I’ve travelled all over the world, and travelled with all different types of people. Unfortunately as in other aspects of life, not all the people you meet will be great… This post is inspired by a grouchy, possibly prematurely old before his time, me. Who just got woken up in the early hours by some slightly inconsiderate drunk people at a hostel. This tends to be a common occurrence, so in these grouchy times of reflection, why not write a post inspired by those delights who bring us such joy!
In my deep and philosophical irritated thoughts, I realised that actually these travellers who aren’t that great, can actually be slotted into the 5 categories below. I definitely wouldn’t like to come across as a moaner or a complainer, and I’ve tried to keep this post a bit more light hearted (hence my use of a random child with his head in his hands as the main picture… has it worked?). So this post, rather than being a rant, is a call out to all my fellow travellers to, well, think of your fellow travellers, and it makes the whole experience all the better for everyone.
1 – The obnoxious selfish one
This is top, because probably from a personal side I hate rude and selfish people. And that’s what I mean by obnoxious… Those who don’t care whatsoever about anyone other than themselves, and are completely unaware of how their actions impact others experiences. Being not only unaware but also don’t really care about their behaviour at all. I unfortunately met one such traveller for a period of my time in Africa, who was rude to locals, scared away Lions on safari we’d waited most of the day to see because she ‘needed to stick her head further out of the vehicle’ directly against exactly what our guide had told us, and also was always complaining and bringing everyone down with negative rude attitudes that just have no place anywhere. It makes you wonder why they’re there, their attitude gives the impression that it’s as if they were dragged kicking and screaming to these places so feel they need to complain the whole time. Please, please, don’t be this person. In any walk of life, I don’t care how much money you have, what ‘status’ you have or whatever, there’s never a need to be rude to anyone full stop. Especially when you’re in someone else’s culture. Mocking or rudely complaining about it when you’re the one who chose to be there, and they are gracious enough to host you, just isn’t on. Also, sometimes for some reason people seem to think are fine to let hygiene go if you’re travelling. No, you can’t not shower for a week, it will cause the whole dorm to smell, and yes you still need to flush people. I won’t go into more gross details but these people do unfortunately exist…
2 – The overly drunk one
Firstly, I like a drink or three. I am not about to bash people for drinking, it’s great. What isn’t great is when people can’t handle their drink and they say, come back after a night out and throw up over all their shared bathroom and roommates clothing (luckily this didn’t happen to me but did to a friend on a tour in New Zealand), or perhaps decide that people actually very much enjoy having all the doors in a hostel banged on at four in the morning. Or maybe (and this isn’t so much a problem for me as I’m a relatively confident person in standing up for myself) they feel that they’d like to make someone else feel like sh*t just because they don’t want to drink as much, or party as long. We’re not in high school anymore people, there isn’t a correlation between how much you drink and how cool you are as a person, so give it a break.
3 – The travel snob
I’ve spoken about this before in my travel stereotypes post, so check that out for some more detail. But what I mean, is those people that use their travel experiences to make themselves feel superior to others. They often only care about themselves, and only talk about themselves and their travels, because that’s kind of all they have. I hope I’m not coming across as mean, but I’ve witnessed people belittled for having the wrong type of luggage, for staying in the wrong type of accommodation, or for making one choice or another that the ‘travel snob’ deems unacceptable. You know what, travel should be something you do for you in the way you want. Those people who try to tell you you’re doing it wrong are often just trying to make you feel bad about your choices because they are insecure about themselves. Don’t let them. If you want to stay in five star hotels and not just live of local food all the time, it’s up to you. I’ve said it before and I will again, it’s your trip! Travel how you want and how you feel comfortable, don’t let any negative people get in the way.
4 – The miserable one
Everyone has a bad day, and this is fine. I’ve been miserable while travelling, it happens. What I mean, is the incessant complainer. Someone who uses travel as an excuse to be constantly negative. One such example was a gentlemen I stayed with for periods of a group trip I was on. He just constantly complained, ‘this is rubbish’ ‘the people are so boring’, ‘my last group was so much better’, ‘our guide is terrible’ etc etc. Firstly, I was one of those people so, cheers mate. Secondly, none of this was true. In fact the only reason he wasn’t happy about the trip, was that he’d been expecting to (the PG version), ‘hit it off with the ladies’, and had failed to do so. So therefore blamed this all on the trip, the places we went, the tour manager, the ‘boring people’ etc blah blah. I mean makes sense right… But you’ll also get complainers who just love it. And I mean, I’m complaining now, and I’m not saying you won’t have things you won’t be happy about and complaining occasionally is natural and fine, and kind of therapeutic. But I’m talking about those ones that complain ALL THE TIME, ‘this place isn’t nice enough’, ‘it’s too hot’, ‘this food is terrible’ etc etc. It’s like they’d rather be at home sat on the sofa, when they CHOSE to go there, no one made them. Strangely enough, I’ve found they’re also often the ones with the most gushy filtered to the hilt instagram photos, bragging about how ‘amazing’ their time is. Give me a break.
5 – The culturally ignorant one
What I mean by this is people doing ignorant, damaging, offensive, or unethical things for photos while they travel. Now I love a good selfie, who doesn’t. I’ve begrudgingly just started using a selfie stick, and you know what, they take good shots and having tried and failed with my arm many times, why not use one… What I mean by culturally ignorant however, is people screwing with wildlife or taking pictures in culturally inappropriate places just for good pictures. You know like those stories of people posing naked on religious monuments etc, or just taking pictures of people from different nationalities or their kids because they look different. Would you like it if some random person took a picture of you without your permission? Probably not. Yes maybe some of these just had no idea offence it could cause… But most of the time it’s made very clear if it’s deemed offensive or inappropriate to take a photo of something or someone, or it’s just common sense. Also the next point is just a personal opinion and I don’t want to come across as judging people for doing this or make them feel guilty, especially with the first sentence of this paragraph. But those places where you go to touch a tiger for a photo, just seem wrong to me. On one hand you could say, well it’s there why not, who’s touched a tiger? On the other hand however you could say, these places only exist because tourists go there, the animals are taken from their natural habitat, kept in tiny cages behind closed doors so tourists don’t see these conditions, then drugged to the hilt so you can get close to them and get that great picture you’re likely only getting for internet points. This is a big debate, and I don’t want to write this to give grief to people who have gone to these types of places. I more just want to put my opinion out there in the hope that in the future people realise what goes on behind the scenes, and this kind of animal tourism stops. Also to say that if you’re not sure about doing something because it might be inappropriate in the culture you’re in, then ask first or don’t do it.
So, I hope I haven’t come across too ranty in this post. It’s been somewhat therapeutic in my middle of the night hostel drunk people induced insomnia. The reason I’ve written this post isn’t to have a go, it’s to hope that people can become more self aware and considerate when they travel. It’s an incredible experience, one that’s often taken a lot of sacrifice to make happen, and therefore one that shouldn’t be ruined by others. So I’ll end on a positive note and say thank you to the 99.9% of travellers I haven’t mentioned yet in this post, those awesome considerate and great people in whom meeting make travel so special. So thanks guys, you’re the best.
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