Let’s talk about Travel Liars! This is more like a method of story-telling rather than a type of person, but it boils down to the fact that you can make any city, any experience, any crappy street or dilapidated house look cool and seem amazing.
I will try to keep this article short (impossible for me haha) and stick to the point, which is to discuss what is better, the truth or total B.S. or something in-between, and then explain how I approach talking about my travels.
Let’s get ready to rumble…
This article is similar to the one on Fairy Tale Travelers. Here, I will first explain what a Travel Liar is and then cover why I am NOT at all that!
A travel liar basically wants to, at all costs, have a positive experience. This is almost like self-validation. They put a lot of effort into doing something, either emotionally or physically or both, and they don’t want it to be a let down. Maybe they told people that they were going on this amazing adventure and maybe this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing for them. Well, of course they don’t want to come home and tell everyone that it was a bummer or that they didn’t like it because then that might make them look bad. It’s the same thing as when people fall on the ground and hurt themselves but tell everyone they are OK.
I personally think that this type of thinking and behaving has something to do with protecting what one perceives to be their sense of self and the value of their wants and desires. But this type of behavior tends to lead to a distortion of reality and it is this type of thinking that has caused me to, just today, coin the term “Travel Liar.”
There are many terms for this but it boils down to only showing anyone what they expected to and wanted to see. Anything other than the desired experience is ignored.
I suck at taking photos and my travel videos are hardly any better but, even I can make a city look amazing and gloss over or completely omit the parts of it that might not be so “sexy” or “fun” or “cool” for my facebook friends and internet people to see.
However, I do NOT do this. I mean, I will still show you the cool stuff and focus on that and yes there may be times when I am so enamored with a place that I don’t notice everything; but, I have made a point to try to pay attention to the entire experience wherever I go because I think it is important for people to understand the complete situation.
Sometimes people mistake this for complaining. However, I am merely attempting to tell you the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The problem with this is that people are so used to only hearing positive things that the first instant they get a doss of reality, they freak out – ESPECIALLY if it is about something that they really want to see or do (once again, trying to preserve a sense of self that, in part, relies upon thinking that their dreams and desires are important and good and right; anything negative in regards to those dreams or desires is an attack on them and their sense of self).
As such, people often tell me that I shouldn’t travel because it seems like I don’t like every single aspect of it; but, no one does!
For instance, when I was in Granada, Spain, I went to the Alhambra and, when I came back to the hostel and some people asked me what I thought, I told them the truth. I said that, though I loved Granada, I didn’t think that the Alhambra was anything special and that it was completely over-hyped except for the really cool gardens in the section next to the main building. Holy ****!!! You would have thought I just murdered all of their families. Before even hearing me out, they told me that I just wasn’t cultured enough to understand it and that I was a bad traveler and blah blah blah.
They took what I said as an attack on them. They had built this place up to be so amazing in their mind that a perceived attack on it was an attack on them. But, in all seriousness, they shouldn’t have taken it that way. It was, and still is, my opinion of the Alhambra and they should have taken it that way.
They should have taken it like you should take any opinion from a person you don’t know well, with a grain of salt, which you can then file away in your memory banks and consider how to evaluate based on your own personal experiences, which you should then have.
I am not going to tell someone that I loved something just because they want me to love it (maybe this is why I’m single haha). With me, you get my opinion. What you should do next is that which you were already going to do before you talked to me and then compare your experience with mine. If you really want to do something, you will never be happy until you do that thing. So, listen to other people, but then go and have your own experience. Take my opinion merely as preparation for what you are about to see or do, but experiences must be had, they cannot be read about or seen, they must be experienced.
I will tell you how I feel about what I experience. I expect you to do the very same when you are talking about your feelings, opinions, and experiences with me.
Let’s cut the B.S. Let’s stop the emotional pandering. Let’s tell it like it is.
And to that I say, it’s time for a beer! (actually, tonight I shall have a scotch 🙂 )