Hey, everyone! It’s me! The most basic wanna-be travel blogger that appears on your timeline every two days! That person that you tell everyone is your “travel blogger friend” and then hesitate before adding “okay, well maybe she’s not like a friend friend” and finally conceding “fine, I hate-follow her as she pretends to be affiliate sponsored”.
Does that not jog your memory? I’m the one who Insta-stories motion-picture length films from various locations around the world. Am I in Bali? Portugal? Cambodia? You’ll never know if I’m actually there, using throwback pics, or am just amazing at Photoshop.
You know, the one whose entire personality can be substituted with basic hashtags like #travelenvy, #wanderlust, and #notallwhowanderarelost and several choice pics of latte art?
Of course, you remember me. Because I won’t let you forget. You must be constantly reminded that I’m just a nomad looking for her place in this world. I’m just blowing with the wind, bringing nothing but
allowance from my parents a Polaroid and elephant harem pants.
Anywhooo, because I’m just such a student of the world, I want to share with you my insider tips to best explore *insert a Southeast Asian country or any European city found on a Top 3 Most Trendiest Places To Visit As A Millennial list that I just Googled*.
Because it’s not travel. It’s a lifestyle.
Be Sure To Tell Everyone And Several Inanimate Objects That You’re A Backpacker
If you have a backpack, it counts. Is it one of the cute, little Japanese black leather baby backpacks that can only fit your phone? Yes. Does it matter? No. You deserve everyone’s respect.
Who else is going to take countless over-the-shoulder, hold-my-hand-while-I-show-you-the-world pics for you?
Pick up Travel Vernacular
Say things like “this place has really lost its charm. It’s so sad with all the tourists” to establish that you’ve been somewhere before and have an imaginary possessiveness over the place. Scoff as you insist that people just don’t get to see the real *insert literally any location*. Call things quaint when you’re face-to-face with poverty and can’t reconcile it with your #paradiseonearth post. Always insist that you’re not a tourist. Your passport says differently but does that matter?
Give Out Useless Pieces of Unsolicited Advice
If you meet people back Stateside (where you rarely ever are, you insist to anyone who will listen over the 11 1/2 months timespan you spend in Akron, Ohio every year)), tell them that they shouldn’t sell out. They shouldn’t just slave away at a job. They too can exist on
their parents’ income their dreams. Work hard anywhere, you should say vaguely. Just pick up and leave. Be free. Ignore the consequences of poverty tourism. Live boldly. Shirk all responsibility and income tax. Roam.
Filter, Filter, Filter
Get it? Like location, location, location? Or as I like to say Destination, Destination, Destination. Your photos must be boujee and overly-filtered to establish its unattainableness. I’m talking, crop out the trash on the beach, the family of German tourists who sat behind you on the boat tour, even the friend who travelled with you. It must always look like you’re absolutely alone somewhere, like it’s abandoned and you just stumbled upon it. Like there’s not even residents who’ve lived there their whole lives. There’s just not room on your Insta.
Get Off The Beaten Path
For one second, if there’s a really nice view for a hands-up-in-the-air, back-turned-to-show-that-you’re-a-free-spirit pic, and then get right the hell back on the beaten path. Eliminate anyone with documented evidence of you in a double-decker tour bus.
Be Sure To Always Express Your Love Of Traveling
Be it a tiny tattoo of a paper airplane circling a globe with a heart around it, or a cursive WANDERLUST over a compass, or an elephant whose trunk spells out I Went To Asia For A Spiritual Experience But Also Took Offensive Photos With A Buddha Statue And Didn’t See A Problem With It Because I Grossly Misinterpreted Eat, Pray, Love and Wild, always let people know that you’re serious about travel. No regrets.
Treasure Your Memories
And your Starbucks mug. Because if you didn’t get the specialty mug at the airport that the barista told you you had to buy because you can’t just stand there taking photos with it, then did you even go to that country???
And Lastly, Don’t Forget Your Wide-Brimmed Hat
Now you too can be #travelinspo. But not too much so that I don’t feel threatened that literally anyone can do what I do but also have meaningful lives in their own countries and contribute to the greater good of society while investing in their communities because like, as a nomad, I can’t do that, and maybe, wow, I dunno, when you’re rootless, you’re still somewhere, and wherever you find yourself, there you are, and maybe I regret some of my actions, like not being there when my niece was born because I was at a questionable tiger farm in Thailand that def used tranquilizers just so I could caption a photo “wild about this place”, or having spent a week in Iceland only because I saw a Buzzfeed article that said it won’t be trendy in five years and maybe I’ve been perpetuating a travel culture that erases inequality as I assume my Western privilege is a given for all walks of life despite being constantly exposed to the false reality of that assumption, and maybe cultural appreciation is more than a hashtag, and geesh, maybe it is offensive to get henna only because it looks aesthetically cool next to a succulent and milk tea????
Oooohhh 400 likes on the new post!!! Suck it, Bucketlist Family!
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The Aimless Brunette Wandering Gypsy Nomad