Not Cut out to be a Travel Vlogger

March 21, 2016

I’m a big fan of travel vloggers and YouTubers. Casey Neistat definitely caught my eye after his viral “Make it Count” video, in which he received a budget from Nike, but instead of using it to film something in New York, he blew it all on plane tickets and hotels, hauling a cameraman around to grab every shot of a crazy journey around the world. I regularly watch updates from BusanKevin in Japan and QiRanger in Korea (congrats on the new job, Steve!), but there’s something about being in front of the camera I just don’t think suits me.

Selfie Stick
“Selfie Stick” by Travis Wise

If I were a part of a team in a newsroom like The Young Turks it would be different: a script, a set schedule, all the perks of a regular job. But being one of those guys who takes the time to pull out an iPhone or camera when the moment strikes just isn’t up my alley. Besides the fact I don’t like being the center of attention in a crowd – with some exceptions – documenting an experience, in my opinion, takes away from the experience.

Case in point: my Instagram account. Though I’ve been taking day trips with a special friend, you won’t find a trace of her in my pictures. Not because she’s camera shy and asked me not to publish anything. Rather, I enjoy spending time with her more than proving I’m spending time with her to the world. I appreciate staying in the moment, and that means when our food is served, I don’t take a minute to snap a quick picture, post it to Instagram and Snapchat, and come up with a basic comment like “yummy, about to gorge myself.”

No. Just no.

Although food has become the go-to example for this phenomenon, it’s hardly the only one. See a funny dog? Pull out your phone and Snapchat your friend, who also has a dog. Someone’s getting beat up or robbed? Definitely don’t try to help; just record a video and give it to the police for evidence later… after you share it with the world, of course.

For me, this is no different than walking down the street with a selfie stick, the camera turned towards you so you can record a walking vlog. Casey does it. QiRanger does it. Even Swoozie has from time to time.

Am I ragging on them for doing so? Not at all. It works for them; they speak with authority, they get viewers, and people seem to like the format.

But I just don’t want that kind of presence on the Internet. I’m not cut out to be the guy talking to a camera in a public place rather than focusing on what’s around me. Even when I’m taking still shots, I sometimes save the best picture for my memory. Never recorded, never saved or uploaded. Just for me, as it was back in the day before social media.

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