Choice Not Luck

One of the comments that I get very often whenever I return from a journey / travel adventure is this- “Oh you are so lucky to have travelled!” And I go “hmmm! Really?”

Before you jump to any conclusions let me clear this one out. I’m not saying luck has no role in your life. You are lucky to be born to a good family in good health and be given a chance at education and other opportunities. You are lucky to meet the people who will stay with you for the rest of your life no matter what. But what does luck have to do with your choices about personal travel unless you mean it in the sense of “Oh I was lucky enough to travel to that island before it got submerged by the rising waters” or “I was lucky I didn’t have to spend 15 hours stranded in an airport because of a flash strike by baggage handlers” or something like that?

Luck although important is not the prime mover in this game. It’s the choices that you make that make you a traveler.

Travel is a Choice

For those who complain that they never have enough money to travel I would say, go look through what you have been spending money on- you make the choice of whether you want an ipad or the latest smartphone or an expensive equipment for photography or whether you would rather spend that money on travelling somewhere.  True personal circumstances sometime mean that putting aside the money to travel may be difficult for a certain period of time but it need not always be impossible.

If you say you can’t travel because your friends or family cannot travel with you, then I ask you why you cannot travel alone? Travel is an amazing journey of self- discovery and the more you face new things by yourself- the more self aware you become.

For those who say that they have professional and personal commitments, I would say, that is also a choice. You decide when and what you put into your work and family life. Balancing different aspects of life is not easy and you have to draw a line somewhere about what is more important to you.  If you decide that you can never get the time to take off work or the time to get away from your family (or with your family) then I say that you are once again making a choice- prioritizing one thing over the other.

I’m not saying that travelling is the ultimate choice- that it is better to travel than to be the alpha person at work or that it is better to travel than to spend money on gadgets or cars or that it is better to have the freedom to travel than have personal commitments to family and friends. All I’m saying is that travel is one of the choices you can make in this life. If your life’s passion is to travel and discover new things you will find a way to do it no matter what. And if it’s not, well then it’s not and you’re probably doing other things that matter to you.

So the next time I’m coming back from a trip, don’t say “you’re lucky!”. If you have to say something then say “you made a good choice!”


14 Comments Add yours

  1. I absolutely agree with these sentiments – I began my travelling life with a husband and young family, we scrimped and we saved and we did without to be able to travel to Europe for 3 months. I don’t think I’ve stopped travelling since, I don’t have all the latest gadgets and I don’t eat out every week at restaurants but what I do have are some amazing travel memories 🙂

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      I’m so glad you agree! I don’t have much gadgetry either- everytime I save a small sum I blow it on travel 🙂 And I can’t say I regret it!

  2. lav says:

    Yeah! I always felt that people were jealous not so much of the chance but the choice we make!
    Well put!!

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      Thanks, its not often we realise it!

  3. Syed says:

    “it is better to travel than to spend money on gadgets or cars or that it is better to have the freedom to travel than have personal commitments to family and friends”, like it Sukanya.

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      Thanks Syed though I was saying that I do not believe it is so universally, its a question of our choices!

  4. Nirmala says:

    I totally agree.It is indeed a choice that you make.

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:


  5. Great Post! I am totally the same way. I would much rather spend $500 on seeing a new city then buying a new tv. I get by with what i have and get to experience the world around me with the money i am able to save.

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      So So true with me as well. My first priority for spends is always a journey somewhere. Gadgets only if I have surplus!

      1. Although someday I hope to upgrade to a better camera so I can take some nicer pictures while on my travels.

      2. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

        Amen to that! I go around with an evolved version of a point and shoot camera. Someday I’ll own a DSLR with uber cool lenses! Someday!

  6. JustColl says:

    I’m not a traveler but know only too well the exasperation you feel when people say ‘aren’t you lucky?’
    When my kids were small, people told me I was too strict with them, then a few years later all I seemed to hear was “your kids are so nice to be around – you’re so lucky!”.
    Luck – like happiness – is something you work at!

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      I absolutely agree that everything has to be worked at. It’s not as automatic or lucky as people assume it to be

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