Regurgitating Wanderlust: An Open Letter To BBC Travel

 

A rich white person quits their six-figure job to travel.

Thunderous applause followed by a digital standing ovation across the World Wide Web. Truly, they have overcome the tedious odds and made their way to a beach-covered freedom in a winterless, remote country. Such a unique tale inspires the plebeian masses to dream a little harder whilst stepping up their #wanderlust game. The End. Insert link to their newly-established blog. Quote Thoreau.

Repeat.

I expected more from you, BBC Travel. Somehow you seem to be posting articles like this every other week and no one seems to be batting an eye. No one is raising a hand to point out that rich people have always been able to do whatever they want – get a job, quit a job, travel, don't travel. With an annual $100k (or more!) in your back pocket there really isn't much you can't do. Yet these people are serenaded with blog posts about their remarkable achievements as if they are breaking down some insurmountable barrier. Where are the articles about minimum-wage workers doing the same thing, BBC? Where are the articles about people of colour hittin' the road on a budget having just given Ronald McDonald the finger? Those stories are out there – rare as they are – yet they are ignored by the white-washed industry of the travel world. They are ignored by your shallow, repetitive stories that irritate more than inspire. Travel has ever been painted as the realm of the wealthy, and thus white; a misleading facade the world can no longer relate to. The average Westerner isn't making a six-figure salary and yet “miraculously” many of us are still out there wandering this pretty blue planet and doing so without a brimming bank account. 

While the vast majority of successful travel bloggers are white, not all of them come from well-to-do backgrounds. Many backpackers and wanderers have scraped and saved to see the world, only to be overlooked by you when their well-off (aka white) counterparts do the same thing. Rich people quitting their rich jobs to travel? Who cares? It's a storyline that has lost its appeal, its charm...if it ever had any. Nobody cares about rich people travelling except other rich people who like to travel. It isn't something most of us can relate to because most of us – the overwhelming majority of people who exist – are NOT rich. So maybe it's time you find another story to regurgitate, BBC Travel. Perhaps one that at least has value, that introduces us to someone who has actually achieved something admirable instead of someone who just go tired of wearing an expensive suit. Not that I blame them – I was never one for suits.