How Not To Look Like A Stupid Tourist Overseas
Adjective 1. Having or showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense.
Now that we’ve gotten the definition of “stupid” out of the way, let’s get down to what being a “stupid tourist is”, and more importantly, how not to look like a stupid tourist overseas.
This little gem of internet goodness isn’t meant to shame, think of it as some tough love — it’s our attempt at effecting some change. You know… being a gracious guest and not the stupid foreigner during your next getaway.
1. Gloating About Your Country’s “Superiority”
“HAHAHA so cheap!”. Everyone knows someone that says this sort of thing (out loud) whenever they’re overseas. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the wonders of capitalism, economics and a great deal. I’ll admit that I’ve said it as well, but in my head.
You don’t have to remind the local citizenry of your country’s economic prowess, trust us when we say “they know”, so there’s no need to be obnoxious and stupid about the whole situation.
2. Mocking People
So the person doesn’t speak English . Allow me to relate a travel specific scenario I once encountered.
A (seemingly) cheerful street peddler in Vietnam was out-and-about selling his wares, walking along a street lined with quiet cafes and hostels. The sun was beating down as it always does in Saigon, us foreigners sat comfortably in the shade sipping on glasses of ice cold Vietnamese coffee, fruit juice… you get the picture.
The street peddler stopped outside every cafe, taking the time to demonstrate the little trinkets he had for sale. He would perform a brief routine complete with exciting hand gestures, to which my friends and I declined, but cue the stupid people (Americans) seated behind us. As they asked him to repeat it (the routine) again with absolutely no intention of buying anything, topping it off with their take on a Vietnamese accent.
*We know not all Americans are guilty of being sh*tty examples humans*
*Related Post: 4 Simple Ways To Get Cheap Booze In Any Country
3. The Drunk Nuisance
Booze is cheaper than it is in your hometown? Great! It’s time to let loose and the taps flow. Take some shots, knock back a few pints or even a whole tower of beer, but remember not to be the obnoxious drunk tourist who’s now looking for fun activities like picking fights or damaging property. Or to be so drunk that you’re forced to summon out the “Merlion” in you, vomiting on the streets or in the Uber back to the hotel.
4. Complaining About and Comparing the Country to Home
“The Wi-Fi and connection here SUCKS!” now just repeat that throughout the whole trip, preferably every 30 minutes. Now top that off by comparing everything to your home country “In ______ this wouldn’t happen”.
Sure if can be frustrating when something doesn’t go according to the way you planned in your perfect little head. But before making these stupid comparisons, isn’t the whole point of travel to experience a new country and culture? Let that sink in.
5. Imposing Your Moral Code
The scenario? You didn’t grow up eating it, so it’s disgusting and doesn’t sit well with you. I’m all for the conservation of endangered animals, but calling people disgusting and acting like you’re above them because they eating bugs, the odd rodent, balut (partially developed duck egg), etc… no one’s forcing you.
The term for this sort of stupidity is “Cultural Imperialism” — thinking other cultures should conform to your views. The easiest way I could describe it. Never thought the module, “Moral Theories” (or something like that) I took in university would have a direct influence on something I’d write in the future. But here we are.
*Read about other Travel Tips, Guides, and Experiences here at: PROJECT #GOANYWHR
6. Taking Selfies with Wildlife
Against all warnings and the sliver of natural instinct left in them, some tourists go all out to get a shitty selfie of themselves with local wildlife.
You spot them from afar with a selfie stick or their arm stuck out in the air. Their backs facing said wild animal — an open invitation for it to charge them. Not such a bad thing if you think about it.
The worst sort are the ones manhandle the wildlife and force it to be immortalised on social media… leaving it to die from the trauma and stress.
There’s also the issue of supporting wildlife attractions that aren’t so great for the animals welfare like elephant rides, the Tiger Temple and even a Human Safari.
7. Disrespecting Local Culture and Laws
This is sorta like “Imposing Your Moral Code”, but perhaps a lot more stupid because there are rules that explicitly tell you what not to do. “Dress appropriately when entering religious sites”, “Don’t vandalise our sh*t” or “Swim here if you want to drown” that sort of stuff.
Some examples of such stupidity include:
Stripping at the peak of a sacred mountain — even though your local guide told you not to
Removing a sign in North Korea.
With so many things to be conscious of when travelling, your next getaway might seem like a disaster waiting to happen. However, just remember “when in Rome do as the Romans do”.