I'll drink to that.
“I like to travel," is an expression often spewn from the mouths of anxious millennials when asked what they like to do for fun. Practically all 20-something's will utter the phrase at some point in casual conversation with a new acquaintance. Also, let's not forget that something like 600-800 percent of all Tinder profiles mention the phrase. It's an easy way to appear interesting and cultured, and it alludes to an unbridled sense of adventure or some shit. Which as we all know means they're into anal.
Telling people you like to travel is a good millennial cop-out answer because let's be honest, young people as a whole aren't interested in all that much. "Traveling" sounds much more refined than telling the truth, that you like doing blow and getting sunburnt in foreign countries.
I like to travel like everyone else because traveling is fun. Traveling is a lot like playing pool or darts at a bar — something practically everyone does from time to time. But then of course, there are those people that really like to travel or really like to play pool. These are the people traveling to ten countries every year and have been to every continent. They're the dudes in the bar that can clear a pool table off the break. Of course, they're both freaks in their own right and it's rare to meet either type save from some hostel in Colombia or a billiards bar in Columbus, Ohio.
When I say I like to travel, I have to admit that I'm not that guy. I’m drowning far too deep in student loan debt to drop $10K on the trip and risk actually drowning in the silty muck of the world's longest river. I'm more the drinking traveler type.
When I, and the vast majority of people my age, say they like to travel, what they really mean is: they like to drink in new places. They go to Europe and drink, or South America and drink or some stupid cruise and drink. Basically they just drink. They'd be doing the same thing if they were home, now they are just doing it in a different setting that will end up costing six grand round trip.
What is traveling when it's really boiled down? Sure, a trip to a new place is an "adventure." At least that's what you tell people you're doing. Really though, once you get to that new place, the booze starts to flow and so begins the journey of stumbling around drunk like a gringo with chronic vertigo. It doesn't even matter if you don't leave the country. You will inevitably be the same shit faced tourist if you remain on home soil.
From some cultural festival in a country you've never been to, to a beach tiki bar or English pub, it's all the same. Drink in the morning, drink at lunch and drink at night. Even a "relaxing" beach vacation just ends up with you in a cabana sipping pisco sours and crushing the regional equivalent of PBR at the swim up bar.
Looking back on my travels from the last year and half they’ve pretty much all been booze-oriented. From New York City, to the Super Bowl, to Central America, Florida and Austin — I’ve really just sat in strange bars and drank alcohol that’s available practically everywhere. Does that make me a traveler? Eh, not really. It makes me someone that likes to drink in new places. I can still reasonably say that I like to travel, but for me and the millions of people like me, that just means getting drunk somewhere new.
Photo: Iceshot Vodka