Full-time traveling is not only hard on the traveler, but also on the family that has been left behind. At first, family and friends are excited about your upcoming adventure. Then, as you really start planning and figuring out how you will create a life on the road, emotions start to change. I've talked to many, and I mean, many full-time travelers and each and every one of them has a similar story. I created a little go-to plan for myself on how to deal with family negativity about traveling.
How to Deal with Negative Friends and Family About Traveling
The first step honestly, is understanding where that negativity is coming from. Typically, it stems from one or two things. The first is simple jealousy. Your family is happy that you are taking the steps to live a life less ordinary, but they secretly wish they could do it too. If they can't, you might start to see the Green Eyed Monster real it's ugly head. This could be in sly side remarks about your lifestyle or even worse, telling you that you are a failure in life because you no longer own a home with all the crap that goes inside it. That story has sadly been thrown at me a few times when I go home to visit family. People put more emphasis on material possessions than they do on experiences.
Once I figured out that was their issue and not mine, I could let it go. It took a loooong time to be able to do so. I was hurt. I was angry. And I just couldn't understand their anger until I figured out that it was jealousy. Now, I tell the good stories about full-time traveling but I also make sure to share the not-so-awesome ones so that don't think it is all rainbows and unicorns on the road. Traveling full-time is tough mentally, physically, and emotionally. It isn't easy and it isn't for everyone.
The second reason that negativity shows up is out of concern. Weird, I know. For me, my family portrays negative emotions over my traveling when they are scared about my safety or security. They have a hard time understanding that in order for me to live the life I want, I have to push through fears, not let them hold me back.
With all of that said, it still is painful when family and friends react in a negative manner to me being a full-time traveler. These are just a few of the things I do when that happens:
- Breathe. Then I breathe again.
- I write in my private journal and let it out. Why yes, it is a Storm Trooper journal. 🙂
- I call up my other traveling friends and share the story. They will get it more than my bff who is sitting at home.
- I break out my adult coloring books and let me mind calm down as I mindlessly color.
- I go for a walk or a hike and see all that nature can give me.
How do you handle negative friends and family?