Americans do not see eye to eye on many things these days. At least, not more than two out of four of us at a time. Still, I think that most of us can agree that people who make a habit of saying “I really enjoy traveling” are horrible assholes who should be endlessly mocked. Sorry if I sound crazy, but just follow along for a second…
I am not some monster who opposes the idea of taking a vacation, however tropical. What I’m saying is almost the opposite—that pretty much everyone, other than agoraphobes and perhaps some American flag-waving patriots who see no value in venturing outside of their immediate bubble, more or less loves—or at least wants—to travel. Extensively. So when you say that you “are addicted to traveling,” or something comparably thoughtless and privileged—whether in a dating profile, on social media, or in a private conversation—you are essentially saying that you can’t for the life of you understand why everyone else isn’t as interested in globe-trotting as you are. It’s a humblebrag, but one that you’re not likely conscious of making. Nevertheless, you might as well say, “Unlike all those weirdos who stay home all the time and are too cheap to spend tens of thousands of dollars on international airfare, I prefer to bounce around the EU and wherever else my family’s AmEx takes me.”
Personally, due to the financial limitations and severe lack of free time that come with my chosen profession, I have never flown farther than Mexico. Don’t cry for me, though; I plan on traveling to Europe and beyond after I retire in 50 years—plus, thanks to friends with beach and country houses in New England, I manage to get away at least twice every year at almost no cost.
When I get those opportunities, like I did last week for a couple of days, I always end up smoking too much weed and thinking about the innumerable summers and long winter weekends throughout my life when my budget kept me confined to my neighborhood. It was probably one of those times, after an afternoon spent drinking dollar tallboys on the tar-covered roof of my fifth-floor walk-up apartment, that I first heard someone say that they “love to travel,” and I’ve been offering this rant ever since. Because even back then, I knew that I loved to travel too, but—perhaps because of those experiences—I know enough to never make such a moronic statement out loud.
CHRIS FARAONE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.