Why travel shaming says more about you than about the person that you are attempting to put down.
It's 2018 and travel is no longer something that people only do "every now and then" when they can afford a ticket but has become a hobby, an ultimate goal, and a lifestyle choice.
Shrouded in mystery (how did he afford that? where is she now? what does he do for a living?) and sometimes luxury; it is a trend and like most trends, it is sustained and pushed by exclusion and a "better-than-thou" attitude adopted by the insiders.
What I find most interesting is that these , "I travel therefore I am important" sentiments are relatively new. When I was in undergrad (4-ish years ago), my male peers were bragging about buying bottles of overpriced premium liquor and tables at clubs. Women were proud of spending their hard earned money on designer bags, watches, and shoes. Men bragged about being "well dressed and well educated." Nearly no one I knew or saw online bragged about travel. And that is not to say that people weren't traveling but travel was not as "cool" at that time as an LV bag and/or bottle service.(Editors note: LV bags are still cool)
Today these same men are posting memes on social media using pictures of economy-class tickets purchased during an airline glitch to shame their less well-traveled friends. I remember men bragging about their colorful socks and suits they wore to stand in line for an hour to get into an either empty or overpacked club and today those same men brag about those same suits and colorful socks… but just while in Dubai. "Well dressed, well educated, (and now) well traveled"
I see women put down other women by posting captions, "Your body count shouldn't be higher than the number of stamps in your passport" and to those women I say, "Girl, mind your own body and business!"
People post pictures holding their freshly purchased passports as if it is a VIP ticket to an exclusive club for the 1% - but it's not. It's a government-issued form of ID - it's a glorified driver's license with perks in the form of legal protection based on your (extremely privileged) citizenship while overseas.
It makes me wonder, why is it that to some people everything is better when not everyone can have it?
Is an opportunity more exciting to you knowing that someone in your network could never do the same?
Does your food taste better knowing that there are people somewhere starving? The answer should be no, and if for you it is yes, you might be a bit of a sadist and sociopath. YOU might really need help.
People tend to focus on which side of the trend they are on.
People want to be the person setting the trend not following it. They want to make the wave not ride the wave. But here is a secret, it doesn't matter which you are: trend setter or trend follower because if we're all being super honest with ourselves, very few (if any) of us have started anything in a vacuum. We are all influenced and inspired and made better by access to each other's ideas. And maybe you do it better than the person who started it… but you're still a follower and that is perfectly okay. But don't be the person who shames someone else for not following as fast as you did. #HumbleThyself.
I can tell when someone is a follower because a true leader wants to inspire people not to put others down to make themselves feel important. A leader knows and intimately understands their value and contribution to society, their community, to the world and so they gain nothing by making their followers feel bad about themselves.
In an effort to be an inspiration to our viewers and make ourselves feel good, we can end up being an attention-seeking-asshole. Which wouldn’t be the worst thing except that you might be (and probably are) making others feel bad about themselves for things that are (or maybe aren't) out of their control, and you just shouldn't want to do that. You should not get off on making someone feel less than. You should not feel big by making people who follow your life feel small.
Whether, someone doesn’t travel because they can't afford it, because they don’t like to, or because they'd still rather spend their hard earned dollars and time on bottles (and bodies lmfao) is really none of your business.
Celebrate your life. Post all of your pictures. Share your world. But stop using your own choices and experiences to stunt, criticize, belittle someone else's.
Don't be that guy/girl that feels like you're better because you (seemingly) can do more.
It's not impressive. It's not cute. It's just cruel.
God doesn't like ugly, and neither do I.