“Doing Asia”

If there’s anything that sums up the annoying traveller, it’s using this type of phraseology to describe the places they have been to.

“Oh, yeah I’ve done South America.”
“I’d love to do Australia one day.”
“You’ve got to do Asia!”

What.on.earth?! You cannot “do” a country, English doesn’t work like that. Even if it did, the implicit connotation is that you have seen completely everything a place has to offer, that it is effectively “checked off” your list (Of course I have a list too, but it seems to grow rather than shrink).


It bothers me most when you see plucky tourists using this sort of phrase, who have spent the bare minimum of time going from one gringo hotspot to the next, all by air-conditioned minibus.

Of course I’m being decidedly judgemental – and honestly if that’s the way you want to travel, fine. But it’s the arrogant attempt to give an impression of authority (if anyone can be said to actually have this anywhere) that irks.

There is so much more to be seen, everywhere. There is so much more to know, to discover, to understand. That can’t be achieved superficially. And if it was even possible, why would you want to be done with somewhere? To never want to return, to see something different next time, or to feel the way you look at things shift a little more?

So no, you haven’t “done Asia”, and you probably never will.