Complaining. It seems to be the latest fashion. Every. Single. Article I find about travel blogging seems to be an attempt to convince the world they shouldn’t be jealous, because ‘being a travel blogger isn’t always fun, it’s a lot of hard work, too‘… A 10 point list of reasons why it’s soooo hard and horrible.
Or a list full of crap about how to become a ‘successful’ travel blogger in 4 clicks, which I wrote about before, check it out here.
Hell some of them make it sound like it’s the worst job in the world!
Like imagine this conversation:
You: ‘Do you want to be a travel blogger or a sewers cleaner?’ (I googled ‘worst job in the world’)
They – before you’ve even pronounced the last word of your sentence: ‘A sewers cleaner, definitely!!’
Before I go on, let me remind you that travel blogging ISN’T my job. I don’t rely on my blog to pay my bills, support my travels or get freebies. Now I hear you thinking “Who the hell are you to talk about travel blogging as a job then?!?”, and I get where you’re comming from. But I lead a business on a daily basis AND have a blog besides it, so I DO know a thing or 2 about working hard to achieve your goals and about not having the easiest job in the world… I also aim to always, no matter where I go, focus on the people and their living situation first and to have a positive impact on it.
And those 2 reasons are exactly why I think you should hear me out…
I have to say, I think there’s quite a few honest articles about the subject, that sum up the real side of being a travel blogger without complaining or asking for pitty, and I’m obviously not judging any of those. But there’s also many others… full of whining and spoiled-little-daddy’s-girl arguments on why life’s so hard… And those… well they just drive me nuts… I don’t know, are we supposed to cry and feel sorry for those people? Did somebody FORCE them to become a travel blogger against their will? Where they live, are there NO other jobs in the whole world?
So please allow me to call bullshit…
… and to do some complaining of my own – ’cause as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m a fashionable girl! And funny, too! :p Here’s my list – a 10 point one, obviously! – of all the most common reasons I’ve heard people use to ‘prove’ why travel blogging is such a difficult job. And what I think about them, of course!
1. There’s more to travel blogging than just traveling and writing about it #OhNoIActuallyHaveToDoSomethingBeforeIGetPaid
Let me tell you something shocking. There’s more to most people’s jobs than driving to work and sending a weekly report of what they did to their boss, too… Trying to make money of it and calling it a JOB kinda automatically implies that at some point you’re gonna have to WORK… I’ve only been blogging for 7 months but I kinda understood by now that getting your blog out there doesn’t just happen all by itself. And I can’t help but ask myself:
“Who would be so naïve as to think it would?!?”
Why would anyone believe that just writing 6 mediocre articles a month would be enough? Why would anyone think you can make a living working 13 minutes a day Monday to Thursday and that the simple fact of creating a Snapchat profile will automatically make you famous? That thousands of people who’ve never even heard of your blog would suddenly click through to page 479 of their google search just to check out YOUR article about ‘the 10 best hostels in the world’ or ’10 tips for packing 60 liters of luggage into a 30 liters backpack’ rather than the 4785 before (let’s stay positive and imagine you’re not the last article on that 479th page…)?
And is the fact that none of the above is actually true enough of a reason to conclude travel blogging is a difficult job?!?
So no, I don’t feel sorry that after writing your articles you still have to spend time sharing them on social media…
2. You could get hurt #TravelBloggingIsGonnaGetMeKilled
Obviously, ‘normal people’ never get hurt while traveling and this EXCLUSIVELY happens to travel bloggers… That’s why every time we cut our finger and there’s like 1 drop of blood coming out of it, we HAVE to Instagram/Tweet/Snapchat it so that people realize what a dangerous and horrible life we’re living!
Look, this is me on a recent trip to Italy, it was so horrible I didn’t even manage to take a sharp picture!!! WARNING: graphic images!!!
3. It’s not always easy, it’s a constant competition and things don’t always go as planned #SuchADifficultLifeBoohoo
Because in other people’s lives, things ALWAYS go as planned… I don’t wanna sound lazy, but what else do you want me to say to this?!?
4. You’ll get haters #OhNoNotEverybodyLovesMe #LifeIsNotFair
Well I’m pretty sure I’m gonna get haters on this article, too… And I’m not even getting paid to write it! I also got a hater a few weeks ago at work, when a client didn’t understand why I wouldn’t exchange something they’d bought in november 2014 and that had been used… I won’t describe the scene that followed but I think it’s safe to say he wasn’t happy… I obviously cried all night about it… Yeah, life’s a bitch…
This will probably ruin my image forever but well… #I’mJustGonnaShakeShakeShakeShakeShakeShake
5. You won’t get any presents and you have to build your whole career yourself #AllByyyyyyMyyyyyyseeeeeellllfffff
Because other people just put on some nice clothes, comb their hair, go to a job interview without having any skills and get the most prestigious job just because they smiled nicely. They then do nothing – except driving to work and sending that weekly report of what they did to their boss – for a whole year and BAM, a promotion! … Yeah, maybe not…
6. You’ll be staring at your computer screen at least 8 hours a day #OhNoAComputerHowScary
Do you think that where other people work (yes WORK, it’s YOU who wants to call it a job, remember!!) it’s still the 80’s and everybody uses pen and paper or what?!?!
7. People will think you’re a prostitute #HowDoYouAffordToTravelSoMuchYouMustBeSellingYourBodyOrSomething
I THINK you’re allowed to tell that kind of people to just go f*ck themselves, not care about them and go on with your live…
8. You have to post a picture of yourself screwing up the view on Instagram at least twice a day #LuckilyIThinkI’mThePrettiestGirlInTheWorld
Which obviously means you have to look glamourous at all times!! I mean can you imagine how much extra weight that curling iron and all that make-up make in a backpack?!? And all that extra time you’ll need getting ready?!? And you already had NO time left!!!
OR you could also just not care and present a more realistic side of travel? Oh no what am I saying, I must be drunk again or something, you couldn’t possibly do THAT, could you?!?
9. It’s soooo hard to make any actual money from it #I’dKindaHopedItWouldJustFallOutOfTheSky
I don’t wanna get all “I told you so” on you but I could have told you that from the start… It takes a little bit more than a couple of top 10 lists and some pretty Instagram shots to make money from something, no matter what it is… And while I admire EVERY effort to succeed and wish EVERY SINGLE PERSON who tries all the best, I also think it’s time to go back to reality…
10. There’s so much pressure and you have to be REALLY creative all the time. #9PointListsJustAren’tGoodEnough
When you don’t actually have 10 interesting and relevant points about the topic you’re writing about, you have to invent some crap to fill up your 10-point list. Because well if you stopped at 9 points, everybody would think you’d failed, right? Like, just imagine all the pressure!!!
Here’s some good ones I found on the net, all of which – again – ONLY and EXCLUSIVELY happen to travel bloggers…
- Your boyfriend will get sad every time you leave
- Your mum will get sad every time you leave
- Your dad will get sad every time you leave
- Your dog will get sad every time you leave
- In the end, YOU might get sad every time you leave
It might not sound like it from this article, but I’m not here to judge. I rarely write about blogging, for the simple reason that I prefer writing about travel experiences and that I write for all travelers, not just for bloggers. But I had to write about this, because it makes me genuinly sad to read comments like the ones above. And I can’t help but thinking…
Maybe it’s time to realize how insulting and insensitive those comments and articles actually are…
Yes I can imagine you get weird questions, stares and other judgmental comments when you tell people you get some form of ‘free’ travel in exchange for publicity or an article and yes I know how long it actually takes to write those articles. I also understand it isn’t always easy to constantly have to justify yourself for it. But is that an excuse to go and write articles full of situations that pretty much EVERY human being from any ‘developped’ country has to deal with EVERY day and use them as ‘proof’ for why your life is actually so much harder than everyone else’s?!? And I’m not even talking about the millions of people from less ‘developped’ countries – probably the countries you’re traveling to – who experience things that are 5000 times worse than that! Every. Single. Day. Of their lives… While you’re sitting there writing articles about what a difficult life you have seeing you can’t go to the beach because you have to work on your blog…
And I ask myself more and more often: have we become completely blazé about traveling? Don’t we realize all the privileges we get to even be able to travel like we do? To get the chance to simply TRY and make a living out of this? Do we really think it’s so unjust to actually have to WORK for our money? Have we gone blind for what’s happening in this world we’re so desperate to discover? Have we forgotten that even today children still die due to a lack of clean water? Water!!! Do we choose to ignore that others are working in life threatening conditions from an extremely young age in order to ensure the survival of their family?
And I’m not saying we’re not allowed to enjoy anything anymore because some people are less lucky, but maybe it’s time we stopped just thinking about ourselves… Stop thinking about everything we “deserve” to have and start realizing and accepting everything ISN’T always easy. We of all people, we who’ve “seen the world”, should realize this better than anyone else, shouldn’t we?!?
Maybe it’s time we stopped complaining and start realizing how damn lucky we are…
And maybe, just maybe, we could even start focussing our TRAVEL blogs a little bit more on the beauty of traveling again…