Cultural experiences and funny musings by two twenty-somethings living abroad
We confess, we love to travel (but you probably knew that already!). We’ve met a lot of people whilst travelling and we’ve met just as many people who have come back from travelling. Among all those people we meet, you get some that make you wonder why they decide to travel at all, as if it is some rite of life that they have to go through without even knowing why they have to do it. They say travel helps you to learn about yourself and makes you more interesting, but for many of us it just feeds the narcissistic and, frankly, boring side of ourselves that we supposedly want to rid ourselves of. Here are just a few of the kinds of people we have met
1) Travelling for charity
One thing I never really understood is the way some people feel the need to travel thousands of miles to Tanzania to climb up Mt Kilimanjaro to raise money for charity. Sure, it takes a lot of effort to do it and they use their own money to fund their trip, but couldn’t they perhaps do something a bit closer to home and instead put that money to a good cause instead of spending it on flights and other expenses? It all just feels so narcissistic and it feels more something someone can brag about achieving rather than actually doing any good for the people they claim to help.
2) Travel and the Brit Abroad
Another thing I never quite got is the way many travellers or holiday-makers travel god knows how far and do everything they would do at home, but just in another country. An old acquaintance from back home has been going to Spain every summer for as long as I remember, but would always go to the same resort in Malaga, which only Brits go to; eat fish and chips; drink Carlsberg; watch Coronation Street in the evening, Premier League football if it’s on – basically everything you would do back home, but in the sun. Although, this is maybe one of the more extreme examples, all too often it seems that people are sticking to English-speaking tourist hot spots and not actually enjoying the new country and culture right in front of them.
Besides, what’s the point spending hundreds of pounds and travelling thousands of miles just to do what you would do at home anyway?
3) Travel and social media
We all enjoy taking pictures on holiday and sharing them with family and friends. In this day and age, few of us get our photos developed anymore and instead post them up on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram to show everyone what a great time we had! There is nothing wrong with this, until you meet people who seem to only go to places for the photos, filters and the Facebook likes. Take one example of a friend we have who decided to go “backpacking around Asia” in the summer. His backpacking experience was probably not the one you’d imagine as he stayed in fancy hotels with swimming pools, all uploaded of course to his Instagram. Of course, there’s nothing wrong if you prefer a more luxurious holiday however, please don’t call it “backpacking” when you’re sat on a sun lounger in some 5-star resort in Thailand.
4) Travel and “expertise”
And then you get those people who travel to some remote part of Africa for a few days and suddenly come back as experts in revolutionary Congolese politics or elephants threatened by poachers or traditional african religions or can suddenly speak some random tribal language fluently after a day or two of being there.
Having a brief glimpse into a new country, culture and another way of life is by all means really great and of course it’s only normal to form opinions based on first impressions. But those, who come back from a trip thinking they could run for presidency of the country, maybe think again.
5) Travel and arrogance
Arrogance takes quite a few forms when people go travelling – from the outright obnoxious to the downright patronising. Imagine being an ordinary townsperson where tourists keep on telling you how amazing things are where they’re from whilst at the same time feigning pity about your hometown.
From turning their noses up to local cuisine, to disliking popular music on the radio, some people will nit-pick on many trivial things when travelling. Of course, we all like to have a good moan sometimes and maybe even appreciate our home even more but just save it for when you’re at home and you’re not being a snob to the locals around you.
So, here is our list of things that get on our nerves when meeting fellow travellers. We are probably all guilty of one or two of these, however we need to remember that travelling is such a unique and wonderful experience and it’s the perfect time to leave our baggage at home and explore the world with new eyes and a fresh perspective!
Have any of you met people like this when travelling?