Spend enough time hanging out with Australians overseas and you'll begin to hear a few of the same things. Some of those things will be smart, interesting, and funny. Some of them will… not.
Australian tourists say some dumb things. There are classic cliches out there that you hear on the reg. These statements reflect the attitudes some people have when they travel, their expectations, their reactions. The world is pretty different to Australia – people tend to handle that in certain ways.
If you hear any of these statements booming out across the hostel dorm or in the hotel lobby, chances are you're in the company of your compatriots…
"Reckon I'll be right in my boardies?"
Australians have an inbuilt distain for dressing up, particularly when they're on holidays. Why lash out on a nice shirt and a pair of jeans when no one here knows you and you could just walk out the door wearing boardies and a pair of thongs? As a general rule, boardies, anywhere outside Australia, are acceptable for only one activity: surfing.
"Nah I've never been to Indonesia."
Often said by people who take regular holidays to Bali. Or who are currently in Bali. I've also seen plenty of returning travellers fill out their incoming passenger card and under "Country where you spent the most time abroad" they'll write, "BALI".
"I've done Europe."
No, you haven't. You haven't "done" anywhere. There's nowhere in the world you can't return to and find something new – not a single city or town, let alone an entire country, or even a continent. And yet Australians love saying they've "done" places.
"You can do whatever you want here, ay?"
Often spoken by first-time visitors to south-east Asia, who have just realised the rules here aren't exactly enforced in the same way they are back home, and responsibility is placed on individuals not to hurt themselves or anyone else, and it feels like this is a lawless land in which no one knows who you are and you can get away with pretty much anything because even if you do bother people they'll be too polite to say anything.
"There were no TABs in Prague. I'd rather be in Penrith."
This is an actual thing said by an actual Australian: former NRL player Luke Rooney, who, back in 2004, took a few days off from a Kangaroos tour to Europe to visit the Czech Republic, and left unimpressed. "None of us liked it," he said. "There was nothing to do. There were hardly any pubs, no TABs. I'd rather be in Penrith."
"Makes you glad you're Australian, ay?"
There's a certain brand of Australian traveller who takes every chance they get to remind everyone around them that we're so lucky to come from Australia and so fortunate we get to go home and we don't have to stay here. It's annoying, obviously, but it's also kind of dumb. Most people in the countries you're visiting aren't pining to become Australian. What you know and think of as better isn't objectively so.
"I'm dying for some real food."
Most Australians are pretty adventurous when it comes to food these days. However, there's still the classic Aussie who'd prefer to ditch all this foreign crap, even just for one meal, and have a pie.
"Let's hijack this minibus and go for a joyride!"
Again, an actual thing said by an actual Australian (or at the very least thought by an actual Australian). In 2015, Patrick Cunningham got a little too boozy while on holiday in Hong Kong and decided to hijack a minibus and take a joyride at five in the morning. He was later arrested, convicted, and handed a suspended sentence.
"It's way better back home."
I have a friend who has a saying to counter this: "It's not wrong, it's different." Just because people do things differently in the place you're visiting – just because the food tastes different, because the political system is different, the houses look different, the people speak differently, the weather is different and the local attitudes are different, doesn't make this place worse than Australia. It makes it different. Try to embrace that.
"Of course it's safe."
Everything in Australia is safe, because it's so highly regulated. If there's a boat trip or a hike or a joy flight or any other type of tourist-focused activity, you can pretty much guarantee it will be run safely and professionally. However, it's a mistake to assume the same applies in the rest of the world. Just because something operates in another country, doesn't mean it's safe. If you have a bad feeling about a certain activity, it's worth researching the safety record before you commit.
"Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!"
Without doubt the worst, most annoying, cringe-worthy thing an Australian traveller can say – or yell – overseas. Please make it stop.
What do you think are the dumb things Australians say overseas? What about the smart things we say?
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