When Your Travel Companion is a Bitch

St. Louis Courthouse and Gateway Arch

St. Louis Courthouse and Gateway Arch

I am a bitch to travel with.

I refuse to sleep. I’m picky about what I eat. And I want to see it all.

While I may apologize for how my travel-ness sometimes presents itself, I won’t change the way I traverse my trips. I will come home exhausted and disheveled, but enlightened and so learned that I will start planning my next trip before I’ve even unpacked.

Travel isn’t vacation. Travel is experience.

Leisure is for Sunday mornings back at home when you sleep until noon, move to the couch about 12:13, and spend the day watching censored movies on TBS.

When I travel, I tend to follow the simple rule: if it can be done at home, there’s no point in doing it while you travel. While exceptions are inevitable, I’ve found that the greatest experiences come when I stay closest to that rule. Especially in these three areas:

1. Sleeping

Accommodations are not for luxury and decadence. Their purpose is to provide a place for the three to four hours of sleep required each night to ensure function the following day. Hours can also be banked. Skip a nights sleep and splurge on six the following. As long as my room has a lock on the door and lacks insecta or other pests, it fulfills its necessary duty.

2. Eating

If you eat at McDonald’s when you travel, there’s a special level of hell for you and your laziness. The only time this could come, even slightly. close to acceptable is at 3am, when your judgment is already impaired. So much of experiencing a new place is eating local. Defining dishes need to be eaten in their neighborhoods, elbow to elbow with their creators.

3. Doing

Always go to the major (and minor) tourist traps in a city. Experience the postcards, but then experience life as it’s actually lived in your destination. Go to sporting events, festivals, art shows, plays. The things that a culture celebrates and how they do so will give you a deeper insight to who they truly are.


6 thoughts on “When Your Travel Companion is a Bitch

  1. I quite like this post! What first attracted me was the photo of St. Louis, which was the site of one of the. Worst. Trips. EVER! A girlfriend and I rented a car to travel to St. Lou for a long weekend and a French woman we know butted in and forced her way along. I’m very easy to travel with (I’m not a picky eater, I can walk for miles, sleep anywhere and am game for about anything). This cow bitched about American food, bitched when we ran the A/C in the car and the hotel (it was 100 degrees out and 157% humidity), navigated our asses into East St. Lou (hell on earth), monopolized every convo, criticized everything about the United States, was rude to our friends and made life miserable in general. GAHHHHHHHHHH!!! Needless to say I have never spoken a word to her since 🙂

    • Thanks so much for reading and commenting on this post. That person sounds like the most vile travelling partner possible! Having to deal with such a terrible person dulls the whole exciting experience of travelling. I just got back from St. Louis and while I didn’t love the city the way I’ve fallen for other destinations, I had a great time and was surprised by STL overall. I hope that you can some day go back and do it again without her!

  2. great post! What is the point of travelling when all you want to do is sleep, and eat at mcdonalds, People miss out on many once in a life time experiences because of that!

    • Thanks! I couldn’t agree more. I’ve never understood the draw of a vacation lounging by the pool. You haven’t really travelled somewhere until you get away from the hotel, the pool, and your comfort zone.

    • I hoping to get some posts written about my trip this week sometime (if my now crazy schedule settles a little). Living in a small town has made me anxious about spending extended time in big cities, so the fact that STL didn’t feel like a big city was comforting for me. Everyone was incredibly nice, there was an overabundance of free and cheap parking, and, outside of Busch stadium, the prices on most things were not outrageous, like I’ve come to expect in cities.

      One of the best aspects of STL were their museums. I’m somewhat of a museum snob and am very critical of the idolization and whitewashing that tends to happen in most museums. Not in STL, they were very honest about less ideal aspects of people’s lives and were very inclusive in their history.

      I’d love to go back and do more exploring.

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