Travel is not for everyone

“Travel is stress, travel takes your money and if you are not careful, you will burnout.”

I sat through travel focused sessions during the just concluded Social media week in Lagos and listened to the tour operators talk about how Nigerians do not like to travel, how we do not know our beloved country Nigeria beyond the cities and towns we live in and how Nigerians do not visit beyond the UK, US and UAE whenever they think travel.

On my way to Johannesburg this January, the NDLEA and immigration officers kept asking me why I was not visiting Obudu Cattle ranch and carrying our money outside the country.

I remember saying this during the Q and A session of the one of the sessions, that we are beginning to shame people who do not travel. That we travel does not make our lives more fulfilled that those who do not travel. We are also finding a way to shame people who travel as well for travelling only to particular regions and not off the beaten paths.

My cousins have been living in the UK for the past 7 years, they aspire to visit the USA and Canada and for them that is life. This is the typical Nigerian dream.

Despite the fact that I have travelled to over 10 countries that I am yet to visit the UK and US, I have not yet arrived. Living in Germany is the not the same as visiting the UK.

The only place my mother aspires to visit is Saudi Arabia for Hajj and maybe the UK.  Going to Saudi Arabia for Hajj is the ultimate goal of Muslims the world over, so even if you never get to visit anywhere else in the world, that goal alone makes your life fulfilled.

Even within the world of travellers, there is a lot of shaming. You hear words such as don’t be a tourist, be a traveller and blab bla bla. The number of countries clocked is now another form of shaming.

On my way to Lomé for the Easter holiday, I met another traveler who I have been following for a while on Instagram @theajalabug. We got chatting about our type of travel, she does not like stress and even though I might not call her a luxury traveler, she is not a budget traveler either. I saw her itinerary and she was more for comfort than anything else.

I used to think I was a budget traveller until this year and I realised, that struggle life is not for me.  

For me comfort and safety is key. Couchsurfing is not for me; does that make me any better than the person who lives for freebies when travelling?

The fact that I have been to over 10 countries does not make me better than that person who has never been anywhere or who only visits the UK or USA all the time. Neither is the person who has counted over 20 countries any more knowledgeable than me.

Yes, Travel is good, travel opens your eyes to the many opportunities that exists in the world.

Travel breaks down barriers.

But the honest truth is travel is not for everyone.

Not everyone can afford to travel.

Travel is all glamorous but expensive.

Pictures for the gram is so beautifully edited that we sometimes forget the struggle and drama it took to get us to the destination.

Travel is stress, it zaps all your energy. Travel will take your money and if not careful, you will burnout.

That I get to inspire people to explore the world does not make me any better than that person who has never been beyond their current cities/towns.

That you have clocked in so many countries on your passport does not give you the bragging right to have lived a fulfilled life. Fulfilment in life for you is different from another’s.  

You should not be ashamed to only want to travel Nigeria and Africa. You should not be ashamed to tell that friend of yours who travels that you cannot afford the trip planned. 

I will not shame you for your life choices neither do I expect you to shame me for mine.


Molara Brown


  1. I agree travelling is not for everyone, for me I was the cliche go to the uk/us traveller dreamer but the way I am now, I would rather experience africa and go for smaller trips that cover several places at a budget that would buy me just a USA ticket. Just like you I am also learning I am not necessarily a budget traveller even though i'm a broke

  2. Nice piece. Very well said. "To each his own"

  3. I love this post! You captured it all!
    I am not a traveller!
    I admire you and others who are bold enough to go on several journeys around the world!
    No be beans!
    A comedian once said, traveling is knowledge and is the solution to ignorance. Because travellers learn a lot about other cultures, laws and different way of living that will make them objective and open-minded.
    Well done!

  4. ell said Lara.Holidays have become some sort of bragging right- only as long as that holiday entails an immigration stamp. I guess it's always been like that.These days anywhere that's clocking more than a 4hour trip feels like a chore to me - irrespective of how serene/blissful the destination is. So me,i cannot be arsed and I'm happy with weekend spa breaks at the local retreat centers down the road. I know - I'm getting old and lazy. lol

  5. Loved your insights about our very own choices we make and the pride we should carry not depending on what society says is a good choice. I appreciate your open mind and I hope this will be an eye-opener for everyone to stop putting other people into boxes they think they should belong. Thanks for sharing it, enjoyed reading it a lot!

  6. Hey Lara, I've been thinking about going to Benin Republic and Togo but i haven't gotten any incentive to go to Togo. This really helped. Thanks