I’m A Sh*tty Tourist

I didn’t go out and see the fireworks at the Sydney Harbor Bridge over the iconic Sydney opera house for New Year’s Eve.

I can hear you all now.

“Are you crazy?” “That was an opportunity of a lifetime!” “How could you miss it?” and all that jazz. Thing is, crowds get me worked up. Like, panic attack worked up. For the best seats in the “house”, the botanical gardens, people were in line for hours to get in at 7 am, then literally sat on top of each other waiting up to fifteen hours for twenty minutes of fireworks, only to have to wait hours to get on the Tokyo-esque capacity trains. It looked a lil’ something like this:

No.

I’m the Queen of the Introvert Kingdom, although people never believe it. I’m overwhelmed by a rush of input and lack of control. Fireworks, tons of people, a lack of personal space, long lines, children crying, people shouting, laughing, arguing, strong perfume or food smells, body odor, etc. I literally would have gotten physically sick in the crowd.

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I even wore lipstick. I tried.

Don’t worry, I saw both the Opera House and the bridge, just not when there were people crawling on them like ants. My hostel arranged a booze cruise of sorts, and we puttered past those junts at least three times. Check and double check.

I had myself a nice night in, taking advantage of my empty hostel room for peace and quiet. I got some writing done, watched my favorite movie, Jet Li’s “Hero”, and wept like it was the first time I’d ever seen it.

I did manage to see some fireworks from my room and the rooftop, and that was more than enough for me. See the little red bursts of light peeking out from behind the skyscrapers? Yep, I was good after that. 

I also did not go to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. I did not go inside La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. I didn’t make it to the baths in Budapest (that one I regret!)

I’m a sh*tty tourist. I like living like a local, and locals typically don’t see the stuff in their backyards (Parisians apparently think the Eiffel Tower is ugly). Instead, they’re busy going on about their day-to-day business. I like to do the regular stuff they do, with some touristy stuff sprinkled in.

Also, I now know that at some point, I’ll make it back to all these places and have a chance to do these things again.

So why am I writing this? Because going into the new year, it’s important that you do things your way. Now, don’t be self-destructive and don’t be an A-hole to others, but for the love of all that’s holy, do things in a way that gives you the most peace.

Travel the way YOU want. Don’t waste your money or time doing something just because “everyone says you have to do this”. There is no such thing.

Here’s to doing you in 2017! Happy New Year, everybody. ❤

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