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Reactions to a RTW Trip, or: Shaddap!

What happens when you tell someone you’re going to take the next eight or more months traveling around the world? Spin the wheel of reactions… where will it land?

A. Denial:
“You’re not really going and we will not ever talk about this again because it hurts my head. How’s your pizza?”

B. Collaboration-Excitement:
“That’s awesome! Maybe one thing you could think to make your trip better is ___… And I know this person in __ who would take you around the city! One thing that you might try that helped me in the past was ___. Perhaps we could do a partnership between my project here and you in ___. Don’t forget to email and Skype me cause I love you and want to trade stories of our respective adventures!”

C. Envy-Sadness:
“I wish I could do that, but instead I’m saddled with ___ and ___ and ___, grrr. Sigh. Life stinks and there’s nothing I can do about it. Whenever you talk about this I get depressed.”

D. Envy-Anger:
“It makes me really angry that you can jaunt around the world, so carefree and privileged, when I have to ___ and __ and ___. You’re a bad person, and I may spit in your drink when you turn away.”

E. Fear:
“Aren’t you scared?? Robbers, rapists, con men, getting lost! Don’t go!!!!

F. Confusion-Pity:
“Why in the name of all that is good and holy would you do that? Why are you not married with kids in suburban New England by now? Directionless, misguided girl. You don’t know what’s best for you… you’re just trying to be like those hippies on TV.”

G. Mutual Inspiration:
“This is giving me an idea for a way that I could fulfill my lifelong dream and __…”

I have been so moved by the love and support I have gotten from everyone, but it is interesting how this trip has illuminated the priorities, ambition-type, and life philosophy of a lot of folks. For example, does one prioritize a prestigious 3-year program over mobility? A fantastic, long-term career over a lower-ranked one that gets you money to travel, quickly? A dog or car over savings for a plane ticket?

Given that, is one happy in the priority one has selected? Is one’s life track changeable? Deep down, does one desire to change their trajectory, and will they ever? If one can’t or doesn’t want to change something, is it worth being angry or sad about?

To everyone, I want to say this: I am pretty great, but so are you, and I vow to honor all that is going on with each of my loved ones, and not be all high and mighty thinking world traveling makes me hipper.

What this means is, I don’t want my trip to make anyone angry or sad! Confused, I can live with that. :) I believe we all choose what we want to do, and if we don’t like it we all have the power to change that, at least to a small degree. May this trip and this blog contribute to your happiness, as you have contributed and continue to contribute to mine.


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68: Give Yourself Permission to Travel with Lillie Marshall | The Daily Travel Podcast

Friday 8th of August 2014

[…] Lillie’s post “Reactions to a RTW Trip, or: Shaddap!” […]


Wednesday 16th of May 2012

I just finished a 7 month trip of Asia. And from friends and family, I experienced a little of all except denial. I think it all depended on the person's travel experience as to how they reacted. But I feel the trip has made me a better ME and I learned so much about myself and people.

Good for you! Best wishes!


Wednesday 16th of May 2012

Congratulations, Kerri! Agreed that reactions correlate to people's experiences. Cheers to being a better you/me and a better world citizen through extended travel!

Adam Axon

Tuesday 21st of September 2010

Hiya Lillie!

Another great post, I must say from my experience the most common response I got was overwhelmingly option F, with perhaps an undertone of option D!

I find that the idea of a RTW is just so opposite what everyone is almost conditioned to believe is the only way to succeed in life that most people just can't relate on any level to what you're trying to achieve! Those who can, often come across as a little bitter that they haven't been able to do it themselves!

We each have our own paths I suppose, although I do question if the majority of people really ever find that path.....

Imported Blogger Comments

Wednesday 26th of May 2010

DADC said... You forgot to add the people that will live vicariously through you by reading this blog, as I intend to do! This is amazing and I can't wait to read all about your adventures.

July 28, 2009 2:33 PM

L. Marshall said... Thanks so much for your positive feedback! Feel free to throw suggestions my way to make your reading more enjoyable.

July 29, 2009 2:34 AM

Luddy Sr. said... I'm definitely a G.

Jealousy sure brings out strange reactions in folks. They either feel the need to justify their existence somehow, or rain on your parade. It's sort of funny to watch.

Your intentions are quite obviously positive in every way.

December 4, 2009 10:49 PM

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