13 things mentally strong travelers shouldn’t do in 2018

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Are you a tourist/traveler? Have you ever felt inadequate after scrolling through another traveler’s Instagram feed? This got me thinking about bad habits mentally weak travelers have. In fact, my list is directly inspired by Amy Morin’s bestseller, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do. Here are 13 things mentally strong travelers shouldn’t do in 2018.

1. They waste time feeling sorry for themselves.

Mentally weak travelers love to throw pity parties for themselves: “Yes, I went to Paris but it rained all the time” or ” I got sick in India and hated it.” Even if they can’t afford to travel abroad, they don’t make the effort to discover their own home country or see it through new eyes.

2. They give away their power.

Mentally weak travelers allow others to control how they react to situations. If a local from another country unwittingly insults them because of cultural differences, they take it personally and generalize about all the people in that place. These travelers also feel guilty if their friends and family criticize their decision to travel.

3. They shy away from change.

Mentally weak travelers don’t move out of their comfort zones. For instance, they always go on all-inclusive vacations and fail to venture past the hotel. They only hang out with other travelers who share their likes/dislikes. In other words, they travel to another country only to hang out with people and do things they could otherwise do at home.

4. They waste energy on things they can’t control.

Mentally weak travelers love to complain about things beyond their control. They complain about the bad weather, the language barrier, the traffic, the lumpy hotel bed, and the overly spicy/bland food. They aren’t grateful for the money and time to have a vacation. They can’t turn a terrible situation into an inspiring/entertaining travel story when they get home.

5. They worry about pleasing everyone.

Mentally weak travelers are perennial worriers. They’re always anxious about whether others are enjoying the trip. In the end, they end up resenting these people and don’t get the chance to enjoy their vacation for themselves.  They also buy shoddy goods because they are bullied to do so by the tour guide who gets a commission on the side.

6. They fear taking calculated risks.

Mentally weak travelers are reckless. They are foolish when it comes to moving beyond their comfort zone. They buy weed from the piper on a Caribbean beach and then get angry when they get caught by the local police. They go to bed with random strangers because they’re “on vacation” and then cry wolf when they develop an STD later on.

7. They dwell on the past.

Mentally weak travelers are always in the past. If they visit a place a second time, they complain that it was cooler/less touristy/more off the beaten track/unspoiled the last time. They keep saying that travel way back when was purer because there was no social media or GPS. They can’t appreciate the present and the modern.

8. They make the same mistakes over and over.

Mentally weak travelers blame others and external circumstances anytime something goes wrong. For example, they don’t learn from their mistakes and fail to understand that they play a role in their repeat travel misadventures.

9. They resent other travelers’ success stories.

Mentally weak travelers are always jealous of other travelers’ Instagram/Facebook/blog feed and fail to understand that most social media posts are staged to create an illusion of happiness. If someone visits 20 countries, they gloat that they’ve been to 21. They love to one-up other travelers with more outrageous travel stories and fail to see that success as a traveler is always a unique story no one else can tell.

10. They give up after the first failure.

Mentally weak travelers give up after they fail for the first time. If they stumble while learning flamenco, they swear off the dance forever. If they got tongue-tied speaking Japanese to a local, they don’t open their mouths for the rest of the trip.  They don’t see failure as opportunities to learn on the road.

11. They fear alone time.

Mentally weak travelers hate being alone. They’re always desperate to be with someone else on the road, even if they fight with that person most of the time. They can’t go anywhere without having someone else tagging along. They can’t appreciate quiet moments when they can reflect on the journey or the lessons of travel.

12. They feel the world owes them anything.

Mentally weak travelers feel entitled to enjoy their vacation time 100% of the time. After all, they worked all year and deserve this! They think that Bangkok/London/Machu Picchu has to be perfect because they showed up. They can’t understand that people actually live in these places and lead ordinary lives without having to defer to hapless tourists.

13. They expect immediate results.

Mentally weak travelers can’t wrap their heads around cultural differences. For instance, Westerners travel to countries like Fiji and expect the same prompt service they receive in their homelands, failing to fathom the cultural divide that exists regarding their concept of time and “Fiji time.”

Do you agree/disagree with this list? Please share in the comments!

mentally strong travelers

33 thoughts on “13 things mentally strong travelers shouldn’t do in 2018

  1. You are very much correct about mentally strong travelers. People who are not prepared to travel have many absurd reasons for not traveling. But if we are mentally strong then those reasons are nothing. Sometimes people are guilty that they spent fortunes on travel but if we are mentally strong then we should be guilty. Loved your post.

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  2. Oh there is so much truth in these words. It s so good that you collect them so that you can look them up if needed. Especially the idea that social media is creating an illusion of happiness is absolutely correct and need to be kept in mind.

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  3. It was reading your posts as the topic is a bit different . I honestly think that is not black or white. I crave for company when I travel because I love to share the moments with someone but it doesnt mean I dont appreciate the moment when I am by myself. And I must be a weak mentally traveler because I do complain (perhaps because I am a woman?) about how the bad weather is and how the food is tasteless…but on then on the other hand I could cry of joy just to see a beautiful exotic bird. In my view point, everyone are different a traveler or not traveler. I guess as a traveler is important to know the reason why you travel. There are travels I love to have a break in a resort because I had a rough moment in my life and then other times I love to go camping in the nature and it could rain no matter how much and I would just enjoy it.

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  4. I couldn’t agree more with you about these points especially that part where most travelers do it for the gram. I think every traveler need to keep these 13 points in mind so as to become strong because traveling is for the strong-minded! And that aprt of complaining, I think I’m beginning to stop that. I’ve promised myself to always see the good side of everything even when it’s glaring that it’s bad. It was nice reading this.

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    1. Thanks Lydia. I think many of us fall into the trap of complaining when faced with the unknown. It’s a human thing but I think we can train ourselves to reflect before we start ranting about things beyond our control.

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  5. This post was about all of the negative emotions you can have while traveling, but it was surprisingly. Next time I travel, I want to reference this list and push myself to not do any of these and see how my travel experience is affected. What an awesome post! New Year’s resolutions are now sorted!

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  6. You can definitely get a lot farther in your travels by letting things roll off your shoulders–ordeals can easily become adventures with the right mindset. It’s important to always keep the circle of control in mind–we sure can’t control the weather, as you mentioned. Failure is a huge part of travel, as well–you’re right that not giving up is important!

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  7. I must say that #9 is a complicated one and a tall order for most, not just travellers. Like you stated: “success as a traveler is always a unique story no one else can tell” I wholeheartedly agree. A traveller has to run with this idea and share their unique experiences with the world. You are the only one with “your experience” as obvious as that sounds.

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    1. Dan, I totally agree. I just get tired of travelers/non-travelers getting jealous of other travelers’ trips and stories. Just make your own journey and stop trying to live against someone else’s yardstick!

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  8. Yes, I totally agree. There are a few things I need to keep in mind, such as not be afraid of alone time. I usually travel with my husband and I’ve gotten used to it, but it would have been fun and nice to travel on my own once in a while!

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  9. Wow! I love this article! It is great how you managed to extrapolate from a general notion to something so specific. I must admit, I have never thought about this, until now. Unfortunately, I realise that I know many people who travel and who are like you described. However, I am happy to report that I don’t find myself in any of those situations 😊 so, I guess that means I am not a weak traveler! Yeeey 🌷🌷

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    1. So glad to hear you’re not a weakling when it comes to travel! Also, my list is directly inspired by Amy Morin’s. I just related it to the traveler’s context.

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  10. You’ve covered some very valid points here. I totally agree about the social media illusion; it’s hard sometimes when you see amazing posts; but we all know the reality of trying to take the perfect shot! I also agree about the fear of being alone; it’s something most people don’t like to admit.

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  11. Very interesting, we never thought about this subject of being a mentally strong or weak traveller and after reading, absolutely can recognize many travellers you encounter that are so mentally weak as they repeat these points all over again and again. They speak so much more than normal people too! It’s almost like saying “I am so busy” … instead of changing and acting the right way, it’s like they get the negative experiences all the time!

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  12. The great thing about this list is that it can be applied to any life aspect, not just travel. I’m the type of person to go with the flow and take risks, because what happens – happens. I’ve traveled with a few people who complain, want to sleep early or cannot stop making instagram stories and it’s really annoying. That’s why I got into solo travel.

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  13. The first point is true. Sometimes its so difficult to plan & execute a far away destination. But I always manage to explore what’s around me on weekends. And yeah, very true about staged photographs in social media. Immediate success doesn’t happen at all!!! It takes its own sweet time! 🙂

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  14. I am not sure I agree with this. I have been travelling solo since I was 19 in the early 90s when there was no internet, no mobile phones and yet with little money I would wander off around europe for the weekend with no way of getting in touch with family, and being totally self sufficient. I do however complain about travel but I do not believe for one minute that makes me mentally weak. That just makes me human

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  15. Nice set of resolutions for not just travelers but for people in general. All these points work for any kind of situation and at some point, we all are guilty of them. I find a few that I need to take care of!

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  16. Yep, good points. The most important thing ive gained from traveling and living abraod as an expat for 15 years is a keener sense of awareness about myself and how i react at any given moment to new people and situations along the way. I believe that extensive travel, and especially living and working in different countries, is the best education you can give to yourself! Thanks for all the reminders!

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