• sicilysouth

Travel: looking like a travel blogger not required

Updated: Dec 9, 2019

I am well aware that the subject of this blog coming from someone who has a travel blog (and therefore is technically a travel blogger) seems ironic.

But I can assure you, dear reader, that the type of travel blogger this post talks about would never dare post a photo like this:

Yes, there I am. In all my double-chinned, awkward laugh and arm placement glory. Sitting at the seaside in Punta Secca, Sicily.

And all I wanted (all I ever want) is to take photos that look like this:

Let me be clear. This is not a commentary on how I feel about the way I look, nor a thinly-veiled attempt to earn compliments or affirmation.

This is about how travel is portrayed these days. More of an experience to be staged, posed, and documented than one to be, well,... experienced.

As the owner of a travel business, I recognize that providing a pleasing visual representation of what our travelers can expect on one of our trips is an important part of marketing our business. But what happens when the picture-perfect portrayal of travel makes it feel inaccessible to potential travelers?

Before the last two trips we led for Sicily South, I went a bit mad and bought a whole bunch of new clothes so I, too, could attain travel blogger style status and have gorgeous images to use in our marketing.

I purchased a beautiful striped linen dress and a punchy red jumpsuit with white polka dots, among other items, that I thought would help me get that "travel blogger look". (And yes, I loathe myself a little bit for writing that sentence.)

But do you know what actually happened when I was so proud of myself for looking so cute in my perfect dress and my perfect jumpsuit?

1. I sat at a Palermo cafe table for I'm-not-sure-how-long with the top two buttons of said linen dress unbuttoned, unbeknownst to me.

2. While wearing my jumpsuit, I had to use the restroom in Noto while having lunch at a lovely little fish shop. And we all know what has to happen in order to use the restroom while wearing a jumpsuit...

The truth is, as much as I would like to look a certain way while on the job, and as much as I try to rework our schedule each trip in order to have the time (oh, precious time!) to look a certain way while on the job, this is what I actually end up looking like while on the job:

Because the activities I spend my time on first revolve around the million and one details that go into creating unique experiences for our travelers and running after our busy toddler. And after that comes getting a little bit of sleep and setting aside a few brief moments during the day to revel in our good fortune that this is our "job".

Time for hair and makeup may one day come. But I dare say I won't be making any time for the kind of staging and production necessary to create stereotypical travel blogger photos.

And more importantly, not having travel-blog-worthy pictures of your travels doesn't mean that your experience is any less valuable, important, or soul-shaking than anyone else's.

So wear your flip flops or wear your heels. Wear your yoga pants or wear your flowing dress. Hair up or down. Makeup-less or full face. But get out there and travel.

And be sure you actually experience it when you do.

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