To begin with, I should admit that I haven't really seen any of My Kitchen Rules. It's not my fault though – I've been snowboarding in Aspen for the last couple of weeks, and they don't show MKR in Aspen.
(Remember that last sentence. It's on topic.)
But while I might have only seen a few snippets of the show, mostly from promos during the tennis, I'm still very much aware that we hate Chloe and Kelly, the Perth girls who have been to "more than 42 countries". We don't hate them just because they're well travelled – it's probably also because they're horrible human beings, the sort of hilariously constructed pantomime villains that reality TV craves – but we do hate them just a little bit because of their relentless travel boasting.
Do they even know they're doing it? Probably not. That's the thing about people who travel: they quite often don't realise how annoying it is when they bang on to everyone else about how much they travel.
Plus the Perth pair constantly breaks the golden rule of travel: don't tell someone how many countries you've visited unless they ask. Otherwise, assume they don't care. And don't fall into the trap of believing that that number is an indicator of your worth.
Sure, you might have actually had tapas in Andalucía, where it originated, so you know exactly how it should taste. But no one cares. You might have eaten xiao long bao on the streets of Shanghai and so have more than just a working knowledge of what those little dumplings should be like. But no one cares. You might have the secret feeling that you really do know much more about the world than anyone else because you've seen so much of it – but no one cares.
You don't even have to be stating a point of view to be an annoying traveller. You can just casually slip your vast global experience into a conversation and people will start to hate you.
For exhibit A, go back to the first paragraph of this blog post. I really have been snowboarding in Aspen for the last few weeks and that really is why I haven't watched any My Kitchen Rules (that, and the fact that it's puerile garbage), but that won't stop you from hating me just a little bit more now.
Oh, you've been to Aspen, good on you. Knob.
The trouble with travelling is that there's no non-annoying way of talking about your experiences. That's why travellers automatically gravitate towards other travellers – because they're the only ones who won't find you fingernail-scrapingly painful to talk to. They're prepared to sit through your pretentious rant about the lack of Japan-quality tempura in Sydney purely because you'll then be expected to sit quietly through an equally pretentious rant of theirs.
I'm annoying. Even my friends find me annoying. Even my girlfriend finds me annoying. I keep an Instagram feed going so I can post photos of things I see and do overseas that I think are cool. My girlfriend: "It kind of looks like you're showing off though, don't you think?"
Well no, I don't think, because I'm not trying to show off – but it probably does come off that way.
Chloe and Kelly, of course, are the worst kind of travellers, the type with no self-awareness, no realisation of what incredible boors they've become. Most of us try to rein in the pretentiousness, to at least attempt to save it for a like-minded audience of fellow travellers, but not everyone does the same.
The good news for MKR viewers, though, is that the pain probably won't last. Chloe and Kelly will get kicked off sooner or later, because although they might have been to "more than 42 countries", they don't seem to be able to cook very well.
And as far as I'm concerned, even if they don't get kicked off, who cares? I'm going snowboarding in Lake Tahoe - they don't show MKR there.
Do you find travellers annoying? Are they all as bad as Chloe and Kelly? Or are you as bad as Chloe and Kelly?
The writer travelled as a guest of Aspen/Snowmass.
Join Ben Groundwater on a cycling tour of Vietnam and Laos. Details here.