The Definition of A Basic Bitch

I’ve been getting a lot of flack over the title of this publication. Most people love it, some people hate it (especially after I insult their Chacos, my bad! It was sort of a joke?)

Well first of all, I can name it whatever I want. I don’t go trolling your pages telling you what to do. Second of all, I know I can’t please everyone, but felt I needed to define what exactly is meant by “basic bitch.”

What Is A ‘Basic Bitch’ Colloquially?

Here is Urban Dictionary’s definition: “Someone who is unflinchingly upholding of the status quo and stereotypes of their gender without even realizing it. She engages in typical, unoriginal behaviors, modes of dress, speech, and likes. She is tragically/laughably unaware of her utter lack of specialness and intrigue. She believes herself to be unique, fly, amazing, and a complete catch, when really she is boring, painfully normal, and par. She believes her experiences to be crazy, wild, and different or somehow more special than everything that everybody else is doing, when really, almost everyone is doing or has done the exact same thing. She is typical and a dime a dozen. There are many subtypes of basicness, such as the basic ratchet, the basic sorority bitch, the basic groupie bitch, the basic I’m-so-Carrie-from-Sex-and-the-City bitch, etc., but ultimately, they all share the common thread of being expendable and unnoteworthy and, in some cases, having absolutely no redeeming qualities.”

A Traveling Basic Bitch Is Completely Different

Let me be clear, that is not MY definition of a Basic Bitch. I believe everyone is noteworthy, every person is unique, and everyone has the right to think highly of themselves. That’s called self-confidence.

Regarding travel, this saying “she thinks she’s special, but everyone is doing the same thing” is hypocritical since pretty much everything has been done already. Specific destinations are usually popular for good reason and people are allowed to visit the same places, multiple times. I wouldn’t call someone basic if he/she wanted to go to Italy just like every other person. Because guess what, Italy is fucking amazing and I would go every year if I had the money. So a traveling basic bitch is something completely different.

What Is A Traveling Basic Bitch?

The overarching definition of “basic bitch” lies within that first sentence:

“Someone who is unflinchingly upholding of the status quo and stereotypes of their gender privilege without even realizing it.”

Let’s be clear that I can only speak from an American perspective.

If you go anywhere in the world, the stereotype of Americans is that we’re loud, ignorant, and rich.  Basically this: trump-lead2

Can’t tell you how many times people have asked me if I own a gun. (No.) Or what I think of our government. (Can I just live my life without discussing politics during travel?)

I wouldn’t say people hate us, but they don’t respect us either. And I wouldn’t say that stereotype is wrong. I see it all the time when I travel. I can spot a Basic American Bitch from a mile away. But Americans aren’t the only Traveling Basic Bitches out there. Every country part of the Global North (countries that hold the world’s wealth) has their version of basictry. It all comes from a place of unawareness, ignorance, and inappropriate use of privilege.

But of course, these are all stereotypes. Not everyone is like that. MOST people traveling AREN’T like that. So below are the four characteristics that define what a traveling basic bitch is.

Characteristics Of A Traveling Basic Bitch

1) A Traveling Basic Bitch Uses Their Money To Create An Imbalance Of Power

With the privilege of citizens of the Global North setting up businesses abroad and able to have access and buying power to other Global North travelers comes a problem with taking away ownership and business from the local people.

An ethical traveler would seek out a person native to the region and “vote” for them with their tourism dollars. Not only would they vote for them with their dollars, but also with their behavior in the respect that they show. But a Basic Bitch prefers whatever is most convenient for them.

For Example:

In Nicaragua there are a multitude of volcano-boarding companies to choose from. Most are owned by foreigners from Australia and the United States. The sport of “volcano-boarding” was invented by a local Nicaraguan named Anry, who is in their national museum and who has his own company doing the same thing.

The Problem:

These foreign companies hire backpackers who are traveling through the region and staying for long periods of time and offer them jobs as guides. These backpackers are volunteer and therefore these foreign companies can charge less than local guides. Significantly less. Like almost 50% less. Anry Rodriguez, on the other hand, most certainly can not do this for free nor should he. And he can’t lower his prices any lower than they already are in order to provide for his family. This is a problem of using the privilege of ACCESS to create an imbalance of power.

Another problem. Foreign companies have large trucks that can transport up to 12 people at a time. Local guides are driving their own personal cars, which can fit a maximum of 4 people. Therefore, foreign companies make more money, have more business, and continue to be able to lower their prices due to their profit margin. This is a problem of the using the privilege of FINANCIAL BUYING POWER to disrupt the businesses that provides jobs to local people.

And finally, foreign companies do not a have a personal attachment to the countries they are operating in. They can easily pack up and move away and therefore treat the land they are on as expendable. For local Nicaraguans, that is not an option. Immigration and moving between countries is significantly more difficult for a local Nicaraguan than a foreign national. And therefore, they treat their home accordingly and respect the environment.

So while foreign volcano-boarding companies drive their huge trucks through dirt roads, kick up dirt that fly into local Nicaraguan houses, use the volcano to gain money without maintaining it, don’t stop to take care of the cows and trees whose environment they are disturbing, or stop to help anyone along the way, Anry does the exact opposite. He drives very slowly through the dirt roads in order not to disturb the houses along the way. He even stops to see if anyone needs any medical attention and then invites you to contribute to the community you’re driving through. He checks to make sure all the crops that are growing along the way aren’t dying, and then he proceeds onto the volcano where he tries not to use the same tract all the time so that the volcano doesn’t get run down and picks up trash along the way of the hike. This is a problem of ENVIRONMENTAL PRIVILEGE that creates an imbalance of power for the entire community involved.

An ethical traveler would seek out how best to give back to the local community by voting with their dollars and respect. A basic bitch goes with what is cheapest and easiest.

While that was a description of companies creating an imbalance in a community that is not theirs, there are also tourists who do this, but in a different way.

When tourists of the Global North travel to places with a gross imbalance of financial privilege, it is quite common for them to throw around their money and then complain they got cheated or played.

For example:

I saw a man spend $50 for a pizza in Cuba because he thought they were poor and wanted to help. But would you ever spend $50 on a regular pizza back home? Then the next person in line got charged $50 for a pizza and went off complaining that Cubans are cheats. When you throw around your money like that, you take away people’s dignity and then cause a disruption in price inflation that doesn’t really exist.

basic bitch

On the opposite end, there are tourists who make and spend a ridiculous amount of money back home, but then when they are in less-privileged countries haggle over small amounts of money that means nothing to them, but everything to a local person. Read and watch this video of a Nepalese woman who was cheated out of $1.50 by a British tourist.

Or another common theme is how tourists of the Global North use their financial privilege who coerce local people to help them break the law by paying them exorbitants amount of local currency. Read this story about a tourist who paid local fishermen to take him to a forbidden island, despite it being against the law. The tourist died and now the local fisherman are in jail.

An ethical traveler wouldn’t do this basic ass shit.

2) A Basic Bitch Goes to a Country Just To Say They Went

I’ve read so many bloggers that advertise locations I want to go to, but then upon clicking their links they offer the most basic information that I could find on Trip Advisor. Thanks for letting me know I should go to the Coliseum when in Rome.

Psych. Thanks for nothing.

A person like that just went to say he/she went, but didn’t even really see it and may know nothing about the architecture or the history. The sole purpose of them visiting the Coliseum is to snap a picture for The Gram, and leave. BAAAASSSSIIIICCC.

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Also, a non-overnight layover in another country doesn’t count as you visiting a country. Bro, you didn’t even leave the airport.

she doesn't even go here

3) A Basic Bitch Goes to a Country To Hang Out With People Just Like Them

This is kind of why I hate resorts. Resorts are SO EASY and beautiful and amazing, but really the only interaction you’ll have with a local person is in a position of servitude. The other tourists you come in contact with are not offering you an experience of what the country is really like. Nor are you learning or offering anything new. You’re sitting by the pool, drinking your body weight in mimosas. Why didn’t you just go to Miami?

But it’s not just resorts, hostels are similar. Some hostels are just discounted places to stay, and sure you meet people and get drunk at the local pub. But others are specifically made for you to be drunk the entire time. Especially if the hostel name has the word “Drunk” in it (i.e. The Drunken Monkey Hostel.)

I’ve been to a hostel where you were required to take a shot upon entering and again if you broke any hostel rules. And at night, when you came out of your dorm. And you were sort of forced to play drinking games as part of the stay. Yea, no, thanks. Probably a very basic experience seeing as you can do that anywhere back at home or in college or whatever. Basic af. (Disclaimer: being drunk isn’t basic, just how you do it. And if you’re going to be drunk the entire time, be loud and obnoxious, and disrupt a space that is not yours, get your life together. You are a Master Level Basic.)girls-party-drunk-alcohol-swimming-pool-1014x487

4) A Basic Bitch Takes More From The Experience Than He/She Gives Back

Travelling is when one goes to a different/foreign place to see and experience a different way of living. It is more of an attempt to blend in and wanting to leave as an altered and more educated person. The primary purpose of traveling is to expose oneself to a new culture, cuisine, ideas, etc.

While vacation is where one takes a break from their normal activities to experience a change from every day experiences.” –response written by Dhawani Parekh

I guess this is the ultimate definition. While a vacation might not going to change your life, travel will. The purpose of traveling is to understand someone else not like you. And to also offer them a fresh perspective of who you are (hopefully for the positive), and how it could be quite different than what they originally thought. By doing that, our world shrinks and gets smaller, more relatable, and more loveable. Making the world more about love, less about hate.

I once read a quote that said, “The antidote to fear is information.” Our world operates off of fear of the unknown. So the more you know about someone else, the less you fear the customs, religion, or place they live in, and vice versa. It sure would solve a lot of the world’s problems, you know, understanding each other?

BUT if you’re just there to reinforce what they’ve always thought about your country and its privilege, you’re basic and should just stay home.

In summary, these 4 things are characteristics that define a traveling basic bitch TO ME. Not drinking pumpkin spice or wearing Uggs (or Chacos, like I said in a previous post), cause I do all of those things (not the Chacos). It’s more about your perspective on life and travel.

So if you’re offended by these things, sorry but I’m not sorry.  And if you’re not, THANK THE LORD!

Comment if you hate me, comment if you don’t, love ya for stopping by!

17 thoughts on “The Definition of A Basic Bitch

  1. yes yes yes! glad I finally got to read this post. I feel the hardest point for most people to swallow is the photography, since everybody carries a camera. Use it to educate and help. not for a portfolio.

  2. Oh my god dying… It’s Kiona right?? You are so funny!! I know some of our comments are a little out there, and le sigh, I have to admit I am guilty sometimes of these basic b things because after all, I am a tourist first and foremost sometimes. HAHA. But I think I’ve been trying a lot more lately to let myself try to take in and appreciate my surroundings and the different people/cultures we’re encountering. I like what you said about traveling vs vacationing and I think I’m coming to realize that a lot of my “travels” might really be just “vacationing” due to limited time off and trying to take in EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE. But I think once I have seen more places, I definitely have places that I want to revisit to absorb more more more moreeeee. Because I think you are right that we become closer with our fellow humans through travel, and though right now I may be more on vacation mode, I do hope that I can start noticing more details while away. But I thank you for the good laugh and reminders. Please forgive me if you see basic b traveling and smack me if it gets ridiculous. 😛 Also…P.S. What are you studying a PhD for?! 🙂 I’m a huge nerd and I love geeking out with other nerdy girlies 😀

    xoxo,
    Jasmine

  3. Your blog cracks me up.

    And funny – I’ve been told by a few experienced travellers to stay away from the American and Australian tourists as well. I think I know what they mean…I’ve seen them in Thailand, lapping it up in a resort; to go home and say they went to Thailand and saw a…resort. And maybe a monkey in a safari park. And drank $5 cocktails. Because that’s what Thailand is all about apparently.

    Love your stuff, keep up the good work!

  4. Finally officially started reading your blog (besides the 2 posts about Trinidad & Tobago) and I’ll say – this was a good first article for me to read 🙂

  5. Loved the post! I have definitely thought the same things but I have to say, I definitely see American and British people doing this thing – hanging out with other Americans / British people. And resorts – yes!

  6. Thank you!!! One thing I might add (even though I’m a little late to the game) is that paying full price (#1) for an experience or product can make a huge difference to a local artisan, family, and/or economy (#4). Of course, this depends on what you are purchasing – all I know is that I cringe when I hear fellow (white) Americans bragging about how they got a “good deal” after haggling, or not getting “ripped off” by a local guide because they “know better” (seriously, a difference of $100 Mexican pesos is about $5.25 – you have it, especially if your ass bought a bloody Mary on the plane ride to Mexico). I can only speak as a white Hispanic American, but that’s my two cents ❤

    Love your writing and point of view!

    1. Yea I’ve been meaning to rephrase that. I wrote this 2 years ago. But as you can see by the example I gave, paying full price to a local is completely different than OVERPAYING for a foreign owned business. Which is probably how that should be phrased. Thanks for the feedback.

  7. Hey! I follow you on Insta and love your blog! I’m an American living in Thailand. It’s my second time living abroad and I really hate the stereotypes that Americans fall under. It sucks but of course there’s a reason for it. If traveling can do anything for us Americans it’s hopefully changing other people’s perceptions on who we are and that some of us are decent! Your Instagram makes me laugh a lot and I love it. Thank youuuuu!

    BTW what do you think of haggling? I used to love it cause I thought I was good at it. Now, years later, I HATE it. If I, as a privileged American can have the opportunity to live in Thailand, I am happy to pay full price or more for things at a market. Of course not stupid elephant pants, but at least basics like food and drinks. I don’t care if I am getting ripped off 50 cents. Our dollar here means nothing to us while it could mean a lot more to a Thai person. Anyways, I’ve just seen some people who are way too stingy and they should just go home. Same for “begpackers.” If you are white and begging for money on the streets to fund your trip you are a piece of shit. Anyways, that’s my 2 cents, I just think you may feel similar about those kind of things. Oh, and elephants! People come to CM and take a pic of an elephant and then have “experienced Thailand.” Ok rambling now. Thanks for your posts! <3

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