The Seven Deadly Sins and why travellers are bound for hell

I remember learning about the seven deadly sins during my Catholic schooling. It all came back to me when, many years later, I watched the film Seven with Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt that was loosely based around these cardinal misdemeanours. Yet reading this list of deadly sins again now, it makes depressingly familiar reading.

I read the wealth of travel blogs out there (including this one) and find examples of each of the seven deadly sins on shameless display. Many of the travel virtues that are often found in the ‘best things about travel’ lists, are also there in black and white on this list of damnation.

Here follows a list of these sins along with a set of examples of why travel is such a vice-ridden pastime. It might also explain why those of us who set off to find whatever it is we’re looking for might just want to make sure that backpack has a fire-retardant coating.

GluttonyAn inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.

Another beer/wine/sangria/taco/burger/plate of chips anyone? Hands up anyone whose best nights out don’t usually involve an excess of food and/or drink?

EnvyThe desire for others’ traits, status, abilities, or situation.

“I wish I could stay in that hotel.” “What I wouldn’t give to sit in first class?” “She’s so lucky being able to travel for so long.”

Wrath - Manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury.

Anyone get into a fit of rage while travelling? At the taxi driver who tries a simple con trick? Or at the driver of the bus who wouldn’t wait to let you get off? Or even at your travel companion at the end of a long, difficult day? No, I didn’t think so.

Lust - An inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body.

What goes on tour stays on tour. Enough said.

Greed The desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual.

Would that include haggling down that old lady trying to sell the hand-knit scarves for $2?

Sloth - The avoidance of physical or spiritual work.

Chilling out, eating, drinking and watching the world go by for weeks on end, doing nothing productive or of use to anyone. Never done that one either.

PrideA desire to be more important or attractive than others and excessive love of self

Those travel bragging stories that can be heard in every backpackers’ hotel and five star resort? That one-upmanship of proving oneself to be the most daring, adventurous traveller who has had the closest shaves with death? I’m sure it sounds familiar.

Reading through these as I’ve been writing this has had me smiling to myself, remembering many of our travel adventures and mishaps. The fact that I’m smiling probably confirms the fact that if guilt in one or more of these is the criteria by which our after-lives are judged, I may well be doomed. Judging by the stories I read from other travellers, at least I can take comfort in knowing that I should be in good company.

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Freelance travel writer

11 Responses to “The Seven Deadly Sins and why travellers are bound for hell”

  1. LOL.. what happens on tour, stays on tour! Very funny indeed.. I have to say that I for one am guilty of Gluttony and Sloth! Must try and be a better traveler. really!

    December 2, 2010 at 1:23 pm
  2. Hahah, ahh, while I haven’t been travelling long-term yet (this is a goal which I soon hope to achieve!) I too found myself nodding agreeably to this post. So funny and so true. I guess I’ll be seeing you in the after-life as well! :)

    December 2, 2010 at 1:34 pm
  3. I love this! It’s so true…have seen it all many times before. And I think I’m committed one or two of the sins.

    Wonder where the travel-sinners end up being sent? To a bus or taxi from hell? A noisy hostel with dirty beds? Or maybe to plane that’s grounded and full of smelly people and screaming children! :)

    December 2, 2010 at 6:48 pm
  4. Hahaha, nice and creative post. I am certainly guilty of every single one of these while traveling, particularly gluttony. I think I’m the only person in the history of traveling in SE Asia who actually gained weight. Stupid Vietnamese coffee, and Bia Hoi, and Thai buckets, and coconut milk curries, and Chang beer.

    December 2, 2010 at 7:04 pm
  5. lmao… OMG!!! im bound to go to hell LOL… love your post… very creative :-)

    December 2, 2010 at 7:32 pm
  6. Love the post and your idea that you based it on. At some point, on some travels each one of them would have to apply.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:01 am
  7. When you put it like that…. I’m dammed to hell!

    December 3, 2010 at 5:16 am
  8. I love the “lust quote” very funny.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:52 am
  9. Wow now I know when I start travelling I am going to bound to hell for more reason then I ever thought. Womp womp we gotta live a lil~

    December 4, 2010 at 12:04 pm
  10. pam #

    I’m HUGE on sloth. But also, I was raised with a hell free world/afterworld view. So I won’t say this: See you in hell. :)

    December 10, 2010 at 4:07 am
  11. I think I have successfully hit all 7 in each country I have visited! Great article!

    December 12, 2010 at 2:45 am