Summer is officially upon here, and us tired, stressed out college students are finally released from the school year. Summer is obviously a time when a lot of people book their big vacations, and soon enough we find our Instagram and Facebook feeds clogged with snaps of the Effiel Tower on a dreamy Parisian evening, a glossy infinity pool nestled in a gorgeous resort in Mexico, and the gleaming skyscrapers of New York City. We view these dazzling images as we sit in our bedroom at home, our own summer plans, for various reasons, consisting of no time wandering through glamorous destinations.
The reasons for your lack of travel are endless, and as much as some destinations are branded affordable, the bottom line is that you need some funds to travel, especially to far-flung places like Europe. Also, you might be working a job or an internship this summer and can't afford to not work the whole summer, especially if you find yourself too busy with academics during the school year to commit yourself to a job.
There will always be that handful of people that, for some reason or another, are able to travel to multiple countries throughout the year without fail. There will always be those people who are able to spend their whole summer in Italy, while you're left scratching your head as to who is footing the bill for this grand adventure. I don't have any spite against this people. I totally believe that if you have the resources to travel often, you would be crazy not to take advantage of the opportunities available to you.
But still. It does begin sting a bit when you see other people perusing your dream travel destinations while you are spending the majority of your summer within the confines of your hometown. The sense of travel envy starts growing inside until you stop appreciating the travel pics other people are posting ("wow, that picture of Italy is so cool!") and start resenting them for their very existence ("wow, it's so great that you have the time and money to travel to wherever your heart desires... can you stop posting now?"). Jealousy is always an ugly thing. But with social media especially being so prominent, it's becoming more and more of an everyday issue.
Our generation especially boasts the ideal of taking epic road trips across the country, backpacking around Europe, and just generally getting out and exploring. I think this is a great mentality to have, but when you are unable to participate in these types of things - even if it's just for a summer - the travel envy can be difficult to manage. My advice: don't let your lack of travel ruin your summer. Even though I think society likes to push the idea that you can only truly travel the world while you're still young, you really do have your life ahead of you when it comes to traveling. Yeah, I would rather be discovering a new country instead of working 40 hours a week at my summer job, but this is what I need right now. Despite the wanderlust I have, I know deep down that there are also great perks to being home, such as being able to spend time with family and friends, saving so much money when it comes to living in my own home, and also being in my hometown - which yes, isn't some exciting destination, but it's still the only place I can truly call home.
So the next time a friend posts a picture from their vacations... don't let it act as a reminder of all the traveling you haven't done. Don't allow other people's pictures take a hit at your self-esteem. The comparison is too easily done when you're on social media, and it's just another toxic mode of thinking to cut out of your life. This summer, make it your personal goal to stop experiencing travel envy and start living the life you are lucky enough to have.