Why I don’t care if you call me lucky.

Venetie20

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.

GrandCanyon11

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.

Venetie6

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.

Copy of Copy of ABEY'S

16 comments

  1. Annika

    I absolutely love that. You get to prioritize to travel. That is a big fat dose of reality for all those who constantly preach that everybody can travel if they only want to enough. One of those statements that really irks be because it is simply not true. So thank you for writing this and saying it how it is!

    Reply

    1. Explorista

      Thanks Annika, your comment means so much!

      Reply

  2. LisaLDN

    You have no idea how much I LOVE this post and how much it speaks to me! I feel so incredibly lucky on a daily basis, mainly because I’m born in a wealthy, democratic country, I have the opportunities to work, make money and spend it as I like – thus allowing me to travel a lot. Being called lucky is not an insult to me, because I am!
    (All though I wish people wouldn’t use it as an excuse as to why they can’t achieve what I have..)

    THANK YOU for this post – I’ll be sharing it on my Facebook page! :)

    Reply

    1. Explorista

      I’m SO happy to hear this. I feel lucky all the time too, and like with you -it’s not an insult. It’s beyond me how anyone would feel insulted to be called lucky. I agree with the excuse, there are so many people using excuses because it’s easier to stay where they are than to change. But the simple fact is, if you GET to prioritize travel, you’re privileged. There’s so many people who can’t prioritize it no matter how much they want. Thanks so much for the share Lisa <3 <3

      Reply

  3. Hand Luggage Only

    This post is so amazing Milou! Thanks for taking the time to write it and giving everyone a healthy dose of the real BTS action! :-)

    Reply

  4. Wesley Pechler

    Wat een fantastisch stuk! Inderdaad heel belangrijk om er regelmatig bij stil te staan hoeveel geluk we direct bij onze geboorte in Nederland al ontvingen, ik inderdaad helemaal als homo. Maar toch snap ik ook de mensen wel die de term ‘lucky’ niet apprecieren. Alle (relatief weinige) keren dat ik dat heb gehoord kwam het van iemand met dezelfde huidskleur, ongeveer dezelfde sociaaleconomische komaf en nationaliteit, maar wel van iemand die dan of zelf op hun 17e al een rijbewijs en 18e al een auto had, of op hun 19e al een geheel eigen appartement, of elke week 25-50 euro spendeerde aan uitgaan, een voorliefde heeft voor merkkleding, of nog erger, nog nooit een bijbaantje heeft gehad. In al die gevallen had het tussen ons twee niks meer met geluk te maken, en inderdaad met de prioriteiten die je stelt, maar dat je die keuze als Hollander goddank überhaupt hebt is een kans van one in a million.

    Reply

  5. Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad

    Amen!. I heartily agree when people call me lucky, because I am. For all the reasons you mentioned. Even though bad things have happened to me and my health isn’t 100%, I’m still luckier than the vast majority of humans I share the earth with. The kinds of articles you mention about how ‘anyone can travel’ make my blood boil. These people are so privileged they can’t even see past the ends of their own noses.

    Thanks for writing this and casting a bit of sanity on the issue!

    Reply

  6. Annelies

    Lucky and blessed!!!! Loved the post….love you 😘

    Reply

  7. Marloes ❤ Budgetproof.nl

    Wouw Milou, mooi en dankbaar :D dat is waarom je al zover bent gekomen en ik weet zeker dat je nog heel lang ass kicking doorgaat!

    Reply

  8. Denise van Breemen

    Mooi geschreven!

    Reply

  9. Yvonne

    Goed artikel Milou, ik ben het volledig met je eens! Wat ik wel zie bij mensen uit mijn directe omgeving is dat zij mij ‘lucky’ noemen omdat ze denken dat het geld (en de vliegtickets) op mijn rug groeien. Dan leg ik ze wel even uit dat ik er ook enorm veel voor laat vallen en er écht veel voor werk (constant, zeg maar).

    Maar je hebt gelijk – gezondheid telt, veiligheid telt, liefde telt en we hebben toch écht geluk dat we in Nederland geboren zijn.

    Reply

  10. Denise - Follow my footprints

    In Nederland zijn we absoluut bevoorrecht, en in veel andere landen om ons heen ook. Gezien je reactie op de link die ik gedeeld had (en wellicht door mijn reactie erop onder de betreffende blog) leek het even alsof je dacht dat ik dat niet besef (doordat ik iets vergelijkbaars als Yvonne hierboven zei), maar dat besef ik wel degelijk hoor! Ik zeg dat ook vaak op social media. Laatst nog bij mijn post over alle vrouwen die ik in heel veel landen op de wereld op de foto had gezet. Dan voel ik me inderdaad heel lucky (en sad tegelijk) dat niet iedere vrouw dat ‘geluk’ heeft.

    Reply

  11. paula

    Loved this post, well said. We are lucky for getting the oportunity to priorize and making our own decisions.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Digital Nomad
How I got 1000+ unique visitors my first month of blogging

On january 25th I launched this website, Explorista.net, ready to take over the world with my awesome posts on travel...

Close