Is it selfish to travel?

Jetting off for a global adventure does not come without its difficulties. Leaving behind family, friends or partners is hard for both yourself and your loved ones. My biggest issue pre-departure was feelings of immense guilt. I felt terrible leaving behind those at home. I am one that likes to please everyone and me abandoning my loved ones was counter intuitive.  To make matters worse my mum’s health was in a bad way. How could I go away have the time of my life while my mother was struggling physically and mentally on a daily basis?

I am not here to say you shouldn’t feel guilty or it is silly to feel that way. The fact is you feel guilty and sad – so lets acknowledge that.

Here are some things which might help you deal with feeling of guilt and blame:

Don’t dismiss how you feel –  yes you feel guilty and yes it is hard. It is okay to seek help or a shoulder to cry on. Your feelings matter and are nothing to be ashamed of.

Talk – speak to friends, family, strangers any one that will listen. Talking through your feelings can help. Is there someone you feel particularly bad about leaving? I spoke to my mum in length about leaving her. What should I do if she got worse and I was the other side of the world without wifi?  She reassured me that I had to live my life and I couldn’t care for her all the time. She was supper supportive which made me feel more confident about leaving her.

Set Time Frames –  will you Skype once a week or come home and visit in 6 months? Technology is amazing. You can see your loved ones though a screen, practically anywhere in the world.

Put you first – sometimes you just have to put your self first. Remember, you can’t look after others if you don’t look after yourself.  If you need to explore and travel for your well-being, then doing so will mean you come home refreshed ready to look after everyone.

If they love you they want you to be happy – If they love you as much as you love them, they will want the best for you.Yes they will miss you but they just want you to enjoy yourself.

Share your experiences – show pictures and tell stories . This way you are including your loved ones in your journey. They will love tracking you and seeing how you are getting on.

It is normal to have mixed feelings before going on a huge adventure and indeed during your adventure. Just talk it out with others and remember you are not alone. Others will be feeling the same.

How have you coped with these feelings of guilt?


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