In defence of wearing tragic travelling clothes all the time

Yes, I did go to Peru and so what?


“Have you been travelling?” “Did you buy that on your gap yah?” “You dress like a tramp.” “Are you wearing fancy dress?” These cruel but semi-accurate comments are becoming a part of my daily routine. Shoving on a tie-dye tee and baggy harem trousers isn’t an issue, it’s simply an easy and chilled outfit. These jokes directed at people who embrace their travelling days really aren’t that amusing. Yes, I did go travelling and so what? It’s a simple undeniable fact – very clever of you to notice.

If I’m wearing these clothes I am not shouting about the fact I went travelling just simply wearing clothes that I like. I love my rainbow crochet tops and tie-dye dungas and I don’t care. It’s not like I’m harming anyone in the process, nor do I pass comment on your drab skinny jeans and unimaginative branded t-shirts.

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Don’t deny it you’ve taken a tragic yah out too

When you first go travelling and arrive in an exciting new country, the first thing people tend to do is stock up on classic, tragic travelling threads. What would the photos of you in front of the Taj or Angkor Wat be if people didn’t see the cool and wavy traveller you have become? Travellers go to South East Asia and buy heaps of elephant shirts, or go to South America and buy countless alpaca jumpers, and then what do they do shortly after arriving home? Dump them into a distasteful pile. Why deny the simple fact of travelling? We all secretly love a good old gap yah and you should be brave enough to own it.

We are the real winners

A lot of people keep on the embroidered travelling maxis, thousands of necklaces and headbands for the summer they return. At that point it’s still cool to show off the post travelling vibe, but then sure enough as winter swings by Puffa jackets and normality are adorned. It suddenly becomes uncool to look as if you’ve travelled or, shock horror, to be branded as tragic.

Those of us who adapt our travelling wardrobes into our life at home: match a thick jumper with harem trousers or put an Om shirt under velvet dungarees, are the real winners. While most people don’t reuse their purchases, we make the most of the clothes that everyone once loved so much. That and the fact we can’t afford any new clothes because we spent all of our money travelling. Often we had to buy these clothes to cover up with anyway and obviously be respectful to local cultures. It’s not our fault we had to buy them – you may as well make it money well spent.

Just a little ray of sunshine

It’s lame I know, but it’s the small things in life that make us happy. Putting on brightly coloured, and loudly patterned, clothes in the morning does bring an extra bit of joy to my day. Not only does it remind me of a more carefree version of myself, but when I’m wrestling the wind and drizzle on the walk to uni the colour makes me feel content. Holding onto the travelling dream.

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Everyone else is just jealous

Despite your comments, as funny as they are, I am convinced they come from a place of jealously deep within. Wouldn’t you like not to care about the clothes you wear? Instead of passing sarcastic judgement, why don’t you try out the comfy and carefree life. Harem trousers, crochet tops, bandanas, tie-dye, nose rings, eyebrow piercings, rainbow bucket hats, braids, bum bags and flip flops in winter: what could be any better?

Your comments don’t perturb me, as I’m sure they don’t others who embrace the stick to look as hippy and chilled as they do. They are too busy meditating and burning copious amounts of incense to care. While you take the piss I bet you have an elephant wall hanging in your uni house and a pile of tie dye t-shirts collecting dust. But at least ours are authentically bought from India, not a knock off from eBay.