You’ve certainly run into one or two in your travels. The guy or girl who seems to always have a story about their “disgusting” hostel experience, maintains a travel blacklist of the touristy places they would never be caught dead visiting and can never seem to understand why anyone would travel so far only to get drunk and hook up with hot girls/guys.
If you haven’t met this type of douch-ish traveler it’s probably because it’s you. If you suspect you might be suffering from the travel jerk disease, check below to see if you have any of these symptoms.
Symptom: You are certain that your style of travel is the only “real” way to travel
Like the people all over world, travelers come in all shapes and sizes. Styles and preferences can range from vagabond to luxury. But there is always a travel elitist lurking in the shadows who just refuses to believe that one can learn anything about another culture while aboard a carnival cruise.
Remedy: Understand that there is value in all styles of travel. There are indeed some styles that will allow you to interact more with the local culture than others, but there are too many people in the world who will never get to see the world outside his/her own borders, so any sort of travel is to be commended.
Symptom: No friends other than the people you have met on the road
Some people cannot seem to make friends with anyone who isn’t as enthusiastic about traveling as they are. I admit, it’s pretty difficult for an avid traveler to find common ground with someone who has never left the city in which they were born. But as travelers, we should be accustomed to making friends from all walks of life. Just because you are stuck in your hometown where the only ethnic restaurant is Olive Garden, doesn’t mean you can’t find cool people to chill with.
Remedy: Get your nose out of the air and learn to find value in the people you meet – even if they have zero desire to go scuba diving off the coast of Vietnam. Or pack up and move.
Symptom: You secretly refuse to ever get over your case of reverse culture shock
Reverse culture shock is defined as the shock experienced after having returned home from an extended period of time in another place . But there are people who, after traveling 6 weeks through Europe and returning to the USA, all of a sudden prefer mayo on their fries and refuse to drink a beer unless it’s imported from Bavaria.
Remedy: Join a support group or get married and obtain EU citizenship. It’s true that we all have things that make us nostalgic about the places we have been, but remember that ketchup can taste just as good on fries as mayo and a cold can of PBR won’t kill you. Otherwise, all the constant complaining is going to just annoy everyone around you.
Symptom: You have a list of places you won’t go simply because they’re too “touristy”
This is something of which most experienced travelers, including myself, are guilty. Too many tourists from your own country can indeed take away from the foreign experience, but that doesn’t mean a place overrun with spring breakers doesn’t have some sort of travel value. ”Touristy” locales are usually frequented for a reason.
Remedy: There are very few options. Either put up, shut up or travel in the off-season.
Symptom: You refuse to take pictures in front of famous statues, monuments, etc. for fear of looking like a tourist
Let’s be honest. No one wants a scrapbook of pictures with of a bunch of tourists in the background taking pictures. So often many travelers will skip the photographs of iconic monuments and historic plaques to avoid being branded as a “postcard traveler”.
Remedy: You can never take too many pictures. Because one day when you are older and no longer “cool”, those silly instagram photos in front of the Eiffel tower will remind you of your around-the-world days.
Symptom: You feel the need to wear hippie clothes whenever you travel
While harem pants are undoubtedly comfortable for slow travel through Southeast Asia, there are some travelers who feel as though there is a traveler dress code that requires that one must look homeless in order to look like a “real traveler”.
Remedy: A nice pair of heels or dress shoes never hurt anyone. You never know when you will be invited to a formal event or go out to a club that requires you to look like you didn’t just get out of bed.
Symptom: You despise those travelers who like to get shit-faced and party
There are some people who cannot stand to watch someone else having a good time. You know who I’m talking about. The chick in the corner of the party who would rather carry on a conversation about what/who she can’t stand rather than dance and have a good time like everyone else. Also known as the party pooper, wallflower, killjoy or just a plain ol’ hater.
Remedy: Get the f$%# over it. Some people enjoy meditating in the mountains, while others just want to drink and hook up with whoever is around. One is neither better or worse than the other. Accept the fact that people enjoy different things. Because one thing is for sure, the guy/girl fist pumping in the middle the dance floor who, granted, might have had wee bit too much to drink is certainly not thinking about your boring ass on the wall.