… Because Buzzfeed doesn’t have a clue. My inspiration for this piece: an article claiming that your status as a “real” traveler comes down to whether you’ve missed a few flights or not. Ha! What is a real traveler, anyway?
Are you a “legit” traveler? Or do you spend more time Pinteresting your next destination rather than planning it for real? Can you boast of having tried a dozen weird foods in weirder locales? Let’s find out. How many of the following are true for you?
You’re a legit traveler if you’ve:
- Had gastrointestinal distress in Central or South America. NTAF, guys (never trust a fart).
- Waited in a security line for over an hour
- Have had a harrowing border experience
- Used the “point and hope” method when ordering food
- You’re not sure whether someone asked you for money or assaulted you
- Accidentally use words from three different languages while ordering breakfast because you haven’t had your tea yet
- Know when bribing an official is mandatory and when it’s definitely not something you’d ever do, sir (nope, nope)
- Can list at least three whacky types of transportation you’ve used (tuk-tuk, chicken bus, camel)
- Some of the best adventures of your day were totally unplanned
- Have learned the cultural differences between what qualifies as pizza
- Appreciate a warm shower as a luxury
- Have ever woken up and been unable to remember which country you’re in
- Your shoes are crusted with cross-continental crap from the last two years
- Been in an airplane that rattled so much, you weren’t sure you’d survive
- Crapped in a jungle or on a sacred tree (oops) somewhere
- Made friends in every country you’ve visited
- Know how to say, “No, THANKS” politely but firmly in at least three languages
- Packing in a carry on is your go to, if you can.
- Have accidentally eaten something you’d never eat intentionally (jellyfish and dog, anyone?)
- Know which borders are easy to cross and have a favorite/least favorite
- Have missed a flight and cashed in on the vouchers to take yet another trip
- Sometimes can’t remember where you’re actually from, when asked
- Love “rental families” that have adopted you around the world
- Cry when you have to get rid of your shoes, because you’ve done so much together
- Are super cool with any form of transportation, because you had to ride a tuk-tuk with 5+ people in it once
- See another person wearing Keens and get really excited
- Visited a hospital in another country at least once… not for fun
- Get really confused when someone asks you which country is your favorite
- Have “quick-dry” underwear because the travel clothing industry is odd. See point 1.
And most of all… you know that no bucket list could ever determine whether or not you’re a REAL traveler. Spoiler: If you’ve traveled, you’re a real traveler. Congrats!
I know you people have stories. What can you add to my list? What experience makes you a “real” traveler?