Travelling – It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It

Travelling – It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It

Words are my favourite things. Over the course of humanity, we’ve whittled down and refined the primordial grunts and groans and utterances into the definitive system for describing the known universe. I place such importance on words that there is nothing more frustrating for me to have people be lazy with their usage (Facebook statuses, I’m looking at you). The words we use give the world the most honest interpretation of ourselves there is, superseding style, hair length and the five photos we’ve selected for our Tinder profiles. The words we choose to use don’t just define us, they are us.

But I’m not going to sit here giving a lesson on the differences between there, they’re and their because, quite frankly, your old enough to know better than that by now. No ma’am, what I am going to dip my toes into is the way in which we describe our travels. Y’see, the words which we choose from our arsenal of verbs indicate exactly what it is we think that we may have just achieved, and by following this little cheat sheet, you’ll be able to see through people’s stories and ascertain what sort of cunt they really are. Here are some of the words we use to describe the fact that we’re moving from home to somewhere else for leisure.

Going somewhere is cool.
Go, going, going to go, will go, went.
Going somewhere is a bit of a building block upon which you can heap other verbs of movement, but when used alone, going somewhere has this wonderful open-ended air to it. It is infinite in that you are displacing yourself from here to there, but what happens after is unknown, nor is it desired to be known. It can be a bit of a wank when you actually have a return ticket – saying, “I’m going to Madrid on Friday!” when you are coming back on Sunday makes you a poser, because you ain’t going there, you’re visiting.

Visit places when you’re older.
Visit, visiting, going to visit, will visit, visited.
I like the idea of visiting places. When you say, “I’m going to pay me Aunty June a visit,” it means that you plan on enjoying the company of June and partaking in activities which are overwhelmingly pleasant. You won’t get urinated on, but you might stroll by a riverbank, which is why you should save it for when your pubis is covered in grey, upwardly-mobile nomads.

When your timeframe is similar to a visit, but your intentions are a bit more Dionysian, you’re on holidays.
Holidaying, going on a holiday, went on a holiday, going to get an STI test.
Nothing wrong with being on holidays. Kick back, crack that cold beer, ogle that guy’s daughter, get sunburnt and be a pig. Fuck, get a massage and nod towards your crotch when they’re done, or stop being a pussy and order a two-pack of hookers. Holidays rule, because when they’re over, you’ve got to go back to work with a debilitating case of imaginary HIV (what you’ve got between your trip to South East Asia and your trip to the GP). When you were a kid, a holiday was called a vacation, which is the same as a holiday for your parents, but involved more keys in fruit bowls.

I’m travelling!
I just love London! I made the best friends, from Melbourne.
Yes, we all give a fuck. Travelling is the art of traipsing well-worn paths whilst deluding yourself that you are being intrepid. Please, tell me more about your time in London, and how you went to that fucking Marchie Pitchie place, and about that foreign girlfriend you had. Travellers are cute in that they think that they’re being adventurous moving overseas and living in a share house full of Stella-drinking Aucklanders. Go back to reading your Lonely Planet and taking the top off your bed-bug scabs, exploring your sexuality in Greece with someone who lives 15 minutes from your parents’ place in Albury and going to Oktoberfest with the fag-natics.

waterfall selfie

Be there, man.
Be, being, was.
“What’s going on in December?”
“Man, I’m going to be in Hawaii.”
How fucking delightfully zen of you. This is probably the best way to experience a place, because you’re admitting that while you are there, you are there, and the rest of the world can get to fuck. Again, this is a bit of a wank, but the whole concept of travelling as a young person is a wank, and the whole point of this diatribe was to get you to realise that…

You don’t “do” places.
Yeah, so…. I just did a shit, and it totally didn’t stink.
You didn’t do France, you won’t do New York and you never did Khao San Road. This is the worst of a bad bunch – when you use it you sound like the most stuck-up cunt, like you travel the world “completing” the places that you deem worthy of your finalising presence. If you do travelling the right way, then you’ll never consider anywhere done, as you’ll realise that the more you experience, the less you know about a place.

The people who do places are the people who treat travel like the measles, something you need to get out of system when you’re young lest it afflict you in later life, with grave consequences. “Doing” trips is what butt-fuck travel brands like Contiki sell, with their “30 countries in 15 days, tick the fucking boxes you eggs” tours. The people that do these feel obliged to visit churches and museums and monuments and take the most boring photos in front of them and then show the photos to their dickhead mates when they get home. Yeeee-hawn.

The bottom line is, when you are travelling it’s best to realise that you are going to be an insufferable bore, but at least try and be an insufferable bore who is making the most of their time, and is doing it in some infinite, open-ended manner. If you cannot, because your life doesn’t allow it, make sure you visit places when you’re feeling like a pussy and go on holidays when you are a swine. Or do what you want, because who gives a flying pile of did about what I think?

Got any to add? Want to punch me in the dick through typing? Light it up below, losers.

**Anyone get the joke in paragraph two, sentence one? Yeah, I’m not that dumb, cunts.

Ex-editor of Australia’s Surfing Life, current producer and host of 50 Fiestas, Barcelona resident and drinker of all the wine, every last drop of it.