Call Me Irredeemably Uncool
This post is going to permanently earn me the title of ‘totally and irredeemably uncool old fart.’ But I am passionate about this.
I read an article recently about a big travel agency that has published a “bucket list” of travel experiences everyone “must have” by the time they reach the ripe old age of 30.
And they are offering deals to assist the more lemming-like among the under 30 crowd in achieving this noble goal.
Our Top 10 travel experiences are a must-do before you end up trying to relive your youth DJ-ing at your grandkids birthday parties, so get out there and tick off the Top 10 and make your grandkids proud!
Aside from the problems with grammar, I also have a few problems with their logic.
Maybe it’s because I’m over 30, but I can’t for the life of me discern a causal link between the main points. How does ticking off the Top 10 prevent one from trying to relive their youth by DJ-ing at the grandkids [sic] birthday parties? How does DJ-ing at the grandkids [sic] birthday parties enable one to relive their youth?
And how does ticking off the Top 10 ensure that the grandkids will in fact be proud? Or will their reaction more likely be You pissed away my inheritance on a bucket list? And speaking of my inheritance, when are you going to kick the bucket?
But that’s not even what’s most important.
It is the use of the terms “must-do” and “tick off.”
I’ve done a little travelling and I always thought that destinations should be chosen based in what I want to do. “Must do” travel was when I had to get up at four in the morning on a winter’s day to fly to a meeting to scrape an angry client off the ceiling.
What’s worse is that people, under 30 or otherwise, might actually believe that this really is a “must do” list. That these are the things that define travel and life experiences. That anything else you may do will pale in comparison and you will be unfriended right, left and center on Facebook and Twitter as a total loser unless you post pictures of yourself at those places.
So much for individuality.
So what are these Top Ten destinations, I hear you asking.
According to the list, you are “supposed” to be “party[ing] (all night) in Vegas.” They included the parenthetical “all night,” just in case anyone was unsure about whether they would be living a truly full life if they only partied for part of the night
And how does one “party” all night in Vegas?
Once you’ve finished that, you are supposed to do the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party in Thailand. Being a totally and irredeemably uncool old fart, I had to Google that one. KP is an island where on each full moon night they have a huge beach party. With 1,000 of your closest friends. I get the impression that the rest of the time it is a nice island resort. One web site makes the puzzling observation: “Come and enjoy the party and nature together. You’ll be surprised that they can come together as naturally as the body and soul.”
I’m glad someone mentioned nature. The objective of the party, as far as I can tell, is to “rock and drink.” That’s fine, but why burn a lot of fossil fuel and generate a lot of carbon to fly to Thailand when you can rock and drink at home?
Then you have to “Party in Rio de Janeiro.”
Not to belabour a point, but let’s project this out a few years. Let’s say you are a Gen Y who has dutifully ticked off all the items on the bucket list. You are bouncing your grandchild on your knee. He or she is proud of you for having done the bucket list. At least that’s what you expect because that’s what you’ve been told. I imagine the conversation going something like this:
Grandma and Grandpa, tell me about the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party you went to!
Mmm, that was a long time ago. It’s a little hazy. About all I remember is that’s where I got this tattoo on my shoulder. When it was up here it looked like a dragon. Grandma got her belly button pierced there, too. No, you can’t see it. Neither can she.
About the only things on the list that might make someone think about humanity and culture are “Visit the pyramids in Egypt,” and “Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.” But just between you and me, the only thing you think about while hiking the Inca Trail is not falling to your death.
And as far as I can tell, the only reason they have included the Pyramids is because you can get a cool picture of yourself taken on a camel and you can post it on Facebook and show your friends that you are living a full life. Plus there’s a McDonalds and KFC right across the street so it’s not like you’ll be inconvenienced.
My second objection is to the term “tick off.”
You don’t go to “experience,” “learn,” or “become immersed in.” Your objective is to “tick off” the items on the list.
That idea really ticks me off.
I’ve seen a lot of tick off tourists lately. If you watch them in action you get the impression that their objective is not to be there and enjoy themselves. The objective is to sail through everything as quickly as possible, take as many pictures as possible, find an internet café to post the pictures and, yes, tick the place off on their list. Just three more countries and I’ll have the Western Hemisphere out of the way.
Now what do I do for the rest of my life?