Travel Bloggers are Lying to You

Working in Pai Thaialnd

There is something in the travel blogosphere that drives me absolutely mental. I tend to avoid reading many other travel blogs for precisely this reason that makes my skin crawl, and induces a great need to projectile vomit on the authors.

Okay, who on earth are travel blogs aimed at? It seems to me that, with the exception of quality content on topics that are difficult to locate elsewhere, such as in depth info on hitchhiking in Myanmar, or obtaining visas for the Stans, travel blogs aren’t aimed at travelers. No, the content is geared at those sitting in their cubicles, dreaming of the escape they’re perfectly able to obtain this very second, but never will. They’d rather look at pretty pictures of the beach, and dream about how absolutely perfect their lives would be if only they were ON THAT BEACH, than actually get to said beach.

And as they read these marvelous stories they are filled with a sense of joy, of wonderment, of friendly jealousy towards those who manage to live this life. They see a world filled with opportunities, excitement, and sheer happiness – a happiness they can’t obtain because they’re stuck in both the physical and figurative cubicle.

Here’s the thing: it’s all a load of bullshit. All of these blogs that are so inspiring to you, that make you crave travel, that make you dream of the “better life”, it’s all a big fat lie.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life, and I wouldn’t turn back if you offered me a million dollars. Really. But my life isn’t always happy. My life isn’t always exciting. Some days my life really fucking sucks. Sometimes those days string together into months.

Travel bloggers like to claim that traveling solo is positively amazing, and that you’re never truly alone. Okay, give me a break, guys. Sometimes you really are completely and utterly alone. At times it’s due to circumstance; when I’m hitchhiking I meet people for an hour, and then our bond is over. Forever. Gone. I hop in the next car, and we start again. Then, as the sun begins to go down, I hide somewhere nowhere can find me to camp.

I get lonely as hell. And I’m here to tell you that one hour car rides very rarely provide you with a feeling of anything more than being totally alone.

Okay, fine, but what about people staying in hostels? There are always people to befriend at hostels! You poor naïve saps. I used to think this was totally true, until I spent the better part of three years interacting with these hostel characters. At first I was patient; I’d chat with everyone in my previous state of utter extroverted madness. I would weed through the idiots and find the good ones, though my threshold for stupidity has certainly diminished over time. The thing is that those I actually connect with are few and far between, and I just don’t have the patience to spend every day attempting to look for them. And I feel far more alone among people I have zero connection with than by myself.

Take what these travel bloggers write about with a grain of salt. That time they did a several day trek? Their feet were so blistered and bleeding tears came to their eyes at every step. That magical story of love on the road? Someone got their heart shattered. That gorgeous photo you’ve set as your desktop pic? They spent fifteen hours on a cramped and sweaty bus, bored out of their minds before getting that photo. That deliciously exotic meal they got for pennies? They were hugging the toilet bowl for two days afterwards.

Sometimes they’re miserable. Other times they feel a type of loneliness that you can’t even begin to comprehend. They’re often sick. At times they are terrified. They get frustrated and confused. Some suffer anxiety, depression, and countless other mental issues just like everyone else does. In short, they feel the whole range of human emotions, rather than the tiny percentage of sentiments that induce your envy of their lives.

So if you see a photo of me lying in my hammock, happy as can be in the best office in the world, know the reality of it. In truth, I’m sweating my ass off, it’s too hot out to go get food and my belly grumbles all fucking afternoon, and I haven’t spoken to another human being other than those who run my hostel in weeks. I have no friends even slightly close to where I am, and I sit around watching Netflix all evening, every evening. I smoke weed to turn off my brain after working because it’s the only way I can without human interaction, and it makes me anxiously dash to town at supper time, snatch up my food, and retreat back to my hut. I’m not unhappy, but I’m certainly not in that land of utter glee that travel bloggers like you to think they permanently live in. I’m at a steady medium.

Let’s face the truth here: most travel bloggers are more so bloggers and less so travelers. Do you have any idea how much work it takes to create a successful, popular blog? Sure, if I worked on this site for 60 hours a week for months on end, strangers would probably know my name. Most of the big names out there are not on the road permanently, they just don’t tell you when they’re at home working their asses off to make their blogs big. Why would you read that crap? You wouldn’t. You don’t want to know who they really are. You want only the fantastic tales of triumph. You want to imagine this paradise world in which your life is utter perfection, and in your mind it happens on that perfect white sand beach (which, by the way, is actually filled with a shit ton of other people, and a bit of garbage, but the travel blogger managed to capture it at just the right moment so that it looks isolated and serene).

There is no perfect life. There is no perfect place. There is no perfect person.

There is only different.

So stop craving the life that any of these people lead, because the life you think they have is an unobtainable fiction. Your life rocks as much as mine does. Your life sucks as much as mine does. We just rock and suck in completely different ways.


Fortunately, there are some bloggers out there that tell it like it is. Check out Freeborn Aiden’s article on Atrocity Tourism.

For more articles on “the travel blogger problem” click here for an awesome article from Nomad’er How Far, or here to read an article from A Mary Road.

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  • 70 Comments:

    1. What a truly amazing and real article! Thanks for the insight into you life. As we are on a long term trip as well I feel a lot of what you are saying.
      Thanks
      Matt

    2. Good article. I worked at the busiest youth hostel many years ago and you hit the nail on the head about weeding out the dreamers and crazies. Strangely who I kept in contact with the most after all those years were the people that worked with me at the hostel from all over the world. I take with a pinch of salt a lot of the travel blogs I have read, one in particular talks about places in NZ I have been too and the picture they paint is not the reality. I also have endured those long bus rides to just get a photo. I think your right there is no perfect place, person or life. But that is part of the fun if life was perfect it would get a bit boring.

    3. Hey there.

      I think youre overreacting a bit,
      I’ve been on the road for 3 years as well.
      And I feel very similar to how you feel.
      Yes you have your shit days, yes it can be lonely.
      But it’s up to you how you deal with that, same way you choose to deal with your life in the “real” world.
      I have a theory that 95% of people are garbage, but that doesnt stop me from trying to find another one of those amazing human beings that inspire me and make me into a better human being.
      And on how you see your problems I have a little tip for you, see the bad days as a blessing. (Bear with me)
      For every bad day you have they accumulate into the good periods and the good ones will seem that much better. That week you’re stuck in a bungalow shitting your intestants out and puking like a fire hose in 40° with a shitty fan for 7 days strait.
      Growing weaker and skinnier, experiencing a true fear and contemplating your entire existence.

      That week will make the next one the best one of your entire life.
      If you hadn’t eaten that pork BBQ in a muslim part of Thailand your two week would’ve been great at best.
      Life is about contrast I think.

      I love your honesty and the realness of your language, but I think that you need to focus on whats down the road instad of the pothole you’ve bumped into. Anyway, totaly true about those travel blogs theyr’e rubbish. But every mainstream blog is mainstream for a reson, they sell.

      A good rant is good and I love them.
      But what I think I read between the lines is an emptiness I’ve experienced myself.
      And I want to remind you to keep learning, keep improving. And keep your open mind despite of all your let down in the past.

      And I advise you too rid yourself of your cynicism and hate, you sound like you’ve seen and done some serious shit.
      I haven’t read your blog prior to this, and I usually never read blogs. But I feel like I understand you and where you’re coming from.

      You sound like a genuine person.
      So here’s a greeting from a fellow traveler, a little reminder that you never know what tomorrow brings.

      Thank you for a nice post! Shine on.

      PS. Feel free to message me if you wanna talk.

      • Hey there! First off thanks for the giant comment – I rather love hearing from other like minded travelers! The thing is that I wasn’t really complaining in my rant – I am perfectly happy with my life. Right now I’m at a steady medium, neither loving life nor hating it, but my state of mind changes on a day to day, month to month basis. My point was more that so many travel bloggers (hell, even just your ordinary person using social media!) only show the good – they don’t show the contrast, causing so much envy from people stuck in cubicle-land… but the envy is of an unreal life. I wasn’t trying to complain about my own current state – sometimes life is fantastic, but you need the contrast, like you said. I just wanted those who envy this life to see that it’s not always envy-worthy. We’re all facing our own trials and triumphs every day, just in very different ways.

    4. Hey Matt, very interesting read. And in part so you are so Johnny-Spot-On it’s crazy. However, I do have a different insight or two if you’ll indulge me. I started my first travel blog the first day I moved to India in 2011 and it turned into a newspaper column and I became quite well known in the country (not trying to toot my own horn for the sake of it, just to let you know how it was).

      The blog was different than anything before it in the country and I had Indians seeing ‘normal life’ from a different perspective and expats getting that information like you mentioned above. But on top of that, because of my 15+ years of marketing and comms experience, I keyworded the fuck out of my posts so that people Googling for certain content would find it. Because in the end I wrote for such a broad audience I focussed on delivering meaningful content that was useful (topic based, not just ‘me me me’ based) AND used my blog as a platform to share my thoughts and rants and feelings when I needed to and use my powers (haha well, my little influence for what it was worth) for good.

      I’m now spending 60 days in Bali reviewing where to stay, eat and play – changing hotels every 3rd day. It’s lonely as hell for sure because I’m all alone and often reviewing really romantic experiences but it is real. Different from the traditional solo travel blogger with a backpack on the road but the same in many ways….

      I do air my feelings out about things … I have a post launching tonight about how miserable it is to be single for the past 2 years and now reviewing honeymoon packages and how that’s started to affect me but I air my dirty laundry so-to-speak on my personal blog … not the travel blog I’ve spent so many hours building up. You don’t subscribe to the GoPro channel on social media to see all the accidents and injuries but to be inspired, same thing when people start to follow travel bloggers. At least that’s how I see it at the stage I’m at…

      Hugs from Bali XO

      • I do see what you mean, and of course a healthy dose of inspiration is needed for everyone, but still I find that this purely inspirational, lack of the actuality of life on the road provides a false image to readers. People who haven’t traveled oftentimes really don’t understand that being on the road is HARD WORK. It’s not all beaches and sunsets and beers with new friends and epic romances. Sometimes it’s heart break and projectile vomiting. Of course I want people to continue to dream of travel, but to envy a fictional life is silly, and this is often what happens. Travel bloggers hide the bad, and I just can’t stand these fake articles that make it sound like every day on the road is absolute paradise. Because it’s just a flat out lie. I’d love to see more travel blogs that have a healthy balance – show me that amazing beach and those new lifelong friends you made there, and then tell me how ridiculously sick you were in the bus bathroom on your way there.

    5. It doesn’t get much more real than that. This is why I shun most social media. On one hand, it’s a tremendous resource. On the other, it’s such a load of crap that it’s really hard to stomach.
      Thanks for your honesty. So refreshing! Happy travels.

      • Thanks Lindy! Happy I’m not alone in my opinions! And agreed, it can be difficult at times because there are some great resources out there, I just wish more people would tell both the good and the bad! “Here’s the best marketplace in such in such a place, which has super awesome locals, but you might get your iPod robbed here, and you’ll probably projectile vomit a few hours after your lovely meal.” I would read that blog for advice.

    6. I feel you.

      I think bloggers — whether travel or otherwise — have a certain responsibility to their readers to be real with them. I went snorkeling in Iceland once and my dry suit leaked. I almost got hypothermia. I went on a road trip and my car broke down in a rural area — I was stuck by the side of the road for hours, with no service to call for help. Once I got such bad altitude sickness that I nearly passed out.

      I make an effort to talk about all of these things when I write. It feels too slimy and dishonest to pretend that my life is perfect.

      On top of that, I work my ass off at my business, and I don’t want people thinking that I just spend my life taking it easy and getting a tan. I’m a writer and entrepreneur first, and that takes a lot of time and energy. Yeah, the reward is extra freedom to travel, but I don’t want people to get a false sense of how I got here.

      • Yes! Exactly! See what you’re saying is the style of blog I actually totally do enjoy reading. Show people both sides of the equation – from the unreal beach sunrises to the hypothermia. How everyone should be!

    7. This is a great article… And so true, we as bloggers love hiding the true realities of travel blogging better yet, we are afraid that telling the truth won’t make money, won’t increase the audience, numbers or status… We have become more about the money and numbers and marketing the lifestyle than about our audience. We need to share all sides of travel not just the pretty parts that we think people want to hear.

      • Couldn’t agree more, Jazzy. In my opinion though, I think a healthy dose of honesty could potentially increase numbers rather than decrease. If someone seems more relatable – ups and downs and all – I’d think more people would be keen to read their work. Hell, I think that would feel more inspiring to read anyways; to be able to see that these travel bloggers are just like you rather than in a constant state of bliss makes it seem that a life on the road is more attainable.

    8. Great article. It’s nice to see some honesty from a travel blog and not another “20 reasons to travel in you 20s” crap. keep it up

    9. Oh thank god for that post ! It is the beauty of internet : turning any life into a fairytale. Thank you for speaking the truth.

      Although I disagree on one point. Some bond you create on the way can last. Randomly and when life decide to put you two together again. Or when one of you decide it. One or the other, it works.

      And then there are some people I met for few months (now I am talking about you) and I would always be happy to meet again !

      • Pretty lady – we must meet again soon!! I actually didn’t mean to imply at all that none of the bonds you make on the way last – when I was talking about weeding through people in hostels, as well as about getting in and out of cars hitchhiking, I was very much generalizing. Once in a while special people most definitely enter your life, and when it’s meant you always do meet again. It’s rather magical!

    10. I can definitely relate to this. I’m only in the early stages of developing my travel blog and have been on a year-long road trip across Asia, through the Stans and then into Europe. My photos make the experience look like I’m living the ultimate dream and I’m deliriously happy 24/7. But, that’s not the truth. While it’s been an amazing adventure, everything I was challenged by mentally back home (in my cubicle) has only become more potent since I started travelling (anxiety, depression, fear of social situations etc). Long-term travel is a rough road, but it’s certainly taught me a lot about myself and the things I want in life. I want to keep travelling, but not 24/7 – it’s exhausting. I wan’t my blog to show the good, bad and the ugly side of life abroad and the real reasons people feel the need to escape to exotic lands and experiment with unique cultures. I think more and more travel bloggers and ‘social media celebrities’ are getting sick of (and even sick because of) their own fakeness. I have no doubt their will be a big anti-social media movement soon. Shit’s going to get real, raw and a whole lot more interesting!

      • I hope you’re right!! Seriously the only blogs I bother reading are the ones that tell me both sides – tell me about the awful loneliness you’re feeling, and then about the fantastic bond formed with new friends around a fire. I just want to see more travel bloggers portraying both sides of the equation, rather than making all of those non-travelers feel like IF ONLY they could hit the road, life would be perfect. Nah, life is never perfect. It’s just we travelers will take the bad things about the road to get the good ones.

    11. Hi there, I agree with you and somehow getting fed up with all the big shouts on line sound like ‘we quit our job to travel the world’ bla bla. But writing a post like yours without so much swearing in it can be done without its truth being diminished. 🙂

    12. Well said! Like you I prefer to read articles from people who don’t pretend their lives are all sunshine and roses, full of umbrella-laced tropical drinks being brought to them while they relax in a hammock on a beach.

      Here’s my rant: Sometimes I want to tweet back to bloggers that no, I’m not going to “follow you on your adventure.” (Why should I, when I can’t relate to them and what they are doing?) Rick Steves is a household name because he makes travel accessible to the general public, and he shares various ways to do it so we can all find our style. Now THAT, I can relate to. 🙂

    13. I agree, long term travel is not for everyone!! And it takes resources to travel. What I think the point of your article gets to is that travel blogging is really NOT perfectly glamorous and you are right. It is a hard job and for those who make partnerships and write freelance, we’re working 60 plus hours a week on a million different things. BUT I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it and often I find myself enjoying the business side of traveling just as much. There’s so much entrepreneurial creative freedom and I really enjoy it. Traveling as with anything else in life has its ups and downs and for 4 years I traveled and loved it and I learned a ton about myself. It wasn’t perfect but it made me more compete because I needed to see the world to feel fulfilled. I made the decision to do it and I made it happen with no regrets. I don’t have kids BUT I had adequate financial resources to make it happen. Of course I didn’t quit my day job just yet but I worked like hell to publish a quality blog along the way to set myself up. You’re right, successful travel bloggers do spend a lot of time working and less time traveling, probably like any other successful entrepreneur. I wish more people knew this rather than sitting behind a desk day-dreaming about how lucky these bloggers have perfect lives. Nothing is perfect you are right. We all have our shit in life to deal with. Myth plays a great role. But some bloggers I think try to “sell” you the possibility of that life for the sake of pulling you into their inspiring mythic “journey.” Inspiration is valuable as long as it’s not delusional.

      • Very well put! That’s exactly it – successful travel bloggers work their asses off, and it’s far from all glamorous! I feel more inspired reading the real ups and downs than only the ups, as they seem simply unobtainable… because they are. You don’t just get the ups – no one does, not even someone with the “dream job”.

    14. Hi Danie,
      First of all I wanna say that this is one of the most honest and unique posts I have read in a long time. I believe this post of yours in not at all about ranting on long-term solo travel. Instead, this is a wonderful piece of information for people out there who feel that it’s all paradise and heaven for those who travel long term. There are numerous blogposts out there portray the good part of a solo nomadic lifestyle. Here, you are merely painting a true picture of the not-so-good part of it and I really appreciate that.

      It is indeed not easy for people on the road out there and as Stephanie here said, travel bloggers and long term solo travelers need to work their asses of to experience the better side of this lifestyle. Great to read this post.

      • Thanks for the lovely feedback! That’s exactly it – I mean if I didn’t live and breathe this life, why on earth would I live it? It’s just that it has as much amazingness, and as much awfulness as ANYONE’S life. Good and bad – that’s just life!

    15. Hi Danie,
      You’re right : there’s no perfect life. Guess a honest travel blog should be like a stop smoking or whatever bad habit you’re trying to quit diary, not a photo album. Or a bit of both !
      And remember if travel wears you down and get the best of you, then maybe it’s time for you to settle down somewhere. Your travels have enriched you, including the very rough patches. It’s your life and your needs change. I understand you’re not there yet though.
      I don’t read travel blogs, I find them quite tedious. I read travel books, usually from big names, usually deceased, because their experience is not only a mental trip but a mental trip in time. My fave are the likes of Alexandre David Néel: she did not hide the worst that happened to her. I don’t need to be spared. I need a mental adventure. Adventure’s rough ! The Earth can be bloody dangerous and drive you to your limits and I’m intently not saying off them.
      I’m quite sure some travel bloggers do a lot of bragging : it soothes their ego.
      But if I have to read about ANY travel experience, it surely requires a good dose of TRUTH. To be blunt, the shit that happens on the road, the loneliness, the fever, the madness are great ingredients to good travel storytelling. I’ve been there several times (even if for only a month once in a while) and I know how it can be: great and hard. Too rosy is boring. Humans are at their best when they’re real. A unique moment in a lifetime is (can be !) real. A bad hair day too 😉 Too much whining drives you mad. Too much self-contentment too. Life is about all this. The bitter and the sweet. LIfe on the road is no exception.
      Take care, Danie. Maybe I’ll drop by once in a while to read your adventures, and start reading travel blogs 😉
      Anne

      • Love how you put all that! And you have a good point about reading travel books over blogs – perhaps people are more keen to open up, displaying themselves at their best as well as their worst, when in book form. I suppose blogs are so much more of the RIGHT NOW, and people may not be as keen to show their worst when it happened, you know, yesterday. In any case, I much prefer reading the honesty – give me the nitty gritty along with the paradisaical!

    16. Fantastic article Danie and very true. Even before I read this just looking at the picture it reminded me of myself sitting in hammocks in Thailand sweating balls and itching like crazy due to all the mosquito bites. Funny how deceptive an image can be, it’s so easy to get swept up in how serene/happy you’re meant to look, such as what we see in all these other travel blogs and on Facebook rather than sit back relax and just enjoy your surroundings. Keep on trailing and if you even feel like rain, grey skies, but beautiful scenery make your way over to Ireland! Slan Abhaile.

    17. sounds like someone fell out of the wrong side of the hammock this morning 😉

    18. I agree to a certain extent, but most of the big name travel bloggers have traveled extensively and their blogs and writing reflect that. I don’t think any of them claim it’s easy or not hard work to maintain a popular blog either.

      Yes, some of them like to express how their life is so perfect, but if you are working a crappy job like some of them where in a wet and rainy country like England then how the fuck can travleing 24/7 not be almost perfect in comparison? It’s freedom after all!

      • I agree and disagree at the same time – I mean I wouldn’t still be on the go if not for the freedom, and because I would take this life over a life back home any day of the week. But it comes with some HUGE challenges, and so many travel bloggers fail to mention any of these. I’m not saying they are straight up writing that it’s an easy life, but many (certainly not all) fail to mention to their readers that THIS LIFE IS HARD TOO. We all have to choose what sacrifices and struggles we’re willing to have in our lives, but no life comes completely free of such things. I just find that so many travel bloggers portray their lives to be all sunshine and roses, when that’s not the case, causing those dreaming of their escape to believe that if only they could reach that paradise, their life would be perfect. But life is never perfect.

    19. Yo! Nice blog 🙂 I too have sat there and looked at other “travellers” blogs and thought ‘how the fuk are constantly producing content/sharing 5 times a day/lining up sponsers/and networking on social media… And it makes me happy to think that we are amongst the genuine ones 🙂 Keep up the good work!
      Taran

    20. I came across your blog through the Broke Backpacker and this is the first post of yours that I’ve read….what a powerful statement. Keep kicking ass– you’ve gained a new reader!

    21. Just came across this blog and wanted to say I love the honesty of it! More people need to be honest about things, really.

      When I read about travel, I don’t actually want to read something that will simply make me drool and hate my life…I want to know what it’s really like. Because when I’m travelling I want to be prepared for what it’s really like, mentally and otherwise. A rosy picture doesn’t really help with that at all!

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    24. Great article. Well written and chuckled throughout. Suppose we should remember this idea does not really simply apply to travel and bloggers, rather simply most aspects life and also pretty much all social media now. We often sugar coat or show the good bits. Perhaps to make people jealous, or if your on facebook probably to make the ex green with envy that yes they may have a new partner, but your taking sexy shots of you rolling with a rare tiger in the ‘wild’ in a far off exotic land. When people say they are jealous and wish they could, I wonder. Well. Do it. You dont have to get married. You dont have to have kids. Tell the guy with the gun at your head to put it down for a moment. And even then, if you really wanted to do it, you would.

      But then itsnt it the shit time you remember more. Are not these the moments that add to your adventure. Its nice sitting by the sea sipping cocktails, but the stories you tell and remember are breaking down in the rain at 11pm and screaming at your friend to help whilst they find trying to find a dry spot to light a cigarette more important. You later look back, reflect and learn from it and laugh together at it. Its putting yourself outside your comfort zone that I find rewarding. Life is about balance. What makes us human is knowing we will never find that true equilibrium. We are also all very different yet so very much the same. What one person wishes to get from something another may find useless. That person you say is a moron in a hostel may very well think exactly the same as you. Every story has two sides and he told me you stole his coco pops from the cupboard and were typing very loudly as he was trying to sleep.
      My personal gripe is people always saying they have gone away to ‘find themselves.’ You can ‘find’ yourself at the bottom of your garden. But then again who am I to say how and what you can or should get from your travel. I think it broadens the mind. Makes you aware that the world does not revolve around you and allows you to push yourself and learn what you are capable of. But if you are happy tapping away in your cubicle and visiting the girlfriend’s parents once a week then fair enough. Just because someone is not living their life the way you expect to does not mean they are not happy. But this works both ways. P.s I noticed you couldnt have been sweating that much in your hammock, you have a personal fan directed at you. 😉 keep up the good work, sorry about the spelling, no spell checker and im too lazy…. and I cant spell x p.p.s I was going to buy you dinner, but didnt realise until I saw the price you were didning nightly at the Ritz. 😉 good old winky face

      • I feel like you could write a whole beautiful blog post from that comment alone! I love it! You’re so right on every account – every story has two sides (and I bet many times those “morons” in the hostels thought just the same of me – and that’s cool, we’re just not the type of people who enjoy each other, and not everyone is!) I also totally don’t think travel is everyone’s dream, I just don’t like to see people tapping away at their cubicles dreaming of a life that doesn’t exist. If you need to dream of a new life, then go REACH that new life (travel or otherwise, I don’t care, just grab your damn dreams!) Anyway, loved the comment! PS My dinner price was definitely set when I was in more expensive territories haha. Hey, it just gives an object to the amounts for the fun of it 😉

    25. Glenn @allbikenobite

      Didning instead of dining. How did I miss that one. What a perfect English Graduate I am. Thanks Danie, happy travels and super blogging, will follow them avec the wonders of Twitter.x

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    29. The article is in Italian Danie – but you’ll like the pics (what the brochures tell you – and the reality).

      http://www.repubblica.it/viaggi/2016/04/07/foto/luoghi_vacanze_brochure_realta_-137088501/6/

      Iain

      • This is amazing – exactly what I’m talking about! And also a big reason I tend to avoid tourist attractions and find my own slices of heaven!

    30. Agree with this… to an extent, of course. There are still bloggers out there shelling out the positives AND the negatives, they’re just a bit harder to find through all of the noise. As for those that shit rainbows and sparkles on a regular basis… well, blogs have turned into a form of entertainment, up there with magazines, movies, television, etc. I don’t think there’s so much harm in the average blog follower wanting to have a little escapism in their interwebsing, so long as that escapism doesn’t come in listicle form.

      What DOES bother me is how bloggers toot horns about how everyone should quit their jobs and travel, like, 4ever&ever, or go backpacking all over X continent, then people actually do it and end up seriously miserable and wretched because 98% of people can’t handle long term travel or handle the real side of developing countries. I’m tired of seeing people whinging and moping about missing the comforts of home while traveling (dude, you’re not going to die just because you haven’t had peanut butter in 2 weeks, chill the fuck out), or going all the way to countries like Thailand and Indonesia just to hide out in some cultivated guesthouse and eat Western food and talk to white people all day.

    31. Thanks for that post! I’m one of those cubicle guys who is planning to start with a short sabbatical next year and your article helps prepare me for this better. It’s a scary step to take but I gotta try it once and know for myself. I think that blogs are a little more real than the Instagram or Twitter posts where you’re trying to catch the attention quickly and only the goody ones attract most people’s attention unfortunately.

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    33. Pingback: The Not So Glamorous Side of Travel - Bobo and ChiChi

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    36. I totally get where you’re coming from. Especially with the perfectly timed photos with no tourists!

    37. This is so true, and that’s why I also think that it is important to write about the negative things. I mean people need to know how our real lives are. I love to travel and I blog about it, but I don’t hide the fact that I’m also a student and that I don’t travel every single day. I love this idea, and it’s true: there is no such thing as a perfect life.

    38. I’m new to travel blogging, and sometimes I think the opposite of one thing you said–it seems to me that so many bloggers are writing almost exclusively for other travelers, in particular for other travel bloggers.

      But what I hear you say is a call for an end to the “everything is magical” article. Some things suck and that’s all there is to it, and I think travel writers should point that out too. Travel writing in magazines and such (anything with advertisers) are still going to focus on the magical parts of it, so it’s up to us to point out how miserable some experiences will be.

    39. Great, honest post and agree, no matter what you do in life, there are good times and bad times. As a fellow travel blogger, inspiring travel is definitely the main objective but I do believe that you need to keep it real. People want to hear about the good times as well as the times when things don’t quite go to plan or turn out as expected!

    40. Thanks for revealing some of the truths behind being a full-time travel blogger. However, I don’t think this applies to all travel bloggers. For instance, I’m a travel blogger but not full time. I manage my time between my work and my travel and I blog about how others can do it too.

    41. OMG I just spent like an hour on this entry! I read almost all the comments haha. It’s very exciting and honest to read the not so perfect side of being a travel blogger. I’ve come across with several blogs that showcase how “perfect” life is while traveling, but I’ve also discovered meaningful stories that expose the real deal.

      Now let’s be honest, most of the readers are working people that have a computer in front of them all day, so I think that’s why most of travel bloggers tend to go for inspiring posts.

      Also, I think that many travelers like to discover things on their own, so they won’t spend time reading a step by step guide on a place. Because they have the time to wander. On the other side, people that have a fulltime job on an office travel on vacation with little time, and that’s why they need to find out what to do to take the most out of it.

      Anyhow, there’s tons of blogs that can adjust to every person who reads them.

      I liked your entry!

      • Thanks man! You’re totally right too – there are all sorts of blogs for all sorts of people and some will be guides and top ten lists and all that, but some will tell the ups and downs of travel. I guess there is something for everyone.

    42. A wonderfully honest piece. I think the crux of it lies in the fact that no life is perfect. Every single job has it good points and it’s downright shitty points.

      And this is where I find the frustration among people who don’t understand what it actually means to be a travel blogger – travel blogging is a JOB. An actual job which requires (for me) 60 hours a week working on it. I worked all hours of the day & night in national newsrooms as a journalist, producer, editor & presenter before travel blogging so this stint for me feels like I’m still doing exactly that – but the payoff is of course being able to travel and to write about what I WANT to write about, not about the court trial of a murderer whose actions have devastated hundreds of lives.

      In comparison, travel blogging is a pretty sweet gig! But it’s still a job. And the sooner that travel blogging is recognised by more people as an actual job & career option and people learn that travel bloggers are small business owners, then this anti-travel-blogger sentiment will fade a bit. It’s a shame that people see me as a travel blogger & instantly don’t like what I do without reading anything I’ve written because they have a thing against travel bloggers without understanding that I’m trying to run a business. Like everyone in this field, I’m just trying to carve out a living.

      No job is perfect but some jobs have a helluva better office “view” than others. I’d rather be writing from inside my apartment here in Fiji, surrounded by construction works & dirty streets than back in my comfortable home town in a corporate building.

      I could easily write or produce daily ramblings of social media marketing & small business ownership if I wanted to. I could rant about all the problems of travel. But that’s not what I want to write about. AND my readers would be a completely different audience. I would alienate some of the people who actually want to be taken somewhere in their minds.

      At the end of the day you have to KNOW your audience & you have to appeal to that target market. And every single travel blog in existence has a different target market & audience. It’s up to the blog business owners to understand that & respond to their audience’s needs – not to other travel bloggers who don’t like their style.

      Great discussion post!

    43. My opinion is like this – people are not stupid they choose what they want to read, they choose how to understand each post and etc. If some of the people writes how amazing travel alone, who ask you to believe each written word? You have your brains and you can accept that some people just like to travel alone but is it for me? People write what they want – and it’s fine but nobody says to follow them, to do the same and etc. so it’s not about what travel bloggers writes but about how the reader understand it and what he takes for himself. Let’s be adult and not blame those who are creating fairy tale for someone, maybe somebody just need it 🙂

      • I do agree to some extent, but on the other hand some people really don’t see the drawbacks of travel at all. I’m a long term traveller so it’s a bit different from taking trips and such, but I really do think that things need to be said. Paint a beautiful photo of travel, but mention in passing that an ATM also stole all your money as well. That’s all I’m really saying.

    44. “There is no perfect life. There is no perfect place. There is no perfect person.” Amen to that! Great post – I appreciate your honesty.

    45. A very honest post to read. I always felt that it must be like that, people never (or very rarely) project a 100% honest image of themselves online, and it is incredibly refreshing to read one!

    46. I agree.

      Many travelling blogs or sites are over-romanticizing the different alternative lifestyles.

      I’m not travelling like most of the people here I guess, I would consider myself more a tramp, kinda. I used to work as a software developer but got depressed with my life and got a kind-of burn out. So after two times backpacking (living in hostels and so on) I just decided to quit my job and say goodbye to a rat-race life.

      Went to England again (I’m from continental Europe) and slept in squats, trashed caravans standing on the side of the road or just in some doorway. Making money by busking (either with friends or just trying to make some music alone with my harmonica). Travelling by hitchhiking or just jumping the trains.

      Best decision of my life. I’m not depressed anymore, I made so many experiences, met so many great people. It’s awesome. Also, finding out with how little you can live and being happy is great. I’m housed at the moment but I can’t wait to hit the road again soon. I can’t imagine living a “normal” life with a 9 to 5 job anymore.

      Why do I do it? Mostly cause of freedom. Every day is different. Every day you potentially will have new experiences. Meet new friends, perhaps. Or just have a chilled day in the park, drinking cider while other people quickly eat their lunch to get back to work in time.

      But is it always fun, always just a 24/7 holiday? No.

      There are days I have to busk/spange for hours just to make a few quid for the basic needs. Was woken up by rain or by security or police early in the morning more than I can count. Once I was quite battered by a violent guy for no reason, got a black eye and almost broken nose. (Only once so far, luckily. *knockonwood*) Quite a few times my shoes failed due to all the walking and other stuff I did. Not such a big deal in summer, but once my shoes that were already held together with tape totally fell apart beyond repair, leaving me without shoes in cold November rain. Later I walked about a week in flip flops cause I couldn’t afford anything else. Had nights in some doorway waking up about 20 times, shivering cause of cold wind. Experienced many quite stressful days in squats cause of some idiots living there as well. And so on …

      In the end of the day, there are no good days without bad days. There are no pros without cons. That applies to every kind of lifestyle, IMHO. I strongly believe in the concept of Yin and Yang.

      But I guess when people write about their experiences (may it be in the context of a blog or forum or alike), they tend to write more about the good things, the exciting things, the wonderful view at this or that place, the nice people around and so on.

      So yeah, take everything with a grain of salt. 🙂

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