Traveling, Attention Whoring, and Desperate Attempts to be Unique

travelingAlong with tattoos, piercings, biking/hiking clubs, TRX clubs, yoga, veganism and other clans, one of the more common ways to stand out (as if) these days is traveling a lot and traveling to distant, exotic lands. Everyone loves to run around and brag (on Facebook) about all their traveling adventures – from as close to home as Tahoe to as far as Europe and Far East. While I am as big a fan of traveling as everyone else, I also know that its value is limited, and those who are too proud of their oversees adventures get on my nerves just as much as those losers who stand in line to be the first ones to get the next i-phone.

Traveling is great, but it’s not a personal accomplishment. It’s a matter of taking a few days/weeks off, if you are employed and have a boss, and getting a ticket & hotel. Assuming that you don’t have fear of flying, there is not much more to it. Traveling as neither a skill nor an accomplishment. Traveling is not the same as learning a new language, learning how to play a musical instrument, getting an advanced degree, writing a book, joining the army, and it’s certainly isn’t as significant as saving someone’s life. Traveling makes you feel better and might change your perspective on certain things in life, but it hardly makes you a better person.

The above might make  me sound like I don’t like traveling. But I truly do. I just want us to keep the value of traveling in perspective and not make more out of it than it really is. The next time someone tells you that he/she lived in 20 States around the country or 10 different countries, ask them: “And?”

2 thoughts on “Traveling, Attention Whoring, and Desperate Attempts to be Unique

  1. Hello fellow curmudgeon. I suspect this will sound awfully familiar:

    “I just got back from an amazing trip to Amazingland. OMG, the culture and the people, you know, just so amaaaaaazing.”

    Was it? Really? But at $5-10K for each trip, what woman is really going to be honest enough with herself to admit that her latest “travel experience” wasn’t as life-changingly profound as the price tag would suggest. Cue the over-the-top ex post facto justification.

    A well-stamped passport is not a substitute for actual character, and tedious travel anecdotes are not a substitute for engaging conversation.

    Boom. Wilko out.

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