We all know the trope: a young college student leaves the country for the first time and then returns home acting the part of a world-weary jet setting dilettante.
We all also know that that person is annoying.
While there’s nothing wrong with going on an awesome vacation and coming back feeling relaxed and happy, there’s a fine line between wanting to tell your friends how cool it was to deep-sea dive in the Indian Ocean and being a humblebragger. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t cross that line.
1. Cool it with the foreign languages. Are you fluent in Italian? Is the person you’re speaking to fluent in Italian? Is the conversation actually being conducted in Italian? If the answer to any of these is “no,” then you did not go to fucking Feeerenzay, you went to Florence.
2. Space out your blog posts and tweets. Although you may have limited computer time, don’t post a dozen things at a time. You clog up people’s newsfeeds and you look like you’re showing off. You should be able to schedule posts for different times, or you can wait until you’re back to upload everything (which gives you time to Photoshop your abs in those bikini pictures, natch).
3. Be sensitive to friends and relatives who might not be able to afford to travel. Avoid mentioning how much money you spent (even if it’s to boast that your off-season hotel rate was such a steal). A good alternative is to talk about an experience rather than an expensive meal or a shopping spree. Also, sprinkle in a little gratitude: “This is the first vacation I’ve been able to take in more than a year, and it was so great to finally get away for a few days.”
4. Glow — subtly. You’re tan now. That’s awesome. But there’s no need to wear bright white tan-enhancing clothes and complain about how you had to buy all new makeup to match your skin.
5. Keep the insider talk to yourself. When someone says, “I love that jacket, where did you get it?” an appropriate response is “In Paris.” An inappropriate response is “Oh, this darling little hole in the wall boutique in Montmartre, it was so chic. You know, Charlotte Gainsbourg reached for this jacket at the exact same time as me but I managed to get it away from her.”
6. Facebook should not be your public travel diary. A couple of pretty Facebook pictures (because you should definitely change your profile pic to one of you in front of the Empire State Building or posing with a celebrity you met) is awesome. But 400 pictures of clouds and what you ate every day? No.
7. No sexing and telling. There’s no reason to mention how much sex you had on your honeymoon. It’s a honeymoon. Everybody knows what you were doing.
8. When all else fails, be self-deprecating. You can tell a funny story about getting lost and not being able to read the map or about the crazy local food you tried.
9. Bring back presents! People will be much more interested in your travel stories if you brought them back a cool souvenir. Or even some booze from the airport Duty-Free shop. Just saying.