While my friend places our order at the bar I begrudgingly strike up a conversation with “Stacy”. She’s a friend of a friend, meaning that I’m saving all my wit and charm for when she shows up on my Tinder feed. I’ve no interest in getting to know her outside of a strict gland to gland contact basis. She tells me that she ‘lives to travel’, and big surprise: “OMG, I love, Love, LOVE ethnic food”. The alarms go off. There’s a 85% chance I’m talking to an asshole and not just because she actually spelled out O-M-G.
What gets left behind ?
To travel is to depart from one’s current situation, to expand one’s horizons by leaving behind the familiar. To what extent can you leave behind your provincial world view while constantly uploading crappy photos to Instagram? No one cares if you’ve been to thirty countries. The same goes for the near infinite number of pictures of you doing essentially what 200 years ago, Europeans did for fun: holding African babies (not for sale, so I’ll give you that), playing games with children from some obscure village, or finally sitting on, in or with an exotic animal.
Bottom line: you can fake orgasms, an allegiance with feminism, even having black friends, but you can’t fake being cultured no matter how much you travel. Many men and women return back from their travels bigger cunts than before they left !
I get it.
Travel offers those of us not on drugs, an infrequent sense of adventure. There is beauty in engaging with new persons, exchanging ideas, cigars, hookers and other pleasantries that I’m sure come with visiting Cuba on someone else’s dime (in the back seat of an old Ford). Let’s be honest for a quick second. Today traveling is a privilege reserved for those who have no qualms sponging off their friends and family.
In the case of American millennials, many of us also feel like there’s little reason to wait until our golden years to see the world. It makes sense to travel now, instead of saving travel for a future that is in no way guaranteed. Faced with a lack of reliable, long-term employment options, a number of millennials are also using travel to take a break from job-searching and reevaluate what to do next.
It’s common knowledge that not all demographics bank on making it to their golden years especially with diabetes, high-blood pressure and law enforcement working hard to keep membership low, like hunters do the deer population. There are not too many people who can afford a leisurely break from job search.
Just a tad bit …
I might seem overly cantankerous and surly but in my defense it has become increasingly difficult to deny the sense that a significant number of these self-appointed travelers or nomads I’ve met are at their core unscrupulous opportunists that behind the guise of appearing culturally aware are just skimming the cream off of the giant churn of cultural colonialism.
There is so much more for me to say and so many errands for me to run today. Join me in the coming second part of this post.