World

My 6 pet peeves with travelers and travel bloggers.

This is the last post in my ‘hashtag-three-years-a-travel-blogger‘ series,…only because ever so often I see things that get smoke emitting from my nostrils and ears..in a silent fit of rage, so..how fair and balanced would I be, if I didn’t slide in my top travel-circles related pet peeves?

Here goes…

1) Social-media smooth criminals;
Excuse me if I’ve said this before. In the travel blogging world, having a fat following is key to having advertisers lining up at your doorstep and you smiling all the way to the bank. After all, apart from following your passion writing and traveling, a huge reason for your intense focus, rigorous editing and expeditious posting is to earn moulah and be a digital hopscotch-er.
Getting folks to follow your brand and being a recognized online influencer is darn hard; one either has to be hilariously interesting, drop dead gorgeous, weird or wacky, a celebrity, hated and loved in the same measure, or someone who has mastery of their niche in ways no one else can. The competition on these streets is real, people. I’m cool with Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or even Pinterest. What makes me blue and hopping mad is the folk on instagram; the idjits who follow just to unfollow. The ones who think algorithms and engagement are a ton of crap and try to bypass them by falsely gaining a following by follow-unfollow tactics. That’s just lame.

2) Copy-cats: I get it. We all love a little inspiration. However, it’s one thing to be inspired, it’s quite unnerving and maddening to straight out copy other bloggers. That’s akin to plagiarism. If you do it once, we may give you a pass, but if you copy every single thing someone else is doing and even adopt their style and voice? Guess what..the world is watching you morph into a combination of a troll and stalker. Yikes. You may not know it but you’re depriving your followers that authentic voice they are familiar with, you are abandoning the activism you would do within these circles in favour of shadowing someone else. Imitation may be the best form of flattery but stalk mode is downright creepy. Please stop!

3) Party animals, beg packers and animal abusers: If your feed as a travel blogger is full of pictures of you laying wasted and inebriated…hmmm, that entices eyerolls and silent ughs’ from many of us. Pictures of you in destinations should be showcasing the beauty of the places you visit. Not all your followers are millenials. If we wanted to see episodes of Jersey shore, we’d know where to click and go fetch. Still on the subject, young first-worlders who have their money running out and them in a developing country, depending on the kindness of the locals is absurd. If one is stranded, there are options out there..like let’s say, teach english? Or ask mum, or dad, or friends to wire money, perhaps send a home-bound ticket? The abuse of animals for selfies sake is not understandable. Leaving trash on the beaches of countries you visit after parties is a no no. Respect the environment and yourselves whichever part of the world you visit.

4) Travel bloggers who throw shade on Africa like it’s the ‘dark continent‘: Hello…uh no. Forgive me for my bias but..as an African, I’m keen to defend my continent. Imagining that you’re a seasoned traveler then blurting out in conversation that “there’s really nothing else to see in Africa, once you’ve been on a safari,” um no, we will hand it to you..there’s alot to see. There is culture, there is history, there is great food, amazing weather and most of all there are wonderful locals. Get out there, bond with people and tell the stories after you’ve been. No lions are roaming the streets getting ready to make a meal out of you. The excuses and whining about visa issues cannot and will not be understood by us Africans. Do you know how much paperwork and ‘proof’ of compelling ‘intention to return home’ evidence we have to carry to embassies, and the humiliating harsh interview processes we have to go through before being issued a visa to the West? The long lines in the sweltering sun to get those visa stamps? We don’t get it when you complain about applying for electronic visas from the comfort of your couch, or the 50 dollars you will part with for a visa-on-arrival into an African country. Stop acting all entitled. You are a globetrotter, so travel to Africa as well.

Smiles and merriment at a wedding in Mogadishu, Somalia.

5) Nitpickers: It’s okay to say that you prefer not to go to destination A or B as a matter of personal choice, but to nitpick and pontificate on rogue governments and why you’re boycotting some destinations may be viewed as pot calling kettle black, because if you really look closely, there is something amiss about whichever country you go to. If the locals are great, the leadership is awry; if the leadership is a model of democracy, they have a history of wrongdoings that haven’t been righted, they may be entangled in wars by proxy in other nations or exploiting mineral resources in the third world countries. So in effect, every part of the world has something questionable about it’s present or past and only when you’re on ground with the ordinary man or woman, can you hear the real stories, and give their voices some level of dignity, instead of depending on a skewed media for information.

6) The absence of airline etiquette: This applies to any public space you may find yourself. Grooming in the open is not cool.  Do the public a favor and trim your facial hairs, clip or paint your nails.. in privacy. Respect your neighbors on the flight; be orderly when embarking or disembarking, don’t crowd the aisle, don’t hog the arm rest, don’t flip your hair over your seat..it may block someone’s view when they just want to watch an in-flight movie, don’t remove your socks in flights, don’t put your feet up in someone else’s space, be mindful of the smells of food you carry on board, your neighbors may not appreciate it or may have allergies…and above all, don’t roll your eyes at a bawling baby. Observing some airline etiquette on board, will help others have an enjoyable flight without resorting to fist fights on board.

What are your travel-related pet peeves if any? Please share in the comment section.

24 replies »

  1. Great post really enjoyed reading n can relate with most of the things. I just have it when someone removes their shoes while traveling n pretend not to smell how their feet is smelling. So annoying.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was a great read and I agree with you on every point! I am especially keen on point number 3, with regards to animals and keeping the environment clean. When I went to Thailand, I really wanted to see the elephants and do an elephant ride; until I learned how they treated those animals and I was disgusted. Even being on the grounds where the elephants were, made me feel like I was perpetuating the violence against them. And keeping the environment clean is such a biggie for me, it’s like some travellers don’t even care they wouldn’t litter at home, but they do it while on vacation, I hate that!! Thank you for the post, it speaks truths that people need to hear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear you Mishelem. I was with elephants, very much awed by them, but it hurt to see they were in chains, and a very little elephant was already doing some tricks as one of the guys commanded. We should really give these animals a break and not be complicit in their abuse. It’s sad that people travel to other lands and don’t care for the environment yet they have been raised differently, to be orderly about trash disposal.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m pretty sure l’m guilty of the follow/unfollow to a degree on IG. I had no idea there was a limit to how many people you could follow till l hit it. I used my app to unfollow everyone, then followed new people. I used to be upset about it, but now.. I don’t care. I’m bored with all social media to tell the truth and post just once a week on IG now. I hate the everything is peach-keene people..everything. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wow, didn’t view it that way. I get annoyed at folks who are all out to build their numbers by following people then immediately unfollowing them. I now take time to look at my new followers, and can sort of ‘read’ through those who are playing the game, and I follow people if they have great content…yes, it gets tiring but I’m also interested in real engagement.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m one of those follow to unfollow people. I think bloggers look at their followers as numbers and not people who are genuinely interested in their content or personality. If I follow you and I Start to feel you’re not engaging your audience or I see you have a million followers and are only following 2 people, it means you’re concieted and I have no business being in your radius. I mean to only see people as algorithims to push your wallet agenda is just sad. It may be business but not my kind.

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      • Yes that is true..there are those with high number of followers but with no one they are following. I guess they are in showbiz or some kind of celebrity. Engagement is so important yet sometimes the only way they engage their followers is when a brand has approached them to push or advertise a product of theirs. Sad state of affairs indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Love it, love it, love it especially number 1!! My biggest pet peeve are people who lack originality and mooch off others creativity. Its ok to be inspired but credit people where its due. And Instagram? Used to love it. Now the concept of a fat following and gaining 10 losing 100 followers day in and day out does my head in. Im ok with being authentic, not popular. Love your blog by the way! Lets link up when you’re home next!

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    • Thank you Harpreets! Will holla when next I’m home for sure! Yes to giving credit where due..instagram spins my head at times with the folks playing the follow unfollow but it’s important to keep our focus on authenticity, thank you for that reminder! 😊🙌🙌

      Like

      • But…if your aim on Instagram above sharing great content is to monetize your account, then big followings and huge engagement is required. Do you sit by and just HOPE it will happen? (Can you see someone who is feeling guilty? :lol:)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yup! That’s one of the major motivating factors for me..to earn a pretty penny as this is not just all fun. Would love someday to have the liberty to trot the globe at will and monetization would greatly help in that regard..and having a huge following..I hope. Unless I lose steam along the way, I’m quite active on instagram. Engagement is serious business.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This post is on point from start to finish. It should go viral. Yes, the people on Instagram are too annoying and success on the digital stage is driven by the same factors that cause many to succeed off that stage- the successful aren’t necessarily the best writers I have observed. One has to blog for the love of it and produce what calls him/her and stay true to ones audience well those who have integrity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the vote of confidence..Kim. I agree that some of the wildly successful have mastery of their niche and the way social media works plus the tinkering of google’s algorithms and SEO. Like someone said, ‘No longer the laughing stock, the geeks are now inheriting the world.”
      But sure, in everything that is done, it is important to be authentic.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. been thinking of starting a `decolonising travel writing` section to my blog – glad I came across your post, it`s making me think we need some more open conversation on this in the travel blog-o-sphere. loving your writing, keep it up! 😀

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