15 Things Travelers Shouldn't Give A Shit About in 2015
1. The cost of travelling. It's not cheap and you're going to have to save your ass off to get there. Just deal with it.
2. Malaysian-owned airlines. Bad luck comes in threes. They've had theirs. Let's move on.
3. Matching luggage. Because. Just. No.
4. Selling your belongings to fund a trip. It's just stuff, okay? It's really not important. If it can get you a plane ticket to Buenos Aires, then sell that bitch faster than you can say, 'Adios, amigos'.
5. Travelling alone. Let's face it: travelling with a group of people isn't always easy. In fact, it can be a downright pain in the ass. You have to constantly compromise, play the diplomat, and debate where to eat/stay/visit/party. Ugh.
Travelling solo is one of the best things you can ever do for yourself, so don't let the lack of a travel buddy stop you from exploring the world. Besides, you'll make friends as you go so you're never really going to be alone.
6. You can only speak one language (or only fragments of another). It is estimated that 80% of people on the planet speak 1.69 languages, so we ain't exactly the booming bilingual bosses we like to think we are.
As long as you get some basics down pat - Hello, Goodbye, Please, Thank you, Excuse me - you will find that communicating will be easier than you think. Besides, there are heaps of free language apps you can download to help out in those sticky situations when hand gestures and big smiles don't work. I know, because I wrote about it here.
7. Packing an arsenal of electronics. iPad, iPod, iPhone, camera, laptop, gaming device, Fitbit, GPS… the list goes on. Choose 2 items - 3 at the absolute maximum - to take, and then slap yourself for trying to fit them all in your carry on. You're travelling to be empowered and transformed, not distracted or sedated.
8. Making friends. Do you have a smile, good manners and a voice? Then you will be fine. People who travel tend to be outgoing, adventurous, curious folk who attract other like-minded people.
Be open to meeting new people in your journeys and be confident enough to ask for help when needed. Believe me, your tribe is out there just waiting for you to join them. Unless you actually want to be left alone; in which case, a permanent scowl, downcast eyes, and an expression that reads 'PISS OFF' will suffice.
9. Going on a diet. Are your freakin' serious?!? Part of the beauty of travelling is stuffing your face with incredible cuisine...and then walking it off afterwards. Would you really travel all the way to Italy and not eat gelato, pasta, pizza or tiramisu - just because you think you're 'fat' when you really aren't? Dude. C'mon.
Unless you have special medical, religious or lifestyle dietary requirements, leave your fad diet - and insecurities - at home. Vivendo la dolce vita, Bella!
10. Investing too much coin in experiences. Wanna go bungee-jumping in New Zealand? Whitewater rafting in Austria? Scuba diving in Micronesia? Then. Just. Do. It.
Don't get caught up on the cost of a good time; you will regret the things you didn't do far more than the things you did. So what if you have to eat peanut butter sandwiches for a few weeks? I bet the thrill of the adventure is worth it (not to mention the memories and bragging rights).
As a side note though, don't get suckered into every experience that comes across your path. Choose wisely and invest in the ones that really stoke the fires in your belly.
11. Fear. Okay, a word about fear: it's necessary, it's useful - hell, it's a damn great motivator - but don't let it cripple you. Don't allow it to consume you and stop you from trying.
When I went on my first solo overseas adventure to Europe, I was terrified. I'm talking multiple panic attacks, pass me the Xanax, I-feel-like-I'm-going-to-die freaking out. It took me a few days to chill out and get into the groove once I got there, but in the end, I didn't let my fear stop me from having a magnificent adventure. So don't let it stop you.
12. Travel pillows. Annoying. Ineffectual. Tacky.
13. Getting the best conversion rate in each city. We live in a world where things can change dramatically in a heartbeat. Same goes with our currency. Try to do the best you can, but don't spend hours searching and comparing exchange rates at different outlets - you'll miss out on the actual travelling part and all for what? Saving 2 cents on the dollar? Who cares.
14. The morality debate over one night stands. Have affairs to remember, I say. Just be safe.
15. What people think about you. It's no one's goddamn business how you choose to live your life. Spend your energy on creating what you want instead of paying attention to what others think is best for you.
Because screw them, that's why.