Dating apps have been a revelation into the mind of the female. Swiping through literally thousands of sub-100 word bios has exposed me to the the wide gamut of humor, interests, and passions women enjoy. It’s easy to immediately spot the ones who aren’t afraid to be their unique selves versus the ones who default to the “basic” profile. It’s okay to be basic, and I hate the “basic bitch” insult; it’s normal to want your first impression be accessible with broad appeal. I mean, if you’re a good looking girl who knows she’ll have a bevy of suitors to choose from, it’s a no-brainer.
But being “basic” is a thing, and dating apps have revealed that the “basic” archetype generally involves loving alcohol (usually wine, but they might say beer or whiskey to seem more down to Earth), loving yoga, loving brunch, loving sarcasm, and above all loving travel. In almost 90% of all dating profiles I’ve seen, girls make it a point to say where the favorite place they’ve travelled was (spoiler, it’s some city with a lot of historical landmarks in Europe) and list off the three or four places they plan to travel in the next few months. Therein lies the rub, because I fucking hate vacations.
Even from where I sit, I can hear you gasping and clutching your pearls, but know I mean that with every fiber of my being. Nothing sounds less appealing to me than traveling to a city where I know no one, sleeping in a stranger’s bed with questionably washed sheets, struggling to find a place where the food is both edible but also local enough that you feel you got the “experience,” and having to fill a ton of time with activities.
Oh god, the activities. The sightseeing tours, the hikes, the trips around town. They seem fun, on paper, until you’re cruising around London on a double-decker bus for four hours. You’re so bored you contemplate just jumping right off the top deck into oncoming traffic, silently raging that the Brits made you endure eating spotted dick. There is no activity (other than those heavily intertwined with alcohol) that will hold my attention for more than an hour. The problem is that activities are a Catch-22, because while you loathe that hike up the mountain after the 20 minute mark (only 2 ½ hours to go!), you have no other options. You’re in a strange city, alone or with your family/friends. There’s nothing else to do other than activities, so it’s either stay back and watch whatever is on daytime TV (and realize that ESPN’s content has eroded to TMZ levels in the past few years) or tag along. Essentially, vacations just trap you in a strange place for a set amount of time, making you do activities that are only initially tolerable before becoming unbearable, and eat weird food because you’re compelled to. You know, kinda like going to jail.
Oh, but let’s not forget the cherry on top that we’re paying for this lovely experience. Airfare, hotels, tours, food and drink. Whenever my friends suggest a group trip, I always take the opportunity to look at all the money I’ve saved up in my bank account one last time. Airfare is always a couple hundred dollars, same for a hotel room. That’s more than it would cost to rebuild my gaming PC. Seriously, flying to Austin for my cousin’s wedding a month ago set me back more than an entire month of trying to impress Bumble girls at fancy restaurants. And I didn’t have to contend with crying children, airport security, or my elderly relatives while I spent all that money.
Now, before you jump down my throat, let me say that I can appreciate the theory of trips. Of course going to see London, Berlin, Moscow, Thailand, Ireland, or Australia sounds amazing. Getting more cultured, seeing famous sites with people you care about, that all is appealing on the surface. Same for camping trips, weekend golf trips, Atlantic City trips with your friends. But once I start thinking about the minutia, the actual filling of the hours of the day, it really just dawns on me how all that novelty and excitement will evaporate after like, a day and a half. Max. And then I’ll just be wishing I was back home, trying to pull some girl’s number off OkCupid, watching college football on my bed, playing some Destiny, and then heading out with my friends to our usual bar. When it comes down to it, it’s not so much that I hate vacations on principle, it’s just I can’t imagine that all the headaches and hassle is worth it when I’d just be longing for what I already have. So Bethany, you basic babe from Bumble, go ahead and keep talking about how you’re so excited for your trip to Napa Valley in a few weeks, and then Argentina after Thanksgiving. I’ll just be at my own house, spending a lazy Saturday rewatching the Office, eating Chipotle, and living a life awesome enough that I don’t need to take a vacation from it..
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