If You are Not Snug Touring Now, Do not Browbeat Folks Who Are

I am a travel writer and have used my adventures for the past ten years to entice readers into making their own globetrotters. I found my escapades inspiring. I never thought that one day I would be ashamed of her.

It was hard to be grounded for so long to weather the pandemic, but like you, I probably isolated myself at my house. Over the months, I saw my industry collapse. Travel publications stalled, restaurants closed, and airlines and hotels laid off workers.

It felt like the industry might rebound as the economy drained away with the promise of summer. There was exuberance when people started reporting short breaks again – and then trouble when others poured out vitriol. The trend has been referred to as “travel shaming”.

This trend differs from expressing concerns or asking vacationers to take travel matters more seriously. Travel shame forces – with deliberate meanness – one’s own views on social responsibility and intends to embarrass oneself. Travelers who posted travel reminders or even asked for future travel tips began to arouse anger and judgment on social media.

I remember testing the travel water on Instagram with a stay at a hotel a few blocks from my apartment in late June. All of my caption spoke of security measures, not festivity. Even so, within a few moments I got a message from an insulted friend that I was encouraging such risky behavior. When related posts attracted similar anger, I didn’t know how to proceed. After all, travel inspiration is my job.

Some people are willing to take risks – and that’s fine

Other travel industry insiders caught the trend too, when Scott’s Daily and The Points Guy publicly called for an end to shame – because while it would be ideal, waiting for a vaccine is just not feasible.

There is a significant proportion of the population unwilling to take the risk of travel for various compelling reasons. Still others weigh the risks and swap that European vacation for a nearby beach given the precautionary measures. The thing is, travel is never a zero risk, and for many this change of landscape or atmosphere is not frivolous but downright medical.

If you’re not feeling well right now, that’s fine. Most people would agree, however, that sending hateful comments to those who decide to keep traveling just isn’t productive. It doesn’t change behavior or lift us up in these difficult times.

“If you choose to ‘share’ your privilege, expect to be called,” said a cage travel shameful on an online forum. “Joe” didn’t explain why he felt it was his place to be the umpire of appropriateness. First of all, these attacks are not worthwhile because shame hasn’t changed anyone’s mind.

Jill from Jacksonville, Florida is a prime example. She took advantage of remarkably low airfares to take her young children on a rare trip to a family far away. “It was one of the best parts of a very tough summer,” she recalled.

“I shared the photos on Facebook and was immediately attacked by people telling me how selfish to travel. That I put my children in danger and that I am a terrible mother, ”said Jill. Even after pulling down the post, she continued to receive negative news.

“It was crazy, but it didn’t stop us from going [on other trips], “She continued.” At first I was hurt because it felt like an attack on my character, but it quickly became eye opening to see how scared others were. The loss of control in their own lives seemed to manifest itself in some way that contradicted their normal behavior. “

Travel shaming is ineffective

Shame also makes some travelers more defensive, and hateful comments make some so much more determined to travel. Teri from Washington, DC doesn’t shy away from defending her actions. “I’m not the least bit afraid to travel,” she told me, emphasizing that she had been on six flights in July alone. “I can refer to CDC guidelines and recommendations from the US Travel Association that say the precautions I take are more than adequate.”

Don’t assume that people will stay home just because they report less about their adventures. Some travelers simply refrain from social sharing for fear of retaliation.

“Most of my friends and I are keeping our trip a secret,” said Marianne from Baltimore, Maryland. “Sure, I went to [Chesapeake Bay] with girlfriends this summer, but I didn’t share the way I normally would. And I asked my friends to keep it on the low as well. “

Travel aids fighting industries

Travel shaming should stop first and foremost because it harms an already ruined industry that offers as little as possible to get back on its feet. “Travel is likely necessary for some to keep jobs,” wrote Richard Kerr in a recent post titled “Travel Shaming is Here – And It’s a Problem” on popular wanderlust website ThePointsGuy.com. “Also keep in mind that some people’s work depends on others choosing to travel.”

Travel writers like myself, who struggle with whether our jobs are deaf while many people are sick, out of work, or closing their businesses are encouraged to see some people travel comfortably.

“Safe travel is a great way to help the troubled travel industry,” agreed a New York City-based travel entrepreneur, who says the responses to her posts have been overwhelmingly positive but she is more thoughtful than usual about what she shares. has been thinking.

Other travel bloggers, even cautious ones, bow to the backlash and don’t want to be accused of being unsympathetic or extravagant while the rest of the world juggles turmoil.

“Our livelihoods depend on traveling and content creation,” said Sarah, a Los Angeles-based blogger, wavering from the aftermath after recently sharing a few trips with fans. “The reaction was pretty hostile. In retrospect, I could have written a long post about all of the safety precautions my companions and I have taken, but I assumed – and it was my mistake – that followers were ready to reconsider planning trips. Getting hate for my job is a little annoying, but I am learning to adapt. “

Stop travel shaming and be friendly

While there are few actual results, the shame of travel is unlikely to go away anytime soon. This is because shame disdain is not all about health concerns and forbearance. it boils down to fear and, dare I say, jealousy. Antagonists seek someone to blame in a world that is increasingly feeling helpless, unhappy, and vulnerable.

“People can and will judge. It’s part of human nature, ”said one of my friends in the entertainment industry. “But whoever thinks it is his job to publicly punish someone for something he has the right to do [they] I have to understand that they may not be spreading the coronavirus, but they certainly are spreading the virus of hatred and anger and that has dire consequences too. “

Nobody benefits from online trolls who question morals and character. Instead, let’s be kind as we all do our best to get through one of the most unusual times of our lives. So stay home if this is right for you. Travel safely when you are comfortable. Everyone is in favor of exercising caution and encouraging thoughtfulness, but the travel embarrassment should stop.

Kate Michael is a DC-based freelance writer who shares stories about travel, technology, politics, and lifestyle.

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