I read a blog recently by USA based Robin Catalano on fodors.com that proffered the idea that there were some among us who could be considered as ‘Citiots’ when camping and travelling in country areas.
While the term Citiot may be a bit harsh (quite obviously based on the word ‘idiot’), I do agree wholeheartedly with its sentiment.
Us city and regional centre based campers need to chill and appreciate what’s in front of us when travelling.
Robin’s blog listed ten things to avoid:
1 – Make Eye Contact and Say Hello or Good Morning
2 – Be an Equal-Opportunity Visitor (meaning support the local operators not the out-of-town based chain stores)
3 – Respect the Line (referring to waiting your turn on queues)
4 – Say Please and Thank You
5 – Pay People What They’re Worth
6 – Slow Down. Way Down
7 – Carry In, Carry Out
8 – They Pay Taxes, Too
9 – Leave the Saviour Complex Behind (country people may not need your help or want change)
10 – Other Tourists aren’t the Only People Worth Socialising With
While some of these are perhaps pretty basic, I did find it most interesting how much transposes easily between the USA and Australia.
Socialise outside your own group/s
Perhaps the biggie for me would have to be number 10. Nothing peeves me more that a bunch of travellers rocking into a small country pub and sticking to their own small (or large group).
This was driven home to me one night at Nindigully Pub (south of St George, in South West Queensland) when numerous off-road vehicles rocked up. They were on a fundraising rally. They had the outside area booked for themselves and, as the drinks flowed, they had an auction and awards presentation for the trip. I’m sure that they didn’t talk to anyone excepted those they’d travelled with for the last week or two.
The photo of wallets on the bar was taken at Bollon, South West Queensland. For me, this was a huge cultural shift from my days in the big city. Here, drinkers can leave their wallet on the bar as a way of reserving their stool at the bar. The change left under the wallet means that the drinker will be ready for another one when they empty the one they have.
I mentioned to a local that we wouldn’t dare do such a thing in the big cities. I think that they were as shocked of how the city folk behaved as I was of them. And we need to appreciate that and simply learn from our experiences.
Which of the listed items resonates with you?
Keep safe and enjoy the great country towns – and lifestyle.