"Travelling a lot" doesn't make you enlightened or less shallow than other people and travel culture is another form of flexing

"Travelling a lot" doesn't make you enlightened or less shallow than other people and travel culture is another form of flexing


There's always people who want to turn any endeavour into a competition; they've been to more places, or lesser known places, or 'done' a country more thoroughly than everyone else.




I found a job on a cruise ship working 52 hours a week so I could see the world through a porthole.


Was it worth it?


It was for me. Got to pay off my student loans and make friends from all over the world. But not everyone can handle living at work and with their co-workers/boss for months on end. I was also one of the lucky few who had my own cabin and got to work less than 70 hours a week.


There any time to actually see an ports or cities beyond the railings of the ship?


Yes, you get one day off a week.


Was the pay pretty good? I can't imagine it would be if they're basically providing board and travel.


I guess if you get free room and travel then you don’t need much extra money for a car loan or travel expenses. So it really comes down to how much extra you spend


I’ve worked jobs like this and usually you pay for your room and board, they take it directly out of your checks.


Yep. I was paying $15USD/day. And to transfer funds there's typically a wire fee. However, I earned and saved more than I ever had in my life. Typically $6,000USD/month. I was one of the lucky few.


Hey what were you doing on board. Before the pandemic I was working for guest relations as a rare american but I was also pulling around 5k a month and saving most. The idiots that come on board though. I don't think I'm going back.


That’s insane, you literally need to live on that boat to do your job. And you can’t just choose to cook your own meal, I imagine.


From what my good friend told us. Alcohol is deeply discounted, the food and room are free, but unless the ship is held to US labor laws you will work your ass off for less than min wage, close to 80hrs a week. You can never get drunk (merchant marine training was required of her), and there is random drug testing.


Cruise ship jobs pay extremely well, and only require you to work part of the year. It's not easy, as it's long hours and you basically live at your work, but when the season's over you've got a good chunk of the year to do whatever you want, and the money to afford it.


Yep. Went on a lot of cruises in my childhood (sorry for the flex OP) and my grandpa would always befriend any staff we saw in a reoccurring basis, and most of them would work 9-10 months straight, and then have 1-2 months off to go spend with their family. They made good enough money and I’m guessing most international workers ended up sending a fair amount back to their families.


Fuck I wish I did that when I was younger.


You still can. I know an older man who got employed on cruise ship in his seventies. While doing this he got to travel from Italy to Australia where he met a woman an they are now married.


I know someone who did it too. He was laid off as an engineer. He and his wife went to work in a casino on a boat for like 2 years. (Their kids were all college age and older) Then he went back to work as an engineer and now does program mgmt for a defense contractor.


That sounds pretty damn interesting to me.thank you for sharing!


The Maritime industry is booming. I did high speed ferris rather than cruise ships. Pay is unreal if you ever think of transitioning.


What are some requirements for say the lowest of the low job is there a common qualification accross all job ranks?


This will be long so bare with me. Sailing is unlike any other occupation in the world. No one except the few from Maritime academies actually have training. The rest of us either come from the Navy with specialized training, or start from entry positions and choose where to move up to from there. (And I literally mean choose) My friend's who weren't coming from the military I get them started as steward utilities. That's a fancy name for cleaning, and stocking the galley. Sounds terrible right? Not so fast, you make $75k doing what most people get paid $25k on shore. Now that position let's you see what all the other jobs on the ship are and you can start shadowing them, learning the job, and once your supervisor says he/she is ready, an email is sent back to the office, your licence is updated, and boom you're in a new position. I've watched more than a few people go from $75k a year to $200k within three years. It's not without it's drawbacks. As the person before me said you live were you work, you live with your Co workers. Some people can't take that and quit. But there aren't many opportunities out there that pay as much and give you the freedom to move up in ranks as this industry does.


And if, say, I'm not from the military, and from a complete different background, educationally? Then what? I'm sorry if this is too much to ask, you don't have to reply.


Apply and check it out. The world is your oyster. But you gotta risk it for the biscuit.


Thanks for the info faglord


As I said you start as a steward utility and see what positions are the ones you want to do.


Multiple times I've sat through people in their early 20s from affluent backgrounds talking/flexing about places they've been, which their parents were obviously paying for, and conclude with the classic "I dont get why people dont travel more, it's sad people just want to stay in the same place their whole lives" 🙄


Most people who club, are the same who’s daddy pay for their trip to Greece, the congruency is astounding, in fact


All they do when they travel is club too.


I called bullshit on this. I'm broke as a joke, save all my money just so I can travel because it's what I want to do.


You’d be the exception *in my experience*. And good on you, enjoy


I’ve traveled allot and worked for the travel channel and who cares because the op is totally right. Esp some of these travel bloggers that actually keep a tally of the number of place they’ve visited and brag and have convos about their numbers. “32 countries and 3 continents” etc. Meaning their list of places is just like a possession to them, something they earned and worked for for themselves and feel proud of. Just like people do with collecting material possessions. Who are we to judge what’s worth more? The only thing I can say traveling helps with is breaking down cultural differences and stereotypes, taking us out of our little bubbles, or just getting a needed escape from the daily grind. When you meet different people, races, and cultures who’ve been negatively stigmatized or stereotyped in your own culture it forces you to grow and see outside those portrayals which can be very hard to do while entrenched in our own society and culture. But sadly most of these online travelers are Instagram exploitative and very self-indulgent ie: look at this selfie of me flexing in front of this ancient statue.


I'm not an insta traveller but I have relatives, friends and family scattered around the world. In my (unpopular?) opinion, it's way more fun to visit someone you know and live with them there than visit a place you have 0 emotional connection to just to put a checkmark on your bragging list. You also learn about cultures and languages a lot better if you get to live there rather than visit as a tourist. I've been to the hot spots in Europe and US and have 0 interest in coming back to those places (e.g. Paris, NYC, Vienna), but I always want to visit my family, relatives and friends in less popular destinations.


I am an introvert but one of my best experiences was like fuck it, I am buying a ticket from London to Brazil…. Total bliss! I absolutely love getting to know places on my own and meeting the locals. I have had a lot of fun travelling on my own. Met great people.


Yeah I was really taken aback on my trip down the PCH 2019 pre covid. Get to the Bixby. And it was like 10 different photoshoots going on the side of the road. The ranger said it’s non stop people clogging it up to take legit Instagram influencer shoots and turn around . Idk I guess I just never even in NY seen it to that level at a tourist attraction before.


This. I was really interested in this girl that traveled a lot and I travel a lot for work so I thought maybe we had something in common. Whenever I found out that all she does is get a $30 Airbnb to sleep somewhere for the night and then go to the next place just to mark it on her passport but never actually enjoys any of the places, I definitely said pass pretty quickly. I was wondering what the hell is the point of traveling that much if you’re not enjoying any of it. It was like she was on this competition to check in on Facebook to as many places as possible and then used that in all of her conversations to try to act like she was better than everyone else.


Yep. Me and the boyfriend met this other couple traveling just to find out they scam their way through every single air bnb they go to. They get them for free just by “squatting” or complaining enough. So terrible


How do you squat at an Airbnb, aren’t they locked?


Probably book 1 or 2 nights and then stay longer.


How do you not get blacklisted from Airbnb after the first 1 to 3 times you do that


Taking this point a bit further, traveling to do the same activities everyone and their mother does aimed at tourists isn’t enlightening Traveling becomes enlightening when you explore the culture, mingle with locals, try their traditional food. That’s not something you can google or check online, it’s something you experience


I'll disagree with you here, even as someone who dislikes following a whole tourist path. For some people, the tourist path is an easy way to get exposed to a new culture, without requiring a lot of gambling, extra research or concerns. I think you can still gain appreciation following that path. Sure, mingling with locals, meeting people you may never otherwise meet could me more fulfilling and overall more impactful, but I don't think there's a reason to say everyone needs to do that to gain some "enlightenment" from travel.


Tinder and Hinge in my 30s is at least 50% women with only pictures of travel, and their desires are travel, and the profile describes how they are the traveliest traveler that ever traveled. I've traveled for work and vacations. It is not my personality. It really does look like gaudy flexing to me. The ones that really irritate me are the people who "vacation" to oppressive dictatorships and dangerous areas like warzones for the traveler street cred. It's like being some kind of weird upper-middle class adrenalin junkie.


I like traveling. I like going to new places and seeing neat shit in person. I saw a big rock shaped like a boob on a lonely stretch of road in the desert. I still think about boob rock. What I don't like are the crowds, the lines, and ridiculous things people in crowded lines do at tourist spots. So I only travel once a year with one or two friends who also don't like those things but will giggle at a rock shaped like a huge boob. It had a nipple and everything.


Damn and here I am getting matched up with single moms who only know trains because they were part of one.


Y'all getting matches?


Dancing between land mines to show how global I am.


Without spilling your daiquiri.


I agree with you on this. Looks like the ones with more flags on Instagram have higher score 😂😂 If you ask them where they been abd they will say the same places as everyone else. Nothing original and nothing different. I'm from Portugal and if someone invite me to spend money ona resort in Mexico in prefer to go camping on ny own country. Travel can really open your mind and made you learn a lot of things by yoir point of view but for that you need to make friends and enjoy the same culture as the people from that land. Not staying days on a hotel eating eggs and bacon for breakfast. "Travel addicted" bios on instagram it's a no for me.


This is a great way to put it. Traveling somewhere and meeting the people there can give you a new perspective that you cannot achieve through research online. However, many modern travelers do not seem to make this a priority, instead just wanting to “check a box” as some other people here have stated.


My husband calls these people “globe f*ckers”. As someone who has lived and travelled in many different countries because of my work, I’m hyper paranoid about sounding like a pretentious asshole when i talk about my experiences. Being well travelled is not a personality trait, but the worst have to either be the people who “backpacked” (drunkenly stumbled thru 3 countries for a month) and talk about it for the next 15 years, or the voluntourism crowd who think they really made a difference during their 2 weeks at an orphanage in a country they dont speak the language, or building houses with zero skills.


The important thing is that you can feel superior to them. I mean, I know a few people who resemble what you’re talking about. I know more who don’t, that is, they spent at most 5% of their time at the hostel or the bar next to it, and the rest of their time out actually interacting with and learning about the locals. I have a couple of friends who did Peace Corps: one will readily admit that her gig was mostly bullshit, teaching English to Thai kids who either already knew it or would never use it, while the other helped set up an apiary that boosted crop production significantly. As for building houses, I can’t speak for efforts outside the US, but I know from experience with Habitat for Humanity that if your skills consist only of being able to use a hammer and read the numbers on a tape measure, they’ll still put you to work.


I did this when i was 23. Spent a week in Mexico building houses for Habitat for Humanity. I can barely use a hammer, but you know what i am really good at? unloading shit off a truck and then putting it back on. I may not hammer worth a shit but my propensity for picking shit up and putting it back where it belongs is legendary. I like to think that the family living in the house i built sits down and says "I love this house, but you know what i love more?" "That spazzy white boy who unloaded and loaded the trucks every day and picked up shit all day"




Honestly, I will just tell you straight up it's family or someone else. My grandpa literally pays for everything for me. That and I have a scholarship. I am not flexing at all I am just saying that it is not them actually accomplishing anything. I have only ever travelled on my dads or grandpas dime. There is no way with any job at this stage of my life that I could even come close to being able to afford to travel. I, however, do not have Instagram.


It's a dumb thing to respect someone for, but I actually respect you for saying this. Only because so many people won't. Seems like you have a good head on your shoulders and understand/appreciate the opportunities you're given. Cheers.


They gave backers to do that. No one in college is making there own money on a level to afford that unless family ties (or maybe something else) funds them. You can't have your own money to travel if you are not in a position to work full-time in a well paying job. If it is their own money they travel on, then someone else is paying their expenses so they can blow the little they make. If they have "Investment" money coming in or some other passive income, then that was given to them/ started for them they didn't work to get it themselves. This is all about privilege. Now I know there is that 1 in a million person that maybe someway was able to get themselves in a great position on their own by this time in their life, that's the exception though, and I would imagine these people would be more humble. Edit: edited high paying career for well paying job, since that seems to be an issue. I stand by my point.


It’s the little privileges that you often overlook too. I was loaned 3k when I uprooted and moved to a new state for a higher paying job by my grandparents. 3k really doesn’t sound like a lot but if I wasn’t able to get that 3k I may have not been able to take the opportunity due to not being able to secure housing.


It's so lovely to see that others too have an affection for their laptop. Been quite used to older people brushing it off saying technology is not what all life is. I've always made this joke with my friends. If I ever die, ensure my laptop is safe. It has all my research, my writings, content I've created. It will be the mark I'd like to leave on this planet.


Laptops and mobile phones with internet access are the greatest inventions in modern history. The entirety of human knowledge and ability to research further + create art all in a compact rectangle you can take anywhere.


Well, sure you can do that, but what about the ability to post pictures of everything you eat and look up Buckcherry lyrics when needed?


Make sure you have backups


You should have a repository setup online to publish the content as you make additions and changes. Now there's a failsafe and automated controls and governance of your materials.


my laptop has my lifes worth, college assessments grade sheets. report cards, certificates. pictures/photo albums. research that I'm doing. most importantly a text file with all my important data. if I lose my laptop id actually have to start from ground zero. idc too much about my phone. i use it solely for calls to my parents and grandparents


Sounds like an external hard drive would be a high value purchase for you


Every traveler I've met had interesting stories about the world and various cultures that made me reflect on my life. I dont think travelling makes you better, just gives more perspective to those who pay attention IMO


Nailed it, this benefit is really only for people that pay attention and keep an open mind. My family has some very devout Mormons in it, and a weird Mormon thing to do is to spend at least a few hours at exotic temples when in the area. My aunt and uncle went to Italy a couple years ago and literally spent two days at the Mormon temple there, in which they play dress up and watch the same Adam and Eve movie as they do at their temple in the US. I'm sure they still did a few cool things, but I think that perfectly highlights a bit of an oblivious emotional distance from their destination's culture, and I really think they miss out on the beauty of it by having such a cursory and perfunctory approach to travel. I can't deny that people over romanticize it and it can become a classist bullshit flex, but when you get to go to a new place and see the world a little differently or understand their way of life a bit better, I think it can improve your own worldview and increase empathy....but you gotta actually get out there and pay attention to it all.


I feel the same when people go to the watered down tourist trap place and then go on and on like OP complained about. I don't get how you could go to another country and then spend the whole time in the local Hilton hotel, eat at McDonald's, and not even like, attempt to visit a museum or something. Usually these people have boarderline racist stories about how the local were so strange and different and "they do things the wrong way over there, don't they?" Like shit dude, if you hate Japanese people that much why did you even go to Japan lol. These people always act like they came back from a zoo or something it's so bizarre. And that's why it's maddening that you find out they didn't even leave America town or whatever. I can't believe the audacity to travel, write off another country as "lesser than", and then reveal you didn't actually visit the country, you basically did the equivalent of staying in the airport. Ugh I've met these people too many times and they blow my mind.


People even do this in their own country. I used to live in New Orleans and I meet people all the time who say things like, “Everyone’s just drunk all the time and the city is so dirty!” Well, yeah...you went to Mardi Gras and never left the French Quarter lol.


lmao people still look at me like I grew a second head when I tell them I don’t drink much as I serve them a drink in the quarter. Surprise motherfuckers we’re regular people with regular interests too. Our city is just significantly more fun to hang out in than theirs.


Ah, man, that might be me. The only time I've been to New Orleans was for a work conference, concurrent with 12th Night, in the French quarter. It did not leave a good impression, and I can only imagine what full-on Mardi Gras would be like.


Yeh, but “traveling” can be very very different. Hopping from one all inclusive resort to another & never leaving the property is Way different than attempting to learn another language, taking in a local sports competition, purchasing items at a local (non tourist) grocery etc.


Honestly, most people correctly refer to this as simply taking a vacation. Generally, someone wouldn’t say “I traveled around Mexico” and mean they went resort hopping. Maybe this is a thing with Instagram influencers, but I don’t see your average joe claiming to be well traveled based simply on visiting a few beaches. This is also less of a thing outside of Latin America. There aren’t so many totally closed off resorts, complete with all the food, drinks, and entertainment you could ever want, in Europe and Asia. You’re going to be leaving the hotel/resort grounds in most countries, unless you’re just there for the beach.


Yeah true, but I do associate the obnoxious flexing OP is talking about with people who “totally changed their outlook” after staying in a resort in Bali for a month. I think on the whole his complaints are misplaced and showcase a certain lack of perspective and understanding on their part, but their frustration with “travelling culture”, especially on Instagram, didn’t come out of thin air.


Yeah, I think the real criticism here is bragging about money, or flexing as OP says. So, traveling isn’t the root of the problem. Vanity is. The age old problem can be displayed in any number of ways - showing off expensive homes, cars, clothes, clubbing, fine dining, 100 year old wine, or, yes, travel. So it’s not really tackling the true problem by narrowing the focus strictly on travel braggers. That’s just their preferred method, or one of their methods, of displaying wealth.


I think this can be true, but isn’t always true. My sister in law falls in the other category. She’s amassed significant debt traveling, but seems to have nothing to show for it. She’s vapid and selfish, just trying to hit the Instagram hot spots so she can be cool and/or popular.


OP says it's easy to find all the info you want about other cultures on the internet, but there's a big difference between learning about it online and experiencing it for yourself. Aside from the cultural differences which plenty of people have around talked about, trying to navigate in a city where nobody speaks your language is stressful af. Honestly, just navigating a foreign place has helped me navigate tough/unfamiliar situations in my day to day life. I'm not saying every time something comes up I go "well I survived a week in such-and-such city by myself so I can survive this" but those experiences have definitely helped overall.


Right, and it’s pretentious to assume folk regard themselves as being “better” for travelling. Think OP is stretching things


OP sounds like someone who has never left his hometown and is insecure about it


I agree with the insecurity, but I have certainly also met the kind of people OP is referring to. It's just extremes against extremes when most people just don't care and do whatever they enjoy without worrying about others. I don't like his viewpoint, but I don't fully disagree with it. I just don't really care either way. Personally, I like going on vacations abroad, but I am strictly a city-going, museum-visiting tourist. I have no interest in interacting with the cultures much because I have no interest in most people and cultures and what they have to offer, and I am most certainly not interested in creating lifelong memories or changing who I am through traveling. While I was insecure about that two years ago because it's so different from what most people want to get from traveling, I'm perfectly okay with it now because I'm absolutely enjoying my type of vacationing and don't need to worry about what others are doing, especially if they're also enjoying themselves. Live and let live.


Travel doesn’t make you more enlightened than others. Travel does make you more enlightened than your pre-travel self.


the worst people I knew never stepped a foot outside the valley they were born in. scared of everything foreign or different, trying to enforce what they perceive to be normal on everyone else. it's not only travel, but it sure as shit helps a lot in this regard in my experience this might be the first "unpopular" opinion of front page that I actually disagree with


In iceland our word for 'stupid' literally translates to 'someone that doesn't go far from home' It's been an established concept since our language was invented.


omg, that's awesome, what's the word please?


[it's this one right here..](https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/heimskur) the word also gets its base from the word heim/home


I think there's "I've been to a few places" and then there's "my existence is travel." Most people I know have been places -- maybe travel a couple weeks a year. When they talk about travel, it's about how they really like place X or they found this neat thing or they saw this thing once. I've known a few people for whom travel=life, and every single one of them has been an arrogant asshole who believes that everyone should find them fascinating and superior because they spend 11 months a year in youth hostels around the world. (I've never known one older than 30 -- I sort of assume most of them grow out of it.)


well that's just being arrogant asshole, it has nothing to do with this, imo even if they didn't travel they'd probably be an arrogant asshole anyway


There definitely seems like a tone of resentment in the post.


i think it depends on the nature of the travel and the mindset of the traveler. if you're taking a cruise with americans, you can visit 7 different countries but never actually experience any of them.




Finally having the ability to do some limited travel has really opened my eyes to the rest of the world in a way the internet never could. I’m in my late 40s now, and I know it’s expensive, but I wish Americans traveled internationally more. We’re so much smaller than we think, and no amount of internet can showcase that in the same way actually staying in a foreign country can. I think your issue is not with travel but with the way some people *talk* about travel or show off on social media. Edit: Wow, thanks so much! Honestly a lot of better comments in my replies, y’all make my point far better. Much love to you internet friends. ❤️


Yeah, try hanging out with people who’ve never left their state or even city before and tell me you still feel as if traveling doesn’t open your mind a bit.


This is every small town in America. Full of people so scared of the *others* they wear their pistols to the grocery store and can't travel without a weapon.


I completely agree. I just moved to CA a few years ago and I’ve noticed two types of people. People who brag about traveling as a flex like OP said or people that have had travel enrich their lives in an educational way and want to share what they’ve learned. I’ve taken it upon myself to travel over the last few years to different national parks. Although I love clubbing and my playstation, there really is something to be said about traveling and how it offers you different perspectives/world views that are hard to come by without actually getting out there


I think being physically isolated from most of the world is an issue. Every international plane ticket is one that is essentially around the world, vs for example a flight from Europe to the Middle East is not nearly as far as one from the us to Europe. Of course we have the southern americas, but the Western Hemisphere has many less options that the eastern


>I wish Americans traveled internationally more If only we had enough PTO..


Right? People are talking about it as though it’s a choice people make to rarely leave their hometown. I really wish I had the time and money to travel, but I’m broke, and so is pretty much everyone else I know. I mean I do have one very exciting travel opportunity this summer… I’m flying to exotic Iowa for work!


I think this is like healthcare in that I believe the Americans are robbed of something that many other parts of the world take for granted. I am Canadian, retired, and fortunate to have the means to travel (not flexing, just providing a context). In my travels, I see a lot of Europeans and other nationalities. I see very few Americans. This is not fair to Americans.


idk about being enlightened, but it helps open up your mind a little more than just knowing where you live and acting like you know something about other places.


Yeah enlightened is not the right word for this occasion.


It gives perspective.


en·light·ened /inˈlītnd,enˈlītnd/ adjective having or showing a rational, modern, and well-informed outlook. It sounds like the right word to me.


This. Traveling really helped to show me that I actually know jack shit about other places and cultures. It makes you feel like an idiot on a regular basis and is very humbling.


It’s pretty telling the OP has never travelled when they say “you can learn all you want about a place through the internet, and it’s safer for the environment.” Makes me want to turn on good will hunting and sit them down in that one scene where Robin Williams is ripping Matt Damon a new one for thinking he understands everything about a place just because he read it in a book. I’m not denying that there are a bunch of fake jet setters on IG making an ass out of themselves, but that doesn’t make traveling bad, and even though OP concedes that point, they completely sidestep all of the positives that come with it.


Yes. The best thing for someone to do right out of school is travel if they can afford it. Over the course of two years in the military I traveled to Germany, France, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. I got to meet people of different cultures and it went a long way in establishing to me that people are really the same. You can believe it but it drives it home when you experience it as well. I am an introvert and no longer have the desire to travel, but I’m glad I did when I was younger, and I highly recommend it to grads to experience the world some before the mundanity of life sets in.


I travelled quite a lot in college and afterwards. Asia, Africa, SA, Europe. Opened my eyes to how every culture is pretty much the same with slightly different sets of superstition.


There's a quote that always stuck with me.. "Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world"


Maybe it’s a flex for some, but there’s is no substitute for seeing and experiencing the world for yourself. It does change you and reading about it isn’t the same by a mile.


"You can tell me every little detail about the Sistine Chapel, but can you tell me what it smells like?"


That part of the movie is super relevant to a lot of people in this thread


What movie is it?


Good Will Hunting


You can look at pictures, but until you're there in person you'll never know that while you stare at the Sistine Chapel there are many angry Italians screaming "NO PHOTOS! " every few seconds while literally everyone in the room is trying to sneakily take photos.


And the priest yelling “Silenzio” when it gets too loud.




"you can tell me every little detail about having sex but can you tell me what it feels like?"


Yeah. Feels... like bags of sand.


This man sexes...


Good movie and a good point.


I also love this movie that I don't know the name of. Definitely.


Good Will Hunting. Fantastic movie.


Sweaty tourists 😂 I was there in the summer and it was crazily packed. But no picture or YouTube video could ever compare to standing in that room. I don't think I'm enlightened because of it but it's a memory I'll treasure for life. What picture or internet link can anyone say that about?


Gotta be honest don't remember trying to smell it lol


From what I can remember, just a musty old church smell infused with some BO from all of the tourists. It was such a frenetic moment taking in the entire ceiling, remarking at how small the building was in comparison to what I imagined in my mind, the yelling, the pushing - quite the experience and one I'd love to do again in the future.


I completely agree. If one allows travel to change them, then it’s a sign of humility. You can’t get that from the internet. It’s like meeting someone and falling in love. Very different then reading a romance novel. But blatant flex around travel is really annoying, so I agree with that.


Yea, totally agree. In the end, there are just crappy people and there will always be crappy people in a group. OP going at the instatravelers which I get, but experiencing other places and cultures can certainly humble you if you let it in ways reading can't (at least for me).


I mean, I agree that you don't need to travel to be cultured but saying that going there on the internet is even comparable is just... Wrong


It’s an absolutely fucking hilarious premise. Lots of people fake nationalities for political purposes or makes stuff up in a way that couldn’t work IRL to make their country look better optically so you can’t trust what any private individual says online. After that, the only learning sources left are blogs, videos and documentaries and those do NOT accurately reflect reality either. I’ve only travelled a few times and despite extensive research, my idea of a country and culture has always greatly shifted after a) walking around the country and seeing how locals actually live (which is often not reflected accurately in documentaries or vlogs, they trend to intentionally make things look better or worse depending on the tone they’re aiming for) and b) hitting up a pub + a few small businesses and having nice, deep chats with some locals and small business owners. You’ll learn more in a day than you would in months of research. It doesn’t make you "enlightened" but it makes you more aware for sure.


People who post unpopular opinions should at least have tried what they've posted. This post screams of somebody who legitimately has never left their hometown, let alone their room. To have this degree of a lack of perspective partnered with strong opinions really shows where some generations are headed.


Yeah anyone whose actually, well, travelled, knows just how far off base that comment was. If the Internet was any sort of equivalent then why would we still be travelling? Honestly...


B-but google maps let’s you walks through the streets /s


I used to work in the travel industry and dealt with numerous 'country counters' (people who are trying to visiting every country in the world). It felt like the majority of them were mindlessly trundling around the world, ticking off countries as if it was simply something to consume. If that's not sad enough, some of these country counters even compete with one another using league tables or try to bolster their reputations by marketing themselves as the first \*insert sexuality, insert gender identity, insert race, insert social class, insert nationality, insert whatever\* to visit every country in the world. I can tell you now, despite what these people like to think there's ***no skill*** in visiting a shit-load of countries for sightseeing. It's not an achievement and nor is it remarkable. All that's required is money, competent travel agents and local fixers.


Listen, I’m going to be the first pansexual transgender blasian kombucha reviewer to go to Monaco and there’s nothing you can do to stop me


So inspiring


Wow, that’s dumb. Although of course I’d like to see as much as possible, I find it far more fulfilling spending a little more time getting to know a certain place than bouncing around from one place to the next barely taking any of it in.


> I can tell you now, despite what these people like to think there's no skill in visiting a shit-load of countries for sightseeing. It's not an achievement and nor is it remarkable. Neither is collecting stuff, but people still like to do it.




That's true of anything though. If you do something because you really enjoy it and you're passionate about it, listening to you talk about it is going to be a very different experience than listening to a person talk about something they do because "that's what interesting people talk about". It doesn't matter if it's international travel or video games or gardening or make-up or jazz. Passion makes it real talk.


>Sure, and anyone who collects stuff just so they could portray themselves as something they're not is just as much of a joke as someone who travels to build an online image. But collectors \*do\* like to show off what they've collected, though. And might get attention for it if they've got a nice collection. >However, if you want to travel the world because you want others to see you visiting exotic places because you believe that's what cool and interesting people do, and you want the rest of the world to view you as such, then that's fucking laughable and anyone worth a penny can see right through that shit. How are you determining these two groups, exactly?


It is not about "travel". It is about genuinely being an interesting person. You are NOT interesting because you traveled ; you are interesting because of what the travel added to your knowledge, openness, humility, etc. Ergo, it is a question of personality, not what you do per se.


Totally understand where you are coming from OP. However I believe too strongly that life is short and you are doing yourself a disservice if you spend all of it in the same place.


I think traveling and exploring the world is a fantastic way to spend your fleeting life. I have made it a point to travel frequently and to some pretty awesome places. I don’t even have Instagram and only take pictures of animals and landscapes. For me, it’s mostly for the food and different species of animals, because that’s what Im into as a biologist. My favorite was the Peruvian Amazon. 7 monkey species, macaws, all kinds of snakes. You can see them in books, but there is no substitute for in person.


I think that's true to an extent, but you could say the same about other things. There are people who, for instance, maintain the same job and hobbies but enjoy traveling. But are they living any richer lives than someone who stays in the same place but tries multiple jobs and hobbies? Both ways you get a big variety of experiences.




Some people are too poor to get good nutrition. Others are too poor to get higher educations. That doesn’t mean that good nutrition and higher education aren’t valuable.


Saying “I like traveling” is the same as saying “I like reading” - it tells you nothing about the person unless you ask more questions and ask them to elaborate. Someone who says “I like reading” but only reads books like “Twilight” or “50 shades of grey” is different from someone who reads history books or specific books about their interest - space, chess, math, you name it. Someone who says “I like traveling” but only goes to Thailand or Bali to party and drink for 2 weeks is not the same as someone who cycles around the world for 6 months, or crosses half the world on a boat, or backpacks through Africa staying in villages and connecting with local people. These are all different experiences. One of them is definitely more enlightening than the other. One is about just having fun without improving yourself as a person while the other one is more likely to give you some “food for your brain”. The important part is the motivation behind these activities. Why does the person travel? Some travel for parties, other travel for sports (surfing, diving, kayaking etc), others travel for nature (hiking, camping), other travel for volunteering (helping with wild life conservation, preservation, beach cleaning), other travel for the cultural exchange (teaching kids in remote villages English), some travel for their own education (taking Spanish lessons in Bolivia). Some people combine several of them (personally that’s what I do). There are many reasons to travel. If you think that every traveler is the Instagram traveler you are just stupid and shallow which is pretty sad actually.


I just travel for the food. I really liked Korean food so now I live here.


based and bulgogipilled


Very well put. The way I look at it, most of the people when they say that they like to "travel" really mean that they like to 'vacation' at different places..


>If you think that every traveler is the Instagram traveler you are just stupid and shallow which is pretty sad actually. preach


I like most of your answer, and obviously Twilight is a good example of mediocre fiction, but are you trying to disparage ALL fiction in your simile? Because if so, I strongly disagree-- there's a lot of amazing fiction that can open your eyes and teach you things in profound ways. I think we are hard wired to take in narratives in a different way and it can absolutely enrich your life.


Exactly. I literally live in my car and travel the country. It has definitely brought me so much joy, and I have learned a lot of stuff already that I might not have ever known if I hadn't of traveled there myself. I don't do any social media to document my trip or anything, I'm just enjoying myself and doing my thing. I don't even really have any friends to hang out with, and it can be miserable sometimes. But this commenter is right, I definitely do not travel to flex on anyone. There are people who do, and they are individuals like the rest of us. No need to group together people and generalize.


Yeah exactly, not everyone does everything for the social media. Some people just genuinely enjoy traveling. And also there is a huge difference between a traveler who travels the world and occasionally posts a pic for his family and friends to see, and between an Instagram influencer who travels specifically for photos because a new hotel invited them to stay there and promote this hotel on their Instagram page. Trips like this are not about traveling, they are called Instagram Trips and influencers actually get paid for them and they have to take a certain amount of photos everyday. I know that because a lot of my friends are Instagram influencers and they do this kind of trips and this is NOT traveling.


This is the best answer.


Good answer. So many fucking morons in this thread. Everyone travels for their own reason/s. And who is anyone to take that experience away from them? I've done short party-trips, and I've done big adventures like trekking, or making my way round a country. Nobody has the same trip. And I've never considered myself enlightened, or better than anyone else. I love that I did what I did, and I think it made me a better person who appreciates certain things a lot more. But I don't use it to make myself feel like I'm better than everyone. Too many people here are assuming that everyone is a bragging traveler who spent 2 minutes in a country and ran home to tell everyone how enlightened they are. 99% of travelers are not like that. The comments here are absolute garbage.


It's because people who don't do any traveling themselves often don't come from families or communities of other people who travel a lot either. They read online about social media flex travelers and assume everyone who travels must be like that. In other words: people who have no desire to partake in new locations, cultures, and experiences are making sweeping generalizations of others. It's almost like those two things are related somehow.


The one who goes to the African villages to “connect” sounds insufferable, not enlightened. Same with the backpacking types. I have nothing against people doing these things for their own sake, but no, it does not inherently make you more enlightened. They’re often the dullest people to talk to when it comes to travelling stories.


I agree it doesn't make you less shallow, but it is a fun thing to spend your money on. This post reminds me of a girl I met while I was living in Thailand: Every weekend, I would leave my village where I was teaching to go to Chiang Mai to party a little. I would always stay in the same hostel, because it was cheap, I liked the staff, and often the people staying there were nice. So, one of the weekends, I went there and there was a group of travellers chilling on the terrasse, having beers. Out walks this one girl with dreadlocks and hippy trousers. She starts speaking and I noticed that she had an accent, so out of curiosity I asked where she was from (as is customary in hostels). Her reply "I'm from the Earth". I was like, "Okay then". I ask her her name, to which she replies, "I don't go by my given name, so I've decided to name myself Shiva". A little pretentious I feel, but whatever. I decide to go quickly to the 7/11 to do a beer run before we all go out, and she decides to join me. While at the counter, the cashier rings up my purchase and asks if I would like a bag. I decline, as I had my Mary Poppins purse with me. Without missing a beat, "Shiva" starts preach-yelling at the poor cashier who probably doesn't understand any English. Not only that, losing your temper in Thailand is EXTREMELY frowned upon. When we get back to the others at the hostel and start chilling, she keeps talking about love and light in her accent. At one point, one of the other girls tells her to quit the BS and just tell us where she was from. With the strongest New England accent, she replies, "I'm from Boston". Turned out that she had spent a week in a yoga retreat in India and had decided to completely change her identity (in a way, I can respect it, but not when someone is acting like a douche)


This women is hilarious. When i was at this hostel in Positano, I met this australian guy who had backpacked for years. He’d been everywhere from Zambia to Kazakstan. He was always bitching about other backpackers who “found themselves” in India. Like they were better than everyone because they had reached enlightenment.


Yeah... I don't understand why India is always the country of enlightenment, though. It is a beautiful country in some parts, but I personally find yoga retreats kinda cult-ish


So she is Janice Soprano lmao


I was taking a language class a few years ago and the teacher asked us all "where are you from?". And one girl answered "I'm from everywhere". The teacher asked again that question trying to understand where she is from, grew up (in order to teach us how to ask and answer that question).. she was insisting in saying that she is from everywhere and she can't give a clear answer because she can't consider herself coming from one place as she lived abroad. She was American. From California and grew up there! She just started to travel after high school (i think she was maybe 23 yo during the class) and lived in 2 other countries so she now considers herself as a citizen of the world and basically refuse to give a simple answer about where she is from.


What an unpleasant woman she must be.


Sorry you have to deal with her.


Well, I’d say if you’re going with friends in a clique and not meeting people, then sure. The difference with going on vacation to traveling is huge. I went traveling. I was gone for 2 years. I broke up with a girl that I went with after a few months and didn’t want to go home, so I continued alone. I met lots of people that were in a similar boat. I began meeting local and understanding the local culture. I was able to get a small jobs along the way and stay in places that I liked for a while before moving on. I learned to be a little more social and be more outgoing and try new experiences. I lost count of the amount of times I’d get chatting to people in a hostel, that were also passing through, then go on an adventure and have a random night out before going separate ways. Then I’d get a small job in a local bar or help out at someone’s home for a place to stay, then get on a bus and move on to the next place. I met so many people and changed for the better. It really made me into an adult. So yeah, going traveling on you’re own can be a very learned and mind broadening experience. Going to Hawaii in a clique and sticking to your group is different


Travelling definitely does make you more "enlightened" that's the nature of experience. That said you won't become a less ignorant person because you took insts photos by a pool in Spain. Travelling can definitely be a flex, I know people who do shit they don't enjoy just so they can brag. But I don't think everyone who travels is trying to lord it over people. >They can use the Internet to explore a country, without traveling there and contributing to its destruction. (tourism can be very bad for the environment Yeah that's a no from me. The internet is a great resource but it's not a replacement for viable alternatives. Enjoy whatever you want but don't be bitter about what others enjoy.


It's not traveling itself that broadens your horizon, but rather getting to know different cultures and having to navigate a foreign environment all by yourself. As you rightfully pointed out, traveling is a far better tool for this than using the internet. But what OP is complaining about are the people who spent some time in protected luxury tourist resort and then pretend to be "enlightened" by that. Compared to that I guess using the internet as a substitute is indeed better.


I learned so much about Jamaica during my Sandles stay


Mexico is actually really safe! I'd love to live there! *visited only the tourist traps in Cancun*




Sounds like the OP following pretentious dbags on instagram


its not that. travel or rather living for a while in foreign places opens your eyes to how different it's possible to think and just be as a human. its crazy to think a person that hasn't lived in a different country, hell a person that only knows one language has a microscopic world view, they assume everyone in the fuckin Bolivian mountains are the same as Bob and Billy who they grew up with: its impossible for them to picture anything else. additionally it makes it much easier to learn to forget held grudges and trauma


People who travel less are generally more ignorant


My anecdotal experience of speaking with Americans confirms this. Most seemed intelligent and they were well traveled. With those who had not been outside of the US before, well you could tell before they ever told you that.




I agree on not making you less shallow, because shallow people are just shallow. But travel, if done correctly, does make you more enlightened about the world and different cultures, but only if you actually 'visit' and explore the places they're traveling to. A lot of people go to all inclusive resorts and basically never leave them, go on cruises that never stop in 'real' cities just like cruise ship owned places, and people only visit tourist traps and hotel stuff. To actually get the feeling of the culture you need to leave the hotel, walk the streets, talk to people, go to the shops outside the tourist strip, but 90% of people who travel don't actually do that. And a lot of people, at least Americans, are like 'I went to Italy that one time for 1 week, I know everything about Italy' 🙄


Exactly. I remember most of my adventures in travel but almost nothing about nights in nightclubs.


And no comments on drunk forgetfulness cause I was drinking on my travels too 🤓


Seeing the northern lights or elephants smashing is not the same on a screen. Add Snorkeling, or seeing Snow for the first time. Do you know how many people will never see or do this things? So given a chance to.. would you say “ nah I’ll just watch it on you tube then play my ps5 after? Wow.


Traveling is most definitely a social flex, especially for people in my (millennial) generation. I travel for a living as a flight attendant and while It’s fun, seeing it on someone’s dating profile really isn’t that interesting. I’d really like to know your values more than where you went last Summer


Travel wards off ignorance, as [says Mark Twain](https://www.google.com/search?q=mark+twain+on+travel&rlz=1CDGOYI_enUS718US718&oq=mark+twain+on+travel&aqs=chrome..69i57j0j0i22i30l4.3144j0j4&hl=en-US&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#imgrc=4QXw2lzUTz0DNM) and it can be very affordable if you plan correctly (road trips, for example)


“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” Mark Twain


Traveling doesn't make you a different, better person at all. But it does help you become the best version of yourself by opening up your perspective. Of course by travelling I mean interacting with different cultures and nationalities, not a beach trip to Bali at a 5 star resort.


The killer is when they put on their dating profile "Been to X countries and will be to Y by the end of the year". Such turnoff.


It's really just Instagram culture.


Disagree, traveling exposes you to other cultures in a way that you wouldnt pick up from just reading or watching. Being forced to speak a different language in order to get to where youre going, for example, is an important experience and does make you at the very least more understanding, potentially more appreciative, etc. a personal moment for me was on a trip in a developing country i was trying to communicate to a taxi driver the name of the city i wanted to reach, so i pulled up a map in the native language of the country and the driver told me he cant read, and it made me embarrassed at my assumption that everyone gets the luxury of education like i did. These moments dont happen when u just look at a statistic, why would u even think to look up such statistics if they’re so far outside of your consideration. So. big disagree but yeah thats why its an unpopular opinion i suppose.


You don't have to be an asshole about your travel experiences. You can enjoy travel and not brag about it. And I think at least some forms of traveling are probably more mind - opening and of deeper value than getting a new car or clubbing excessively. So... I think maybe you're unfairly generalizing "travelers" a bit. That said... Instagram is an awful, awful place full of awful, inauthentic humans who manage to turn everything good and beautiful into some vapid hyper-positive bland self - serving crap. That's me unfairly generalizing about Instagram users 😉 but this seems like the place for it.


I know where you coming from, i too have some annoying friends that work 9-5 and then for 2 months a year they pretend like they are the shit, just going places and knowing it all, but traveling in general DOES broaden your view. It also does make you more enlightened if you aren't close minded. That is if you don't just stay in a hotel resorts, being a certified tourist. But you seem a bit jelly ngl


It depends how you travel. If you go to a new country, check into a standard worldwide brand hotel and eat in the hotel restaurant with an outing to McDonalds and the shopping center and then laze by the pool then classifying yourself as enlightened from travelling is nonsense. If you veer off the beaten path. Live, eat, communicate with the locals. Try new things and broaden your narrow minded viewpoint then it is by far the best way to become a more rounded tolerant person. There definitely is a difference between reading about Vietnam, going to a 4 star hotel in Vietnam or staying with a host family, teaching English and being embedded in the culture. I do agree with you in the sense that there are a lot of fake shallow travelers who pretend they are enlightened. But these are the sort of people who say they understand black culture because they once had a postman who was from Jamaica.


I get the broader point made here, but if we are comparing clubbing/video games and travelling - the latter is objectively more impactful in many ways. Just helps you grow knowledge-wise and makes you more independent and stuff. While it all boils down to personal interests and what makes *your* mental health better - travelling has a lot more potential to make you enlightened than dancing in a club or playing on a PS5


>it is obvious that many use their travels to flex and show us how "superior" they are. hail nah you're projecting HARD. i really hope you can see the difference between being genuinely enthusiastic and wanting to share experiences vs bragging. in all areas of life, not just travelling. >Maybe someone thinks that buying a PS5 is more fun to them than going on some stupid trip. That is their business and their choice is not inherently inferior. no ones out here claiming you have to make a decision of whats more fun, travelling vs ps5 🙄


Congrats. You just reduced one of the most amazing things about the modern world, to absolutely nothing. Travel IS incredible. And we can do it so easily. Go backpacking in 20 countries without a set plan and you'll soon understand how exhilarating it is, and how much it adds to your character and life experience. You picked a very specific demographic though. People who consider themselves enlightened or less shallow? How many travel-wankers do you know that have this trait? And saying you can read about it online? Really? So you'd consider yourself well-traveled if I gave you 50 brochures on 50 different countries? you can't compare reading about it to the experience of being there. So much comes with being there. Weather, smells, people, food, socialising, etc. Reading about it gives you none of that. Why are you so angry at travelers and traveling?


The OP isn't talking about Rick Steves or people who generally like traveling without feeling the need to brag about it. I think he's referring to the people in the (mostly) millennial generation who treat traveling as one-upmanship and feel the need to share everything copiously on Instagram. And they probably went to a "basic" place like Iceland, Cuba, Thailand, or Macchu Picchu. Traveling is and always has been a sign of privilege, but it's probably just a lot more visible nowadays with social media. I do get the vibe that some of these people treat travel as more of a trendy thing and rather than something enlightening, although they probably did learn about another country, good for them.


I’m sorry, wtf is basic about Iceland, Cuba, or Macchu Picchu? And to be honest, after having lived abroad and traveled extensively it can be hard to have normal conversations with people back home because it feels like everything you say is bragging. If you try and tell a story, inevitably it links back to a crazy adventure you had. I personally don’t have social media but I don’t have an issue with the people who do. Because how is it any different than someone posting about an awesome concert they went to, or how they tried a new restaurant? I also take issue with the millennial thing, in my experience by far the worst travelers are older. Sure, they’re not posting on Instagram but they are the most likely to be resistant to cultural differences and want everywhere to be America just with a different filter. And they *certainly* treat it as one-upmanship back home. Sure, sometimes younger people are insufferable. But if you’ve ever been on a tour with cruise people I think you’ll change your mind about what’s worse.


I don't think there's anything wrong with taking/posting photos of your travels. Your Instagram is there to showcase your life and what you enjoy; I don't think it's inherently shallow to take a few minutes to take photos for your social media. It used to be that people travelled with a camera, printed the photos out for an album when they got home and then showed it to people who came to visit. It's really not that different it's just that the internet has made the audience bigger.


Those damn millennials!


You can just travel a lot for fun, it doesn't have to be a flex. That is like saying buying a house is a flex cause some people can't afford one.