Updated: Jan 3
Here is my beef with published travel lists. Now I adore lists more than the average person. They are inspirational, ambitious and such a great way to organize your thoughts. Written down on a crisp, clean piece of notebook paper… Ahh, I just got shivers. So how can I have beef with such a thing of beauty?
The thing is, you see these breathtaking magazine covers with Places to See Before You Die sprawled across the front. Stunning! I can’t afford to purchase the magazine, let alone the actual travel itinerary. To top it off, I am going to die. Often these lists are compiled by numerous people passed off as though one person experienced them all. It’s like some fantasy school group-work dream where one person actually gets credit for doing all the work and the other low lives get no acknowledgment. That was a long-winded spiteful simile. I digress.
1. One of the hugest things I’ve learned is that just because one person loves a certain city or country, doesn’t mean the rest of the population will. Well, no shit, you’re probably thinking. But you’d be surprised how long it took me to figure that out. I also figured out why it breaks my heart when a fellow traveller disses a place that you have fallen in love with. It’s as though they are attacking your memories that you had there. A castle is a castle but the experience you had somewhere can’t be compared to someone else’s. So when these people write lists about places they probably have never been to, telling me what place is better than another or which one is the best, it irks me. Don’t tell me what I should like. You don’t know me.
2. FALSE. January isn’t a fantastic time to go to Greece. I can’t even begin to tell you how many false things I have read. Whether that be erroneous suggestions or downright lies. Could you imagine if you took one of these things at face value, planned your entire trip around it, only to arrive and be disappointed? Honestly, I have mapped out so many cool things that I have found on the internet but at the same time, I have Googled some complete misses. Stay sharp my friends.
3. Another annoying thing is when people pawn off as though they have been somewhere when in reality they just stole the picture from some travel website while sitting next to their cat who is wearing matching pajamas. You would be surprised how many Instagram and Pinterest posts are like this. Once I read a list of the best places to eat in Amsterdam and then in the end the chick goes “let me know how they are since I have never been to Amsterdam”. Damnit Debra you’ve misled me. Why is the internet so full of deceit?
4. Oh also, it grinds my gears when the slightly altered photo of a place turns out to basically be the one cool thing in the town. It has happened to me before where I have seen a stunning photo of a place online so I went out of my way to go there. It turns out the photo was sort of staged with a cute wagon arrangement which was no longer there and the alley it was taken in was pretty much the one pretty street in the entire town. To top it off there was no elegant handwriting in the sky displaying an inspirational quote. Damnit Debra!
5. I haven’t even mentioned those people who must spend a full day taking one perfect photo with the perfect filter with their perfect selves. They must wake up at 4 am to get the light just right or spend 5 hours arranging their fruit bowl next to their passport next to their expensive pen next to their fashionable notebook. Who has time for this shit?
6. Look at me, I just accidentally made a list. Seriously though, HOW IN THE HELL DID YOU TAKE THAT PHOTO? I’ve seen pictures online and gone to the place and thought “no, it can not be”. Unless you were hanging from a drone 600 m in the air at precisely 12:01 on July 12th it is impossible for you to have gotten that shot. Snaps of the Taj Mahal with the sun elegantly behind it, perfectly centered with a pure blue river in the background is not reality. The Taj Mahal is situated with its entrance facing south with the back of the structure against the Yamuna River which is a brownish colour at best. The last time I checked, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west so it is IMPOSSIBLE for the sun to be directly behind the Taj illuminating the river behind it with a sunset. So unless you moved the sun to take your precious photo, I call bullshit. (It’s going to be SO embarrassing if I am wrong after that long rant…)
7. Ugh last thing, more Photoshop. When you remove the tourists it is so wrong. I get that it looks better but it isn’t accurate and therefore it is wrong. There was one post where someone took the actual vs Photoshopped tourist attraction and holy shit it's night and day. I for real experienced this when I went to see the Mona Lisa, Venice Carnival, and pretty much everywhere else that excessive amounts of people go to. It’s mental. Damnit Debra and your Photoshop skills.
I adore all the travel information online but stop toying with me. I am in a sensitive state while not travelling and you’re making me enraged.