Travel cliches of white people

Traveling cliches of white people

What’s funnier than white people?!

Making fun of white people!


I am a fan of the list of Stuff White People Like. As a white person, I can see myself in some of the cliches the author mentions. As a traveler, I have been collecting my mental notes on stuff white people like, while traveling! Here are some of the cliches that I have repeatedly noticed regarding white travelers:

Find yourself

There comes a time in the life of a white person when they (or should I say “us”?!) feel the need to “find themselves”. This happens most often after finishing college when you don’t want to join the trail of corporate life filled with a boring routine, or in middle life (the so-called mid life crisis), when you’ve already done all of that and want to break free! But what does finding oneself really involve? Usually, for white people, it takes going to developing countries (mostly in Asia) and connecting with a simpler side of life. This is a way of “going back to basics”. Even eating with your hands becomes a hit!

Nicely said...

Nicely said…

And then there’s the spiritual side of life. This is how you truly attempt to “find yourself”. By joining any religion except the one your family follows, by taking part in rituals that make you feel “high” even when you don’t know what’s fully going on… and yoga, of course! Yoga is a major part in developing that spiritual side of yours, ignored during all your previous life and, quite probably, afterwards too, as soon as you’re back to normality.   So, here’s the formula:



And if you don’t believe me, go watch Eat, Pray, Love!

Julia Roberts finding herself in India

Julia Roberts finding herself in India.


Pay to volunteer

Even when there’s no cause one can contribute to as such, white people love to volunteer in third world or developing countries. Is it a coincidence that pretty places get more volunteers when compared to places that are really in need?! Humm… I highly doubt it! So far, this all sounds acceptable. But the ridiculous thing is that A LOT of people PAY to secure those volunteering oportunities abroad. And this is wrong on several levels.

First of all, white people are getting scammed by international associations that do their placement in far away lands, under the false pretense that they are contributing to something great, when most of the times they aren’t. For example, we met a girl in Ecuador who had volunteered in the Amazon. To the question “what did you do?”, she replied “I lived with a family in a shack, picked up bananas in the jungle, collected wild potatoes and taught Spanish to the local community”. This was a German girl who learned Spanish for 2 weeks before venturing into the Amazon. How ridiculous! I don’t question the good will she had, but this is in no way contributing to something great. On top of everything, the man of the house in the local tribe wanted to feel up her white ass. And one pays good money for this? Oh please!…

Secondly, the fact that people are willing to pay to volunteer abroad develops a business that shouldn’t be a business to begin with. Communities start expecting the income that comes from those willing to volunteer and start relying on that money instead of developing sustainable ways of truly making a living. Families “rent out” their lives to international volunteers (who do have good intentions, don’t get me wrong) and the whole volunteering scene starts becoming a circus. No good!

YAY! Volunteering is cheaper than ever!!

YAY! Volunteering is cheaper than ever!!

If you want to volunteer for real, making a difference, I think paying is not the way to go. Either contact a trust-worthy association that could use your time and skills (without paying on top of everything!) or simply head to a place that you think needs help and just figure out things on the ground.

Funny jobs to keep traveling

Once you get the travel bug in you, it’s very difficult to ignore it! Once a traveler, always a traveler… and that’s why white people will do anything to make money to keep on going. It’s fairly common to come across travel articles listing the best jobs to do either do on the go or perform location independently, and save up!

Teaching English abroad is probably the biggest way of `making money while traveling` cliche of white people. But when they run out of money, they tend to go for jobs that allow them to be abroad, while covering pretty much everything. For instance, work at a hostel or restaurant and you can get accommodation, meals and some pocket money. Other white people money making skills might include: street performing for tips, seasonal work in farms and baby-sitting kids.

But most of all, being a “location independent” professional is the new “in” thing for white people. Let your friends die of jealousy while you work remotely with just a laptop and an internet connection, sipping a mojito by a paradise like beach somewhere in the tropics!

If you're a cool white person, you should change your office cubicle for this!

If you're a cool white person, you should change your office cubicle for this!


White people follow white people…

I like to call this, the White People Magnet! This has been a fact in every country we’ve visited in Latin America. If a restaurant has a couple of white people dining in, chances are the whole place will be full of light skinned people. You could have an equally good place right next to it full of locals and no white tourists at all. Needless to say, the latter restaurant is obviously more affordable. It’s a phenomenon!…




Coffee to go!

White people are always in such a hurry, that even on vacation they can’t seem to afford to slow down. And that’s why you start finding coffee shops advertising “coffee on the go” in places where, traditionally, locals would never drink their hot beverages standing up. I mean… what happened to the concept of “coffee break”? I blame Starbucks and chains for this sort of thing, as even when you drink inside, they give you a disposable cup, inviting you to get the hell out of their shop. The more you rotate customers, the more money you make, right? White people know about the pleasure of sipping coffee as you visit beautiful places better than anyone else!

Starbucks ad gone wrong!

Starbucks ad gone wrong!


Wearing North Face gear

This is sort of a mystery to me, but experience and observation tell me that white people really dig North Face! Is this brand better than others when it comes to quality? NO! Is it cheaper? HELL NO! Are the designs more attractive? This is subjective, but for me, OF COURSE NOT!

Oh right... they just want to look cool!!

Oh right… they just want to look cool!!

Probably people buy North Face products because wearing them, they tend to look very “pro”. If someone invests so much money buying equipment it’s because they really get to use it a lot, one would think. But even if they don’t, they just love looking like they do! That’s what white people do! Buy very specific equipment depending on where they go: ski gear, surfing apparel, mountain climbing clothing and boots. Of course people in developing countries would think all white people are rich!

They know the truth...

They know the truth…


Doing drugs anywhere!

Just because drugs are readily available in some countries, that doesn’t mean taking them is legal. But a lot of white people seem to ignore that last part and get high wherever they feel like! This applies particularly to white backpackers, travelers on a budget, who are seduced by the affordable prices of weed and other drugs in places like South East Asia. This makes traveling even cheaper: go to one given place, get high and feel like you’re traveling even further away!

"Of course I like Asian weed!"

"Of course I like Asian weed!"


So, how white are you?! :D


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  • Maria Says

    Oh so sad, funny and true

  • Nuno Says

    Ahaha, great article! Laughed my white ass off!

  • Sydney Says

    Touche ! Laughed my white 3rd world arse off !! :))

  • Zara Says

    You white people are funny… laughing at this post!
    Oh wait… I’m white too! :O

    I’m glad you all have a sense of humor!! ;)

  • Hahahahaha this is hilarious! I don’t fit any of these white people’s stereotypes. I think I’m not that white after all.

    As far as people paying to volunteer… that has been a topic of many discussions I had with several “white” travelers throughout the years, but they all thought that paying to work was great. Sometimes I question myself how many of these volunteers actually use their brain and notice the mafia they’re creating.

  • Pingback: One of the biggest travel cliches (for white people)! | Backpack Me

  • Sally Says

    Haha I love this. I hope I do not fall into any of these! The yoga/finding themselves people drive me insane!

  • Very entertaining read and I laughed along, agreeing with what was said. Iknkw it’s kind of satire but I think it might be a American or westernized thing rather than white. Fun post though.

  • Had a few good laugh reading this article, and many points are absolutely true.
    Especially the part on volunteering is something that I observed a lot during trips in Africa & South America. There is even a new word for that: voluntourism. And young people ready to spend fortunes to do things that bring nothing but a good ego. It has turned into a major industry.
    For the restaurant part, I would extend it to hostels: so many people stay in their hostels and do not venture out, and move from one “backpacker ghetto” to the next one… having the impression they discover new places and are real adventurers (it’s cool feeling like Indiana Jones)
    Ok, North Face… I have a few items from them, so on that one I won’t comment. But it’s good quality, yes ;-)))
    Chers, Gilles

  • White people always they will say “nice article, fortunately i dont behave like them” :))

  • Nickname Says

    Oh my Lord this is so true and sooo sooo funny, I actually dated a Peace Corps volunteer who got placed in South Africa (Botswana to be exact, I live in JHB south Africa) there is a particular air about PCV’s at 1st it seemed all so endearing and pretty enlightening but the more we engaged the more I realised the bullshit… She would always say things like “In My Village.” Where I would almost always want to scream “It ain’t your village. You don’t own it!” there was always a comparison between her experience living in squalor and my city life then back to her American life compared to my African life. She was worse off than me in “her village” which made her a better person but she was also better than me because she had Netflix and all the 1st World luxuries that I never had here in Africa. The need and desire to be accepted by black people and to show off her “blackness” was always something that made me laugh being black myself it was even more entertaining how she would compete or strut her dancing abilities against mine. She actually after her PC experience she travelled through Europe for month and a half living in hostels and so forth meeting interesting people. yip she was the creme dela creme of travelling white people cliche’s. So glad I broke out of that Shawshank hahahaha

    • Zara Says

      If nothing else, your relationship appears to have been rather entertaining!!
      But, good for you, that you moved on! ;)

  • Thomas Says

    Hahaha! This is so true! I’m in Guatemala right now doing almost all of these things. Except North Face, coffee on the go, and Volun-tourism. Not to say I haven’t done those, though. Currently doing the whitiest thing of all and teaching English! LOL!

  • Clifford Says

    Holy shit, it’s 2017 and Im still laughing like hell! xD
    I’ve once met a white guy who said he has experience Vietnamese cultural enrichment when all he did was haggled a bowl of Pho successfully for 1 dollar.

  • Melissa Says

    I am very pale in skin colour, but when I travel and see some of the cliches in this blog I still think ‘WTF??’

    As well as the Northface clothing, what about the camera gear some of them have. It is as if the internet is not already awash with photos so you have to carry all this camera gear to show everybody what other countries look like.
    And, what about the number of unskilled climbers who attempt Everest even when so many of them die trying every year. What is wrong with learning to climb properly and then attempting to climb Everest or other mountains?

  • Lagarto Grande Says

    Blanco gente. Persona blanco. The glassy eyed, entitled, yet well meaning stumbler. Wow, gee whiz is THIS place ever DIF rent ! Travelers who make little cultural mistakes get a pass…they will learn, when they pay attention. Tourists who practice that vapid and odious form of cultural imperialism will be herded like sheep back onto their tourist cruise barge to head to the next stop on their path to enlightenment. Never to arrive. Ojo vidrioso turista amerikano. Solo vete. No SIGANME LOS BUENOS !

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