive or worse yet, stupid. Some really awesome places also have problems with drugs, violence, sexual assault, murder, and all sorts of other nasty words.

14. Culture is actually really really boring. Museums are just there so we can have excuses to visit cities like Amsterdam without shame. Most art comes from people that nobody cares about until they’re dead. You can learn more about ancient culture on wikipedia than you will ever learn wandering a mosquito filled jungle looking for ancient ruins.

reasons to not travel - culture is boring

Mahatma Ghandi’s last steps don’t even light up when you press them!

15. It’s uncomfortable.  Imagine the worse bus you’ve ever been on multiplied by abysmal roads, lack of safety standards, and an occupancy rating of “2 more.”  Now put yourself on that sardine death trap for the next 26 hours with no AC, bathroom, or hope that you’ll make it alive.  Anyone who enjoys that is lying to you.

16.  You won’t “find yourself” out there.  Because you’re not out there no matter where you go, what you see, or who you meet.  You’re not going to find yourself hiding in a bush in the remote Australian outback or hanging out in an igloo wherever those things are built at.  This isn’t a game of Where’s Waldo, my aspiring backpacker buddy.  If you look hard enough, you might never find yourself anywhere.

reasons to not travel - you wont find yourself

You are not here.

17. It’s stressful. Nothing ever goes right on any carefully thought out and well planned journey into the unknown. There are issues with transportation, communications, logistics, infrastructure and they exist in ways that can be mind numbingly frustrating. These constant spontaneous occurrences have taught me patience at the expense of increasing my blood pressure and decreasing my hair.

18. You become like a child again. It’s being thrown into a world that makes no sense at all. You can’t communicate a single word with anyone. You’re always lost and confused. You don’t fully understand where to poop at. You can’t even take care of your basic needs without the help of a more experienced “grown up” figure which usually ends up being a well intentioned local person.

reasons to not travel - you become childlike

Does he look like he’s having fun?

19. Nobody will be able to relate with you. While you were out doing exciting things somewhere else in the world, you friends and family back home are still doing the same thing they were doing when you left.  Your world view has grown a little larger, and they’re still complaining about their job.

20. The things you learn will ruin you.  I used to love going to Taco Bell to indulge in delicious Mexican food.  My favorite are the tacos made out of Doritos.  I’ve spent months all over Mexico and I could not find a single one.  They don’t even have shredded taco cheese in a bag!  My little world has been destroyed.

If you’re one of those people that want to travel somewhere, but ran out of your own excuses, feel free to use one of mine. Each one is guaranteed to possibly help you sleep at night when you close your eyes to dream of adventures.

  • Doc

    your path further be easy and devoid of hard work.

    riches bestow themselves upon you magically!

    May you
    be one with your addiction and accept it for the precious, fulfilling moments
    it brings you.

    May the
    souls of the travelers you touch and yours that touches theirs be filled with
    that moment of love forever.

    May the
    loves you obtain and leave behind make you and them stronger and more full!

    May the
    questions you seek answers to be answered with little effort and come to you
    when you aren’t even trying.

    illness STAY just around the corner.

    May we,
    your people friends, enjoy the “cool” persona that is the traveling
    dirty ball of nomadic zen, Chuck Manley while you’re traveling/blogging and the
    “not as cool” CM when you’re back with us!

    May a
    box set of

    Stone” ® mysteriously appear at your feet!

    your “fun” travel be enlightening and help you see that you are
    indeed a good person!

    May our
    life event stories of moments you missed be as interesting to you as your
    stories of events that we missed on you’re journeys are to us.

    each bite of the best of foods you get to savory remain on your tongue to mask
    that rankness of those less tasty.

    May the
    shield of love and friendship protect you wherever you may be.

    May the
    culture you absorb more completely round the self of your well rounded self.

    May the
    lack of comfort yesterday STAY in the past forever.

    May you
    find yourself in a place where you find yourself!

    May it
    all come together and flow and or you just “go with the flow” and
    leave that stress off somewhere in a desert.

    May the
    innocence and curiosity of a child look you square in the face and make you

    knowing that our vicarious moments living through you as TRUE arm chair
    travelers, does indeed improve and enlighten and intrigue us more than you
    know. And IN FACT tightens our relationship with you, makes you happy too.

    And did
    I mention?

    May the
    lack of comfort yesterday STAY in the past forever.

    Love you man!

    • Chuck Manley

      May the abundance you wish upon me come back 10 fold!

  • Gagan0123

    At first I thought who would write such absurd article, but then realised its just a slap on the face of those who stays where they are believing even one of these points.
    Thanks for waking me up, just booking tickets for a new adventure :)

    • Chuck Manley

      That’s right! You have the spirit. Where are you off to?

      • Gagan Deep Singh

        Going to Pune for a while(booked the tickets), then to a hill station for a month or two, not yet decided which one, you can help me with that if you know any good hill station in India with internet connectivity and less crowded area.

        • Chuck Manley

          I don’t know much about hill stations, but I was just in the hills in Manali and it was a great place to get away from the Delhi heat I was in. If you wanted less people you could check out one of the many villages in Parvati valley. There are beautiful views, cheap guest houses, and shanti shanti no matter where you’re at. Internet connectivity was a challenge, but I found a great place near where I was staying that had good food and great internet.

          • Gagan Deep Singh

            From your description, Parvati valley seems to be the place I need to be….. “shanti shanti” is something I would really appreciate for some time……. I’ll first go and have a mini tour to see internet connectivity though, as I need internet almost 24×7…… Thanks for apt suggestion :)

  • Ved S Shah

    a bunch of 20 crappy reasons .. travel is fun!

    • Chuck Manley

      Travel is fun, but it can be hard work as well. There are plenty of drawbacks to the lifestyle, but if you can find the right balance, it can be incredibly rewarding.

    • Chuck Manley

      Reasons just as good as any other. Travel is indeed fun, but it’s not without drawbacks. It truly is hard work. If you can find the balance though, it can prove rewarding.

  • Puneet Sahalot

    Good to see, Udaipur here on the list! :)
    Hello from Udaipur!

  • oxy

    All the reasons why I cant wait to be back on the road again! You my good sir, are an inspiration! I will keep an eye out for another bearded friend in case our paths cross.

    Enjoy India, it has a special place in my heart as well.

  • jamie

    A lovely peice chuck and so true , fianly made it to you site after all this time doing nothing .
    have you done the varanassi video yet ?

  • Gagan Deep Singh

    Read your old topic once again, felt nostalgic and inspired at the same time. Even though you’re not blogging anymore, but what you did earlier, is still up, and keep inspiring a lot of people to pick up the backpacks and walk on the road not taken.