Money – a friend or a foe?

travel fund jar

It’s a given that in order to travel you need money. But should we see it as an enemy or a friend that allows us to fly?

Money is not the enemy, it is the people that don’t know how to use it that cause unhappiness. 

No matter where you are in the world, money somehow lingers in the atmosphere. The greed, dread and generosity that comes above the value itself is always there as a type of pressure gnawing away at your heart. Most don’t see or realise the pressure it brings; innocence allows us to see beyond notes and price tags.

But with age and experience it latches to us like a tick, sucking our life essence until it is fat with our humanity.

Even the happiest people alive have had to think about money. The spectrum ranges from ‘do we have enough money to eat today?’ to corporate thieves that take from the poor to fund the rich. Who is happier? We can’t deny that debt-free people with enough money to fit their lifestyle must be happier than people that have money lingering like a cancer at the back of their mind. But it would be a misconception to say that people living in the slums of India aren’t as happy as the Beverly Hills rich kids that write off a Lamborghini every month- if anything they are more so. While money can buy us a plane ticket, it can’t buy the experiences that come from seeing a new culture; they are truly priceless because it adds a trait to your personality like a job adds to your CV- it gives you something unique and sets you apart from the madding crowd.

It all comes down to necessities and perspective. As travellers we are able to budget and get by on as little as possible while gaining perspective by seeing first-hand what it can really mean to just have the necessities. And when everyday 9 to 5 life continues, we realise that it’s not a travelling bubble that we can get caught up in, but it is instead an ‘ordinary’ bubble that somehow makes us worry about bills and expense of things to suit our ever-so-first-world lifestyle. In truth, weren’t we happier camping on that mountain in Greece? Did we not get by living on the bare minimum when visiting that village in Africa? Was the sense of community in the slums of India that made us feel at home better than the unforgiving size twelve font of a car tax renewal?

But that bubble is only transparent for the very few- the travellers that answered yes to those questions. It’s called perspective- something that is gained ironically by using the money you have wisely.

So, spread the word because it is time to change how we see money. It can either be the friend that helps us to fly and realise that life is short so worry less and live more, or it can suffocate us in our bubble till it’s too late to breathe again.

We should and can unite on more than make-believe values; at the end of the day, that’s all that money is.

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