Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The trouble with travel writers

I've got some major beef with a couple of travel writers out there -- actually, it may be a beef with most of the travel writing world.

See, a lot of bloggers and travel writers don't really talk about travel beyond the "OHMYGODHOWBEAUTIFUL/HOLY/SCARY/FABULOUS!"  I often also find travel extremely stressful, lonely, and emotionally exhausting -- saying goodbye to life at home for a certain amount of time, and then feeling a bit "behind" everyone else when I return.

Travel bloggers, in particular, are on my bad list today.  They often seem more bent on showing off all the things they've done -- how many check boxes are filled on the ol' list-o-life -- and I find it off-putting, as if travel blogs are solely to brag about how adventurous you are and how much advice you've acquired to dole out.  (This also applies to the holier-than-thou crew who are "so not about checkboxes," but are just as happy to tell you how to travel.)

But then I wonder, what is the role of travel writing?  To provide escapism?  Information?  Are bloggers there to give personal journals?  And I'm unsure of the answer, and unsure of the role I want to play.


  1. I like this thought....being authentic hasn't quite hit the travel writing industry and I wonder why!

  2. I think because it's predicated on someone having an experience, and passing on wisdom. It gets quite patronizing at times, and can also just sound like "ooh, look what I did." Personally, I find travel brings up a lot of other issues than just how to have the best vacation -- there are so many things tied up in relocation, national identities, class differences, engaging as a foreign person, and also how we treat travelers when we come across them at home. SO MUCH MORE than "how to travel right." Oy.


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