The Immature Traveller
I spy something that begins with the letter P.
People? Pillars? Pineapple?
Is this really how you’re spending your time in Israel/ New Zealand/ Bolivia? Playing I Spy? What’s this now? The Banana Fanana song?
Mi my mo nana, Banana!
Yes it’s true that your immaturity tends to pop out when you travel. You’re suddenly bent over laughing rhyming Portugal Schmortugal and London Bondon. But so what? So what if you spend more time poking your friends obnoxiously than actually looking at the art in the Louver? So what if you are more intent on a staring contest than listening to the tour guide in Damascus?
As a general rule you act silly when you’re happy. You weren’t exactly telling knock knock jokes at the funeral you went to. But you were giggling for no reason at your birthday party. Your inner immature child likes to make an appearance during times of glee. So let it. No harm in making a few fart noises with your armpit or using chopsticks to look like a walrus.
Your travels should be fun. There are other adjectives you hope might apply to your time in Swaziland; interesting, educational, cultural, inspiring. But really you hope to enjoy your time on vacation. It makes sense, then, that if you’re having fun in Madagascar you might suddenly find yourself saying unnecessarily, “I know you are but what am I?”
Don’t be embarrassed later on. It was fun. You were happy. What’s the problem?
Of course there are times and places for certain things, just like your Mom told you. Be aware of where you are when the mood to stick your tongue out strikes. Places of worship and war memorials are usually not the best for giving in to your immaturity. Save it for when you’re out on the street with your buddies.
As I began to sort through my pictures to find ones for this post I was overwhelmed (and maybe a little impressed?) by
the number of immature photos I have. Mooning the camera in Amsterdam, cross eyed in Belize, trying to imitate a platypus in Lesotho – these are just a few of the stellar poses I’ve pulled abroad. But while I might not include all those pictures in a slideshow of my adventures, each one makes me laugh. They take me back to that moment of uncontrollable giggles and the time I actually did pee my pants from laughing so hard over nothing. They might not remind me of the majesty of the Alps or the peace I felt standing under the stars of the Cedarburg. But they do remind me of how much plain, simple fun I had.
And isn’t that what travel’s all about?