Every interest and hobby has its own set of terms and jargon that can be a bit confusing to those who aren’t privy to the hidden meaning. Then there are those expressions that people use to explain their actions or reasons for travelling that have become stock phrases as lame as sports analogies. Nobody asks for explanation because they either know what you mean or know what you mean •wink wink•.
Just in case you have no idea what the difference between the two is, allow me to provide a few examples.
“I’m Studying in Italy This Semester”
“I’m Going to Whore Around Europe for a Few Months on my Parent’s Dime”
Nothing gets you further away from responsibility and any sense of obligation like being a student in a foreign country… and also a lot of ass. I mean seriously, if you are looking for a good time and are even moderately decent looking with a sliver of social skills, spending a year abroad will do wonders for your self esteem. You’ll go from being average to exotic overnight and have no one the wiser back home – even your long term boyfriend/girlfriend (sucker). Thanks mom and dad – such a worthwhile experience.
“I’m Going to Teach Overseas and Figure Stuff Out”
“I Have No Idea What to Do with My Life”
If you’re an English speaking person you probably have or know of someone who has done the teaching overseas thing – it’s a great experience that will open your eyes to a world of possibilities… if you bother to look around. How many people do you know that go over for a year and it turns into six? Chances are if they were unhappy back home they will be unhappy abroad because the issue is with how they view themselves. Maybe they delude themselves into thinking they’re happier in their new country but unless they deal with their shit, it’s back home they go or onto the next country… and they are no closer to figuring anything out.
“I’m a Traveller, Not a Tourist”
“I am a Tourist but I’m Super Insecure and Can Only Claim to Like Places I Know Others Haven’t Been to So I Feel Special… Which I’m Not”
People that say this are just like those people who only like the obscure bands or movies that nobody else knows because they think just because nobody in their immediate circle of friends knows about them it makes them somehow more cultured or refined. As soon as it becomes popular, they slowly slink away and move on to something else. These people don’t buy souvenirs but they do get some indigenous handiwork purchased from some small market because somehow that’s different. They claim to really see places and be about experiences but… uhh… who are they to judge what constitutes an experience?
“Couch Surfing is the Only Way to Travel”
“I Like Mooching Off Others and Will Put Up With Just About Anything to Get What I Want”
I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t stay in a hotel if they could afford it, despite their protestations that couch surfing puts you in touch with locals and lets you meet different people. Any time something is free, you invariably attract a certain kind of clientele as most people become suspicious about something like that and would rather steer clear of it – what you’re left with are the opportunists who can be downright creepy. It’s great to know there are options out there for accommodation and it’s a great experience to try a few times but traveling primarily by this manner? Maybe you should stop being a cheap bastard or save some money for a place to stay. They really aren’t that much! If it’s really a problem from the outset, maybe travelling isn’t the right hobby for you.