I’ll admit the title is click bait.
Type “travel blog” into Google and you get 270 million hits. Searches for expert travel (248 million), travel like a pro (48 million), or the right way to travel (486 million) just go to show how much is written about travelling. And before you say anything, yes I know I’m guilty. The idea for this post though came from seeing so many posts on social media about the right way to travel. I follow a lot of travel blogs on Facebook. To see what’s out there, for ideas, the usual. What has started to annoy me lately is the sheer snobbery of travel. In particular, some big names are worshipped as gods. Like that is the only way to travel. And it’s made me think – hand on a second!
Traveller or tourist?
traveller (n) A person who is travelling or who often travels.
tourist (n) A person who is travelling or visiting a place for pleasure.
Is there a difference?
A recent post on an Icelandic travel group was from someone who said they were a traveller, not a tourist. And there was an implied snobbery about this that almost every respondent picked up on. Now turns out they meant that they were respectful of local cultures and wanted to interact with them. But is anyone saying tourists don’t? Or do we perceive tourists as a swarm of locusts? Ok yes, sometimes they can be. And organised tours with flags and a trillion
If I have any pet peeve about this it’s the use of the verb ‘do’. I did Europe. I’m doing Iceland. I’ll do the burger. What. The. Hell. Do. You. Mean. By. That. So it’s ticked off the list, never to be repeated again? (It’s as well to point out that ‘to do’ something in Hiberno-English has a certain sexual context that I don’t want to imagine when someone is talking about food.)
The Right Way to Travel
You have to do this. Don’t go here. 5 Things you must see.
Why? What the hell is going happen if I don’t?
Yes, I’ve written some things like this. But hey, I’m not going to be at all offended if you disagree. I’m even planning on going back to the Blue Lagoon (touristy as can be) just to see how it’s changed and what all the fuss is about. But this is the thing. It’s your holiday. Or trip. Or pilgrimage. Or whatever-you-want-to-call-it. I like camping. And hiking. And being dirty. In dirty places. Where no one speaks English. Preferably where it’s not that hot. Lying on a beach every day is my idea of hell. I’d be bored. And my ideal trip is someone else’s idea of hell. And that’s fine. I’m not taking them on holiday with me and they’re not forcing me to go on theirs. If it were free I’d probably go though. In case anyone wants to offer.
There’s no right way to travel. Just the way you want to. Be nice and considerate to people. Be a bit sensitive to local cultures. Don’t trash the environment, And after that have whatever the hell holiday/trip/journey you want.
(I’m still going to post those articles. Just remember they’re only my opinion!)