“I’ve done South America, China and India. Where have you done?’
It’s just a tiny four-letter verb. It’s just a word. It’s inoffensive and means so little so why does it wind me up so much? ‘Done’ can’t offend anyone but when it’s used in this context it makes me cringe.
How the hell can you do a country?
You can do a crossword, for example, because once you’re finished it’s done, it’s completed, you’ve accomplished something and it’s unlikely you’ll do it again. You can do a marathon for similar reasons; once it’s done, it’s done. Finished (and hopefully never done again!)
I can almost understand if a person visits a country, spends some time there and didn’t enjoy it and then says they’re ‘done with it’. Fair enough; you won’t like every place you visit in the world and may decide you never want to go back.
I don’t know about you but when I visit a country that I love, the last thing I feel like it that I’ve ‘done’ it. This would imply I’ve seen every sight, heard every sound, visited every restaurant, spoken to every local, taken photographs of every historic monument and tried every local delicacy there is. I spent 18 months constantly travelling around Australia and even now I feel like there are things I’d like to go back for.
After spending a few weeks in a country I usually feel the exact opposite and the more I see, the more I realise there is to see. By this point you will have covered all the usual tourist hot spots and you’ll want to see more. A conversation with one local will open up a whole new world of possibilities and you’ll have even more tips and advice on what to see and do.
This will inevitably lead to another chance encounter with a backpacker, an expat, a local shop owner, a taxi driver or a tourist and before you know it you’ve got a list as long as your leg of must-see sights and it could take you a lifetime to ‘do’ them all.
Does anyone else feel like their to-do list or bucket list just gets longer and longer with every country they visit? I really wish I could cross places off as I visit them but I find myself drawn back to them again and again while discovering new places that make me want to explore every inch of the globe.
Ok, rant over. I’m done.
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