I always travel alone, it really is the best way to see a country and experience different cultures. What annoys me are the backpackers and travelers who have some kind of superiority complex about being a traveler. Furthermore, some of them think they now have a new found appreciation for the poorer and less fortunate in society, they will lecture you on what great communists they have become, only to return home in a few months and work for a Merchant Bank when their gap year ends.
Don’t under any circumstances let yourself get surrounded by travelers who love nothing more than to talk about their experiences. You will never see them in new fashionable clothes. They think they don’t have to care about their appearance, because they are a backpacker. They hang around with backpackers and travelers in this clique that you are not a part of and will probably never understand unless you are constantly traveling with them. They will have harsh brown skin that is old before its time, hammered by the constant outdoors, lacking key vitamins from the lack of regular food, irregular hours and dehydration.
You’ll recognize travelers because they are overly enthusiastic about the little things around them but then move on to the next “experience” They think everything is exciting and amazing but don’t stick around long enough to really get a deeper understanding of them. To them, it’s one superficial experience after another.
A traveler thinks they are appreciating life but in reality it’s a form of escapism from something they can’t explain. They say they won’t judge you, and they probably believe they won’t too, but honestly, they are judging you all the time and expecting you to live up to their lifestyle. They will have no tolerance for those that don’t accept or adhere to it, they are judgmental of a society that wants to work 9 to 5, pay the mortgage and live on credit. They will think because they have “seen” things they know them, they will think they feel empathy with the less fortunate of the world, before returning to their highly paid job and doing their best to avoid taxes.
When they meets other travelers they will immediately get competitive over what they have seen, what they did, how brave they were. They will share stories about the usual tourist trips and talk a few phrases they have learned in a desperate attempt to be the most traveled or the most knowledgeable.
Traveling is an amazing, fulfilling and enriching experience and unique to everyone. The problem with travelers is that they go to the same places, follow the same tours and do it in large groups meeting other travelers on the way. Kao Sanh road, Angkor Wat, The Killing Fields, The Chu Chi tunnels, all great places to see and amazing experiences, but don’t do them on a guided bus tour surrounded by other 20 or 30 somethings.