There is this one aspect of travel that particularly irks me, and that usually involves dealing with naysayers in travel.
I’m talking about people who use the words “can’t” “impossible” “never” etc. all in one sentence. Over the past few months, I’ve been hearing some “you can’t do it” type of feedback from people, especially since I’m about to become a new mom. And here’s the typical feedback:
- You’ll find it difficult to travel with your newborn;
- You’ll be so tired you’ll need every bit of sleep and you won’t be able to travel;
- Forget about traveling with your kid –it’s expensive.
A sunset in Aruba: photo credit Matthew Minucci of Butterflydiary.com
These kinds of comments are not empowering —they leave me wondering about the person who commented more than anything else. I’ve always been a “can do” person, and even now, during my pregnancy, I’m more active than ever —going to the gym daily, traveling every opportunity I get, and loving the entire travel and explorations phase without too much fatigue.
This reminds me of America’s relationship to travel in general: they are phobic about taking vacations because they’re worried that in this economy, they will be viewed as being “less dedicated” to their jobs if they take a vacation. The typical naysayer will often talk about the following topics:
- Vacation and travel are expensive: I don’t have the money for that;
- I need to save up in case I get laid off;
- I’d rather read books than travel;
- I’m afraid to travel.
These are all very valid reasons why not to travel—so much so, that many don’t travel at all thinking of all the excuses (and if you add a dose of global warming, earthquakes, recovery tourism etc. into the mix, then we might as well be home bodies for the rest of our lives). I’m not saying the answer is to be silly and schedule a visit to a war zone instead of going to Hawaii, but as I often say, once you’re out on the road –it’s addicting. Traveling is so much more about Dr. Suess’ “Oh the Places You Will Go, The People You’ll See” than reading dry words and seeing beautiful pictures on screen and in a book. While I certainly get inspired by blog posts and books, nothing—absolutely nothing– compares to the very act of seeing a place for yourself.
So, here’s how I typically deal with the naysayers:
- I turn a deaf ear often–after all, that’s too bad if they won’t take the risks and rewards of travel;
- But in my effort to inspire them to travel, I let them know how they can travel–how it CAN be done and any budget friendly, kid friendly options out there–after all, we’re in this business to educate, empower and inspire!;
- Be patient and understand their POV: they may have valid reasons for not traveling and being understanding and lending an ear often helps.
How do you deal with naysayers? Do you turn a deaf ear to them or try to steer them towards your POV?