16 Things Travelers Shouldn't Give A Shit About in 2016
It's another new year, which means people are busy making resolutions that they probably won't keep, in the wake of holiday-induced binges and mistakes that they wish they hadn't made.
Inevitably, this just sets people up for failure. I mean, keeping a resolution is hard enough as it is and if you happened to write yours whilst suffering from a major NYE hangover, then I bet you've already dropped the ball. #adultingishard
So, instead of writing an inspiring post listing all the things that travelers should strive for this year (*yawn*) which will probably leave you feeling like shit if you don't achieve any of them, and in keeping with tradition, here's a list of things travellers shouldn't give a shit about in 2016. Because sometimes, less fucks need to be given.
1. Strategically posed travel photos
Enough already with the 'Oh hey, I'm just pretending to lean against the Leaning Tower of Pisa here, looking all cool and natural, ya know' photos. It's been DONE. Can we come up with a new crazy/funny photo thing now? I hear handstands are making a comeback.
Ah, FOMO you mofo. This is a hard one to beat, but if you can stop giving a fuck about missing out - on the places you want to see, people you want to meet, festivals you want to get shitfaced at, whatever - and just focus on being present man, your life is going to get infinitely easier.
Be damn grateful for where you are and what you have in this moment*; you have no idea how many people are probably looking at your life and having some FOMO wig outs of their own. So, you know, the grass is greener, mow your own lawn, yadda, yadda...
*This also goes for travellers who are already abroad but have FOMO over what's going on back home. Sorry amigo, but you can't have it all. Don't be a little bitch about it.
3. Following the crowd
Everyone's going to Bali? I dare you to go to Butan, Burma or Bucharest instead.
It's much more fun being a wolf than a sheep, I assure you. Go where others haven't been and blaze your own trail of discovery.
4. Getting more likes on Instagram
Post whatever the hell you want, followers be damned. Who gives a shit if you don't have the best camera or the coolest accessories or whatever? Who cares if you've got stretch marks, chubby thighs, or have more junk in your trunk than Nicky Minaj? Spend more time curating an adventurous life and less time curating an Instagram feed that looks pretty.
I'm telling you, your worth is not determined by a social media platform. And if it is, then you better go see someone about that shit. Pronto.
5. The 'perfect' travel outfit
I'm sorry, but I just can't take you seriously as a traveller when I see a picture of you running through an exotic Middle Eastern desert in a flowing white dress, sparkling accessories and high heels.
Seriously? Is this what we are doing now - trading Converse for couture? Ugh. I'm officially calling 2016 'The Year of No More Travel Outfit Bullshit' #tweetthatshizz
FFS, just go to H&M and pick out a pair of jeans and a t-shirt like the rest of us. A real traveller doesn't give a shit what they're wearing because they're too damn busy enjoying the experience of actually being out in the world.
Just call it for what it is: Accommodation for those who want the backpacker street cred without enduring a fart-ridden, bedbug-infested, 16-bed dorm of wickedness and immorality.
7. Mispronouncing foreign words
As someone who lives overseas in a country where English is not the first language, I do this frequently. But ya know, shit happens. I've found that people are more forgiving when you're trying to communicate with them in their own words than just stubbornly sticking to your own language.
Even if you do fuck up. Which you will. Frequently.
And FYI: Raising your voice and speaking monosyllabically in English does not make you easier to understand. It just makes you a douchebag.
8. Comparing yourself to other travellers
Don't look at travellers who have 100k social media followers, have 80 stamps on their passport and endorsements from just about every lifestyle brand on the planet and wish that was you. It'll just make you feel like crap. Those people only represent 1% of the traveller population. The other 99% of us are a rag-tag bunch of wanderers who are out there in the world trying to have the best time possible with what we got - which usually ain't much.
Comparing yourself to others is a waste of your time and energy and let's face it, that kinda lifestyle is pretty unattainable for most of us mere mortals. Focus on making your life NEK FUCKING LEVEL AWESOME and screw the rest. You do you.
9. Backpacks with flag patches sewn on them
Stop trying to show the world how many countries you've been to. It's like guys who talk about how many girls they've slept with. We don't need to know.
10. Controversial destinations
If you want to hang with hookers in Amsterdam, run with the bulls in Pamplona, shoot rocket launchers at targets in Guam or visit the Gaza Strip, then go ahead. As long as you aren't killing anything or hurting anyone, then you're aces.
11. Harping on about financing your travels
No matter which way you get the moolah together for your adventures - by saving up, getting a loan, an unplanned inheritance or selling a kidney - you need to stand by your choice. We get it: Travel is expensive. Blah, blah, blah.
Don't go around bitching about how poor you are now, or worse, rub it in other traveller's faces about how cashed up you are. This is the height of dumbest dumbassity and if you indulge in this behaviour, expect to be punched in the throat.
12. The big, floppy hat trend
Is this still a thing? How the fuck do you pack one of those without destroying it? I'm filing this under the TOO HARD category.
13. Which seat you get on the plane
You are sitting in a metal tube that is hurtling through the air at sickening altitudes. No matter where you sit, it's going to be a long ride that will make you wish you were doped up on Oxy. Face it, a different seat isn't really going to make much of a difference in the 14-hour flight time / grand scheme of things. You're still stuck in there, amigo.
And don't ask people to swap seats with you: if you didn't want to pony up the extra dough to select your own, then don't expect others to accommodate your needs.
14. Being the life of the party
You don't have to always 'be on' when travelling. Sometimes, you just want to chill the fuck out after a big day of exploring. You don't have to go out drinking every night and get wasted to enjoy your travels, nor are you responsible for anyone else's entertainment or amusement.
Go your own way. Always.
15. Know-it-all travellers
Everyone has an opinion about just about every destination in the world. This doesn't make them experts on travelling.
If you want to eat mystery meat out of a shoebox in Calcutta, then knock yourself out. If you want to go to the Louvre and see the Mona Lisa, even though the girl at the hostel who has been travelling for 5 years just informed you that it's so small and overrated, and the line is too long, and it really wasn't Da Vinci's best work you know, blah, blah, blah... then go ahead. Don't let anyone diminish your experience with their opinions.
And if you catch yourself interrupting other people's stories to give your so-called 'expert' opinion, then give yourself a punch in the boob. No one likes a know-it-all.
16. One night stands
I said it last year, and I'll say it again: Have affairs to remember - or to forget. It's your choice whether you get your sexy on or not, although I totally advocate for the 'just do it' side of the debate. Just be safe.