Australia, we’re a bunch of heartless travel snobs
Low cost air carriers have turned us into a bunch of travel snobs.
Tell someone you’re about to take a flight to Bali or Fiji and you’re bound to be met with a raised eyebrow or two. That and a swift dig about Bintang singlets, fake tan, Batique sarongs and hair braiding.
Other people can be more direct. Check out this tweet from @flak in response to the collapse of Air Australia: “I love it when cheap airlines for bogans go bust”.
Well have a heart! The bitchy tweet refers to the approximately 4000 people left stranded when the Air Australia airline was put into voluntary administration and grounded last Friday, leaving most of their passengers without the means to buy another ticket to get home again. Talk about frustrating.
Just what @flak could “love” about this kind of scenario is beyond us. But it’s not unexpected. We all know people with the @flak attitude when it comes to travel. They’re the ones that sit around at BBQs complaining about group travel, Contiki tours and package holidays.
They use words like “deserve” and “solitude” a lot. They travel to once-dangerous places like Kashmir or Bosnia, and come back singing the praises of the “incredible produce” and the “warmth of the people”.
They’ve probably got a dusty orange tajine that they bought in Morocco on their kitchen counter. And a Goat hair “throw” rug from Greece on their couch.
They spend hours telling you about the “soul” of a place. And are also more likely to boast about the cost of their tickets. Or how much their business frequent flyer points got them a “quick trip” first class ticket to New York for “so and so’s” birthday.
Well, lucky them. That really is a privilege and well out of the realms of most Australians. But these kind of people don’t own the experience of travel. They’re just one part of a huge, amazing, exciting and diverse adventure that is seeing the world.
And what’s so wrong with package holidays anyway? They’re efficient, usually cost-effective and you get to meet new people. Basically they’re realistic way of fuss-free travel. Long gone are the days of the glamorous three month tour of Europe – who’s got the time for that kind poncing about these days anyway? Well hardly anyone with families, jobs and responsibilities.
Air travel should be cheap because the world is everyone’s playground. Not just another privilege for the big salaried lucky few. Unlike expensive cars, big houses and fancy labelled clothing, travel is more than a notch on a belt. Or a measure of status.
Propelling yourself into completely new territory gives you perspective. Teaches you about other cultures, and different ways of doing things. It broadens the mind and helps you understand how diverse the world is. Or at least it should.
The real test is how you behave when you get back home. And if you’re the one sitting around bagging out cheap airlines and poking fun at popular destinations, then you’ve completely wasted your travel money and the experience. The joke my faux adventurous friend, is on you.
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