The Lies You’ve Been Told by Those People
Now, I’m not salty. I’m a traveller too and know for a fact that I am guilty of perpetuating some of these lies, especially the first one, but I’m making an effort to change that!!
Ok ok ok, maybe using the word LIE might have been a bit broad and maybe a teeny bit harsh.
But when you don’t tell the truth, and you know it isn’t the truth – is that not a lie?
And LET’S BE HONEST –
Aren’t you a little sick of those people too?
The “I loved every second” People
This is one of the most pervasive lies about travel.
Well yeah, they probably had an incredible trip, but that is also probably not the whole truth.
They probably didn’t love waiting in line at the airport with a screaming toddler being held a foot away from their ear (not the toddlers fault, toddlers scream, but it’s still loud).
They probably didn’t enjoy the plain, painfully salty, cold pasta salad on the plane that they ate anyway because they were bored and hungry.
They probably didn’t enjoy the bed shaking snores of the person in the bunk above them in the dorm.
That does not mean they did not enjoy their trip.
I mention this because these days travel is especially susceptible to Social Media Goggles.
These are similar to Beer Goggles but less dependant on stereotypical social concepts of beauty – not completely divorced however. Check out the hashtag ‘women who travel’ on Instagram. When I look at it today, March 2018, it’s 15 posts until there’s a picture of a woman who isn’t blonde, 57 posts until we see a woman of colour, and 159 posts until there’s someone who isn’t particularly thin. Obviously this will change minute to minute because Instagram is frickin huge, but there is undeniably a saturation of thin, blonde, white women on Instagram relating to travel.
I’m fat and white and blonde and I feel awkward sharing my pictures with my travel friends because most of them are size four and look like supermodels. I do not. But I am still represented. I do see people who look a bit like me. That cannot be said for a massive section of women, this is changing and our travel inspo is finally becoming more diverse. You should check out these 11 amazing black travel bloggers who are changing the landscape of travel blogging.
What I am directly talking about here though is the illusion of perfect. The way you can get the idea that if your hair isn’t perfect, if your photos aren’t professional level edited then who cares.
EVERYTHING is so Instagrammable and perfect, everyone who goes anywhere seems to do so in long flowing dresses and big hats and perfect make up that it is very easy to forget that sometimes travel sucks.
There’s nothing wrong with flowing dresses and big hats and perfect make up. I would totally be one of those people if I had the make up skills and could be bothered to carry my hat instead of smushing it down until its all crushed and never looks quite perfect ever again.
But not everyone WANTS to travel like that. That’s fine too.
I mean, I have a deep disdain for the general Traveller VS Tourist argument anyway, and this plays into that snobbery.
I think it is important to say that just because you don’t enjoy every over priced underwhelming meal and your shoes give you blisters – does not mean you are any less of a traveller than the perfect #InstaTravelCouple you see in your newsfeed.
They hate blisters too.
The “oh I NEVER do that….” People
There are times when it is appropriate to say never.
I, for example have, never murdered anyone or punched a puppy.
However I hate when travellers bang on about how they have never ever eaten fast food when they travel, they only ever ever eat local traditional food.
I’m not suggesting those people eat exclusively from McDonalds, but come on you’ve never bought a coffee from a chain while travelling?
What about traditional local food that has been, gasp, franchised?
What about the amazing gyros you had in Athens, it’s local and it’s traditional. It’s also sold from many different franchised chains.
As someone who has eaten A LOT of gyros I can tell you that the chain gyros are almost always as good as most individually owned gyros spots. There are shining bastions of deliciousness in both camps, but one is not automatically better than the other.
This is very closely related to that traveller who simply won’t eat pizza at home anymore because the pizza margarita they they had in Napoli at that adorable pizzeria run by the perfectly Italian grandfather has simply RUINED pizza for them.
Ok, I will say that the best pizza I’ve ever eaten WAS at an adorable pizzeria in Naples with an incredible old Italian grandfather. That doesn’t mean I bring it up every time someone suggests Domino’s.
I bring up getting an extra large garlic and herb dip whenever someone suggests Domino’s.
You do not have to feel bad if you don’t have three meals a day of huge cultural significance.
You do not have to feel bad if you have a coffee at a coffee shop.
You do not have to feel bad if you use fast food outlets occasionally.
The “I’ve done that country” People
Really, you’ve done the whole country? I’m sure there are people who really feel that they have experienced everything there is to experience in a country and feel no need to return to it. They have travelled and tried and explored and all those other good adjectives.
That isnt who I’m talking about.
I’m talking about the checkers offers, I had mercifully short conversation with a girl who insisted that she had “done” India when in reality she had spent a 48 hour layover in Delhi.
Now. I apologise in advance. This is one of my pet hates so I’m going to get a little facetious.
48 hours in New Delhi doesn’t mean you’ve seen India. It means that you have seen a small part of a small part of India.
In fact, if you somehow managed to experience all 42.7km2 of New Delhi in 48 hours – you could confidently state that you have seen 0.001299056890782% of India’s 3.287 million km squared. Let’s simplify that to 0.00129%.
If you ate 0.00129% of a 12 inch pizza, which has an area of 113 inches squared, you would get a bite 0.014577 inches square.
That converts to about 9mm square. So, about one quarter of one slice of pepperoni.
If you went and told people you had eaten a whole pizza … you would not be telling the truth.
You would also be rather pissed off if I then charged you for the whole pizza.
And this is based off the stupid metric of area – there is so much more to see in a place that the sum of its parts.
Have I belaboured this point enough??
This is one of those lies about travel that people almost tell themselves. Maybe they didn’t like the place they claim to have “done”. That’s fine, you don’t have to like everything, but the concept that you can “do” a country kind of confuses me. I know people who have specialised 20 years in the travel industry for one country and THEY haven’t seen everything.
The “it’s so easy, everyone can travel like me!” People
This is a more complicated issue than people make out, and it is all wrapped up in privilege and naivete.
YES, everyone CAN travel …. if your country is relatively stable and safe and your currency is comparable outside of your borders.
Even if you are from a lovely stable country where your movement isn’t restricted – there are complications a lot of people toting the “it’s so easy” lie as gospel truth don’t even consider.
A popular one you see goes something like : you spend £3.50 on coffee and £5 on lunch every day – that’s £2210 a year. You CAN travel you just don’t like making lunch.
That assumes that you do, indeed, spend money every day eating out.
That assumes that you don’t have other factors than money.
Maybe you have several school age children, maybe you have children with particular needs, maybe YOU have particular needs – this is in no way a deal breaker there are many families and people with special kids who gallivant around the globe more than I do. But it is HARDER, it is not so simple as making a sandwich.
Maybe your partner has a job with limited leave, and no ‘Girl dump them’ isn’t always an answer. Sometimes it’s the answer, don’t get me wrong. I have travelled extensively without my boyfriend, in fact only one trip in the last 2 years has been done together.
But it’s hard being away from your loved ones all the time. Especially for those living overseas who are already a world away from their family – going on a trip alone is a double whammy of missing people for them.
It is definitely possible for the vast majority of people to travel, but it certainly isn’t as easy as some people say.
Stop Whinging Now
Ok I’ve had my rant, the lies about travel that I find most annoying – are there any lies about travel that you have been told??