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I Haven’t Traveled Abroad in Over 10 Years, and Here’s Why

As traveling restrictions for COVID-19 began to lift, many people across the world began to travel, not only outside of their hometowns, but also outside of their countries. As you peruse through YouTube, TikTok, and other platforms, you would usually come across aesthetic travel vlogs that document the different tourist spots, adventures, and activities that people would visit and experience. You may think that pretty much everyone is doing this nowadays, but I’m definitely an exception. In fact, I haven’t traveled abroad in over 10 years. You may be wondering a lot of things, asking questions such as: “Do you have any health issues preventing you from traveling?”, “Can you not afford it?” or “Do you just not feel like it?” Well, stick around because, in this article, I will unpack why I haven’t traveled abroad for this long. 

The last time I traveled abroad was back in 2011 when my family and I went for a summer vacation trip to the Philippines. It was a phenomenal experience. Not only did I have the chance to see some of my relatives in person, but I was able to explore the beauty of Philippine beaches, landscapes, and other tourist attractions. I was also given the opportunity to learn more about my family’s culture. 

However, that was as far as my journey abroad went. After our trip to the Philippines, my family and I did not travel anywhere except across the country. Throughout the past 10 years, we have only traveled a total of six states: Utah, Nevada, California, Virginia, Maryland, and New York. 

While there isn’t a single definitive reason for why I haven’t traveled a lot lately, I could certainly identify a few reasons that appear from time to time that contributed to why we didn’t travel as much these past ten years. First, the main motive behind all of our trips has always been to visit friends, family, or both, and there would usually be an occasion behind it. For example, when I was in seventh grade, my family and I visited my aunt in order to celebrate her one-year-old daughter’s baptism. We have never really traveled to a different state or country where we did not have to visit a relative or friend. 

Second, everyone in my family, including me, became increasingly busy as I grew older. My parents were (and still are) always working, while my sister and I were constantly occupied by the increasing workload and activities of school. As my sister and I grew up, my parents taught us that it was better to concentrate on our studies rather than having fun, relaxing, and exploring the world. They claimed that there is always a right time for everything, but it doesn’t have to be right now. 

Finally, the third reason why we haven’t traveled abroad lately may be a bit more apparent. One word: COVID-19. Ever since March of 2020, my parents have been very careful about our health and safety as we entered a world full of uncertainty. As my classes transitioned from in-person to remote learning, I was discouraged from attending any in-person events, no matter how small they were, despite my urge to go outside and momentarily escape from the virtual environment. As traveling restrictions began to lift recently, I was able to do more, but my parents were still skeptical of going anywhere abroad. 

As you can probably tell, my parents were extremely practical when approaching travel choices. Whether their mindset is right or wrong is up to your discretion, but I can certainly say that they taught me some hard lessons about the reality of living life. There were still ways I was able to enjoy life here in the U.S., but I’m definitely still waiting for the day when I could finally set foot in another country.

Gennah Penalosa is currently a social media assistant and writer for Her Campus CU Boulder. She is a junior studying finance and marketing at the Leeds School of Business. When she is not doing homework, you can find her hiking, listening to music, or drawing the face of a random celebrity.
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