Eight Annoying-As-Fuck Things New Travelers Do, Part 1 of 2

Numbers 1–4

Travis W. King

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“This place has good reviews…” Photo by Beth Macdonald on Unsplash

The astute reader will take note that this is about “new” travelers, not “young” travelers. Sure, that’s a Venn diagram with serious overlap — but this is not meant to just dunk on young travelers. It is meant to dunk on new travelers of all ages who are just getting their travel legs. This list doesn’t exactly correlate with whether you have a TikTok account. It has far more to do with the slow blossoming of awareness that all new travelers go through and some of the key lessons learned. So, let’s get into my top 8 things that new backpackers often do, which are annoying as fuck (at least to this veteran of the trail). Let’s start off hot HOT HOT with the one that first inspired me to write this list…

1. Constantly complaining about how there are “too many tourists.”

I now live in Puerto Escondido, where I’ve been for about a year and a half with María and Rue (partner and pup, respectively). We live in La Punta Zicatela, Puerto Escondido’s fastest-growing neighborhood. It’s a beautiful, bohemian surfer’s paradise. We live on the second floor of a concrete box in the middle of La Punta’s main street, and in the evening we sit on our balcony and watch hordes of humans wander barefoot in search of mezcal and new memories. I end up talking to numerous people every week who are in Puerto Escondido for a few days. I also end up overhearing a bounty of conversations at restaurants and bars between people who are obviously visiting. People who talk exclusively about what are we doing later, then mispronounce “chilaquiles” while ordering breakfast. I’m not trying to poke fun (yet); I’m just saying that people stopping through are easy to spot.

Particularly in the busier months, the one thing outside of what are we doing later that I most frequently overhear visitors to Puerto commenting on is how — in their brilliant opinion — there are too many tourists here.

“Man, Puerto is getting so touristy now!” “Whoa, there are a lot more gringos in Puerto than I thought there would be!” “Dude, I’m glad we’re here now because in a few years Puerto is definitely going to be the next Tulum!” “It’s changing so fast. I was here in 1862, and it was so much better then! Only goats…

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Travis W. King

Traveling, writing, & working abroad for 10 years. Former Remote Year Dir. of Community. Check out my travel memoir—Not That Anyone Asked—at www.traviswking.com