Now what exactly is travel snobbery? While the most obvious iteration would be those who just can't bear to travel without staying in a five star hotel and tanning on their yacht throughout the day, I would argue that there is a subtler form of pretension that has invaded the current travel set, and in my recent adventures, I was totally guilty.
This attitude is not about fine living, but about roughing it-- just enough-- while simultaneously getting that cute Instagram shot.
We the travel snobs are "true" travelers because we stay in hostels, and we don't do guided tours. That casual pic of us looking dreamily over the cityscape? We happily stumbled upon that spot, and by no means were furiously Googling pictures of the coolest locals in the city ahead of time.
We dress as the locals do: effortlessly chic. God forbid we look like a stereotypical tourist.
But here's a secret I learned when I recently traveled for two months between five different countries: sometimes those super cute boots that look really great in photos end up making you miserable as you trek through the cobblestone streets, and sometimes the guided tour will be the best part of your stay.
While I am all for solo travel (seriously do it) and staying true to your style, "Doing it for the 'gram" is typically not worth it.
|Eat all of the cinnamon buns in Stockholm. Fika is the best.|
Traveling is about taking risks and experiencing new things even if those things aren't 'grammable. Did I post a picture of the minibus that made it clear to all of the Swiss locals that a bunch of foreigners were rolling through? No. Am I glad I took said minibus? Hell yeah. I learned way more than I would have taking the trip on my own.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets caught up in the perceived negatives associated with the idea of being a "tourist." I will probably never be the fanny pack wearing, guidebook toting tourist that you see in the movies (or basically every stereotypical portrayal of an American tourist ever), but it's okay to stop and take pictures of things in the street even if it makes the locals roll their eyes.
So here is my promise: I will work on controlling my own desire to roll my eyes when people overtly display their travel inexperience. I am so #blessed to have been able to travel like I have, and not everyone is comfortable enough to break out on their own. I'm way more embarrassed of the fact that I side eyed someone wearing their I Love Paris sweatshirt home on the plane than the fact that I too wore my I Love Paris sweatshirt on the plane ride home six years ago.
There is no excuse for my snobbery. I travel to open my mind and heart, and I am so happy and excited for others who choose to do the same.