Rules For Negative Travelers: How You Goin’ Be Mad on Vacation?

1. Never allow space for negativity – again. Ever.

If you’ve traveled with others as often as I have, surely you have a story or four about one of those folks puffing up their chest and lungs just enough to suck the air out of the room. And when that good air is gone, they come next for your energy. What started as an amazing day in a destination you’re finally able to scratch off your bucket list turns into what feels like the day your favorite dog’s head was run over by a UPS truck. Now you’re sitting there, looking over the events of the day with that energy/mood killer, unable to find the moment that brought about the excruciating negativity. You’re confused, figuring out a way to leave the negative person at a roadside gas station or throw them from a cliff without looking like the bad guy.

Listen, whatever you choose to do, you’re not the bad guy. You’re actually pretty dope for putting up with it as long as you have. But you certainly don’t need to, and you certainly shouldn’t. Honestly, I’ve put up with it more than I should have and I hate myself for that, but after a recent trip, I vow that it will never happen again. I will under no uncertain terms, leave the negativity holding tight to a guardrail off a coastal highway – should it come.

Rule #1 was for the happy people. These are for the Negative Nancies:

2. Keep the same energy, attitude, and vibe that got you on the trip.
3. Excuse yourself from me and everyone else should you feel a negative wave coming across your mind and heart.
4. Do not make me or others ask you what’s wrong with you. If you’re feeling some kind of way, voice it. Communication is key.
5. Don’t use me or the trip to find out if your social anxiety is still alive and kicking.
6. If “s/he’s a cool person once you get to know them” has ever been said about you by a friend of yours, you are likely not welcomed.
7. Ask all the questions your sanity needs you to ask!

As poet laureate, genius, and fool, Kanye West once asked, “how you goin’ be mad on vacation?” The pleasant folks will quickly see through the bullshit and diagnose it as one of the following:

A. Shutting down is a direct result of having the mask you’ve worked full time on pulled off your face and your real self is now exposed to the world. It’s the real self you don’t love so much and you’re not sure if others will love that person either.
B. Your expectations were baseless because you didn’t read the website.
C. Your need for attention far outweighs your desire to have a good time.

Your negativity will only f*ck you up. Don’t miss out on what could be a dope and beautiful trip with dope and beautiful people.

And this last rule is for the happies:

8. Amazing days are rare. When they come, destroy anyone who attempts to ruin them.

Darnell Lamont Walker, a self-professed traveling foodie, has been found sitting at tables eating baby goat sweetbreads, drinking tequila, and laughing loudly with strangers. The writer, filmmaker, artist, and sometimes photographer puts happiness above all.