Does my (travel) privilege look big in this?

May 04, 2016

FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS - #TRAVELBLOGGERS EDITION
aka 7 Reasons Not to Date a Blogger or "You don't have to be a masochist to work here, but it helps"

STOP THE PRESS! We have a more urgent issue to discuss. More pressing than world hunger, terrorism, and the Kylie lip kits being sold out combined - I'm talking about the woes of travel bloggers. What? How dare you suggest that this lucky niche who get paid to descend onto exotic destinations, fill up 5* hotels, gorge on all-you-can-eat, and chuckle at all things mainstream check their privilege? Also, it's pronounced BLAW-GER not BLAG-GER, dontcha know? Digressing! Just because a selfie stick-over the head shot of our perfectly tanned legs on 1000 thread count hotel linen surrounded by The New York Times (gotta stay current, dah-ling) and our #BreakfastInBed spread counts as the day's work doesn't mean #TravelBloggers don't put in hard graft, you know. It's not all humble brags (OMGJETLAGFASHWEEKLOL) and free swag, being paid to be a world citizen is a real job. So in the altruistic spirit of education and as my contribution to this month's travel blogger linkup here are My 7 Travel Blogger Problems. Passports and pitchforks at the ready...


"JUST KEEP TAKING PICTURES, AND MAKE IT SNAPPY!"

#TRAVELBLOGGERPROBLEMS 1:
THE BETTER I LOOK 
IN PHOTOS, THE 
BETTER MY MOOD 
THROUGHOUT THE TRIP.

First things first: if it's not on Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest than it didn't happen. And if at least the bottom half of your face (or top half, if you're not blessed with a model jawline) isn't in the shot, then you weren't there. Tempers have flared, relationships ruined, and camera shutters worn out in the travel blogger's pursuit of the perfect portrait. Because hey, what good is a stunning natural vista or landmark of significant historical importance if it's not a backdrop for narcissism-fueled delusions of vainglory? Personally, my sunny disposition is dependant on whether I produce a decent portrait on holiday. For me there's a direct correlation between photogenic and pleasant - God help you if I make you make me hold a pose for more than ten shots because you can't get me to look like an editorial in Condé Nast Traveller.

FURTHER READING:

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"I'M NOT A TOURIST, 
I'M A TRAVELLER."

#TRAVELBLOGGERPROBLEMS 2: SOMETIMES I JUST WANT 
TO BE A BASIC B*TCH.

Since the advent of individuality and special snowflake-smugness travel bloggers have faced the conundrum: How do I reconcile my desire to not be a 'typical tourist' vs being, well, a tourist? Should I do the done thing and twirl in front of the Eiffel Tower in a breton off-the-shoulder top and tutu or do I become truly Parisian and instead eschew, with derision, tourist traps for a dive bar in Pigalle where I may be robbed of the CHANEL clutch I bought especially for this trip? Deciding between the more touristy destinations and off the beaten tracks is a real struggle, especially when you know that an oh-so-predictable milkshake in front of St Basil's Cathedral will bring all the likes to the yard. And don't even get me started on my secret mission to try McDonald's in every country - which will never see the light of social media.

FURTHER READING:
MOSCOW,
ST PETERSBURG,
A LONDON STAYCATION 
AT ST JAMES COURT

______




Speaking of food...

"PUT DOWN THE PUDDING OR I WILL CUT YOU, SWEETIE."

#TRAVELBLOGGERPROBLEMS 3:
NOBODY EATS UNTIL GET 
THE PERFECT 'TABLE SHOT'.

This one applies not just to travel bloggers, or food bloggers, or chicks who works for clicks but also to anyone swept up in the post-millennial wave of social media oversharing. So basically, 99.9% of the First World population. Waiting for everyone's food to arrive, rearranging personal effects  for the perfect table shot, standing up to take a aerial view of the spread - you name it, we've all done it. When I think of how many meals I let get cold in the pursuit of the perfect food picture - whether it's at a Michelin-starred restaurant or a local-frequented hole in the wall - I think, there's a reason why bloggers always order salad or sushi.

FURTHER READING:
FOOD POSTS

______


"THIS ISN'T CARRY ON LUGGAGE. IT'S JUST MY CAMERA EQUIPMENT."

#TRAVELBLOGGERPROBLEMS 4: 
MY CAMERA NEEDS ITS OWN SEAT

Travel light? You jest. That chic compact powerhouse that is the Olympus Pen EP-7 that travel bloggers would have you think is the sum of their photography arsenal? A BOX OF LIES. What you don't always see is the Instagram Husband in tow, hauling a beast of a DSLR. Any travel blogger worth their salt carries at least two cameras on every holiday - a DSLR, a micro 4/3, maybe a cute little Lomography camera, and of course a smartphone because the other alternative is to call people and tell them what you're eating. I may have permanent nerve damage on my left upper back from lugging about my camera plus carpal tunnel syndrome from changing lenses every other minute to get the desired shot because again, photos or it didn't happen. I thank the stars my Canon 6D comes with built-in wifi which eliminates the need to take the same photo on my iPhone - but that means I have to immediately Whatsapp pictures to the rest of my party.

FURTHER READING:
BLOGGING &
PHOTOGRAPHY POSTS

______

"HANDS OFF MY ARRANGEMENT OR I WILL FLAT LAY YOU, HOMIE."



"HOW AM I GOING TO PAY FOR THIS HOLIDAY IF I DON'T MAKE $$$ FROM AFFLIATE LINKS?!"

#TRAVELBLOGGERPROBLEMS 5:
WELCOME TO THE GREATEST 
FASHION SHOW ON EARTH

This may apply more to fashion bloggers...oh who am I kidding, we are all guilty of shopping for new clothes to wear on holiday. Also, here's a tip: squeezing yourself into a dress two sizes too small does not make you two sizes smaller, it just makes you look like sausage stuffed back into its casing. I am definitely guilty of shopping for outfits themed around a destination because I think it'll photograph well, only to realise that wearing an entirely nautical-inspired ensemble to an island doesn't make me look like a sexy sailor, it just makes me look like a knob. Even worse is shopper's regret: when I return from a trip and then find an even better outfit. I did luck out in Holland with the handbag, left, from the Fendi Flowerland collection but guess who came home from the land of tulips and found a vintage Aquascutum silk dress printed with, you guessed it, tulips? Yeah, I hate you too, universe.

FURTHER READING:
FENDI FLOWERLAND 
AT KEUKENHOF

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"ATLANTIS IS SOOO OVEREXPOSED. I PREFERRED WHEN IT WAS UNDERGROUND."

#TRAVELBLOGGERPROBLEMS 6: 
SAYING NO TO DESTINATIONS 
THAT ARE 'PLAYED OUT'

Snobbery is a stupid thing, and yet we have this. Have you ever said no to a free holiday because the destination was 'overdone'? Congratulations, you are a true travel blogger and an idiot. While I've never refused to visit a city on the premise that it's made the rounds, I have sought out travel destinations that are relatively-unknown or up and coming for the sole reason that it would make for interesting reading. Case in point: Riga after it was named European Capital of Culture, Tallinn because it was trending in lists of countries to visit by travel bloggers who'd never actually been there, and Havana because haha your president hates communism! Next stops: Pyongyang, Bhutan, or anywhere that requires shots.

FURTHER READING:
AIR ASIA 'BUSINESS 
CLASS ON A BUDGET',
SEOUL POSTS


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...and finally...


"SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK AND PLEBS WITH LESS THAN 1 MILLION INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS."
#TRAVELBLOGGERPROBLEMS 7: IF YOU TOUCH THE BED, YOU WILL DEFINITELY REST IN PEACE.

This is the biggest cross to bear for anyone unfortunate enough to share a hotel room with me. Make that two crosses: ONE - We will not take naps, I have ground to cover and things to blog about later. TWO - I swear, if you dare jump on the bed the moment we arrive to our room/suite/apartment before I get the chance to photograph the entire place I will smother you with a goose feather pillow. Rule #1 of being married to a travel blogger: mess up the bed at your own peril. Unless you can #TurnUp your turn down service skills, do not ruin the pristine centrepiece of the room until your other half has photographed it to their satisfaction. A freshly made bed is integral to a 'Just arrived in XXX city!' picture, so don't sh*t where your (frankly unhinged) blogger spouse sleeps.

So now that you know what my Seven #TravelBlogger Problems are and also a few good reasons why we're all a dangerous, neurotic breed. I'd like to thank friends, family, and boyfriends who've had to tolerate my quirks in pursuit of the perfect blog post, and to those who didn't hang around - fly, my pretties! That said, I trust that anyone who reads my blog is smart enough to appreciate exaggeration for comedy's sake. To those who may be wracked with indignation for the First World Problems of those who call themselves #TravelBloggers I say: chill out, go on holiday or something...

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