What is it about travel blogging nowadays? Everybody who ever set foot out of their country seems to feel the need to document it on their own little corner of the world wide web! Millions of stories are up for grabs, millions of tales to inspire future travellers to follow into our footsteps.
But are traveller bloggers really the example to follow?
Being a travel bloggers myself, I have found myself in situations which made me think…
1/ We have forgotten to simply enjoy the moment!
Ah, social media, how you have changed our lives! Whatever we do nowadays has to be shared! Whether it’s an afternoon walk in the park or the evening meal, we are all too keen to document it! But what is true for most of us, is even more true for travel bloggers!
A few months ago I was on a blogger trip to Kerala, India. The organisation was nice enough to provide us with an Indian SIM-card and our private bus was equipped with plugs. Result: instead of staring through the window, taking in the fascinating street life of India, most of us had their head buried into their mobile phone, posting their latest picture on Instagram or crafting their future articles!
Whatever happened to simply enjoying the moment? Do we really think we’re so important that the world instantly needs our pictures or stories?
2/ We stay ON the beaten path
I wonder whether there’s any local Thai people left in Chiang Mai. The number of travel bloggers & digital nomads flocking to this city in northern Thailand is enormous! Of course, the climate is fantastic, the culture fascinating and not to mention cheap rent, so it is totally understandable. But if I see any more articles about Thailand or South-East Asia in general, I think I’m going to scream! Honestly folks, I think that topic is covered by now!
What about Kyrgyzstan or Namibia for example? There seems to be very little originality in the destinations, but yet most of us encourage people to get “off the beaten path”… Practise what you preach?
3/ In group, we become the tourists we so often despise
Peru, India, Cuba, … the world is full of photogenic locals! They make for fantastic portraits and memories and of course, there’s nothing wrong with photographing them, once you got their permission. But what if all of a sudden 20 other bloggers recognize the same fantastic photo opportunity? In seconds, that local person might be surrounded by snapping cameras and encouragements to smile! Is that the message we want to spread to our readers? How do we differ from the big tour groups that we so often despise?
So is it all bad in travel blogging land? Well of course not! Most of us will happily travel to off beaten destinations and hey, maybe some might even leave their mobile phone behind for an afternoon! Yes, we can provide other travellers with useful tips and information, dream away with pictures of far-flung beaches or encourage each other’s wanderlust!
But do not let us for a second believe that we are the holy grail in the travelling world! We all know Michael Palin took that place a long time ago! 🙂
Do you recognize this? Or do you want to call “defense”? Let’s discuss it in the comments!