IBIT RANT: Just go

Is there a part of the world you’ve always wanted to see, but you’re afraid that those closest to you wouldn’t understand? Don’t let someone else’s doubt mess with your passport dreams.

Do you love travel? Do you love to dream about travel, talk about travel? If the answer to any of that is “Yes,” the following has probably happened to you at least once already. And if it hasn’t, I can pretty much guarantee that it will.

You’re in a conversation with family, friends, co-workers. Someone mentions travel, and you eagerly mention one of your dream destinations. What follows happens so fast, it’s practically a reflex.

At least one person in the convo, maybe more than one, gives you “The Look.” You know that look — that “haveyoulostyourmind?!” look. Followed immediately by someone saying, “Why would you want to go there?”

Their tone of voice will make it clear that the question was meant to be rhetorical. And they will pointedly tell you why.

What can you do in that moment? Try to justify your desire to see this place? Try to convince the n aysyers they’re mistaken? Or just smile politely and wait for someone else to change the subject?

There are lots of reasons why people might throw shade on your travel dreams. Maybe they think the place is dangerous and they’re genuinely afraid for you. Maybe they’re using their disdain to hide the fact that they really know nothing about the place. Or maybe they’ve already been there and didn’t like it.


If someone has security concerns about a destination that are based on first-hand knowledge or experience, it won’t kill you to listen. Their insight could be valuable. Provided, of course, that it really is insight and not based on rumor, prejudice or semi-hysterical reporting from Western media.

Beyond that, however, don’t let anyone talk you out of your passport goals.

It would be great if everyone in your inner circle shared your enthusiasm about your dream destination. Reality says that’s not going to happen, and that’s okay. Different ports for different sorts. There is nothing that requires you to justify choice to anyone else.

It’s your dream, not theirs.

So if there’s a spot on the planet that’s speaking to you, and you’re old enough to pay your own way there, you don’t need anyone’s permission to answer the call. Pack that bag, grab that passport and go for it.

That’s what a friend and client of mine did earlier this year. She was desperate to see Egypt. Her husband wasn’t interested. She could’ve stewed in resentment and made his life hell, or spent the rest of her life kicking herself for not going.

Instead, she packed her bags and went to Cairo for week…an had the experience of a lifetime. And the enthusiasm she brought back with her for that part of the world may prove to be her her most precious souvenir.

There’s no guarantee that every trip you take will fulfill your fantasies. The reality of a place may not live up to your hype. But you won’t have to spend the rest of your days wondering what might have been, if only you’d followed your heart and gone to see for yourself.

Disappointment is temporary. Regret is forever.