Travel Blogs Stink

Posted: May 11, 2013 in creative musings, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

They do. Travel writing in general is annoying, and I don’t just mean the useless-but-I-go-nowhere-without-it Lonely Planet guidebooks. There’s a great quote by a British author who’s name temporarily eludes me – something to the effect of travel being mostly comprised of delay and waiting in line. It’s true. Travel is getting buggered and lost and itchy with a million fears and diseases, but we write about it as if it’s covered in shiny happy goop.

I’ve written blogs before, and yes, some of them were travel blogs. That goop is fine for showing off Thailand pictures to your mom’s best friend, but it’s the literary equivalent of romantic comedies: tidy, sanitized, unrealistic, and boring as fuck.  I feel this way about a lot of Berlin-based expat blogs. They think everything is great; they make small jokes about the bureaucratic struggles of living abroad; they do have good coffee shop recommendations. But I find they meld; the humor is mild and inoffensive and unremarkable. (Maybe I just find most people to be this way, and the poor blogs are only a reflection.)

Where was I going with this? Oh, right, this blog. Well, this blog probably won’t be much better. I have a strong internal censor and a pretty thick brain to mouth filter from a lifetime of learned polite behavior, but I’m trying to be more raw and honest and scratchy.

This blog is less about writing in Berlin than it is about writing without a filter. I say ‘uncensored’, but I do not mean hedonistic party animal debauchery tales. A lot of writing life is solitary; a lot of writers don’t like talking to strangers even when we do make it out of the house. We’re bookworms, shy, better at character development than building real-live relationships. We’re inward and cranky and seem to celebrate our dependence on caffeine.

But we also narrate constantly. We think a lot but most of the time, those thoughts get filed away in “not suitable for public consumption”. Blogs are a great catch-all for useless crap of the mind, but it’s like singing: you sing in an empty room before you perform for an audience.

  1. I like the sound of this!

    I agree for the most part as well. There’s something very loathesome about people sat in the sun sipping on some poncey local drink, the smugness is splattered all across the words as they revel in yet another ‘working’ holiday.

    Lonely Planet type guides are often midly offensive and innacurate, while the more polished ones just reek of pretentious bollocks.

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