Not “Soo Lucky”

Last week I was IM chatting with my niece on Skype about my upcoming travels and she commented that “you and Elena are soo lucky you guys get to travel soo much”. I know what she meant, and she meant well, but it’s worth pointing out living and traveling like we do takes a great deal of work. Too few ever seem to really recognized that.

The first time around it was harder to hear statements this, but I’ve since learned to put it in the same category of people that say things like: “OMG that photo is so beautiful! You must have a really expensive camera”. In these situations people are sincerely trying to pay a compliment, they just don’t really realize what their words really suggest isn’t so much a compliment of the human involved.

A lot of my fellow photographers have heard that refrain so often they have a saying about this, “It’s not the camera”. I think we travelers can similarly embrace, “It’s not luck” as our refrain. More on the hard work that goes into this life in another post.

I’m as guilty as the next person of making comments like this, but hopefully this post will help us all remember next time we are amazed by something someone has done to take a moment to recognize what went into that accomplishmen. And perhaps even better to sincerely ask them about the hard work that went into realizing it.

It doesn’t matter if it’s the photographer with beautiful photos, the Olympic athlete with a medal around their neck or the parent with amazing kids… Take a moment and ask “How did you capture such a beautiful photo?”, “Tell me about how you trained so long and hard to achieve that medal?” and “What have you done to raise such amazing children?”

Side note: this officially marks my return to travel blogging so start paying attention to this site again if you’re interested, much more travel related stories and photos to come.


  1. ok, i’ll start paying attention if you start writing more 😉

    I will guess that your travel lifestyle is a “bit” easier since you have no children. Not saying others with kids can’t do it.

    Just that I agree and it’s not luck .. it’s hard work to plan and execute your plan.

  2. Thanks man! Definitely harder with kids, I couldn’t imagine, but there are a bunch of people that are traveling for extended periods with their kids. They’ll be the subject of a future blog post even!

  3. I know how long and hard you worked for this freedom to travel. I’ll try to remember your suggestions for questions to ask the amazing people we meet. They show appreciation and interest and maybe I’ll learn something from the answers. I’m looking forward to reading the blog again.

  4. Glad you’re writing again…

  5. Definitely hard work, but we think there is also some luck involved. We feel lucky that we happen to have skills that lend themselves to a traveling lifestyle and we also feel lucky that we have the means to do it. No matter how much work is involved (and there is a lot) we do realize that traveling is a luxury that does not extend itself to everyone and so work hard never to take it for granted that we can. 🙂

    • Thanks you two! It was a pleasure meeting you this morning.

      Yes, some luck is certainly involved. I do feel lucky and fortunate every day. The English language (and most) can be so limited though I think we need different words for the “luck” involved when a slot machine pays out from when someone gets the dream job they’ve worked their whole life toward.

  6. Lucky is a funny thing in more ways than one. I like the word serendipity too. When people say how lucky Steve and I are for lots of different things I frequently say “You can be lucky too. Just do it.”

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