Why I don’t care if you call me lucky.
I’m a 24 year old white girl, running her own business, traveling the world and living in London. Ofcourse I’m f*cking lucky.
If there’s one thing that upsets me in the travel blogging world, it’s bloggers who call out strangers and friends for calling them lucky. Sometimes they even go so far as writing blogposts about how they AREN’T lucky. About how EVERYONE can live the life they lead, as long as they prioritize their life a little better. (Judgmental much?)
I get called lucky on a weekly basis. Guess what? I don’t care. If you tell me I’m lucky for whatever reason (and there’s many: the traveling, the business, the clients, the living in London) I will smile and nod in agreement. Yes, I am damn lucky. You’re right.
Let’s put a few things straight, before we get in to this. No, I’m not a trust fund baby. I’ve been supporting myself since I was 20 years old. I have never asked my parents for money, not even when I was ridiculously broke and depressed, and couldn’t afford my rent or a $20 haircut. I’ve had jobs since I was 15, and have been a business owner since I was 20. I’ve never relied on anyone else to support me. My life didn’t just fall into my lap. I’m making sacrifices to live a semi-nomadic life. I prioritize what I spend my money on (travel and business). I work 60-80 hours a week to make my business a success. In short: I’ve worked hard and after a few years I’m finally reaping the rewards of that.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not lucky.
Ofcourse I am. I’m a millenial born into a wealthy country in a middle class family. My passport allows me to travel to 143 countries without a visa, which is roughly three quarters of the world. Meanwhile I have a Moroccan friend who can only travel to 60 countries without a visa, most of them in Africa. I was born into a democratic country with a liberal culture. My country was the first to legalize gay marriage. It has the #4 most press freedom in the world. I can be whoever I want to be, and can go anywhere I want to go. I don’t have to worry about being gang-raped on a public bus.
Can we also just take a second and reflect on the fact that I’m healthy? I was born with all my limbs, functional organs, and am not chained to a hospital bed or wheelchair on a regular base. I can hear. I can see. I’m not struggling just to stay alive. I’ve been dealt a healthy brain that allows me to make wise life choices. My legs can take me to any high viewpoint in the city, and my eyes will make sure I enjoy the view. How is that not ridiculously lucky?
I was born into a happy, stable family who have always supported me to be the person I want to be, and to follow my dreams. I’ve never had to hide my identity, deal with broken families, family members using (sexual) violence on one another, supporting family members financially or having to shelve my dreams to stay home to care for ill family members.
That’s not to say my life is perfect and I’ve never had struggles. I nearly died as a toddler, my mom suffered from cancer, my grandfather currently has cancer, my father’s lost all his money in business TWICE, I’ve had family pass away, I’ve been assaulted and bullied. And I still struggle with anxiety and my prone-ness to depressions. I’ve been so broke I couldn’t afford rent, and at rock bottom I was turned away MULTIPLE times when went to apply for cleaning work just to be able to pay my bills. I’ve had to endure my fair share of shit, but I’ve always had a roof over my head, never gone hungry, and have never had to flee for my life because my family members were being blown up by enemy bombs.
I work hard. Taking it easy is a forty hour work week for me. I run a business, two websites and co-created a project for a multinational (which is essentially it’s own business). I push 60-80 hours most weeks. I can’t remember the last time I went shopping for clothes, because I invest most of my money back into my business. I live frugally to afford my dreams of traveling the world and living in my favourite city. But I GET to prioritize travel. That’s privilege in itself. Let’s repeat that:
I GET to prioritize travel. That’s a privilege.
So next time someone tells me I am lucky, I will smile and nod. Because I’m damn lucky, and if you travel, then so are you.