I’ve got a confession: I can be guilty of a little snootiness when I travel. Whether it’s cringing at loud tour groups, or battling through a chili-laden tom yum while the next table eats chips, sometimes I define my experiences by how much of a ‘better’ traveller I’m being than others. It’s pretty stupid (and rather contradictory of the whole freedom and tolerence thing backpacking’s about), but it happens.
What’s funny to me is, the longer you travel, the more tourist sounds like a dirty word. And the more you can slip into thinking there’s a right way to do this ‘visiting different cultures and looking about’ lark. That’s where travel snobbery comes in.
I had a think and came up with a few clanging signs you’re … whisper it … a bit of a travel snob. How many are you guilty of?
Signs you’re a travel snob
- You roll your eyes when an old school friend Facebooks about their ah-mazing all-inclusive package holiday to Malia.
- You eat street food when you’re dying for a Big Mac.
- You’d rather be run over by a tour bus than get on it.
- Any hostel conversation can slip into a one-upping match.
- You judge backpacker girls who pack high heels.
- You judge traveller guys who still shave.
- You get culture shock when you go back home. Why does everyone care so much about Game of Thrones?
- You’d only ever get on a cruise ship ironically.
- A friend who’s never been to South East Asia asks for recommendations. You immediately say “Don’t go to Ankor Wat… there are way less-overcrowded temples I can tell you about… and tubing? Ugh, don’t bother – that scene was over five years ago anyway.”
- You despise neon-braceletted party-travellers, but will trek down dodgy backstreets to find the most ‘authentic’ club in town.
- You get second-hand embarrassment watching people take selfies outside the Eiffel Tower, leaning tower of Pisa etc.
- You think anyone who stays in a five-star hotel is a pampered WASP/yuppie type or a business trip weirdo. Fact.
- When co-workers say they just “want to get away and do nothing” for two weeks, you die a little inside.
- You can name all the countries your backpack has been on command – and yes, transfer airports count.
- You do an internal air-punch when your group are the only non-locals in the restaurant.
- The longer, more strange and uncomfortable the journey, the bigger the bragging rights. To the chicken bus!
- You complain your passport is nearly full of stamps. Poor you!
- You’ve seen some seriously terrible travel tattoos in your time. Luckily, yours is beautiful.
What did I miss? Or am I way off the mark? Tell us in the comments…
- 21 Signs You’re a Real Backpacker
- 25 Things I Wish I Could Tell My 18-Year-Old Self About Travelling
- The Brain of a Backpacker
- 15 Things You Should Never Say to a Backpacker
- 7 Deadly Sins of Backpacking
Thanks to Juris_louwes, garryknight, Elvert Barnes, PTICA10 and Klearchos Kapoutsis for the images off Flickr. Please note, all images were held under the Creative Commons licence at the time of publication.