Originally Written & Curated for Medium.com
Be honest. How many times in the last 2 weeks did you come across a travel blogger influencer or life coach, either online or in real life? I seriously lost count. These bastards clog up my Insta feed like there’s no tomorrow. No kidding, 80% of the time an ad pops up or makes it into my feed it contains A; a whole lot of naked ass, B; a shallow quote, C; the same lame tourist hotspot selfie or D; all of the above.
Full disclosure, I sometimes click on the ads. Partially because I’m curious, partially because I’m jealous but mainly for pure entertainment purposes. It boggles my mind how confident some people are. Confidence is great if you’re the real deal but riding shotgun on the confidence-train when your “talents” would even make Simon Cowell quit America’s Got Talent is just nuts.
Seriously, don’t you have friends? Or a devoted Mother? A tough-love dad? Or just anyone nice enough who tells you how bad your “fight for what you really want, and you can do anything” videos really are.
It’s simple; if I’d start making silly videos and change my Insta bio to douchebag status, my mom would call me immediately. The same goes for my dad, if I’d decide to start a singer & songwriter career on Youtube. The only difference is, my dad wouldn’t call — he would send me the amended last will with my name nowhere to be found. Why? Because I suck at singing! I won’t ever be a Bieber 2.0, and my parents (hopefully) care enough about me to never let me believe that I have a voice like an angel.
Admitingly, singing is pretty black and white. You either hit those notes, or you don’t. You never hear anyone saying “oh I really loved how the artist almost didn’t mess up the chorus. Nah Nah, it just doesn’t happen. In most professions, you don’t get away with shit. If you suck, you get fired — if you suck again you get fired again and until you stop sucking at things the cycle continues. But the same rule doesn’t apply to all these trendy “not-really-a-job” jobs.
The barriers to entry for “not-really-a-job” jobs like travel blogging, for instance, are so incredibly low that it only requires a person to go on a trip and write about it. Or does it? See, the main reason why excellent travel bloggers are so far and few between is that most of the people don’t know what a travel blogger really is — and this includes people who hand out fancy business cards that have Travel Blogger written on them.
Just because someone buys a plane ticket to some overpriced, overpopulated tourist destination, writes about it and posts online -of course, accompanied by a cheeky selfie and/or a cute quote, doesn’t make them a blogger. A good travel writer requires so much more than just a good ass or a man of steel type sixpack, superior copy-paste-quote skills, 2 weeks vacation or the latest MacBook Pro — Grammarly Premium installed, of course.
It’s those Bear Grylls, Betty White and the rest of the Golden Girls type personalities that make shit happen. Boys, girls, families, who travel on cockroach-infested buses, go full-on stealth mode inside Putin’s Kremlin or sell a liver on the black market just to broadcast an exciting story, from a place so off the grit or dangerous no simple vagabond was planning on going.
Travel Bloggers are the type of people that put a destination on the map, make it so trendy to open the floodgates for the hipsters, the turmeric soy latte connoisseurs and the raw, vegan, sugar-free bliss ball loving crossfitters to fuck it all up again.
It’s the ladies and gentleman that really bring something new to our otherwise slightly stale lives. It’s those, who inflict the travel bug in even the most conservative of home buddies but instead, it’s mediocre writers at best, spamming our social media feeds with cliché tourist photos and inspirational fallacies straight from the clickbait textbook.
These people aren’t traveling writers. They aren’t blogging about their travels and adventures — they’re just paraphrasing Tripadvisor, sipping on a turmeric soy latte at one of the latest hipster joints in the area, while waiting for that raw vegan, sugar-free, no-gluten, no-nut, no-personality bliss ball to settle.
Hey, it’s got a ring to it! Tripadvisor blogger rather than Travel blogger sounds so much more accurate for the majority of globetrotting reporters. Change the title on your business cards and the world order will be restored again. I could keep going on about the influencers aka above-average-looking people minus the model agency or the life coaches aka psychologists without the college degree but my soy latte is on the brink of getting cold, and I’m already late for my CrossFit class.