Travel Envy and How It Can Ruin Friendships
They said it would happen. They said it was something I should expect and prepare for. I’ve talked to traveling nomads like myself for months and every single one of them said, “you will lose some of your friends on your journey simply out of envy.” I refused to believe them. I refused to believe that this could happen. Unfortunately, it is true and I am OK with it.
I have realized that misery needs company and when you’re working a nine to five job that you hate, it’s hard to see someone having fun and enjoying their life. However, that emotion should not get in the way of friendship. Sadly, it happens all too often. When I see my friends posting pictures on Facebook of exotic places they are visiting I get a small ping of jealousy, but I am truly happy for them. I don’t ever feel they are posting pictures of Paris for example, to brag or rub in their happiness. How could I not be happy for them? How could I ever allow envy to get in the way of any of my friendships? Friends should champion your dreams and offer their support every step of the way. Luckily, I still have several friends that support my travel and stay in touch every week.
Through true blessing from above, I had the strength to make myself responsible for my future. I leaped out of a plane unsure of where I was headed, but I leaped none the less. This decision has caused friction with some of my friends and I am not the only traveler that has or will experience this issue. Some of your friends won’t say it openly, but they actually want you to fail. They wan’t you to come back so they can say, “well you got it out of your system and I am sure you had a great time, but it’s time to get back to reality.” Another fellow traveling nomad recently explained it like this, “some of your friends were all for you leaving and chasing your dream and then as time goes by, they stop emailing, they stop liking your updates on Facebook, and they stop responding to your messages.” Another traveler said, “they will say that they are really busy with work” when you try over and over to reach out to them. I have learned that this is a popular response but I”m calling BS. What they are really saying is that you’re not busy, but I am. This response is a projection of envy and animosity. Traveling is not a zero sum game. If you’re a fellow traveler who has left the 9-5 behind and is experiencing the same problem, don’t let this get you down and don’t allow it to bother you. You have other options.
Luckily, you will begin to notice friends who you did not communicate with too much prior to your trip come out of nowhere and support your travel. Your new supporters will begin to send you messages and follow your social media sites. They will quickly respond to your posts and wish you well. In fact, they might even come out and visit you and share in your journey. What is also reassuring is that you will begin to meet new friends that are doing exactly what you’re doing. They will also be traveling the world and chasing their dreams. You will gain strength from them and they will gain strength from you. This has been my experience so far and I am feeling truly blessed by having the chance to meet so many amazing people. I have realized that we all make choices in our life and I have made a choice to be personally responsible for my happiness. So far my choices have been empowering. Enjoy!
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