“I’ve seen all the disciples and all the wannabes. No-one wants to be themselves these days.”
“In a land of fakes and small time petty thieves, must be the wrong place”
“What position should I wear? Cop an attitude? (You faker)”
I don’t do many of these random rants and for the most part I try to keep Don’t Stop Living as a happy go lucky lifestyle of travel blog (which it usually is). Everybody’s welcome and I welcome everybody. But somethings just annoy me a little bit hence these random rants will appear at various intervals so you get the best of both worlds from me. It’s time to get one of them off my chest, and yes I might get slated for this, but this is my opinion remember and this is my travel blog! OK so – fake travellers and fake travel blogs! They just annoy me – please stop being so fake people!! Either travel and write about travel, but don’t write about travel if you don’t travel. I’ve no respect for those who have a fake travel blog.
I’m no expert here but I do have strong opinions and I do believe (with some justification) that I have travelled properly and extensively for prolonged periods over the last 11 years since leaving my hometown. In that time I have visited all seven continents, and over seventy countries so I feel I have at least a good knowledge of travel and have been well off the beaten track to tell real travel stories. That’s all well and good until I see some absolutely ridiculous blog posts and Facebook photos, they are becoming all too tiresome, repetitive and fake recently. Here’s the sort of fake ness I’m talking about, grilling my chicken on it as we speak!:
1. Travel blogger posts a “generic photo” of a random world location on any blog post (no people in it, nothing even personal to that blog at all – generic like hell and obvious because it’s a really GOOD photo – means nothing to me – it’s a “fake”).
2. Travel Blogger uploads a “Generic photo” of a place that the person who blogged about it never even went to or hasn’t even been to. They either uploaded a fake photo or found one online and uploaded it. It’s as fake as a Northern Irish resident’s suntan in the winter.
3. Travel Blogger uploads a “Generic shit photo” on Facebook fan page for their site. These are instantly recogniseable as they will be a really good photo, again blogger is absent, 8,342 people like it, with 432 shares and 101 comments such as “looks amzing, cant wait to go” but in reality it’s a fake travel photo.
4. Travel Blogger uploads and writes a “Generic Top 5 blog post” on a city everyone on the world has been to (e.g. New York, London, Berlin, Sydney). Instantly obvious by the failure to include the word “I” or “we” in the post, with nothing even personal like a photo of them eating a donut! It’s a “generic shit five” and yes they’ve inlcuded your obvious stuff like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.
5. Travel blogger uploads a “Generic shit Facebook update” about a place the writer/blogger has never been to, accompanied by an even more “generic shit quote” like “Wow – this sunset was in the Maldives! Anyone ever been? Anyone want to go?” (that’s how a fake travel blog does it! A real travel blog posts a photo of the blogger sitting in the Maldives having a cocktail, ironically the real photo might be accompanied by the same “anyone been?” question, but at least it’s real 😉
6. Travel Blogger uploads a “Generic shit picture” with even more ridiculous travel quote on it (e.g. “I regret travelling the world said nobody ever”). I’m bored, I’ve fallen asleep, in another hostel on another real travel journey.
7. The travel blogger doesn’t even travel – they sit at home in a flat they own/rent and write about previous trips. I kid you not sometimes.
“generic, generic, and that’s the way you like it, you like it, you like it”
Travel style has also got a lot to do with the fakness of travel blogs. I have to say I hate going to the “over travelled normal” travel places and I particularly hate travel blogs that only talk about the famous places where EVERYONE goes.
“everybody wants to sell what’s already been sold”
So I don’t do that – you’re just one of hundreds getting your photo taken beside Angkor Wat aren’t you? Did you bother to visit the Cambodian Landmine Museum or the unknown town of Preas Dak? You’ll probably be surprised if I told you I preferred having a cup of coffee in Preas Dak chatting to the locals watching Cambodian football on the TV than I did by seeing Angkor Wat!! But the truth is, as good as these big sites are, nobody cares, as everybody has already been there!
Getting drunk in Thailand for a month is NOT real travel and your blog, as good as it might be is in danger of becoming a fake travel blog. Write about the time you backpacked through China without soap. Write about the time you got drunk in Thailand then booked a flight to Pyongyang. Have you never been to a town where you are the only traveller? If the answer is yes, then all is well again…take some photos, put them on your real travel blog and remember how fucking good life is when it’s not fake.
“Wannabes shouldn’t present fucking awards to gonnabes.”
Of course if the fake travel blog is from a real travel blogger who also has a decent real travel blog, then that’s OK 😉
Rant over – pretty sure those that write fake travel blogs won’t stop by to read or comment, but I needed to get this one out there. For me it’s back to writing about backpacking in Iran, Iraq and Armenia next and planning my upcoming trips to East Timor, Brazil and Guyana.
Final tip – If you want to really travel the world – get a visa for a country you have never heard of. That’s the way to do it! I shared some of my inspiration on this cool travel Podcast last week which you can download: Jonny Blair on Love Affair Travel.
If you indulge in “fake travel bloggery” please do yourself a favour, backpack round Taiwan or Vanuata taking selfies and post them. You’ll earn a wee bit of respect back.
“I can’t seem to stop my imagination”
Quotes provided by R.E.M., Bon Jovi, Liam Gallagher, Louise Nurding, Daniel Darch, Tim Wheeler and The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.