Bashing other travelers

It’s an ironic practice: criticizing other travelers. We’re all foreigners to the place we’re visiting, but we can’t help but try to differentiate ourselves from the standard tourists.

This MSNBC.com article discusses the 5 types of travelers that are killing tourism. As an American, I couldn’t help but feel a bit stung at the “Ugly American” label.¬†Admittedly, there is some truth to it. However, I’ve run into plenty of rude tourists from other countries¬†that deserve equal recognition.

For me, I hate it when people throw around the word “real.” For example, “You didn’t go to every small town? Then you haven’t seen the real [insert country].”

Is there a certain type of tourist who annoys you?

Classic movie poster from peacecorpsonline.org

Classic movie poster from peacecorpsonline.org

Posted by | Comments (4)  | April 17, 2009
Category: General, Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel News


4 Responses to “Bashing other travelers”

  1. Travel-Writers-Exchange.com Says:

    Wow! Is what I said when I read this article. I recently had dinner with a friend of mine or I thought she was a friend. She’s from Malaysia and so was her friend. There was anothe girl at dinner, but I’m not sure of her ethnic origin. Anyway, my “friend” bashed Americans throughout our dinner. I couldn’t believe it. The two other “non-Americans” agreed with her and would say to me, “no offense.” I really wanted to get up and leave.

    My “friend” has been traveling since November 2008. My friend’s friends are in America on green cards — they are in U.S. jobs that could be filled by Americans. I wonder what they would do if their green cards were revoked. I’ve meet my share of rude people when I travel. Guess what? Some of them were not Americans!

  2. paul Says:

    a friend once told me you’ve got to be at least a little condescending to get through the day. and i think i agree. it’s funny though because having read potts’ book before my year long trip, i find myself bashing other travelers myself: guys that can’t stop drinking for just one day, or can’t bring themselves to leave the hostel. people that fly through each city, list checking as they go. and the tourist who won’t give the local language a go, not even the basics like hello and thank you. ya, they deserve some bashing.

    theramblingsofawanderingmind.wordpress.com

  3. Java Bean Rush Says:

    It’s an epidemic, Rolf, of Americans bashing their own country because they think it’s trendy or they feel guilty over . . . who knows what.

    I did get a little flak at a University overseas (from local students and other U.S. students)for being an American who didn’t bash the U.S.

    There’s a serious inferiority complex in this country that isn’t helped by articles like that one from MSNBC.