Well that’s a controversial post to end 2015 with, especially as you might currently be planning a ‘Round the World’ adventure or be a keen travel blogger yourself. And before I continue this is not one of those posts that’s the opposite of its title stressing why you “should” actually go off travel blogging!
So why shouldn’t you go travel blogging around the world then?
- Travelling is bad for the environment. Exactly how much CO2 do you actually produce on a flight though?
- Financial security is more important. Maybe you could be be overpaying your mortgage instead?
Travelling (flying) is bad for the environment
And let’s just talk about flying here (if you’re planning to travel around the world by land then you can be excused). According to the ETA the average personal carbon footprint in Britain is 9.5 tonnes. On just one return flight to New York each passenger emits 1.2 tonnes of CO2. That’s 12% of their annual footprint used up in just 0.2% of the year.
Short haul flight aren’t much better. A one-way flight from London to Manchester (185 miles) emits 44.7kg per passenger if the plane is completely full compared to:
Car – 7.7kg per passenger (family of four)
Train – 5.2kg per passenger (if 70% full)
Coach – 4.3kg per passenger (40 people)
So is travel blogging by its very nature a bad thing for the environment? Some travel blogger friends of mine made 30+ return flights this year. That’s environmentally disastrous. And then further to that they’re encouraging others to go off and do the same too! It’s funny how environmental concerns about the polar bears fly out of the window when press trips and the opportunity of a career travelling around the globe becomes a reality?
Financial Security is more important
Every day yet another inspirational meme appears in my Twitter feed saying you should “Quit your job and go travelling”. That can be disastrous in the mid/long term too!
Some of the people advocating this might have good reasons to head off into the sunset:
- A mortaged house they can rent out
- A windfall of inheritance money
- Redundancy money
- Wads of cash already saved up
Now for people who fall into one of the groups above then great, but those blogs that advise people to just head off into the wilderness without mentioning the financial side of things could be seen as downright irresponsible.
Quit your job, sell all your possessions and then travel around the world for a year or two. So great, and then when you get back you’ll have no money, you’ll have been out of the job market for too long, you’ll be back living with your parents in your old room (which they’ve painted pink while you were away) while further reducing your chance of ever being able to buy a house. And remember very few travel bloggers can actually make a living from solely travel blogging if that’s the intention?
Yes ok, you only live once, there’s the FOMO, and “if the world is a book and you don’t travel you only ever read the first page.” I get that. I travelled around China, SE Asia, Australia and New Zealand for 6 months in 2009 and absolutely loved it … but I’d been fortunate enough to receive a nice fat redundancy payment after 10 years working at the same company. 35 year old “you” might look back at 25 year old “you” and wish you’d got a career going first, saved up a deposit, bought a house … and then gone travelling (if you still wish to) … and all still in your 20s.
The Tory government have a lot to answer for pushing home ownership on everybody but without thinking about such things you could be screwing yourself over in 5-10 years time when you then try to get on that even more unobtainable first rung of the ladder and conform to what society thinks we should all be doing in the “rule book of life”!
So go travelling around the world if 1). you’re financially secure to do so (or if you simply don’t give a damn) and 2), if you don’t care much about the polar bears and the impending cataclysmic disaster if CO2 levels cause the climate change to tip irreversibly. We’re only alive for the blink of an eye after all so who cares?!