Ever find yourself wishing travel were free? Here’s why I don’t…

This article was created for The Travel Project by Sophie Spencer, a passionate photojournalist with a love for all things wild, whacky and wonderful.

Ever heard the phrase ‘if travel was free, you would never see me again’? I'm positive it has been used by every social media platform with comments about just how incredible it would be if it were true. Well, I’m here to say otherwise! Crazy? I know. Here's why:

Money shouldn't stop you

If you want something so bad, nothing should ever stop you from achieving it. That’s right, not even money. If you envy those people that quit their jobs to travel full time, or those who shifted their lives across the big deep blue, then why not follow in their footsteps? It’s 100% achievable. Don’t just sit behind your computer or phone wishing you could have something, when you totally can.

Money supports local communities

Travel not only brings happiness to you, but it brings happiness to those communities that you invest your money into. There are so many local communities that thrive off tourism and well that if travel was free, these beautiful communities would crumble.


Sophie Spencer travels

You'd miss out on vital connections

People become your home, especially when you travel long term. You realise that the word home is as foreign as your next destination on your journey – and that’s damn thrilling. If travel was free, you’d lose connection to some of the most vital aspects of that journey.

You'd cut corners

You would take the main road; not the long road. Sometimes the quickest way isn’t always the best way to get from point A to point B. Transport isn’t just a means to get around, it’s a journey in itself; the people you meet and the places you see along the way are all parts of travelling that make it just that extra bit special. If travel was free, I’m sure most people would be inclined to take the quickest route – I sure would.

Hard work pays off

It’s rewarding as hell knowing that you earnt everything you received and encountered. You’ll also gain a greater understanding of budgeting, and how to decipher between your wants and needs of your daily life.

You'd become jaded

If traveling was free, there would be a loss of appreciation for the small things in life like a cup of hot tea on a cold winters day, a shower after days of non-stop travel, or hearing the voice of a loved one after no contact for days. When you travel, especially as a backpacker on a budget, you gain a greater understanding of how much or how little money you really do need to live a life full of wonder, adventure and spontaneity.

After all, travel is not about money, it is about courage.”

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