Disclaimer: This is meant to be a fun, informative post. There might be some sarcasm but that shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
The questions were compiled majorly through my own personal experiences but also that of other female travelers in my circle.
1. Who funds your travels?
Besides being a rude question, it says a lot about the person asking. It says that your life is so dark that you cannot comprehend that a woman of the 21st century can actually travel without the financial aid of a man (let’s be honest). A lot of travelers I know deny themselves so much to be able to travel. We prioritize. But let’s assume, for argument’s sake that a trip is socially funded, what value does that information add to your life?
2. How much did that trip cost you?
This is a tricky one because it depends on who is asking. If a close friend or a fellow traveler asked me (rarely happens), I would gladly answer because I know they are asking because they’re ACTUALLY planning to take the trip. Asking for general knowledge is both intrusive and ineffective. This is because our styles of travel are different. A travel blogger once told me she spent 1,500 USD dollars for a week-long trip to Cape town. Her friend, from the same home town, spent 4 times as much (6,000USD) when she visited. A basic google search will give you a better idea depending on your travel style.
3. How much does it cost to go to ‘place X’ for a week?
This is related to the previous question. If I asked you how much rent costs, monthly, in Nairobi, what would your answer be? Is it 20 USD or 6,000 USD? Both answers are correct. I understand that not everyone is good at/willing to do the Google-work it takes….and that’s why travel companies exist- to tailor a trip to your taste and budget, at a fee.
4. Who takes your photographs?
Sigh. We get what you’re trying to hint at. Try imagine for a second, that you have traveled alone. You go into a world famous museum/street FULL OF OTHER PEOPLE and want to take a picture. What would you do? There are actually people in other parts of the country/world. It really isn’t that difficult to grasp.
5. Unsolicited advice
“Oh, so you are going there? Have you heard about the latest stream of mass shootings?”
“Do you know that there was a terror attack 2 years ago?”
“How about the Ebola outbreak last year?”
It may come from a good place, but trust me, by the time someone is going somewhere for tourism, they have done their research and made up their mind. I have traveled to Lamu island twice by bus, a two day journey across a strip of harsh insecurity that requires one to hire armed soldiers (at the time of my visits). I knew it was not the safest thing to do, but I did my research and chose to do it anyway!
6. Don’t you have a real job?
What is a real job? And a fake one? If you’re struggling with traveling while in full-time employment, several travelers have shared their tips online.
7. Do you ever think of settling down, with all the traveling that you do?
This question is the reserve of parents/significant others. If you’re not directing it to your child or partner, do not let it leave your mouth. Again, it publicizes your narrow perspective in addition to being invasive. Most travelers are surrounded (in real life and virtually through blogs and social media) by families that travel, both together and apart. Getting married may also not be as important to others as it may be to you.
8. What does your husband/boyfriend/partner think about your travels?
Can I hand you his phone number?
Most travelers are elated to talk about travel and share their tips. You bring this topic up and they can go on and on. However, your questions need to be communicated devoid of pre-conceived notions and curiosity regarding personal matters.