An Updated Travel Advisory for Hip Caucasians
By Fletcher Bonin
Maybe your startup collapsed or your YouTube lifestyle coach told you traveling is good, and not traveling is bad. Either way you’ve decided you deserve a vacation. But not a typical resort-y, beach-y vacation like everyone takes. Unenlightened white people, unlike you, have ruined places like Cancun and Bali. You are woke, though you don’t use that word anymore, (they’ve ruined that too, eye roll). You’re going to go somewhere really off the beaten path, like Thailand, or Arizona. You’re going to eat like a local, talk to some real people, experience the culture. Plus your Facebook friend Samantha went there and she doesn’t even seem that cool (she just saw “Get Out”). Your trip will make Samantha look like an idiot. Nobody is as good at vacationing as you.
But before you go, here are some tips:
- Packing – Rolling suitcases are for family vacations, Midwesterners at the airport and weird kids in middle school. You’re not truly traveling unless you have a massive backpack. This will show that you might experience terrain far too rugged and exotic for a mere rectangle on wheels. The more straps and pockets you have the better.
- Communication – Download a language-learning app for your flight so you can add to your collection of apps you don’t use. Speaking English louder is not a substitute for the local language. Yes, you are pronouncing that wrong and yes, they are talking about you. She wasn’t complimenting your fanny pack. Nobody will ever compliment your fanny pack in any language.
- Pictures – Changing your profile picture to a photo of you with a small brown child does not count as humanitarian aid. Your Anthropology degree from Oberlin is as useless here as it is everywhere else.
- Elders – Don’t call every old person you meet ‘grandma’. It’s offensive, and she is not your grandma.
- Bartering – Allow yourself to be scammed. It will be more awkward to refuse the toothless salesman, and he did correctly assume that you don’t have an ornamental rat-skull necklace yet, and he seems really nice…
- Day Drinking – Getting hammered at the beach has nothing to do with the ‘amazing relaxed culture of the island.’ It’s trashy, just like in America. And those locals drinking beer on the beach aren’t relaxing, they’ve been unemployed since their crops were razed during the Hijos de Guerra military coup last fall.
- Drugs – Don’t bring them, even though the loophole u/HarryPotHead posted on that sketchy Reddit page seemed legit. Drug laws are actually enforced in this country, even if you’re white. Don’t worry, Chad will still be one poorly-coded text away once you get back to Williamsburg.
- Spicy Foods – Just take the mild option, the waiter is not challenging you.
- Restaurants – Don’t ask for the gluten-free option of anything, and stop doing that in America, too.
- Music – If you hear some kind of local tune being played, do not allow yourself to be ‘swept up in the moment’ and start dancing. If you wouldn’t do it in the frozen aisle at Whole Food’s don’t do it here.
- Tattoos – You may be tempted to get a tribal tattoo on your shoulder from a toothless man shrouded in incense, proof that you are more interesting than your HR job in Jersey City and the sensible loafers that everyone made fun of at your brother’s wedding last year. As long as your dry-cleaned work shirts cover it, why not, right? And maybe you could start wearing your tank tops again, finally renew that Planet Fitness membership. Maybe you could even look like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, you think privately, despite the fact that on the Johnson spectrum you are closer to Lyndon B.
- The Sun – Will burn you. The sun does not care that Ancestry.com told you that you’re 3% Nigerian.
- Take lots of pictures and have fun!