Why I’m Boycotting Travel Bloggers, and You Should Too

Edit: Wow, I was not at all expecting this kind of response to my post. Thank you all so much for your likes and shares, but mostly for your comments! In the end, all I really wanted to do was spark discussion, and I’m glad I did.

I’d like to respond to a comment I’m seeing a lot, which is people asking what I’m going to do about the problem other than complain, or telling me to find better niche bloggers. I actually let this blog die over a year ago because I was struggling too much with all of the issues in travel blogging. I decided to publish this post and re-launch the blog with a different focus after having this discussion with my followers on Instagram. So, this is basically the first post of this blog’s re-launch, and it should hopefully set the tone for what I promise to try NOT to do (and I hope you will call me out if I do). As for what I WILL do, I want to build a blog that’s committed to keeping it real, promoting responsible travel, and digging a little deeper than the pretty surfaces (and occasionally talking about politics because WE GIVE A SHIT), as well as featuring those better bloggers, lifting up the voices of underrepresented travelers through our Voices series, and publishing work on destinations that is written by people who live there through our Like a Local series. If you’d like to contribute, here is our call for submissions

ANYONE can quit their job and travel the world, EVERYONE should quit their job and travel the world, and yet travel bloggers are all starting to look and sound like the same wealthy, thin white person. Am I missing something here?

I’ve always felt more than a little uncomfortable scrolling through dime a dozen travel blogs and Instagram accounts, including my own. Eventually, I realized why: travel bloggers are annoying as hell.

Disclaimer: Before you get defensive, I am a travel blogger. I quit my job to travel the world, more than once. I’ve been traveling full-time for 4 years now and working as a freelance writer for almost that long. The things I’m about to call out, well, I’ve done them before too. Most of us have.

Real talk, I think it’s time we all sat down in a circle (on the internet) and had a real conversation about the state of travel blogging, Instagramming, and travel culture in general.

I’m tired of the profiles filled with nothing but perfectly curated photos of “impromptu” picnics, perfectly spotless luxury hotel rooms, and selfies of girls in full makeup and prom dresses standing on Macchu Picchu. #youdidnoteatthat #youdidnotsleepthere It’s fake, and I know it’s detrimental to people’s self-esteem when they don’t realize the work and money that goes into these (often branded, professional) shoots. (Have you seen Ingrid Goes West yet?! Do it.) I’m tired of travel bloggers selling bullshit “You Can Quit Your Job and Travel Too!” e-courses that brush off their privileges and ignore the reality that no, not everyone can do this.

I’m tired of travel accounts that are 100% about aesthetics but don’t provide any real info about the place or even the location the photo was taken. How are 100 photos of a girl walking in front of a generic colorful wall with no geotag really “travel blogging”? How does that help someone take their first solo trip or navigate a foreign country safely? As leading travel influencer Adventurous Kate writes in “On Influence, and Using it Wisely,” it’s unhelpful at best and downright dangerous at worst. I’m tired of the #doitforthegram mentality…it’s fun once in a while, but when the value of destinations is judged by how insta-friendly they are, it leaves out some very worthwhile but not so pretty places while overcrowding and destroying others. When I watch people go to sacred sites just to snap 1,000 selfies and leave, not even taking a single moment to breathe in the air, process where they are, and look at the place through the lens of their own eyes…it’s too much.

I’m tired of the minimalist wanderlust flower power travel bloggers who live in the forest and eat dandelions for breakfast and proclaim that money isn’t real after they drop 2 grand on their campsite at Burning Man while people in poverty suffer the very real consequences of very real money. Or trophy “sustainable travel” on their social media platform without ever unpacking what that actually means and then go on a giant cruise because “it was just such a good deal.”

Frankly, I’m just not sure of the social value that travel blogging provides anymore. Sometimes, I even feel cynical about the social value that travel itself provides.

I’m getting tired of the self-indulgence of travel and travel blogging. Travel is incredibly rewarding, and finding personal happiness is something to savor. But is it more important than (or even separate from) collective happiness? Let’s be real, when people of privilege travel, it usually doesn’t help anyone but themselves. It doesn’t contribute to the world (yes, even if you spend a week rescuing monkeys or volunteering in an orphanage…in fact that often just makes things worse). When it feels like my country and the world are falling apart, it gets harder and harder to just enjoy myself and see the world without doing something more active to change it.

And then there’s the fact that…#travelbloggingsowhite. It’s getting better, and there are some awesome travel bloggers of color out there, but the face of travel marketing is still white and attractive. I am white blonde girl #10,000,003 up in this space, and the travelsphere does not NEED my voice. What it NEEDS is open ears and a little more interest in hearing from marginalized folks. Why don’t we talk more about experiencing street harassment abroad…as a trans woman? Why are white people expats and adventurous travelers while brown people are immigrants and not even part of the travel space? Why is it a funny, crazy story when a white person overstays their visa in Central America, or super awesome when a white person finds random under the table jobs to fund their travels, but an outrage when a Mexican comes to the U.S. undocumented? Why are nearly ALL the popular travel bloggers also MODELS? Seriously, since when is being thin and able bodied and conventionally beautiful a prerequisite for being a badass traveler? Where are all the fat travel bloggers? Where are the travelers with disabilities? INTERSECTIONALITY…travel blogging is so pathetically behind on this one.

And – this one is the biggest problem – why are white people and people from the Global North the loudest voice and most prominent authority on brown countries and cultures from the Global South? Why don’t we ever read about a NICARAGUAN’S perspective on Nicaragua? Why are the people who are living in the destination you’re writing about totally erased. Non-existent. Or represented as one dimensional, ignorant stereotypes. Or criticized. Or pitied. Not sure which one is worse. This one is so unbelievably damaging and perpetuates colonialism and turns travel into a new form of imperialism. We need to decolonize travel writing and travel culture, and we need to do it now.

I’m constantly questioning whether or not there’s still space in travel media to do what feels good and right, and what that would even look like. On top of that, I question whether or not I have an inflated sense of the good that travel can really do in this world. Whether it can ever benefit marginalized communities, whether it can really educate and make people of privilege open their eyes and minds, whether it can truly be sustainable.

But I know one thing: the travel community is sorely lacking dialogue, self-awareness, and critique. It is lacking in diversity, in inclusivity, and in fucks given. Until I figure out whether I can even continue participating in this community in good faith, I’m taking a break from the world of travel blogging and social media.

Post Author
Elizabeth Aldrich

Completely insane and totally rational. World’s most optimistic cynic. Founder, editor, and head author at Temporary Provisions. Find me on Twitter @LizzieAldrich and Instagram @TemporaryProvisions. I’m a freelance writer and full-time traveler, wannabe farmer, amateur beer-connoisseur, aspiring renaissance woman. Check my work at www.elizabethaldrich.com.

Comments

172 Comments
  1. posted by
    Marieve
    Oct 2, 2017 Reply

    Elizabeth Aldrich drops the mic & I bow down…thank you for putting into words what, I’m sure are many people, think but most of all, what many people need to read/hear !!

    I couldn’t agree more with this and will share on all platforms of mine. ♡

    • posted by
      Elizabeth Aldrich
      Oct 5, 2017 Reply

      Thank YOU so much for sharing and commenting, but mostly for the reaffirming words! I hope this conversation never stops!

    • posted by
      Manuela
      Oct 13, 2017 Reply

      “Stop making stupid people famous”.

      Well said. Even though you clearly have trouble disguising travel bloggers from “Instagrammers”. Blogging takes a lot of work, which most Instagram stars are not willing to do.

    • posted by
      Tamara
      Oct 14, 2017 Reply

      Thank you, thank you. My husband and I have been traveling and blogging for 10 years, but have taken a hiatus the past year or two due to some of the very topics you touch on. The disillusionment is real. We don’t know what the solution is, but dialogue is a great start. Thanks for going there.

    • posted by
      Jon jon
      Oct 15, 2017 Reply

      I guess you are American, white, blond, and woman. You’ve got all the power to get everything you want in the world today. From Asia to Africa to here, in my country in France, i see how Easy it is to “pimp” people as a young white rich girl. You are the dream of the world, promoted throughout centuries of colonisation and oppression of your ancestors forcing the test of the world to be their slave forever. Of course your world ils not real, even when you try to make it real travelling to the 3rd world your ancestors destroy… It is very brave of you to touch those subjects. Everybody i meet on m’y travels always avoid those subjects when i try to push them. Actually i found out what you notice about travers world Also for spirituality. So many ashrams and meditation places i’ve been, and i almost Nevers meet people coming from immigrant background, or living in simple conditions. I am an exception among them. And i Thank life for giving me this chance. I was bot supposés to meet this world at m’y age. The colonisation will Never disappear. It Just changed form and tricked everyone, even the ones whi benefit from it, So they wont feel any guilt. Colonisation nowadays is financial of course, dont need to rape and kill anymore. On a social level it totally became cultural. Nowadays’ travelers are the conquistadors and So called adventurous or past centuries.

    • posted by
      Lonneke
      Oct 16, 2017 Reply

      Love this! Thank you! I’m a single girl who just started travelling. I’m white, but not skinny. My van isn’t perfect, but it’s my home (for now).
      Check this video: https://youtu.be/YEzx3L_Rx7g
      We need to stop taking ourselves and our lives so serious. It’s all an experiment. It’s not perfect.
      I am scared sometimes. About travelling, being just by myself, with an old van, with not a lot of money. But I do it anyways. Because it is my life and I’m just trying to make the best of it.

    • posted by
      Brendan
      Oct 23, 2017 Reply

      Great read Elizabeth. I am new to the trave blogging world and have already noticed in the short few months I have been around a lot of what you mention. What I have found is that the best bloggers think about their readers before their egos and wallets. Some of us want to see the ugly side of life to contrast against the beauty. That is where perspective is truly gained.

  2. posted by
    Clarice
    Oct 2, 2017 Reply

    🙌🙌🙌 Ooh girl!! Thanks for saying what needed to be said!!

    • posted by
      Elizabeth Aldrich
      Oct 5, 2017 Reply

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! 🙂

  3. posted by
    Clarice
    Oct 2, 2017 Reply

    🙌🙌🙌 Ooh girl!! Thanks for saying what needed to be said!!

  4. posted by
    Becky
    Oct 2, 2017 Reply

    Awesome article. I’ve just started blogging and totally get where you are coming from. I’m definitely NOT a model but do always take care to present where I am in the best light possible. Think I will start to include more of the bad too. In order to keep in real. 😊

    • posted by
      Elizabeth Aldrich
      Oct 5, 2017 Reply

      Totally! No problem with wanting to look good in photos…we ALL do it. And that’s okay! But I do think it’s cool when people mix in some of the bad to keep it real, for sure 🙂

  5. posted by
    Ady – Verbal Gold Blog
    Oct 2, 2017 Reply

    Hating the title of your blog post but then again it got me to read it. I agree that it’s over saturated with thin model Travel bloggers and it does affect my self esteem. I’m currently overweight and not the typical travel blogger. I do things a little different though- I get to know the locals and interview them to get their perspective. I also don’t do all the annoying crap you listed above so I don’t feel defensive however I would love for there to be a shift in the space.

    • posted by
      Elizabeth Aldrich
      Oct 5, 2017 Reply

      It’s clickbait, I’ll admit it! I couldn’t come up with a good title and this was attention-grabbing so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ And I like that! I think it’s great when travel bloggers interview and include perspectives from locals. I feel ya on the self-esteem part – even if we KNOW that a lot of these are styled and professional shoots, it just feels better when you see yourself represented too.

  6. posted by
    Marjorie
    Oct 2, 2017 Reply

    Oh girl, I wanna marry this article! While I love traveling (and I do write and make videos about my travels as well) I find it hard to find travel bloggers with whom I can relate.

    They all seem to have this shallow discourse about “finding freedom by selling everything to travel permanently” when, well, if you have an “everything” to sell at your 20’s, that makes you a pretty small minority. Enjoy your privilege, I guess (it’s not like I don’t have my own too), but please stop acting like this is something everyone can do if they’re brave enough. And please, don’t act like you’re an “expert” in a country where you’ve only been a few months and never even learned the language.

    I’ve recently made a video about all the BS in the digital nomad discourse, too. Here’s the link in case you’re interested 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDopAVSvB7U&t=175s

    I just wonder, though: is it the case of boycotting them or looking for more diverse voices that are not getting the same numbers?

    XX
    Marjorie

    • posted by
      Elizabeth Aldrich
      Oct 5, 2017 Reply

      YES! Thank you Marjorie. The discourse is definitely shallow and far from honest and transparent. And it’s really frustrating/offensive when it’s suggested that people who aren’t doing it aren’t brave or aren’t trying enough. I love your videos — more people need to be calling out digital nomad culture (and I say that as someone who works remotely and lives abroad).

      This is also a really good point – in all honesty, the title is just some clickbaity crap that I threw on the post because I couldn’t think of anything. DEFINITELY better to find and support those diverse voices out there! I’m working on a post right now compiling a list of some great bloggers out there to counter this post.

      Thank you for you input!

      • posted by
        Not_impressed
        Oct 12, 2017 Reply

        Hmm.. What’s to say this isn’t another paid post written to set up the next article promoting a group of bloggers that have paid you to do so? Feels very contrived – a convenient way to “relaunch” your blog as one of the “real” travellers.

  7. posted by
    Samantha
    Oct 2, 2017 Reply

    I couldn’t agree more with everything you said. It’s true that the majority of travel bloggers out there right now are representing a privileged experience. This is an important discussion for all bloggers, not just travel bloggers, to keep in mind as this medium grows.

    • posted by
      Elizabeth Aldrich
      Oct 5, 2017 Reply

      Yes! I think it’s important for all bloggers to discuss, but also important for all travelers to discuss. The title calls out bloggers but really, it’s also a conversation about travel culture in general. Thanks for your comment Samantha. 🙂

  8. posted by
    Chloe
    Oct 2, 2017 Reply

    A very interesting perspective. I’m a travel blogger too, and I do agree with all of your points. There does need to be more awareness and more realness when travelling. However, I think at the same time, yes there are a lot of typical white model like Instagram travellers who share unrealistic photos of travel, who don’t share the entire story, but these big accounts magnify the perception that all travellers or all travel bloggers are like this… I like to see the best in people, and majority of travellers that I’ve met of all races and colours and backgrounds are good people. They are kind when they travel. However, I have also seen the lacking of consciousness in travellers. The ones who invest in Disney, elephant riding, tiger temples are other activities that I don’t morally agree with. I guess, the only thing we can do as travel bloggers who realise this, is to shed light on these flaws, to educate those who don’t realise the negative effect their actions have. What do you think is the solution?

    • posted by
      Elizabeth Aldrich
      Oct 5, 2017 Reply

      Chloe, thanks for your comment and interesting points. Yes, I also believe that the majority of travelers and people in general are good. One of the things I love most about travel is it shows you how much good there is in the world! However, sometimes good people do and say problematic things. We are only human. I have definitely witnessed the lack of consciousness as well — plenty of travelers doing and saying problematic things while traveling (and I am sure that I have done the same at times as well). I think that a lot of these problematic behaviors and ideas in travel culture stem from some of the things I discussed in this post (and of course, many other issues). I agree that we can use our voices to help more people become aware, educate them on problematic things, and/or share our opinions on the ethics of certain travel behaviors. That is definitely part of it. For me, combining more negative critiques like this one with positive posts explaining what IS being done right (I’m currently working on a post featuring all my favorite travel bloggers who I think are doing things right) feels effective. Talking to travelers in person about these issues is also important. I think having lots of discussions, over and over again, is the first step to changing problematic views and behaviors. After that, well – I’m not sure! There are lots of solutions out there, it’s just a matter of taking the time to look for them and then finding one that works for you. Thank you again for raising these points!

  9. posted by
    Sissi
    Oct 2, 2017 Reply

    Hey Elizabeth. These are spot-on my thoughs on most travel blogs. Was about to write an ironic post about this subject, but haven’t done it yet. One thing though, there are a lot of great travel blogs in Spanish/Chinese/Japanese, where locals actually do tell about their hoods and visions of the world. However, they hardly ever mix with the Anglo-Saxon world. In fact, it’s a whole different genre. As for quitting blogging (my blog can only be called a travel blog because I don’t live in my home country), I’ve been thinking also thinkig about it for the reasons you mention. I’m sure there is a new paradigm coming. -Sissi/Strangerless

    • posted by
      Elizabeth Aldrich
      Oct 5, 2017 Reply

      Thank you! This is a great point. There are definitely some good Spanish blogs out there and also plenty of blogs by people from Latin America that are in English. I’m not familiar with the others. I’ve found some great bloggers out there but would like to continue finding and supporting/promoting more. It can be hard to figure out how to fit yourself into an industry that you find deeply problematic. Discussions like this one are what inspired me to get this blog back up and running again, and I plan to use it as a platform to promote bloggers who I think are doing it right or are underrepresented. I think (hope) there is a new paradigm coming as well! Just don’t know what it will be. Thanks again for posting Sissi. 🙂

  10. posted by
    Hannah Dwyer
    Oct 2, 2017 Reply

    I love this! Agree 100%, also caught myself in some these of these though not the model part. Ain’ at no one got time for a fancy wardrobe when travelling! So I just take pictures of things. I almost ran my blog an insta with a kind of vintage jungle explorer, raffles, theme till it dawned on me that that was glamourising colonialism, and very much not ok. White travel and moving to cheap countries so you can live like a king is a new form colonialism even though no harm is intended. Great post!

    • posted by
      Elizabeth Aldrich
      Oct 5, 2017 Reply

      Absolutely! And kudos for recognizing that and stopping. I’ve definitelyyy had more than one problematic idea that I almost put into motion before realizing there was something really wrong with it, and I scroll back through old posts and realize how much of what I said, even just the wording, is not OK. The link toward the end of my post to Bani Amor talking about decolonizing travel is a GREAT read that spells out exactly what’s wrong with every single buzzword we use in travel writing.

  11. posted by
    Loretta Widen
    Oct 2, 2017 Reply

    Thanks for bringing this up. It’s something ive been thinking about a lot but couldnt’ quite articulate. Being white blond girl #10,000,004, I too have felt that this space is overrun by posed selfies in unrealistic scenarios. I always ask myself: whether travel blogs have become too aspirational (lifestyle) and not “real” enough. I started out wanting to just have a place to put my travel photos and now my goal is to get better at telling stories through photos and my writing; I want to tell real stories about realizing your full potential, gratitude and living in the present, overcoming challenges, and opening yourself up to a new way of thinking through discovering new cultures.

    I also love what you said about getting the local’s perspective and really being more conscious of the fact that i’m a white girl going to these places acting like im some expert, when i’m not. I’m guilty of this too, but I feel like our travels have become this content that people want to consume mindlessly just like any other platform, and we must be better about actively adding something more substantial, not only to be memorable, but to feel like we’re actually adding value.

    • posted by
      Elizabeth Aldrich
      Oct 5, 2017 Reply

      Yes! The post I linked to Adventurous Kate’s post on being a responsible influencer explains that when travel blogging started bringing in money and big sponsorships, a lot of LIFESTYLE bloggers actually started dabbling in travel again for the perks (free hotels, free press trips, etc). So a lot of this really, really popular travel content IS actually lifestyle content, which is why it’s totally aspirational and not real or useful at all. I thought that was a really interesting point that I’d never considered before.

      I always love the focus of telling real stories. Storytelling is definitely lacking in a lot of travel writing. And I think a lot of us are guilty of telling a place’s story for the people who live there or of acting like an expert after you’ve spent a few months there (I’ve done it!) but the important thing is to recognize it and stop. I like travel blogs that use interviews and feature locals in order to talk about a place.

  12. posted by
    Munnawar Hashim
    Oct 2, 2017 Reply

    Before I begin this comment I would like to iterate that this is my first time on your website.
    To take a break from travel blogging may be good for you, it will perhaps allow you to take a more objective look at this space that you have occupied for so long and clearly feel so passionate about.
    This is one of the best things that I have read in regards to travel blogging.
    I feel like before I would look at travel blogs and try to visualise stories and experiences. Now, when I read travel blogs what I’m looking for is completely different. The articles that I come across are “how to grow your website, using these tips!” (tips which aren’t actually available on the page but are available on different domains that I have to click through -_-)
    I agree with so much of what you have said here and I think it is an excellent article. I think it is fantastic that you have this compassion in you and are able to see the bigger picture.
    And it is for that reason that I implore you continue contributing to this space. Yes you may be white blonde girl #10,000,003, but you have something to say that is different and through this article you are challenging the status quo. Be the change you want to see in this world (super cliche I know)
    Become the travel blogger that you want to see.
    If you honestly want to use your platform for good
    “I’m constantly questioning whether or not there’s still space in travel media to do what feels good and right…Whether it can ever benefit marginalized communities, whether it can really educate and make people of privilege open their eyes and minds, whether it can truly be sustainable.”
    Spitball some ideas, try collaborating with people of colour, people from the LGBTQ+ and bloggers from different faiths (under represented or misrepresented people)
    But I digress, these are just my opinions, so take them with a pinch of salt.
    Even writing something like this is a way of opening some minds.
    It sure did mine.
    Good luck, Salaam, Best wishes,
    Munnawar

    • posted by
      Elizabeth Aldrich
      Oct 5, 2017 Reply

      Wow, Munnawar – thank you so much! Your words are really motivational and reaffirming, I truly appreciate it. This post actually started as a rant on my travel Instagram, in which I stated that I was going to use it solely to promote other underrepresented bloggers until I figured out whether or not I could continue blogging in good faith. The discussion that the original post sparked was so enlightening for me and really helped me redirect a vision of how I can blog in a way that feels right to me. It’s ultimately what inspired me to re-launch my blog (it had been deactivated for a year) and post those words here. The additional discussion started from this post has really confirmed for me that I want to continue blogging, and it has also greatly helped me develop a new direction for the blog that IS what I want to see in the world. I’m working on a post right now featuring all my favorite travel bloggers who ARE doing great things, and I plan to continue putting time and effort into this blog for now. Anyway, thank you again so much for your words. Best wishes.

  13. posted by
    Amanda
    Oct 2, 2017 Reply

    I agree with so much if this… it took me so long to realise that I could write about places as a fat 48 year old expat. That I didn’t need to be young and thin. That slowly exploring, learning a language and culture gives you a different insight. I’m fed up with the country counters jumping off another cruise ship on Instagram. Or the trophy photo hunters going to places like North Korea. There’s been a backlash this year in Europe against mass travel and I feel it’s going to get a lot worse. If we really want sustainable travel then we shouldn’t be leaving home. Despite all the travel going on people seem to be learning less about each other and becoming more nationalistic. Instead of understanding each other better there seems to be more fear. Does the world need travel bloggers? Not as many as it’s got

  14. posted by
    Susan
    Oct 2, 2017 Reply

    I agree with everything you say but I can add a few peeves to the list. How does being attractive make you a writer, period? Why is every photo on Instagram edited to the point of being almost unrecognizable? Is a sunset or a rainbow not beautiful enough? There are tons of people who call themselves bloggers and influencers Really they are the pretty face of the moment. If you aren’t model gorgeous, you have to get by on actual skill. That’s not to say they don’t have skills but let’s be honest, the top influencers would not be where they are without a team of people assisting them. Many bloggers aren’t even sure if they are bloggers, influencers, social media experts or all the above. As a blogger, I have the good fortune of going on media trips. This is not travel. This is not vacation. It is more like a bunch of people pushing each other out of the way so they can get the best picture of that Baked Alaska before it melts. Sometimes it is all very silly. And, as for privilege. Anyone that is traveling and does not see their privilege must have their eyes closed.

  15. posted by
    Carola
    Oct 3, 2017 Reply

    I’m sorry you feel this way. But why you haven’t gone out and actually looked for these other voices? You choose to follow white stick figures (maybe because you see yourself in them or maybe because you hope to be just as famous or maybe it’s unconscious, I don’t know). But if you actually made an effort you would have seen that there are other blogs, Instagrams, Facebooks,… out there. They’re just not as loud and prominent. If you really wanted to be an ally to those voices and not just whine about how you feel so bad about following only thing white people who have nothing to say, you could have done your homework and presented some of them here.
    I hope you’ll use your break from social media to dig around a little more.

    Happy travels & happy blogging,
    Carola
    (travel blogger at notesontraveling)

  16. posted by
    NieNie
    Oct 3, 2017 Reply

    I relate to this so much. I don’t really consider myself a travel blogger even though I have a blog and I travel. I just like to put helpful tips out there since most of my friends and family what to know what I am up to. I don’t consider myself someone who writes well either.

    But with that being said, I think as a plus size Korean American, I definitely do not get nearly as much traction on social media, compared to the skinny blondes like The Blonde Abroad who has thousands of people following her and trying to get her exact photos which i have seen over a millions times by all the other travel bloggers like her. It’s hard when my insta is original photos or images that I haven’t researched beforehand. It’s quite frustrating.

    • posted by
      Jennie
      Oct 12, 2017 Reply

      Oooooh, what’s your blog? I would love to read it.

  17. posted by
    Amanda
    Oct 3, 2017 Reply

    You are now my new hero. I am a travel blogger. I thought the same thing. I have been to the worst places and best places in the world. I am a veteran and had the privilege to travel that way. Really the only way I was able to travel. I still had to work my butt off to see these places. Now that I am married and have kids I want my kids to experience the same thing I got to. We are a black family and well let’s face it cant just go anywhere we want. That is what is so sad and what people don’t see and why many people of color don’t travel because they are scared. I am traveling to break that status quo and break the barriers that POC may feel. Not only people of color but people with kids. That they can take amazing trips without breaking the bank. I am glad you wrote this as I feel the pain.

    • posted by
      Lisa
      Nov 4, 2017 Reply

      Amanda, as a fellow black female traveler, I’d love to know the name of your blog.

  18. posted by
    Anuradha Goyal (@anuradhagoyal)
    Oct 3, 2017 Reply

    So glad that someone finally said it. I am feeling very alienated by the travel blogging community, of shallow travelers.

    I hope it is a bubble that will burst and then we will have a genuine community of travelers who enjoy travelling, who enjoy the experience of being in a place that is not theirs and those who are humbled by travel and not filled with ego ( via no of countries/destinations).

  19. posted by
    Shannon
    Oct 3, 2017 Reply

    This is so interlinked with the mass-tourism epidemic. Technology has changed our lives for the better in so many ways, but when it comes to travel there seems to be this massive keeping-up-with-the-joneses culture. Who has the biggest drone? Who can get the perfect sunset picture on a swing? WHO ACTUALLY CARES?
    I love travel bloggers who are open and honest about the dark-side of travelling – it’s not always roses and butterflies. I also agree with you that quite often the white-gaze isn’t the only viewpoint through which to see these places – it just happens to be the most prolific. I read a great article latesly about women of colour who are killing it in the blog scene, but it’s not enough, more diversity is needed if we reeeeally want to see the world through new eyes. We can all do our bit to contribute. My blog/insta/anything is far from perfect and I try as much as possible to capture and share real-life travel action. It’s an evolution, but articles like this definitely help reframe the what’s and why’s.

  20. posted by
    Rachel Heller
    Oct 3, 2017 Reply

    I am a white travel blogger and I agree with much of what you say. I think you should look further though. There are many people of color travel bloggers these days. Many travel bloggers do share useful information about the places they visit. And the ones who aren’t beautiful and young and skinny (like me) generally aren’t visible because instead of blocking every.single.view. with a selfie, they just show the view! (That’s a pet peeve of mine!) Many of us are trying our best to approach what we do with a critical, conscious mind. Give us a chance.

  21. posted by
    Chris
    Oct 3, 2017 Reply

    You touch some really interesting points with this post and I mean it. The whole travel “exposure” has gone mad. Many travel bloggers mark a country as “visited” when they just visit the capital for 2 days or less.
    Indeed the thing with the “perfect” photos is a plague when we all know that such of photos are far from spontaneous.
    The whole thing is this: Audience is hungry for content and there is a feed with content. That is all. Then there is traffic. All want continuous website traffic so to convert to paid gigs and adsense/affiliate income. To have income is not bad but it seems that to have it with any cost kinda deteriorates traveling.
    The problem backfires to the traveler itself where instead of enjoying traveling he/she has the “increase audience” thing in mind and acts like that.
    Really really good points (I liked the article with poor backpackers too).

  22. posted by
    Kavita Favelle | Kavey Eats
    Oct 3, 2017 Reply

    I relate to this in that I find it frustrating how travel blogging and travel instagramming seems to be increasingly about pretty white young things wearing fashionable scraps of fabric and doing a model pose. Even the turn-their-backs brigade still fall into that camp. The focus on sharing reality has fallen by the wayside in favour of superficiality. I love travel writers (whether they are journalists, bloggers or whatever) who write so eloquently that they take me with them, they transport me into that place, that experience and create in me the desire to go there myself. I love travel writers (and photographers) who show me through their work what there is to see and discover and experience around the world. I also love those who properly research and teach me something I didn’t know, rather than simply bash out a top 10 listicle based on the first 3 articles they found on google, rehashing someone else’s rehash of someone else’s rehash…
    Most of the time, I try to focus on what I am doing myself, enjoying the process of creating content that I am proud of, but it would be a lie to say that I never feel frustration — as a fat, brown and older blogger — at the cult of the thin, white model. I do, and frustration too that the quality of the content isn’t king any more.
    Of course, it is what it is, and people will Like what they like!
    But there are many of us who resolutely don’t (and refuse to even try) to fit that niche you described. Come find us, we’re here!

  23. posted by
    Mariah
    Oct 3, 2017 Reply

    Girl. I love this.
    To look at this issue from a different perspective, I feel genuinely worried for the (especially) women whose entire brand revolves around their looks, their bodies, and their ability to share perfectly curated, gorgeous photos every single day, 7 days a week. To me, that sort of life seems incredible stressful, anxiety-ridden, and obsessive. I’m struggling right now with what kind of blogger I want to be/how I want to write about and photograph my travel experiences and all I keep coming back to is that this “traditional” travel blogger lifestyle makes me feel trapped and anxious just thinking about it. So, thank you for sharing this and making me feel a little less alone in my thoughts – I think the biggest takeaway here is that we need to be searching for (and becoming ourselves) diverse and multidimensional voices within the travel blogging world.

  24. posted by
    Osman Garcia
    Oct 3, 2017 Reply

    Funny you mention Nicaraguans, I’m Nicaraguan Canadian and next summer I will travel the American continent to do precisely that, give people a brown persons view on traveling the Americas!

    • posted by
      Elizabeth Aldrich
      Oct 5, 2017 Reply

      Osman – that sounds awesome!! Please do share with me any blog/social media you use for the trip, I would love to follow along and share. Happy travels!

  25. posted by
    Heide
    Oct 3, 2017 Reply

    You know, I didn’t even know the “white girl” travel blogger with perfectly posed Instagram pics was a thing. I follow quite a few travel bloggers on Instagram, and my husband is a travel blogger, yet I hadn’t seen that. There’s so much more out there, and I’m sorry you found yourself in that bubble. But it’s a bubble and like many others said, you need to look outside that bubble to find diverse voices, because they’re there.

    • posted by
      Scott – Quirky Travel Guy
      Oct 13, 2017 Reply

      Same here, Heide. The model-looking bloggers and instagrammers aren’t even on my radar. I’m following a lot of the same people I followed when I started blogging 7 years ago. They are a wonderful, mature, diverse group of folks who are strong writers and who are friendly and helpful to their fellow bloggers. My feeling reading this piece was overwhelming sadness for the author and the other commenters who are stuck in this strange bubble of bloggers who are more style over substance. Boycotting bloggers is a pointless endeavor. Instead, try seeking out the dozens of genuine voices in the travel blogging world.

  26. posted by
    Anna
    Oct 3, 2017 Reply

    This is so true! I first started blogging about my stay in Spain to keep family and friends up to date back in 2005. It was all about the country, the life there, traditions, food… and with almost no pictures of me. No selfies (I mean, it was 2005!) and no self exposure. I miss those times… But I just continue my work and try to stay true to myself. Maybe because I’m not a model and don’t have millions of followers on instagram 😉

  27. posted by
    Darius
    Oct 4, 2017 Reply

    I like your perspective, I too have wondered why we only read about the highlights and nothing about the trials and tribulations of what it takes to travel, and then there are those that set up gofundme accounts to beg others to pay for their travels… Well we decided to do things differently. We sold everything, paid off all debt and established enough savings to sail our ship around the world while sharing our experiences with the world… Unlike some who use Patreon and such to charge people to subscribe to their content, we opted to give it away for frer…
    I am disabled but completely capable of taking care of our business when it comes to boat maintenance, sailing our ship and navigating foreign countries. My wife retired early so she didn’t miss out on the miracle years of the children growing up… She’s my constant, my sailor girl that rocks everything from hoisting sails to the galley to our one room class. She even gets in the engine room and get dirty helping me.. handing me tools and cleaning up behind me… The kids are doing well with what we call worldschooling and we combine all of that with the cultures and local history of the places we visit… We spend time with the locals, we want to tell their story.
    Please come find us, our branding is Habi Hoba! That’s our webpage our Ships name and our carefree philosophy.
    Captain D.

  28. posted by
    Sylvia
    Oct 4, 2017 Reply

    Love this post! I have been a new part-time blogger for the past 2months and i must say that i doubt i have counted 5 bloggers in my beloved Caribbean region. I am done looking and just doing me. I don’t let that lack of Caribbean colours in the blogging world stop me. Why should it?

  29. posted by
    Claudia
    Oct 4, 2017 Reply

    You nailed it!
    Thanks for that.
    Claudia

  30. posted by
    Gerald
    Oct 4, 2017 Reply

    I have written similar criticisms before, based on my experiences as an expat / “migrant worker” in China (and my blogging got started in earnest when I went abroad as an exchange student).
    Still wouldn’t consider myself a travel blogger though journeys do play a role.

    The big problem I have with a criticism like yours (or mine, I guess): What are we going to do about it?

    If you don’t provide something that people want to read and see, you will not get the attention. My posts questioning travel didn’t exactly get many comments; my whole blog only gets found for some easily-found and much-sought issue.
    Stories of travel in parts of China where nobody ever visits? Nobody would even think of looking for them.

    The travel industry sees that, and it heavily supports those with the views/followers. Meaning, you must be the blonde #10,000,000 writing on the most amazing places with the super-pretty Instagram photos (and the next most-amazing-ever next week to get enough content to be found).

    Not sure I see a way out of that. I’ll keep writing things from my, white but European, male and a bit older, privileged and not, dissenting, opinion anyways, though.
    Maybe we can at least get together, those of us who want to think about this a bit more – and live it.

    (Maybe I should start suggesting an article for here, and we could see about making a FB group for further discussion?)

  31. posted by
    Marcelle
    Oct 4, 2017 Reply

    I don’t think that it’s a privilege of white people to be travel writers. The culture of exploring and writing about it is not yet that wide spread other than people of original European descent. Another reason that you see overwhelmingly westerners blogging is language. You won’t find Chinese or Japanese written blogs in your Google search. Last but not least, it’s hard work to be a travel writer and a choice like any other job, too. Nothing to feel bad about. Have a travel break and fill up your batteries to decide if it’s still the best job for you. If not, you learned immensely during your time of travels and businesses will be happy to hire you for your skills.

  32. posted by
    Ulrike
    Oct 4, 2017 Reply

    Nice article! You are right in many ways! But it is so easy not to read those travelblog, which anoy you so much. I am not reading those kind of travelblogs because I think they are boring. But everybody can write what he/she wants. It is a free world. And when now more “white” people are writing a blog, so why not? If colored people or some fat people do not like to write, what is your problem with that?
    Many of this nice and clean travelblogs earn a lot of money with their posing clean and fresh at MacchuPichu or other places. Why not??! Let them do, what they want to.
    btw: There are many travelbloggers, who give great informations, and write also about the other side of travelling – at least here in Germany
    Best regards
    Ulrike from Hamburg, Germany

  33. posted by
    Angela
    Oct 4, 2017 Reply

    Agree with most of the above points. As a new travel blogger I have become disillusioned with the following : social media and the fakeness it evokes, travel bloggers concentrating on doing anything just to make money, travel niches now focusing on “blogging tips”, posts solely written for affiliate income, you follow me and I’ll follow you culture …..
    I work as an Aromatherapist at a Hospice and each day I am reminded that for a lot of people, THIS is what their lives are about. I am humbled by their struggle day in day out. I want to encourage my small audience to embrace the benefits of Mindfulness, to live more of their lives in the present moment. I recently walked the Tangariro Alpine Crossing in New Zealand and reaching the most fantastic view points along the way, was met by numerous people posing for the unrealistic “back to camera shot” for social media.
    What has happened to us as a society? Why can’t we be happy to sit and admire a view, be grateful for the fact that we are at that location? The reality is that there are lots of us who combine work and home life with the standard vacation time, and that is okay, we are still travellers. And lastly, we have different struggles and anything we have in our lives is a privledge.

  34. posted by
    Lerease
    Oct 4, 2017 Reply

    Loved this. Ultimately refreshing and a reminder that me trying to approach my blog with a realistic approach is the best possible way at being authentic! Good luck with your posts!

  35. posted by
    Cortney
    Oct 5, 2017 Reply

    So. Much. YES! I admit, I’ve never seen your blog before, but after reading this, I will be following. I am a senior sustainable tourism student, and I truly have learned so much over the course of my studies. A lot of it comes down to ignorance and the fact that humans are inherently selfish beings. Your mention of cruise ships — nobody knows how AWFUL they are for the environment and local economies and livelihoods, or they simply don’t care! People need to learn more about how to be a conscientious traveler and not just go where the best deal takes them or what sounds the most appealing on paper or looks pretty in Instagram photos. Also, more emphasis needs to be shifted towards the local people during our travels. How does tourism affect them? What is their life typically like outside of the tourism sphere? What are their hopes and dreams? What do they struggle with? What is their culture like, etc.? Yes, it’s good to have pictures to reflect on our travels, but for me personally, traveling is an experience that fuels my soul. If I’m focused on what I’m going to portray on social media, I’m going to get less out of the experience and that’s going to detract from it. I’m not a travel blogger, because I can’t feasibly just sell everything and up and go (though I wish I could!). I could go on for days, but I’ll stop here for now. THANK YOU for putting this all out there, though, and I will be following your journeys. 🙂

  36. posted by
    Julia Guerra | Travel Lightly
    Oct 5, 2017 Reply

    Love this message! You’ve touched on a lot of points that I’ve witnessed and experienced. Looking forward to more of your re-branded message!

  37. posted by
    Katie @ Katie Wanders
    Oct 5, 2017 Reply

    good god THE TIMING OF THIS WAS PERFECT FOR ME. I just got back from Iceland and was insanely annoyed by peoples mentality to follow someone else’s blog, to get all those ICONIC SHOTS. Jumping out of your car to get the same “gazing into the distance shot” as 600988 other people its not original or awesome or anything but obnoxious. I am so sick of the same sites telling you to go to the same places (if I read one more post about the pigs of the Exumas…)

    So sick of everyone doing the SAME thing, taking the same pictures. and SO SO sick of everyone telling you to quit your job and travel the world because LIFE IS SHORT. How about retirement funds, having a pet, a love life and maybe a family? You can have a job and travel – it doesn’t have to be 365.

    Thanks for this refreshing read <3

    Katie @ Katie Wanders
    http://www.KatieWanders.com

    • posted by
      Scott – Quirky Travel Guy
      Oct 13, 2017 Reply

      If you’re reading too many articles about the same places, the solution is not to yell at other bloggers about their writing habits. The solution is to change your own reading habits. I’ve never read a single article about the pigs of the exumas. Don’t even have a clue what or where that is. You are following too many blogs if that subject is coming up often enough to bother you. Too many people here are not taking responsibility for their own actions. Nobody is forcing you to read anything. Make smarter consumption choices and stop worrying about what everybody else is doing.

  38. posted by
    Nathalie Segelborg
    Oct 5, 2017 Reply

    Wow. Amazing, i’m lost for words. I think it’s so important to not only glamorize this lifestyle, but to also inform and be honest about what a pain in the ass it can be sometimes.

  39. posted by
    Tim Piele
    Oct 6, 2017 Reply

    I’m white, but I’m also kind of chubby, and I am older (43)… am I helping?

  40. posted by
    Carlie Dayle
    Oct 6, 2017 Reply

    I can’t tell you how much I needed this read. I’ve been feeling like I’m the only one feeling this way. I’ve been so disillusioned with the travel myth perpetuated by Instagram lately, even though I’m part of it in a way. Travel is about more than luxury resorts, flowing dresses, string bikinis, and highly stylized images. I’m sharing your post with my email list because I know they’ll relate to it! I often talk about my frustration and the lack of authenticity in my newsletters. They’ll appreciate this as much as I do!

  41. posted by
    Colin Olmstead
    Oct 6, 2017 Reply

    Good article and interesting perspective but I could do without that white people self hate. Substitute the word “white” for any other color and you would be pegged a raving racist KKK lifetime member asshole. There are more white people in some countries I get it but that is not carte blanche for attacking and labeling a billion humans. It is an opportunity to evolve.

    • posted by
      Elizabeth Aldrich
      Oct 6, 2017 Reply

      Colin, I’m approving this comment so that I can provide a response that hopefully you and others can learn from. Calling out racism and the overrepresentation of white people in any space is not “white people self hate” or an “attack” or “reverse racism” or any of the other things people label it as when they refuse to acknowledge and care about racism. Nothing in this post was attacking white people, I will not stop talking about race, and ignoring racial issues is not an opportunity to evolve, it’s an opportunity to continue supporting and perpetuating age-old systems that are racist and imperialistic.
      “The fact that a majority of white Americans believe discrimination against whites is as much of a problem as discrimination against minorities means we increasingly have to field questions that attempt to demonstrate the existence of reverse racism. It has become clear just how many white people see things as a zero-sum game. “If things improve for brown and black people,” they seem to think, “then, surely that must mean I have something to lose.”

      We need only look at the staggering incarceration rates among black and Latino men or recall the fact that unarmed black men are seven times more likely than whites to die by police gunfire to know that race inequality is everywhere.

      Since racism only works against people who are already oppressed, white people cannot possibly be its victims—no matter how poor they are. In recent history whites have always held the most power, so the systems and institutions that exist today were all built around this assumption. Black people and Native Americans couldn’t even vote until the latter half of the last century, and still today we see voter suppression happening in many states. Sure, things are better for black and brown people than they were in the past, but better doesn’t mean equal.”
      http://www.complex.com/life/2017/02/reverse-racism-is-not-real
      https://www.dailydot.com/via/reverse-racism-doesnt-exist/

  42. posted by
    Ele
    Oct 7, 2017 Reply

    “And – this one is the biggest problem – why are white people and people from the Global North the loudest voice and most prominent authority on brown countries and cultures from the Global South? Why don’t we ever read about a NICARAGUAN’S perspective on Nicaragua? “- well, I suggest they start blogs and start writing, that could help.

    I am white but I don’t call myself privileged- I work hard for what I get and I really don’t feel sorry for travelling. You want something, you work hard to get it.

    • posted by
      Sarah
      Oct 12, 2017 Reply

      Being white doesn’t always mean privileged like you said and you probably don’t consider yourself privileged like Kim Kardashian and you work hard. But being privileged can mean so many other things. Do you need a visa to travel to 99% of the places you go to like Indians and Chinese? Do you work hard but only earn $400 a month or less? You are already luckier (aka more “privileged”) than those in third world countries. Why don’t they start writing and blogging? Many of them are prob too busy working and surviving and don’t care to blog unfortunately.

  43. posted by
    Backpacktopia
    Oct 7, 2017 Reply

    WHOOOOOAAAA! ! ! !
    This exactly x 1000! ! ! !

    thank you so much for writing this article. I couldn’t agree more and it’s one of many things that are wrong with travel blogs and backpacking in general. This article seems to go viral and I hope that it really makes some people think. The least thing that can be done is unfollow these kind of IG accounts and not frequent their websites. The less of a platform these kind of things get the better

    I hope to do better with Backpacktopia, time will tell.

    Thank you so much again for this article!!!

    – Jens

  44. posted by
    The Way We Saw It
    Oct 7, 2017 Reply

    It’s like always, the 80/20 principle. 80% is crap, 20% is good. That’s how it is with everything. In general, we agree with your writing, it is so good you trigger the discussion.

  45. posted by
    Marie
    Oct 8, 2017 Reply

    Hey Elizabeth

    I was I nicaragua this year and I linked myself pretty strong with people from a small village called Popoyo that is now underwater after hurricane Nate. I just created a crowd funding to help get a woman and his son who lost everything a new house. It’s a way of helping out that cannot hurt anyone. Different from what you talk about in this article.
    The reason why I m doing it and not a Nica ? Most of the country has no power right now, I do.
    I don’t have a blog or a platform with a lot of people that read me like you do.
    So if you could be as cool as to fast forward this that would be awesome.
    Thank you so much

    https://www.leetchi.com/c/una-casa-para-gloria-y-jorge-playaguasacate-nicaragua2017

    Bisous

    • posted by
      Elizabeth Aldrich
      Oct 9, 2017 Reply

      Hi Bisous,

      Thanks so much for commenting. I live in Costa Rica and we’re also experiencing the effects, although luckily the town I live in has remained mostly intact aside from power loss the past few days. I’m promoting other fundraisers for communities here in Costa Rica on Instagram and would be more than happy to include yours for Popoyo in my efforts. I will post it tomorrow when more people are online so that it gets maximum exposure. Thank you for the work you’re doing.

  46. posted by
    Karen
    Oct 9, 2017 Reply

    I’m not sure what to think about this? First of all, the bloggers I follow are families who are not necessarily physically attractive. I’m a mid-thirties (mixed nationality) mother and I seek out authentic and inspiring travel families who have taken a huge risk by living differently to what society demands of them. I find family travel bloggers incredibly inspirational and I am aspiring to be just like them. I have never ever considered what colour skin they have and only now that this article discusses race as being an issue, there is probably an accurate and representative range of nationalities amongst my family travel blogger following – not just white families! In fact, I question anyone who unnecessarily brings race into a topic – why is this happening more and more?? When I see another human, I rarely even notice the colour of their skin, they are human beings and I treat them as such! Why do so many consistently look at minority races as being victims of oppression? From someone who comes from a non-White background, please don’t speak for all non-whites and tell me that we are oppressed as you just did in response to a comment above. Furthermore, please don’t ever say that white people can never be the victim of racism. That is an outrageous claim. Please look at the definition of racism in the dictionary.

    Also, I don’t for once think that full time travel is rosy all the time either. I have travelled with my family (and 3 kids) and I know full well the stress involved.
    It’s good that you are creating dialogue around this issue (with the exception of race being brought into it) but I do not think you should be pointing the finger at white, skinny travel bloggers. You should be pointing the finger at society and humans in general. We (society) like to glorify those who appear to have an amazing life, just like we do with celebrities. I guess attractive travel bloggers are like celebrities for the young generation (late teens-early twenties).
    Social media has changed society both in a good way and bad way. I think one of the negatives of social media is the ability for people to be able to create a false picture of their life and to make their life look better than most or even perfect. And aren’t we all seeking a happier, better and more fulfilling life and don’t we all fantasise about the perfect life every now and then? And depending on our individual values, that may mean that a lot of people are drawn to attractive travel bloggers who only ever show the good. If a physically attractive travel blogger has a huge following, that to me shows that many in society consider physical appearance to be high on their list of priorities – which is sad.
    You only have to look at one of the most famous families in the world to gauge society’s values… case-in-point: the Kardashians.

    Anyway, I doubt this comment will be published because I wholeheartedly disagree with your view on race and it appears based on the comments that you have “approved” they are only the positive responses you have received. What were you saying about only showing the good again??

    • posted by
      Sarah
      Oct 12, 2017 Reply

      I think race is an important issue. Maybe not everyone experiences racism but I think it’s worse when it’s not being talked about. Maybe you don’t feel oppressed but as an Asian person living in North America, I feel it in both obvious and subtle ways. I think she has very valid points although it’s a bit of a generalization. Articles written by a privileged person (most of the time a white person) on “how to quit your job and travel” is not taking into account how people in India and China live on their very low salary and cannot travel regardless of how “cheap” it is in a westerner’s standard. Let’s not forget about all the visa requirements people from third world countries have to go through. My tour guide in Bolivia said it takes most Bolivians 2 years to get their US visa whereas it takes 20 minutes at the airport for Americans to get a Bolivian visa.

  47. posted by
    Annika
    Oct 9, 2017 Reply

    I absolutely adore this post and actually wrote something similar the other day (though more related to Instagram): http://www.midnightblueelephant.com/travel-blogger-americas-next-blog-model/

    I came to the same conclusion as you did – I want more variety in travel blogging and photography. And though I cannot free myself from it completely as I love what I do and I am white and privileged, I like it when people dig a bit deeper, go a bit further and definitely leave the prom dress at home when they climb that damn mountain!

  48. posted by
    Verena
    Oct 9, 2017 Reply

    WOW! There is nothing more to say than AMEN to that! Never read an article like this before about this topic. And your are so right! All the things you mentioned are just like that. Sad but true. But good to know there are still people like you in this world. THANK YOU and please keep going! 🙂

  49. posted by
    Alex
    Oct 9, 2017 Reply

    So true, I miss the days when travel blogging was just starting. A lot more interesting, personal content. These days it just seems like the same photos: blonde girl wearing bikini, blonde girl doing yoga, doing that photo where you are showing your back and holding someone’s hand, the heart over the sunset, looking at the ground or out into the distance as if you just took a candid shot, food…I’m actually kind of envious that they feel so comfortable in their space. As a Korean-American traveler, there are countless times I haven’t taken a picture or gone into a certain restaurant or place or what not because I’m sick of the negative reactions I get because oh, another Asian traveler (even though I travel alone) or because they dislike Chinese people and think we all look the same (it’s amazing what you hear when people assume you don’t speak English or understand them. PS: I understand French too!

  50. posted by
    Steven
    Oct 10, 2017 Reply

    I don’t read travel blogs but I stumbled on this one and wanted to share my opinion, in case it helps you find your way.

    I earn my money writing about travel. No sponsor pays me, I get no freebies. I do not have an Instagram account. I only write about places few people visit (Central Asia).

    I am white, though, of considerable means, and a man. I would love to have locals write more on my website, but their English is generally not good enough, and the popular ones are only interested in getting freebies, not in putting in the hard work.

    There are people who create: writers, photographers. There are people who promote: bloggers, Instagrammers. The 2 rarely overlap. Seeing your frustration, you seem to be of the first kind.

    My advice:
    1. switch off the internet
    2. travel, enjoy yourself
    3. do something that is of real value for others.

    Your life will become more meaningful (a more interesting metric to a succesful life than the overrated “happiness” in my opinion).

    Good luck!

  51. posted by
    Jinga Loo
    Oct 10, 2017 Reply

    Hi, totally agree with what you said, but i had one question. Why is a blonde white woman talking about seeing diversity in the travel bloggers? Why isnt this coming from other people, the people that are actually affected by this? This is one thing that i noticed a lot, white people talking about seeing diversity and only then, only when white people say it, we have to pay attention, whereas people of colour have been saying this for years, concerning any matter. Sometimes it just seems fake. I dont want to offend or attack you personally, but it kinda fits the status quo, white people doing this and that, and in this case you are just another white person complaining about rights that you clearly have and never know the lack of.

  52. posted by
    Amber Laviolette
    Oct 10, 2017 Reply

    Love your blog post, especially as a beginner travel blogger (but just around my homestate of Louisiana) I can see how our instagram feed can become about ourselves and our travels. Glad to read your thoughts and will definitely keep it in mind that I need to keep my blog educational about Louisiana and not about myself 🙂 This was the first post I read from you but will be checking out more posts & following you on social media asap!

  53. posted by
    Tonya Keitt Kalule
    Oct 12, 2017 Reply

    I could not agree with you more. I have also been participating in the travel blogosphere and have since taken note that it is all about the person traveling and nothing really for the reader. They are not always honest about their destinations, and they are all about looking pretty in the photos. I have recently been looking at another direction for my blog as well.

    Yes I still love to travel and will continue to do so because I get so much personal satisfaction from it all, some worth sharing and some not so much.

    However, I have also grown tired of the beautiful photos of you in the foreground.

  54. posted by
    Tonya Keitt Kalule
    Oct 12, 2017 Reply

    Above I meant the blogger in the foreground not you personally. Sorry

  55. posted by
    Kei
    Oct 12, 2017 Reply

    You’re absolutely right!!!

    To people still somehow shocked (in 2017) that racism’s reach is both far and wide, she brought up race because white experiences abroad and POC experiences abroad sometimes differ. POC aren’t always treated as nicely as white people when we travel abroad. Not to say white people don’t experience problems but no one is calling you the n-word, denying you service cause they think you’re a prostitute, having different people tell you over and over that you’re dirty, think you’re illegally in the country, over-policing etc. cause you’re a black woman abroad (these are all my or my friends lived experiences while outside America).

  56. posted by
    Lauren Bernal
    Oct 12, 2017 Reply

    This is great. I started my blog with the intention of keeping things real. I think you’d like it! (www.yourtravelblogsucks.com) I myself am NOT a full-time blogger and have yet to get paid for ANYTHING I write. I just do it ’cause I like it. And also for documentation purposes for myself because #selfish. But I love this view. We need to do better.

  57. posted by
    Sally
    Oct 12, 2017 Reply

    I haven’t even finished reading this and all I can say is YES YES YES! I have a travel blog myself that I just launched recently and letting people know that you can be broke and travel too is one of my main things! and it’s so tough to see that those glam pics are what gets the massive following but I don’t care, staying true to what I set out to do and I know the right people will engage and it will help others who came from backgrounds similar to mine go out and see the world (even in their own backyard)! Thank you so much for sharing this perspective with others, LOVE IT!

  58. posted by
    Stephanie
    Oct 12, 2017 Reply

    Thank you, Elizabeth! You voiced what was brewing in me while preparing to venture out myself.. your contributing makes my heart feel more expansive now, we need more Souls with such depth. 💞

  59. posted by
    Lauren Kay
    Oct 12, 2017 Reply

    So much yes. I think this will create a lot of good discussions. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  60. posted by
    Mai
    Oct 12, 2017 Reply

    Thank you for speaking the truth and saying what must be said! As a short, southeast Asian gal, I often wonder how realistic some travel adventures could be. For example, the guy that travel the world depending ‘solely’ on the kindness of people. As a woman, I think we would have gotten raped, kidnapped, kill, etc. with that idea (especially when some of those days he slept on the streets in the open). I was thinking about starting a travel blog but been stuck due to some of the reasons you mentioned. How do I help other women, especially southeast Asian women, travel responsibly and safely? How do I tell stories that are close to my hearts from the places I visited? Most of the out of country visits I made have a significant connection to my own life (i.e. Thailand is not just another popular destination for me…I used to live there, in the refugee camps & never had the chance to get out of the camps).

    Nonetheless, thank you for speaking out on this. I was getting tired of white people stamping their mark of approval on minority food.

    There’s a lot to think about.

  61. posted by
    Courtney
    Oct 12, 2017 Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing this. These are my thoughts exactly! I am a wedding photographer that also has multiple interests so this summer I started blogging about my other interests instead of just the weddings I photograph. I love travel and simple living. To me, I want to blog and read blogs that are authentic. As a photographer, I do appreciate the pretty pictures! But there is so much more and of course it is important to be self aware of the privilege that comes with being a white woman from the US.

  62. posted by
    Victoria @TheBritishBerliner
    Oct 12, 2017 Reply

    ‘Nice one Elizabeth.

    I don’t think I can add anything to what you’ve already said except to say that I especially love your quote “Why don’t we ever read about a NICARAGUAN’S perspective on Nicaragua? Why are the people who are living in the destination you’re writing about totally erased…?”

    Bravo!

  63. posted by
    Why I Stepped Back from Blogging & Social Media – Curiosity Travels
    Oct 12, 2017 Reply

    […] Over the last couple of years, the travel blogging climate has morphed into something totally different. Something I slowly began to feel uncomfortable with, almost to the point of giving it up completely. Also, travel blogging as a whole has become tired, fake & sometimes outright detrimental to the way and reason many people now travel. (For more on that topic specifically, this is a great article). […]

  64. posted by
    Ghezal
    Oct 12, 2017 Reply

    Interesting. I’m actually “brown” and the child of immigrants, and I spent 2-3 years being a travel blogger. I still have a blog (the rooted traveller.com), which I mostly just use as a journal now or some place to write when I do travel now. I’ve been wanting to talk about race/colour and travel for a while, but it’s a touchy subject.

    In terms of there being tons of typical, run-of-the-mill travel bloggers being out there, I agree and disagree. I follow WASPs who travel blog and I follow POC. Maybe I’ve purposely gone to find those POC, or maybe it’s because I’m naturally drawn to a variety of voices and therefore once I’ve capped out one demographic, I naturally stop looking for that voice elsewhere. I don’t know. I also rarely follow travel bloggers on social media unless their writing and content is amazing, or I know them, or have met them. I don’t follow “instagram social influencers” especially the travel girls (I do enjoy the beauty girls though but only follow 2-3). A lot of that “look at me, I travelled!” fake crap puts me off. I’d rather read about someone’s experience.

  65. posted by
    Serena
    Oct 12, 2017 Reply

    I get the points you are trying to make but I think the tone could be less negative and more constructive. Then maybe even more people will agree with the points you are trying to make instead of seeing this post as a rant.

    As for those who only take nice photos and “not really traveling”, again, I get your point about that but 1) a lot of those photos evoke a certain feeling in their audiences as if they can imagine themselves there at that spot in those outfits. It plays to people’s fantasies and that’s why people like them. 2) we don’t have a right to judge what’s good traveling vs bad traveling. If people like their photos they will follow the “bloggers”, but people are not stupid and they can tell what’s high quality blog content from low quality ones. 3) Ordinary people I know including myself dress up for photos at touristy places because we want to look good. What’s wrong with wanting to show the world the best photo you can take? Nice photos of girls make girls happy and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just because we try for the perfect shots doesn’t mean we are not enjoying the experience.

    I do however like the race point but it’s a bit too generalized. Not all
    White people are privileged and there are plenty of rich spoiled non-white bloggers that travel on daddy’s dime. It’s great to bring awareness and start a discussion but be careful not over generalizing.

    • posted by
      Ghezal
      Oct 18, 2017 Reply

      Yes, this is definitely true. Most of my friends who travel aren’t “wealthy”, including the white ones. The wealthiest ones I know are from Hong Kong and Dubai originally.

      Having said that, it doesn’t really matter how much money your family has if you’re treated like a second-class citizen because of your skin colour. So, while I definitely agree with you that we can’t generalize people based on ethnicity, there still is something to be said for “minorities” experiencing something different from white travellers.

  66. posted by
    Phoebe
    Oct 12, 2017 Reply

    THIS IS EVERYTHING!!!!!

  67. posted by
    Helen Chik
    Oct 13, 2017 Reply

    I think you’ve touched on an issue that isn’t just unique to the travel blogging world. I find myself thinking the same thing a lot of the time but too anxious to say anything about it!

    Well said and great post!

    Helen

  68. posted by
    Jim Beeston
    Oct 13, 2017 Reply

    Really good blog post. Normally I hate travel bloggers for everything you mentioned so it was nice for someone to call them out! Living abroad myself I meet these people and know they often don’t stay where or do what they say it’s for the camera. Most travellers I meet are fine but some of the semi-permanent nomads can be taxing to deal with. One thing I thought about was why we don’t see things from other nationalities than the big western ones is the language barrier. Many will stick to their own language and own people. I can read a few Asian languages and there’s plenty there we just don’t see it as they can’t or don’t write it up in Englush

  69. posted by
    Tara
    Oct 13, 2017 Reply

    YES. THIS. YES.

  70. posted by
    Mary C
    Oct 13, 2017 Reply

    I appreciate everything about this post!!

    It’s almost like I switched the travel channel….much like the news, same stories being told everywhere you turn…and then BOOM….I switched the dial and landed on this refreshing post that is soooo needed in this space.

    This is not the time to take a break, I’d encourage you to keep writing. I will be following 🙂

  71. posted by
    Tami
    Oct 13, 2017 Reply

    I love this post! It’s real and unplugged! I would like to offer a few suggestions? I hope it helps.

    I would really love to hear more from you, I like the way you write and the fact that you have realized what’s wrong with travel blogs.

    – Give actual advice and real commentary on the places you visit.
    – Give ideas for cheap and expensive ideas in each place. People want options
    – Give safety tips on each place
    – When visiting a monument or sacred place tell us how it felt, smelled and give us some history behind it.
    – Create an open forum where you ask locals to guest post or give interviews.
    – Get bloggers of colour to guest post
    – Talk about the good the bad and the ugly in each place!

    There is a need for REAL travel bloggers and I think you’re on the right track.

  72. posted by
    Seni
    Oct 13, 2017 Reply

    Thanks for this! I have been advocating for own countries _allowing_ for their own to document the land for so long. At least here in Sri Lanka, it’s not often that someone would not only read travel material from a local but most travel related books will also be from non-locals. Love this. Look forward to the rest of the discussion.

  73. posted by
    Nadia
    Oct 13, 2017 Reply

    DAMN. So well said. And some great points for people who are just travellers without the blogging.

    There’s a travel blogger I really like, her blog is called Travels with Nina and I would recommend checking her out. Admittedly she is thin and blonde (why is this such thing?) but her audience size is relatively small (which I like) and she often delves into the social/environmental/political contexts of the places she visits. As a person of Arab descent, I particularly enjoyed her coverage of visits to Palestine and Jordan.

    She also has a (truly) simply and minimal style, and will often be in photos wearing the same things, which is a nice break from the unrealistic and unhealthy materialism of other bloggers with their infinite outfits.

    This has become a bit of a plug! But I’m a fan because it’s the only travel instagram I’ve found that is real and inspires me without any unrealistic glamour.

  74. posted by
    m(i)e
    Oct 13, 2017 Reply

    Thank you for this!

  75. posted by
    Corine
    Oct 13, 2017 Reply

    Absolutely true, sometimes the photo’s are so unrealistic and to much of a show. And some instagram accounts who wants me to follow them are just full of terrible pics of themselves which I don’t need to see. I am glad to say, as a travel blogger, that I want to keep it as it is. Of course I do photo editing due to colours. lightning or contrast, but never make them unreal. I don’t travel around, I have a normal job, and this is my hobby. My stories are about what I have been experiencing. So, please know there are “normal” travel bloggers who really wants to show like it is and make people curious about the place/country. There are, by the way, no photo’s of me in the blogs. It’s not about me. 😉

  76. posted by
    The coughing adventurer
    Oct 13, 2017 Reply

    SO good. This is what I’ve been feeling but haven’t been able to put into words yet. It also reminds me to stop feeling the pressure that’s creeping up to ‘travel perfectly’ but just to enjoy it in our own way and stay honest about it like in the old days without the FB en IG hypes. Not just for when it comes to traveling btw, but with all aspects in life. X

  77. posted by
    Louise – 30smagazine blog
    Oct 13, 2017 Reply

    This blog post is spot on. I travel a lot and I’m a blogger but I know I will never grow my instagram just because I’m over 40, hispanic, and curvy and share real experience photos. I hate it when travelbloggers share pics without even telling where it was taken. It’s all about ” hey look at me being beautiful and enjoying my sponsored life” Only 20% of my travels are sponsored yet I always share my hotel, destination or restaurant tips because my objective is to share my experiences and hidden gems so others can enjoy the same lifestyle

  78. posted by
    Rosella Martinez
    Oct 13, 2017 Reply

    PROUDLY HONDURAN! I have my personal blog, and I do consider myself a blogger, Traveling the world! Not so easy for a Central American but, admiring the colors of the world, I totally loved your post, I LOVED IT! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  79. posted by
    Tracey Maddocks
    Oct 13, 2017 Reply

    Love what you’ve written! Every time I go on insta I wonder about all the same pics of the same places with beautiful dresses and is this all that it’s about! I have been thinking about starting my own travel blog but yes there seems to be too much perfect competition when travelling is really about doing it in your own unique way and your individual experience. It’s tempting on my insta to try and compete with the classic photos but this has made me think better to be real. Thanks!

  80. posted by
    Prathibha
    Oct 13, 2017 Reply

    Okay here I am a BROWN girl! I started a travel blog recently just because I loved telling my experiences to others. I dont see any other female blogger from my country yet. So Im proud of I am for being a blogger!

    http://www.thissrilankangirl.com

  81. posted by
    Laura Alejandra
    Oct 13, 2017 Reply

    I thank you for writing this. As a Latina blogger who immigrated many years ago to the States, I have felt this way for a very long time, how in the travel world the balance will never be in my favor because my experiences and interests do not quite align with the glitzy, glamorous way travel is portrayed right now. There is just not an audience for the kind of travel writing I want to do, and not enough travel bloggers that cater to my interests. So I thank you for not only acknowledging your privilege when it comes to traveling, but to actually be willing to do something about it even though it is probably gonna be hard. I wish you the best of luck, and I hope that with the sudden traffic this article has gotten you you can in turn shine the spotlight on POC and people of other cultures whose stories deserve to be heard.

  82. posted by
    Debra Kolkka
    Oct 13, 2017 Reply

    I write a blog about my travel experiences. I almost never post photos of myself and don’t even consider looking at blogs full of selfies.

  83. posted by
    Kelsey A Glennon
    Oct 13, 2017 Reply

    Girl yes! Literally JUST wrote an article expressing my frustration with the SAME thing. Also a white girl here who once started a travel blog and is now frustrated with the current climate in the travel sphere. Glad I stumbled upon your blog!

    Here’s the article if you’re interested: http://wendaway.com/why-i-bummed-out-with-travel-blogging/

  84. posted by
    Melanie
    Oct 13, 2017 Reply

    It’s not true that anyone can just quit their job and travel the world! I wish I could but my diploma can’t be use to work anywhere else in the world except if I do something like doctors without borders… and that my friends it doesn’t give you time to write cool stuff and make vlogging video! I wish I could travel more and blog, but to travel you need money and to blog you need to be able to write good stuff! I don’t read many travel blog but I do watch a lot of youtbe travel vlog and I don’t understand how people can travel around, buy expensive equipment like camera and drone but also quit their job…

  85. posted by
    Kelly Wetherington
    Oct 13, 2017 Reply

    I wrote a rant about the complaints I had with the travel blogging community back in 2013. It was interesting to read your article as I have not been very active in the community for a while now. Seem there are some new annoyances and I am curious if you all feel the way I did back then or if things have changed: http://bytheseatofmyskirt.com/2013/11/17/rant-i-will-not-sell-out-my-travel/

    • posted by
      Russell Dobda
      Oct 15, 2017 Reply

      Good points in this blog as well as the one from Kelly W. As travelers with good intentions to spread the joy and understanding that some form of travel is possible for most of us (if we are willing to release doubt and find a way) it’s important to not only realize our own privilege but also not compromise our core values. In the mean time i write books that explore these facets. http://www.spintheworldaround.com

  86. posted by
    Sofia
    Oct 14, 2017 Reply

    Thank you for this honest perspective, I agree with everything you’ve said and I hope this kind of things will lead to a change in travel blogging. I’m from Argentina and I’m always struggling with this kind of things when I travel, even inside my own country!

    Regards,
    Sofia.

  87. posted by
    Martien
    Oct 14, 2017 Reply

    Great post and I agree. But I really think there’s only a small portion of travel bloggers that are into that. What you see in your feed of social media that uses algorithms, says more about you than the real world. They simply show you more of what you have interacted with recently. By interacting with the ‘normal people’, you will see more of that. Personally, I barely see any of those ‘staged things’, especially not in my feed, because I don’t interact with it. Surely they pop up more in many other media, because they get more attention. Put a pretty face or nice body (or pet) in any type of photo and it will get more likes etc.
    There’s Fat Girls Traveling and Seek the World (deaf traveler) for instance, how about giving them attention…

  88. posted by
    amandine gady
    Oct 14, 2017 Reply

    Thank you for putting this subject that really matters to me.
    I feel such a deep feeling towards this. I feel like my life is meaningless and other people’ life is a dream. That anything good can happen to them and I’m just here, waiting. Even when I’m travelling I feel like they have done better choice than me or that they really enjoy more.
    I never watch such blog now because it makes me feel inferior..
    Anyway, thank you

  89. posted by
    Cath@PossesstheWorld
    Oct 14, 2017 Reply

    Your title certainly got me in, click bait or not and as a newbie to the travel blogging world as I was intrigued by the sentiment. I am so glad someone is calling out the complete and utter inanity of some travel blogs, it pains me to actually have to associate with some of the complete pap that is out there. I am not a young, skinny, wanna-be model and will possibly strangle the next person (it is not just girls) who is at a great cultural icon with their bloody selfie stick and I will deliberately stand in your photo to get my memory photo before I move on. It is actually a game we play now, to see how many photoshoots we can disrupt at cultural sights. And another thing I want to scream, you look ridiculous! That is my rant over! I have been struggling with how to write the politics (or my view of it) into various places we have travelled over the last five years (Cuba, Mexico, Iran, the Balkan states and former Russian states for example) and look forward to reading your list of travel bloggers to see if I can learn some tricks from them. Thanks for the post, will follow across all Social Media. Cheers

  90. posted by
    Pablo
    Oct 14, 2017 Reply

    Well-written and certainly necessary post. Certainly travel blogging needs to change its perspective.
    Just a comment on the paragraph about people from the Global North being the loudest voice: It is certainly true, and it can lead to quite a few problems, but I do not find it very paradoxical. In order to understand another culture it is often more efficient/faster to have someone from your own culture to explain it to you than a native. In my personal experience, trying to understand a particular cultural trait from a native is often difficult because the emphasis on the explanation should be in the points where the listener has difficulties, difficulties that a native might not understand (since those points would, by definition be natural to her/him). Someone with a similar background might have gone through that same difficulties, and thus be able to emphasize those points. A similar thing happens when one reads an old book (old as in >200 years: the original demand a lot of research and deep thinking to be understood, but a version actualized and with notes are much faster to understand and convey a lot of the information.
    That being said, it might be more fulfilling or instructive to discover understand cultures by exposure without help from someone to “translate” them for you, but it requires more time and certainly much more effort.

  91. posted by
    Alex Bellink
    Oct 14, 2017 Reply

    So you’re seeing a lot of ingenuine bloggers who are not giving out positive social values? How is boycotting travel blogging going to help that? Why don’t you just be the change and write about what is true to you? I don’t read your blog, never have– ironically enough I clicked this link from Lauren Juliff’s twitter who admitted this to being “Clickbait”– but I’m guessing you have your heart in the right place. If that’s true, why give up the industry?

    You ask “Why is it a funny, crazy story when a white person overstays their visa in Central America, or super awesome when a white person finds random under the table jobs to fund their travels, but an outrage when a Mexican comes to the U.S. undocumented”?

    Well, maybe this story needs to be told through the right perspective. If the blogger writing that story says, “hey look, we overstayed our visa because we worked at a hostel in this country x amount of days, and it was a hassle to get out of the country, but we did”, but also writes about what they did to give back to the local community and what people in the States or other “developed” countries can do to help, then that would make a huge change.

    Even if you do want to share your awesome “instaworthy” travel photos with others, what’s wrong with that if it’s inspiring somebody else? ESPECIALLY if it’s inspiring them to bring their dollars to a country that doesn’t have much and could be positively affected by our tourism dollars. There’s nothing wrong with so much of this, it is just ALL about the way you approach it and “boycotting travel bloggers” doesn’t seem like the right way.

  92. posted by
    Ty
    Oct 14, 2017 Reply

    give me money and ill teach you how to teach other people how to teach people to be travel bloggers

  93. posted by
    Amon
    Oct 15, 2017 Reply

    2. Points in this article i cant really agree with:

    1:
    This “niche” is being dominated by Caucasians because the consumer/clients are more likely to be western and also the majority from those industrial states do have the money to travel and see a lot in such a compromised time frame.
    Chinese people got their own Internet and hardly speak/write any English. Europeans, North Americans and Saudis are able to communicate on all those platforms, afford the travels and share their blogs/vlogs etc.
    There may be a lack of diversity, but if people do not want to see it…

    2:
    Most of those Instagram travelers are (sorry but its true) either pretty girls pretending to have the time of their life while they spend most time on social media to count their likes, or it is an aesthetic male who is showing off. So please dont pretend that there are no “real” travelers out there. Of course you wont find many of them if you go to Bali and spend 2 weeks in Ubud but thats just my opinion

  94. posted by
    jackson groves
    Oct 15, 2017 Reply

    I think the problem a lot of people have trouble with when it comes to blogging is that they think it’s a journal. They think it is enough to share their travel thoughts. Unfortunately, you are competing with tripadvisor, tourism board websites and huge travel agencies for traffic. Your local mate’s opinion might be the best advice travelers need but getting that seen is the issue. As for Instagram, there are thousands of ‘real’ travel accounts and there always will be thousands of more accounts with questionable picnics, camping sites or elaborate breakfasts. Blogging and Instagram are competitive and it annoys us when someone fakes it better than we are doing it for real! Real, raw blogs and genuine Instagrams are not dead, just subscribe to the ones who do it the best in your opinion and skip the rest.

  95. posted by
    Nicole
    Oct 15, 2017 Reply

    I disagree with
    “Let’s be real, when people of privilege travel, it usually doesn’t help anyone but themselves. It doesn’t contribute to the world.”

    There are many people in this world who depend on tourism to feed their families. Are we, as travelers, who support these people economically not helping those people?

    I’m not a travel blogger. I run a study abroad company. Regardless, I feel travel does help others. It’s not entirely self serving.

  96. posted by
    Laura
    Oct 15, 2017 Reply

    While reading this, ost of the time I felt I am from another world. You might be right, but I would suggest you to learn some Spanish and read Latin American travel blogs. Our perspective and lecture of the world may differ considerably.

  97. posted by
    Mariana
    Oct 15, 2017 Reply

    Hi! I’m a Brazilian 19 year old girl, just starting out in this crazy travel blogging world. I’m black. I’m gay. I’m latina. (Here in Brazil, we don’t have that racial/social difference. Everybody here is latino, because Brazil is a latin country. When I say I’m black, I mean the color of my skin and not my people etc etc. It’s different from USA’s vision and I hope I could explain it) And my family does not have money. All my travels are maintened by me and my own blood and sweat. Can you imagine what this represents in my real world? The things I’ve heard worldwide? Girl, this words made me feel so represented and so good about who I am. You’ve just said everything I wanted to say. Thank you for this.

  98. posted by
    Bama
    Oct 15, 2017 Reply

    Hi Elizabeth. I stumbled upon this important post thanks to a friend who shared it on Facebook. I started blogging about seven years ago, and in my early years of blogging I did a lot of blogwalking to see how those who had started long before me write their blog posts. I experimented with listicles, “I tried this, I went there”, and a few other things almost all travel bloggers do… until I found one blog which didn’t have a lot of readership but was filled with very well-written posts.

    I changed the way I write since then, trying to give more nuances on what I write because as traveling has taught me, nothing is black or white, right or wrong, as there is always more than meets the eye. By then, I had completely ignored blog posts out there about “how I quit my job and travel the world” because as a citizen of what is often considered a third-world country these things are just not as simple and straightforward for me as they are to those bloggers.

    Some people I know keep telling me that I should monetize my blog. I’m not at all against it, but that’s not the reason why after seven years I keep writing. I treat my blog as a home whose doors are always open so anyone visiting can drop by and spend a few minutes reading travel stories from my perspective and interact with me whenever I’m not sleeping or doing chores. But others use their blogs differently — as shops, offices, whatever they like. Exactly because of this reason sometimes I find it hard to relate to the mainstream blogging community, because to me a house will always be different from a shop or an office. Hopefully one day the world of travel blogging is one that values diversity and honesty over superficial beauty, just like the very reason for many of us to travel the world, isn’t it?

  99. posted by
    Igor Post
    Oct 15, 2017 Reply

    Kudos for these blunt points! I have a question as I’m deliberating how to present my words and pictures online. Could you recommend some travel blogs which you’d deem particularly unique, which have a semblance of ‘real value’ (as in truly positive footprint), which inform or entertain or enlighten in some new and beneficial way? I don’t care to bring my site online for any traditional or self-aggrandising or financial reason, definitely agree with your chastisements of the ‘industry’ (which I don’t care to be a part of per se) … Besides the fact that I’ve accumulated many written stories and accompanying photos over the years, I actually don’t have a reason to start a blog. I don’t care to help ‘travelers’, don’t know how it could help underprivileged locales, not seeking to fill any niche, … just searching for wholesome and productive way to share and present existing content.

  100. posted by
    Underneath the pretty travel blog posts lie the not-so-pretty truths – Colour Pe Logbook
    Oct 15, 2017 Reply

    […] Probably due to its critical perspective, the post has stirred up quite some discussions and arguments. However, in general, I find this article relatable, amusing, and enlightening. To read Aldrich’s full article, click here. […]

  101. posted by
    Rami
    Oct 15, 2017 Reply

    Can someone suggest vloggers who actually show more than glitz and glamour?

  102. posted by
    Mike | Hobo with a Laptop
    Oct 15, 2017 Reply

    Can’t agree more with much of what was said. “So you travel blog –but what else do you do?” Nobody wakes up looking pretty, inside and out, on their blog, too –unless they got a side hustle they hide like a bad habit!

    We got a side hustle. Our travel blog posts are about 5% of our website; the rest of the time we try to help others make an income online so they can live this way.

    I got lucky.

    I went nomad, hired a virtual assistant, and we found success, together, in a big way by combining our efforts.

    Then we met, got married, and finally have the time to “travel blog”. But its a lot of work, let me tell ya.

    Thanks for speaking truth. Glad I found ya.

  103. posted by
    Martina
    Oct 15, 2017 Reply

    Whoa, there’s some great energy in your words, girl! You exposed many topics here, but this is exactly what as travel community as you call it as well as tourism in general needs. We definitely need to create space for more discussions, for a total makeover of travel as we know it. After this year’s trip alone I’ve realised I can’t travel anymore like I used to. It has to have a meaning, it has to be to not overcrowded places, it has to be with a sense of responsibility to the environment and it definitely has to give something back to the community. I’m someone who has recently come to a point of a major career switch, I’m very much interested in saying STOP to the craziness happening in this world as regards to the environment… I believe in sustainable development, and I don’t want to throw 6 years of experience in tourism and my 5 languages’ skills away. I would like to do something about tourism and travel. If this post speaks to you or anyone, please get in touch and let’s figure something out together!

  104. posted by
    Yuli Bejarano
    Oct 15, 2017 Reply

    This is the second time I read an article on this subject.

    Actually, I am living it in my own flesh. Traveling on your own is not easy. I’ve been going through Europe and Russia for several months, trying to know how people live, I speak little English, I’ve slept on the street, I’ve been through heavy rain, I’ve been under 40 degrees, I cook where I can and I’ve been a photographer for 5 years. important to travel. I am from Colombia, where salaries are too low and you can not afford to pay for toures around the main cities of the world, yet I decided to change continent, hitchhiking and adventure.

    I have my photography team with me and I have hitchhiking with him. I’ve got sick, I walk all day, I make videos, I retouched the photos, sometimes I write, and it really is not easy to lead a life of gypsy or nomad, it’s really complicated, to spend days without bathing or sleeping at 5 degrees in a tent.

    I’ve worked, I’ve been volunteering, my hands can show you … and yet I’m not the play girl who hangs her pictures on Instagram to presume she’s traveling.

    I do not even have a blog, because it costs money and time to manage it, so I move on Facebook and Instagram.

    So traveling like this is a thing of having eggs.

  105. posted by
    Mitch Potter
    Oct 15, 2017 Reply

    I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a lot and not quit my job. All of these things you’re talking about still exist.

    Some of us are traveling the world without instagram accounts, selfies, asking locals what their problems are, etc.

    It’s easy to look down on others especially when they are doing things that you deem as mistakes. One piece of advice I can give you is blogging about the issue of blogging is ironic and not really going to accomplish much. Be an example. Do the things you say will make the world better and the right people will notice. It’s better to be wholistic and genuine to one person than it is to write for hundreds of micro-attentioned audience members with a consistently marginal interest to what they read in this world of ever-present content.

  106. posted by
    Mikayla
    Oct 15, 2017 Reply

    Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!!!
    For writing this wonderful honest and raw piece of art!!

    I’ve recently been struggling with EVERYTHING you have put into words here!
    I started travel blogging to share REAL stories of real people and share real life experiences. Lately with every course, influencer and big shot saying no, you have to do it the glamorous, glorified way, i’ve become lost.
    Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. For putting all of this into words, and kicking me back into the right direction 🙂
    – Mikayla
    http://www.mikaylajanetravels.com

  107. posted by
    Tomas
    Oct 15, 2017 Reply

    I’ve been so busy traveling (and not writing about it) that I didn’t realize there were ANY complaints about travel bloggers. Just didn’t give it any thought. I say, hell yes, quit your job and sell everything….if you can and think you should. And if you can’t, find good writing with authentic content and photos. It’s a market place that will probably be mostly affected by the forces of supply and demand.

  108. posted by
    Steve Hall
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    Ok yes. Travel blogging is filled with vapid, hot white people. But what’s stopping people outside that characature from jumping in and writing about their travels?

  109. posted by
    meg
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    Thanks for this. Definitely a good read. I’m tired of people saying it’s ok to leave your job and travel without seeing the bigger picture created by their statements. From where I live, travel is a bit of a luxury, well, for most Filipinos. Most of us don’t have the means to just quit our job and travel even if it’s the first and last thing that comes to my mind before and after i sleep. While other travel bloggers are encouraging, some are just the opposite.

  110. posted by
    Hemant Dahal
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    You’ve clearly filled in those emptyness that I was experiencing with all this travel hike and blogging jobs. Totally agree with every single word or yours as most of it are mine too. Glad to wrote down all this as you are a full time traveller and a well known blogger as well. Hope the topic doesn’t die out without any outcome.

    Regards
    Hemant

  111. posted by
    Matt
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    Nice read. Understand where your coming from.

    I’ve been travelling the world for nearly a year now, and I’ve been doing a blog for the past 8 months.

    For me though it’s more about a way of memories for me, so my friends can see what I’m upto, but also to help fellow travelers with bits of info such as costs of things.

    It’s not amazing but it does for me

  112. posted by
    Alieth Bontuyan
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    Hello how can i do guest post on tour blog.

    I like the way u are being straight to the point

  113. posted by
    Y
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    I stumbled across your blog post because it was shared on the FB group “NOMADS”. It’s an interesting read. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us.
    I think that besides the specific aspect of travel blogging, it’s the blogging in itself that has changed, and not necessarily for the best.
    I have the chance of having been able to access Internet at an early age. This has allowed me to take some step back to look at the bigger picture, and to notice and maybe even understand a bit all the changes that have taken places throughout the years.
    And what bothers me particularly these last years is how most people (or should I rather say more and more) think that it’s only by taking a position of authority, of “I will show you the “true” way of doing things”, by wanting to be part of the “select few” influencers, oooonly by that, that your blog actually “matters”.
    Maybe it’s the startup culture which influenced all of us in this way ? I don’t know. What I know is that 10 years ago, it was so easy to find “real” blogs, I mean real as in the true definition of a blog : a digital log of your life, the digital equivalent of your personal diary. Blogs where you could feel you had a direct access to the deep thoughts of the diary author, where you had sort of a relationship with the author and that it was this which cultivated the engagement and the following of the blog, not all the marketing tricks.
    What I look for nowadays, not just among travel blogs but on the Internet as a whole are still these genuine blogs of real people sharing real thoughts.
    Internet was supposed at the beginning to not care about that, and yet, we are more divided than ever. I don’t give the slightest f*** if the author is a man or a woman, somebody from the US or from the most remote part of the world, somebody with a black, yellow or white skin. I suppose that the culture in the US has played a big part in it, because having travelled in a lot of places in the world, I notice it’s only in USA that you can find such a strong separation between communities or people or races. In most of other places in the world, the average guy in the street just don’t give a F***. What I care about is that you share me your unaltered point of view, perspective from your very own heart.
    And you know what ? It still exists, it’s out there, it’s just few clicks away =).

  114. posted by
    grasya
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    i’m the minority in the travel blogging community.
    not white.
    not rich.
    not from the west.

    and im keeping it real including the not so glittery aspects of travel.

    most of the times i feel like giving up blogging but if i give up, who else will represent the under represented?

    you’ve presented very good points here and i wish most people will be aware of it.

  115. posted by
    Knight victor
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    Wow, Amazing perspective.I saw a reflection of myself in your article. I studied in Europe few years ago. I travelled extensively, as an African it was really a drama mixed with so many things you talked about. Nice 1

  116. posted by
    Emma D.
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    Great observations. Something I began to struggle with throughout a year of travels was the impact that globalization is having on developing countries, the ones that us privileged travellers flock to. Plastic bottles everywhere. Garbage floating through fields. Yeah, yeah, yeah, no investment in infrastructure, but, I had a chance to live with locals and the actual amount of garbage they produced was very little. We can thank tourists who can’t drink the local water for all the plastic water bottles. Anyway, this was just one small a’ha moment. Aside from the politics of various countries that rely on NGOs to support gaps in their system, gaps that were created by colonialism. This is the stuff I wish people also wrote about. Finally, no one ever covers the loneliness of being a solo traveller. Yes, it’s awesome but yes, there are still moments of extreme homesickness and loneliness, and this is stuff, to your point, that people should consider. We travel for many reasons but if we’re travelling in search of something it just might be that you’re just as likely to not find it as you would have been if you’d stayed at home. Would never give up my various travel experiences or my year away, but it has changed me. And I very rarely share the experiences unless people ask. I had mixed feelings in many countries, left a piece of my heart in a few. I was fortunate to do it, but not everyone wants to and not everyone has the means to. And I had very real moments when I asked myself why I had to travel half-way around the world to come to a certain thought or epiphany. Living in the present moment is good, too.

  117. posted by
    Helene
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    I think you just crawled into my thoughts and wrote them out. I have been writing these things in my journals and really trying to challenge myself with bringing something new to the table as a travel writer, especially as one with a degree in Anthropology. I stopped writing for my blog about a year ago struggling with similar feelings… who am I to write about this? I’m so glad I am not the only one.

  118. posted by
    Tanya
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    Thank you for being honest, candid & saying this out loud! A couple of other travel bloggers I follow feel the same as you & have written about this very problem. Adventurous Kate being one of them. I’ve been shaking my head for the last few years at the direction this whole travel blogging thing has taken & it’s not the right one. Too many of them out there, trying to outdo each other, getting money to sell stuff, losing sight of what they set out to do in the first place. It’s all about being the most sought after influencer, going to exotic locales for travel blogger conferences, bragging about the most stunning hotels they’ve been put up in – most of us can’t afford & neither can they if they had to pay for the room. These beautiful skinny blonde women & handsome buff men doing stuff that no normal traveler does or can afford to. All those Instagram photos makes me want to scream. Travel has become less about opening up your mind & learning about the places you visit & more about ticking them off your bucket list- 120 countries & counting! Seems like everyone is on a ‘let’s see the world before we turn 30’ bandwagon & the only way they can travel is by tying up with the travel industry. I see disclaimers but seriously, do I really believe them? Most of the time, nope. It’s become an overly crowded space – this travel blogging business- and I think folks need to realize not every one should or can do it right. Travel because it opens up your mind & soul, enriches you, not because it makes you famous, gets you a million followers & freebies like business class air travel, hotels & personal tours!

  119. posted by
    Renates Reiser
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    I can so relate to this! Seems like a lot of us can…

    Another thing that really bugs me about travel blogging (especially in my country and the surrounding ones) is that some have waaay more sponsored content than “real” content. Every once in a while, sure, but when everything seems bought and paid for, I loose interest.

  120. posted by
    Ulli
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    I really like your post and it gives me a little hope, that I´ll get forwards with my blog. I travel and I blog about, but I travel with my two kids. Having small kids around, doesn´t always give u time to arrange a perfect scene. You often take the shot as it comes, so my pictures are mostly “real scenes” and I was often wondering, if/ when people start getting interested how it really looks like instead of just getting another illusion presented. Mostly I did not even work on my pics, because it would take it´s reality. Yes we all want to see our beautiful world, but traveling f.e. Nicaragua and just seeing the “romantic” in all those bullock and horse carts would just be distortion of reality. And Yes I like to see the nice places and still hope people will get back to show more of all aspects. I am an imperturbable optimist…

  121. posted by
    Robin
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    Said that, saw all the likes and then got back trying to write another “intelligent” text…people, the secret of enjoying travelling more is getting off the computer and actually travel…

  122. posted by
    Dillon
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    Does it really surprise you that successful blogs and Instagram’s are filled with attractive people ? This has always been the case for magazines, shows, etc. If you’re not able to make your brand attractive you’re not going to sell it. If this brand is you then there you have it.

    I suppose I don’t support your theory on having to be white to be successful in this. There are a ton of bloggers / grammars from different backgrounds with different skin color. I know instagramers /bloggers who are in Nicaragua blogging about Nicaragua in Spanish and also English expats down there. The reason why you don’t see it is you’re not searching for it. You’ve made some good points and all of us that have had some success with travel blogging are pretty sick of how over exploited it is but your post is coming off as jumping on the bashing white priveledge bandwagon to relaunch your travel blog.

  123. posted by
    Elisa
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    Thank you Elizabeth for this post. It has been a while since I am wondering about travel blogging myself but I still had not considered it seriously… for the same reasons you are so clearly describing in your article.

    I often ask myself how can “normal” people even think to compete with these kind of bloggers, always good-looking, well-dressed and in some cases so well-funded…
    I do not know if “normal people” (maybe having a job, and not having the chance to leave it so easily to become a full-time-traveller) will ever have the opportunity to find a small place on the web to tell their short stories about travel… but your article gives some rest from the average-travel-blog-article and hope for those who do not want to be a part of them.

  124. posted by
    A
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    I absolutely disagree with you on this. People travel in different ways, and they also express themselves in different ways. I’ve been one of those caucasian, blonde girls in full makeup and “prom dresses” standing on top of a rock because I wanted an artistic photograph. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. And no, it’s not, as you say, “fake.” I don’t travel to please others, and while I do share my photos with the world on Instagram, that does not mean I need to take responsibility for the “effect” one of my posts has on someone else’s self esteem. It also doesn’t mean I should be compelled to provide them with travel tips and the works just because I visited the place, and to not do so is “dangerous.” That’s why we have TripAdvisor, Yelp, WikiTravel, and so many other sites. People who consume what “influencers” are putting out aren’t helpless, delicate little flowers. They are responsible for their own actions.

    I don’t think it’s for any one person to define what “travel blogging” is and is not. Some people are more visual. Some people prefer writing. Let’s not forget that Instagram, which is the platform you discuss in your post, IS a visual medium. Over half of all Instagram users are between the ages of 18 and 29, and nearly 70% are female. As such, it’s only natural that we would see photos of young women prancing around the most often on this platform. But it doesn’t mean that others aren’t out there. It just means you need to look a little harder to find them. And it does not mean that, if you ARE a young, white, blonde girl, that your voice isn’t needed, as you wrote. That’s a very dangerous statement to make.

  125. posted by
    Rohan
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    I absolutely LOVED everything you wrote in this article. I’m a gay Indian guy, and I recently started traveling around Southeast Asia. Before doing so, I wanted to read some blogs about it. I was honestly quite shocked to find that EVERYTHING I read about Southeast Asia was written by a westerner. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But when it actually came down to it, I found myself incapable of following on some of the advise given by those travel blogs because my situation simply didn’t allow it.

    Regards,
    Rohan,
    50firststeps.com

  126. posted by
    Valerie
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    You’ve got a ton of comments here, but hopefully you’re not too overwhelmed to see this one.

    A couple responses from a fellow blogger:

    1. This type of glamorization is inevitable in every industry. It’s not just travel blogging, and it’s unfair to characterize it that way. Instagram – more than any other channel – bastardized the visual experience of the internet. It wasn’t like this before Instagram, as evidenced by hundreds of non-white/skinny successful bloggers in every niche before Instagram. Your beef is probably more with Instagram, and the backward bleed into blogging as a result.

    2. This also creates no space to succeed in a long-term, meaningful way. The reality is that there is no stopping the force I mentioned in point #1. Too many people like the skinny/white female blogger ‘look’ and too many other bloggers are skinny/white women trying to be successful bloggers for us to eradicate the type of blogger you’re talking about *without* also eradicating ourselves in the process. There IS space for other bloggers to be successful, and it would do better to discuss how bloggers can succeed by being supportive/mindful/helpful travelers rather than by lighting the industry on fire with your incendiary title and subsequent post. You caught attention, but it won’t last long.

    I wish you success in your new blog, but you’ve just made it harder for everyone.

  127. posted by
    Al Khazini
    Oct 16, 2017 Reply

    It’s just the same old boring hypocritical attention whoring hipster/privileged kid/gentrification/lifestyle issue. Nobody needs that. However, it’s easy to avoid. Just go elsewhere and make up your own mind. Travel blogging? For relatives and friends who love me, maybe. Otherwise? Pffft!

  128. posted by
    Edgar Hernandez
    Oct 17, 2017 Reply

    Elizabeth,

    I have similar feelings, especially with everything going on in the world, is my blog relevant. What good is it doing? All questions I ask myself. I’m shifting my focus on things that I think will help people travel more and stop planning my Instagram feed. So much work and for what? Lol. I’m going to get back to enjoying my travels! Nice post.

    Edgar

  129. posted by
    Nathalie
    Oct 17, 2017 Reply

    There are plenty of travel blogs out there that aren’t written by skinny white women. Many of them where you hardly ever see a photo that includes the writer.
    A lot of these are outsiders in the travel community, you need to search them out but they’re out there.
    They may not all be great writers but they are genuine and worth a read.

  130. posted by
    Shreya Srivastava
    Oct 17, 2017 Reply

    I definitely agree. As a traveler and a blogger, you might be short on time and space on taking picture perfect clicks in fancy clothes and this is what annoys me.

  131. posted by
    adam
    Oct 17, 2017 Reply

    Dude I totally hear you on all this. I kind of find it hard to balance travel blogging with really living. Sharing your stories is a good thing in my opinion but if done for the right reasons then it can contribute to a better world! Personally I am totally aware that there is something much bigger than me to travelling and that’s in enjoying the present moment and not entertaining the ego which is the destructive force that you speak about. Being from middle class privilege with a UK passport makes life extremely easy to save up some money and getting out there in the world but you play the cards your dealt with and that is the only thing we can do. Many people often tell me I am lucky to be able to do as I do but then there are people from all classes who get out there and make it happen! Only main difference is that others have a much harder time to achieve the same result…

  132. posted by
    Des
    Oct 17, 2017 Reply

    I’m a new travel blogger and I was just taking to a friend of mine about how difficult it was for me to find ‘Instagram worthy’ photos. I was comparing some of my really good shots to someone else’s best shot and started to doubt myself. This posts helped me to remember that no two blogs should be alike and it’s ok for me to deliver a different (though I felt, more real) perspective. Thanks!

  133. posted by
    Travel Blogger Rant, Safe Cities Index, Hide Bitcoins, Airline Inventory Tutorial – TravelBloggerBuzz
    Oct 18, 2017 Reply

    […] a travel blogger gets mad at other travel bloggers and goes on a travel blogger like rant. Pfffft. Such mild rant level compared to mine […]

  134. posted by
    Bob Bennett
    Oct 18, 2017 Reply

    A good part of the reason I’ve traveled so much is likely the rejection I received from having a disability – although I’ve generally considered it a minor one, it has also caused some serious problems. I’ve quit jobs when the company bosses became abusive or just because it was time to move on. When I was homeless in the States, I also traveled – mainly in California & Nevada – camping out, staying in cheap hotels and hostels and living out of my vehicle. My time in L.A. would too often wind me up in jail – no fun at all – but an education – and learning was always important to me. Now an older white guy. No blogging during these travels, but I did set up a website about a year ago – http://shakugoukaku.com/

  135. posted by
    Ruan
    Oct 18, 2017 Reply

    As a Traveller I couldn’t care less about travel blogs, except when I need them. And that’s when usually the good blogs come out. “how do I get from MVD airport to the city at 3 am” was a question I googled and did find an answer. Did I see any white people, nice pics of Montevideo, models posing in front of colorful walls? None. All I needed was information. Now, people might want to look at those pictures because they can’t go themselves, and that’s when this kind of text annoys me. “travelling is for privilege”. I come from a “third world” country, which means my money is worth a third of an american’s. The minimum wage over here is less than 300 dollars a month. Now, I AM privileged even for Brazilian standards, I live with my parents, they pay for everything in my house, food etc. Other than that I pay for all my expenses, but in the end of every year I still have about 1000 dollars to travel, and that can keep me a month in cheap places , or 15 days in expensive ones. Of course I have a safety net when I come home, but it’s not THAT impossible.

  136. posted by
    Tipsytravelers
    Oct 19, 2017 Reply

    Thank you for writing this 100% truthful insight. Just starting out here and my husband and I are looking at all the influencers thinking how they don’t influence us, they don’t inspire us. But they all have the same thing going for them. Their looks. And all their pics are the same. Let me see some of the real Indonesia. The real South America. Etc. show me how it is to actually live there like a local.
    Anyway, I love this arrival. Sharing soon. X

  137. posted by
    Sandra
    Oct 21, 2017 Reply

    I must admit that it’s only recently I have started to look at, and read, travel blog websites. Mainly found through Facebook. Maybe I’m naive, and old fashioned, (I’m 48) but for the last 20 years I have worked hard to be able to fund the “dream” of fulltime travel (and I’m still a couple of years away). I have been shocked by the commercial side to travelling – People making money from writing contrived crap!! Which is basically what is being said here!! To me what people write about (and make money from in order to continue their explorations) should stem from their PASSION. If you spend 20 years setting yourself up financially, or sell everything you have, to travel, you do so because you have a PASSION. Not because it’s a hip thing to do! Those who do it to make money to fund a “lifestyle” of jetsetting are false and fake, and it can be seen through their sites/pages/posts. Once the money stops coming in the travelling will stop. It’s not a PASSION, it a passing fad that is fashionable and commercial, at the moment!!

    My passion is nature. I want to travel to explore and experience nature. I am in the very early stages of my “blogging” website and Facebook page, but it is already becoming very apparent to me that Nature is not of interest to the majority of those interested in world travel. Maybe that’s because they are searching for a “pot of gold” i.e the perfect life, the opportunity to build a business, and not for shear beauty, pleasure, education and experience – evolution itself.

    We love Nature. Finding it, watching it, learning about it, and recording it through photographs. Our aim is to inspire others to engage with Nature. There are so many places that suffer from the threat of extinction of certain species. People visit these places but many seem unconcerned about their future. They have their selfie and they move on!

    Our website will be about the places we visit to see Nature. What we experience, what we see, where we stay. Hopefully opening up opportunities for others, who have less time to travel to see things, to share the wonders of the planet. If anyone is remotely interested in Nature being the “reason” to travel and blog about then check out overlandladies.com

  138. posted by
    Running Away | the whole benchilada
    Oct 22, 2017 Reply

    […] why is bound up perfectly to this mundane bit of musing. I started thinking about it when I read this article which waxes cynical about the travel blogging industry. It’s an industry I never would have […]

  139. posted by
    Travel Blogger News: November 2017
    Nov 1, 2017 Reply

    […] Why I’m boycotting travel bloggers, and you should too – [Temporary Provisions] […]

  140. posted by
    Henry @fotoeins
    Nov 1, 2017 Reply

    Thanks, Elizabeth, for writing your piece. You’ve expounded some of the reasons why I’m particularly excited about Panorama Journal which is about literary travel with both online- and paper-presence. I’m very interested about putting forward and fashioning the narratives and lessons of history into contemporary perspectives, especially in these troubling times.

  141. posted by
    Saurabh Araiyer
    Nov 19, 2017 Reply

    I feel this is like retrospection for travellers. Although travellers likes travelling but she is not enjoying blogging, because of many reasons listed here. Travelling is undoubtedly a great thing but blogging feels like an ad-hoc task. So it also feels like a hollow job.

  142. posted by
    Gaurav Bhan Bhatnagar
    Nov 19, 2017 Reply

    It all started with few people who wanted to document their travel. Slowly they got some followers who praised them. Then they got few thousand followers on social media. Then they realized they can charge money and get ‘paid to travel’. Then someone launched a book called ‘How to travel for free’ and then every trip, blog and review was about how much the blogger is getting paid for it. *Sigh* I started writing for the love of it and thought I’ll meet wonderful people in this industry. But all I saw was bloated egos and vultures scavenging for that free luxury trip in lieu of a blog. No one know that these people also do side jobs while claiming on Internet that they travel full time *bollocks* I have been on the other side of the table too because I run a travel company. We are doing village tours. And trust me, I am fed up of the bloggers who are couch celebrities. We usually offer a decent amount to a blogger for their service. But then we often get arrogant replies like *We don’t work for that kind of money*. Well then my usual mental chatter asks them to shove their celebrity status up their a**. Fortunately there are very few good ones out there and I am lucky to know them.

  143. posted by
    Puspanjalee
    Nov 20, 2017 Reply

    It gave me goosebumps, Elizabeth. Thanks for sharing.

    I love to travel and write about it. But really felt lost to see the near perfect instagrammers showing their pictures. This post boosted me to start the travel blog I always wanted.

  144. posted by
    Angus
    Nov 20, 2017 Reply

    It’s largely about journalism vs self-indulgence and instant gratification that comes with social media. The former involves curiosity about life, humanity, justice, accountability etc, in various spheres of life. As with myself, such a career can take you into the spheres of travel and conservation, but you have to keep it real, ask the same questions, and as you gain more experience, you can speak from a position of relative authority and knowledge. Blonde girls in bikinis having thousands of followers unfortunately speaks to the nature of ‘blogging’. http://www.africanstorybook.com

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