I’m Better than you Because I Travel


So, it’s no secret that we all should be travelling all the time. Go into debt if you have to, but travel. You’ve seen the memes. It’s very enriching. And don’t mistake me for a tourist. Tourists go to Ocean City and Disney World, two places I don’t go to unless my parents are footing the bill. I carry a backpack, not one of those rolly thingies. I hate buses. I would rather wrap myself in banana leaves than stay in a famous hotel. Also the places I travel to are usually filled with people who don’t speak the same language as me. Or brown people. Or Asian people. And these things make me a much better person than you. Here are some ways that travel has made me a fantastic person.

I spent two weeks in Africa a few years ago and now I totally understand racism. People looked at us the whole time. We stood out like a sore thumb. It was so annoying. People kept asking us for money. It was probably really stressful for the hotel security who had to keep scaring those kids away from the other side of the fence at the pool. It was so annoying. But afterwards I did what I always do. I sat under a tree indigenous to the country, took out my moleskine, and searched my soul. I demanded that I learn a lesson from the experience. The lesson was that now I totally and completely 100% understand what it’s like to be black in America. Maybe in the northern states. I understand what it’s like to be black in Milwaukee. I am one with my brothers. Fist in air.

Asiatic peoples totally give me the food they eat. I speak some Asian (yes, they all get it) and now whenever I go into an Asian food place, they inherently know that I know what I’m talking about. We can piece together a conversation in their moderate English and they bring me what the other Asians in the place are eating. My white friends are so angry with me all the time. I tell them – go travel! This is what happens. You become one with the world’s community. Plus, extra broccoli (for a low fee). They make it spicy too. They know I’m different from the others. It’s, like, totally authentic.

One word: language! Jazyk! Taal! MOBa! I know so many languages that I can always communicate with anyone at any time. If I go somewhere and people speak English to me, I’m like “No! Speak your beautiful language!” It’s the only way to get a truly authentic experience. I know how to say “is this gluten free?” in fourteen languages. I have so many languages rattling around in my head that I don’t even remember English pul of the zeit! Oops. There I go again! It sometimes gets in the way, you know, like back in the U.S, (whenever I happen to be there in between sojourns). Last week I was in Starbucks and the Indian guy there and I started chatting. I said “Namaste” and then he was all like, wow, you speak Hindi and I said “yes, I do.” Then I had to mime the word for “half-caff iced Frappuccino with almond milk.” But the guy got it pretty quick. He’s a mechanical engineering student at Cornell. My friends were like, dude, can you come back to English, we can’t understand you! It can be a pain to be honest, but I say no! You should travel and you’ll learn other languages.

Most of all, I have the experience of being at places before they got all touristy. Back when they were totally authentic. Like this fishing village on the west coast of Ireland where there used to be about twenty houses and a pub where I accidentally shit myself because I drank too much Guinness. I went back last year and there were two pubs and a whole bunch of condos. It’s totally spoiled now. I am only thankful I got there before it became basically like Wildwood.

This is really important, because I am totally obsessed with getting the most authentic experience I can. I force my way in, if I have to. I have pictures of myself among so many indigenous tribes in their indigenous habitats. They love me. I made one of the guys wear a Phillies cap. He loved it. Plus, there were no other white people around. I don’t even become Instagram friends with someone unless they have a picture of themselves amongst indigenous people in their indigenous habitats. Next! A few weeks ago I got to an island near India that we weren’t supposed to go to. I said, screw that! You can’t keep me away from an authentic experience! But it was hard, the coast guard was patrolling the waters off the island to keep people away because the indigenous people there had never made contact with the outside world. But I just had to see them and take a picture with them. They loved me. I asked one of them to put on my Phillies cap and they attacked me. I mimicked their language pretty well (they were impressed) and they attacked me and the coast guard had to come rescue me. I think a few tribesmen were killed after they shot arrows at a battleship. But they started it. Anyway, I’m glad I have the experience of having been to that tribe, because now the government has moved in, the military is there. Next thing it’ll be hotels and casinos. Lots of white people. It’s so over.

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