Are you sick of being wrongly classified as a tourist? Not getting the recognition for travelling that you feel you deserve? Study these tips on how to be a real traveller and all your dreams will come true.
Constantly one-up everyone you talk to
Is someone telling a boring story about how they went on a safari in Africa? This is your chance to tell them, and anyone within listening distance, about the time you also did one, but instead of doing it in a truck you walked, and instead of staying in a lodge you stayed in a hut in a tribal village, and instead of being yourself you mysteriously morphed into an African for 2 days.
ALWAYS eat local food
How can you really get to grips with the culture of a country if instead of eating local food for every single meal you eat McDonald’s once or twice? No, in order to really know a country and travel properly, you need to eat local EVERY time, no exceptions. Missing home and want something familiar? Suck it up and don’t go for that steak or hamburger, or you may as well just go home!
Become a global citizen
When aliens finally make contact with the human race we will all become global citizens. Why not get a jump on the crowd and abandon those superficial border ties, and claim to anyone who’ll listen that you are a citizen of the world. Just make sure you don’t go overboard and renounce your passport; your world will suddenly become a lot smaller.
Never count countries
So what if it only takes 5 minutes to count up the countries you’ve visited, actually doing it is completely uncool. Country counting means you are less of a traveller, because all you are doing is ticking countries off of a list. It’s also important to look down on anyone who knows how many countries they’ve been to, unless you go for the other extreme and start bragging about the 100s of countries you’ve visited – that also works.
Wear clothes that signify you’re a traveller (or try really hard to look like a local)
To be a real traveller it is important to completely trade in any of the style you had back home for the look of the road, which includes those baggy pants (I call them traveller pants, but I’ve heard them called fisherman’s pants). Another way is to try and do everything in your power NOT to look like a traveller. Wear what you think the locals wear, which I guess means cowboy hats in Texas and full mariachi outfits in Mexico.
Never carry a Lonely Planet
If you are a real traveller you shouldn’t need any help, besides, who wants to go to places everyone else goes to? It might mean missing out on a whole lot of cool stuff that you never knew existed, but it will give you a lot of bragging rights when you end up in that out of the way town (that Lonely Planet recommended anyway) under your own steam.
How can you really get to know a country if you only spend a week there? Sure, if you follow my previous tips you might be able to pull it off, but generally speaking you need to spend at least a month in each country. Try going to the message boards at Travelfish.org or Lonelyplanet.com and asking for help with an itinerary. Unless you dedicate huge chunks of time to a certain place, people will abuse you for your suggestions and urge you to choose just 1 of the countries you were planning on going to. In order to be a real traveller you either need to stay in 1 or 2 places during your 1 week vacation or you just need to quit your job and dedicate your life to the road.
If you follow all of these tips you’ll be a real traveller in no time, but you’ll also become really pretentious and annoying to be around, so tread carefully!
Do you have any more tips on how to be a real traveller? Let me know!