The Arrogant Traveler: The Superiority Complex Of Our Time

I notice a lot of people comparing themselves with others.

In the past you’d see a lot of this with regard to money and STUFF – look how great my life is, look at how much money I have and, of course, look at my amazing Ferrari!

Paraglidin in Vall d'Áger. Lleida, Spain
Paraglidin in Vall d’Áger. Lleida, Spain
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These days things are different. People feel superior about being DIFFERENT.

Look at this amazing alternative lifestyle I’m living! Look at those silly people stuck in the system trying to achieve all that pointless stuff! Not me! I’m going to take the road less traveled!

Now people think they’re better than others because they’re RENOUNCING all that stuff.

I’ve even seen people going as far as boasting how they travel the world on nearly no money – complete with a I’m-so-much-more-enlightened-than-people-with-money attitude.

Then they go around spouting propaganda about how those who do have money aren’t getting authentic experiences when they travel.

The truth is I used to think like this. I thought I was better than those people “stuck in the rat race.” I thought that taking the alternative route – the unbeaten path – was inherently superior.

But after living in Asia for nearly 2 years now I’ve figured out that this lifestyle is the right thing for me in this period of my life but it doesn’t make me any better than people that don’t do something like this.

It also isn’t for everyone. You have to be someone who enjoys pushing your comfort zone and experiencing new things. Some people value comfort, consistency and maybe even THEIR JOB! *shock*gasp*horror*.

Yes, you’re allowed to love your career or making money or having an awesome car. We’ve all only got one life to live and there’s no one way that’s better than any other to do so.

And you know what? Despite saying all this I sometimes still can’t help but think everyone should be doing what I’m doing.

It’s difficult when you’re experiencing a new, exotic, exciting country and you wonder why EVERYBODY isn’t doing what you’re doing.

But I check myself, remember that I can appreciate what I have without making an identity out of it and to respect what other people choose to do with their lives.

So drop the arrogant ideologies, decide what it is that YOU want to do and, as Shia Labeouf so eloquently put it: JUST DO IT.

By Alex Stevenson. This piece was originally appeared on Ninja Teacher.


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