Reading this, it may sound hypocritical but when you're at home, travellers are great, you hear their stories and they are genuinely fascinating and they become like a messiah to the outside world from beyond your own borders, but when you're away and they're in their natural habitat of being on the road, I find them incredibly annoying as my patience levels drop for them and I find I have little interest in them and their stories as, personally, I'd rather meet locals as they give me an insight to where I am more than my fellow tourist.
|No, carry on... I am REALLY interested in hearing about you. (via photo.net)|
Firstly, lets clear things up by noting some note-worthy notes.
- When I'm moving from place to place with a backpack, I am not a "backpacker", I am a relaxpacker because there's no joy in making travelling uncomfortable for yourself by carrying around a large two story bag, showering in your own sweat and sleeping in positions that contortionists would find uncomfortable.
- You can probably relate as as much like you reading this reading about my nonsensical activities, but you subject yourself through it anyway, because you're wonderful and you care about me a whole great deal but also you're probably at some dull location and this is your mental holiday, of sorts.
- Currently, I'm not a traveller nor am I travelling (that much), I am "On extended vacation being a temporary resident of a location, whilst casually 'aving a look around" slash asshole.
|This is me and my hole I've dug myself in, I'm entirely happy with this situation... (via studyprof.com)|
Only a few minor things annoy me about (groups of) travellers and it's not their ability to work their way through a sack of cheap carrot batons in a single sitting or their ability to grow a crap beard, which is often more chaotic, patchy, wiry and a constant state of distress compared to their hairy homestead counterparts.
I don't like meeting up with them, because you're forced to talk about your home and where you're from in every small detail, the same details you didn't care about when you're there and the ones you've come away to forget:
"How's the politics?" - "Corrupt and disagreeable"
"How's the weather?" - "Changable"
"How's the news?" - "Currently new"
"You must like soccer?" - "Real Football? Yes."
"I hear you have warm lager? LOL" - "It's ale, it's meant to be"
"Your country's fucked!" - "Avoid it then"
They expect you to talk enthusiastically and sugar coat all the shit things about your country, like you're the ambassador and tourist board for your country, happily discussing it in all its boring details, if I enjoyed all that boring stuff, I'd still be in my country content instead of being half way around the world looking for contentment.
|YES, I know absolutely EVERYTHING about my country and love EVERYTHING about it! (via flickr.com)|
When that's all exhausted, because most travellers are from Europe and we know more or less about each other's country's situation and stereotypes. From then on, you're then forced to recite your current travelling tales, which feels like reviewing your photos on your digital camera while you're still on a night out, let the now happen and enjoy, reminisce later. Lets use all our collective adventurous brains to have a night to remember!
But instead, it usually descends into a meat measuring match about who has the most inconvenienced travelled genitalia:
"Look at this! I travelled on a Greyhound bus from Seattle to Vancouver, took 5 hours!"
"Yeah well, look at this! I cycled from Hawaii to get here, I love travelling SOOOO much"
"Check out this! I hitch-hiked from St. Johns, Newfoundland to Ivvavik National Park and I've got no hands"
"What about this one! I trekked to the Amazon from The Falklands to talk to an elderly tribesman about talking to the sealife, I then swang back using the tree vines to Mexico where I persuaded two dolphins to strap themselves to my feet and take me up the Mississippi River to Detroit, where I made a 1800s sail boat out of old Ford car parts and sailed over land to Calgary, where I picked up a horse and rode to Vancouver, just to be here tonight!"
Me, under immense pressure, I respond in the only way I can at the time, leaving everyone in silence, with "Yeah.. Well... Observe the size of this bushwhacker!" *Zip* ... *Gasp* As I missed the point of what we were originally talking about, and quickly realising that probably wasn't the best thing to do in front of a crowd of new people.
|Their reaction in cute animal form (via robertherring.com)|
I would love to hear the all about the Amazonian adventure in all its fascinating details, but alas, it's normally run-of-the-mill tales about how they hitch-hiked with a racist big-rig driver across country and how a town in the middle of nowhere are "The nicest people. Ever! They gave me bread" - It make me tired.
Thankfully for you, this is not a problem for me as everything I share with the world is liquid gold to the ears of the listener and reader... cough... and I'm sure there's a proper traveller out there saying "The thing that annoys me about travellers that don't travel or hitch-hike around a country is their holy-than-thou attitude, when really they're just massive rude judgemental twats"
Touché true traveller, touché.