TOP 3 EXCUSES FOR NOT TRAVELING AND WHY THEY'RE BULLSH*T

Travel is undoubtedly one of, if not THE, easiest luxuries to forego when you're young and just trying to get your life together. However, I'm of the opinion that it shouldn't be. Below are the top 3 reasons I hear for not prioritizing travel and why all of those reasons should motivate you instead.

1. "I don't know if they like black/brown/Asian people there."

Be real with yourself - they don't like us here. Videos of Black citizens being mistreated and dying at the hands of American civil servants have been breaking the internet every couple of months for at least 3 years now. Traditionally Hispanic neighborhoods are constantly being cleared out and their residents pushed to the absolute edge of NYC's five boroughs due to "real estate investments." Asian Americans are still seen as perpetual foreigners and still asked where they're really from. You aren't safe just because you're at home so please don't use this as an excuse to not visit another country.

If anything, you should look at travel as an opportunity to grasp the nuances of your race across cultures. From being told my "coloring is interesting" in France to having my hair groped at in [sexual] curiosity in Italy - it's pretty interesting to see how people react to an average black American girl. Though we'll all inevitably have our own experiences and develop our own perspectives, travel reinforces a necessary sense of solidarity and connectedness across each diaspora knowing we're all in this together. I tend to go with the line of thought "So what if they don't like black people in XYZ country. As long as some of us live there, I'll be cool." All of that said, it's still important to travel smart. Don't go out of your way to put yourself in any real danger.

2. "I don't have the money to travel."

Financial difficulties are real and not to be ignored. Don't put yourself into thousands of dollars of debt trying to live it up overseas. We've all heard about ballin' on a budget. The keyword here is budget. It's very possible to travel within your means if you plan ahead.

Let's put it into perspective. As I'm typing this, Skyscanner shows that someone near Washington DC can purchase roundtrip tickets for a January 2017 Caribbean weekend trip for as little as $188. For those same travel dates, Skyscanner also shows that you can get a room at a 3-star hotel in the same destination for a total of $287. So, including taxes, you'll be flying non-stop coach and staying at an average hotel with breakfast included for about $415. According to Indeed.com, the average recent college graduate working in Washington DC has a salary $60,000/year. After the government takes their piece, this trip would account for 0.9% of this person's salary. Let's say you're on the lower end of the salary spectrum making $35,000 - these flight and hotel bookings account for 1.5% of your total post-tax salary. This trip is still completely do-able in a well-planned budget. This person would then have 4 months to save up whatever amount of money he or she feels comfortable traveling with. AND, let's not forget that, as long as you file your taxes promptly, the IRS will be cutting you a check shortly after this trip.

Of course there are financial circumstances where this is still not an option. But the large majority of the time that I hear this excuse, the case is just that you need to stop eating out, start cooking at home and packing lunch to save a little extra money. Creating and sticking to a budget truly gives you more power over your money. Once you know what you have, you can plan what to do with it. Always include travel in you budget - even if you don't know where you're going yet.

3. "Me and my friends can't get the same dates off of work/can't agree on a destination."

It's always a good feeling to be able to share a unique experience with a loved one or close friend. But it's not always possible to get on the exact same page as someone else. You shouldn't let that be an obstacle. Just go alone. Finding your way around a strange place on your own forces you to heighten your senses and gives you the feeling of invincibility. Solo travel is a very empowering experience, y'all. Please try it at least one time in your life.

Though I don't have a problem going solo, I understand that a lot of people just aren't comfortable going to an international destination alone. Especially if you're a woman OR have never been out of the country. Between careers, relationships, relocations, kids, and whatever other responsibilities someone may be dealing with, realistically, finding a great travel buddy or group in your circle may never happen. One of the reasons for Prism Travel is that I've seen this all too often. Of course, if you're going to travel with a group of people you want to make sure it's the right group of people. Prism's got you.