So, there is a hate-thread about me over at Lonely Planet.

So, there is a hate thread about me over on the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree site.  Bored at work one night, I Googled myself and there it was. People I’d never met, united together in a massive slag-fest about what an awful human being I am. It’s from a long time ago but I still remember being absolutely mortified when I found it. 

It was all because of a piece I wrote about travelling, that was published in the Sydney Morning Herald  and seems to have got up the noses of quite a few people who enjoy travelling. Like this person-

Wow that lady is so bitter!

I hope I don’t sound like as much of a self-righteous, pretentious, bratty snob when I say I would prefer to travel independently rather than on a package tour as that lady (Carly Smallwood, or was it Smallbrain?) does!

Smallbrain? I have feelings too you know, random internet person.

Written at the age of 24, the article is a lot more caustic than something I’d write today, but if you actually read it, I never knocked travelling, or budget travel or independent travel. I was simply critical of the idea that going off backpacking somehow makes you superior to those that don’t.

                             “I’m not a tourist, I’m a traveller.”



Call yourself what you like, but no-one else cares, and in any case we are seeing different places not curing cancer here so let’s not get too enthusiastic about how wonderful we are.


Thanks hippy. If you hadn’t posted this wise meme on Facebook, I might never have left the house.

Being lucky enough to live in a part of the world where you can have a job that gives you a disposable income, then choosing to save some of that disposable income and get on an aeroplane doesn’t make you any better than people that don’t. Just because you  want to find yourself on a yoga retreat in Guatemala doesn’t mean that life is for everyone. I have friends who have little to no interest in travel. Being away from home and the people they love to go to somewhere stinking hot with limited access to clean water and sending themselves broke in the process is not their idea of a good time.

And that’s cool.

Some people like to go away on holidays and stay in fancy resorts.

And that’s cool too.

For people that pride themselves on being open-minded, “travellers” can sometimes be a judgemental lot. 

Travel, don’t travel, stay in a fancy resort for a week, go hiking alone for three months or stay curled up on your couch with your dog. Your choices are yours and what you do isn’t right for everyone else.

And that is ok.

37 thoughts on “So, there is a hate-thread about me over at Lonely Planet.

  1. Whatever happened to the notion that if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all. What makes the world a wonderful place is that we all have different opinions. Trying to impose their opinions on you, or being critical of yours, makes the world a less interesting and pleasant place.


      • As I find most of the people who leave these types of comments are “snipers” who rant and leave. I find the “Your Comments is Waiting to Be Moderated” option quite useful. As disappointing as attacks may be, deleting those comments is pragmatic. The you can associate and converse with those with whom you have mutual respect. Enjoy you travels.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The fact that they took time to write those things is a big kudos to you! That means you are doing something right. If I have learned anything in life it is that some people are gonna hate out of envy, some are gonna troll no matter what and some people are simply a**holes. I found zero pretense in your article, as a matter of fact, I thoroughly enjoyed it! If you were not writing something of worth, no one would be commenting! You keep up the good work and let haters hate!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hahahaha they’re right, everything in both articles does sound bitter and stupid, but it’s also hilarious. “Thanks Hippy.” Hahaha, who cares? I got a laugh out of both pieces, the thread just shows even further that these people need to get their heads out of their asses.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have to confess, Carly, I pretty much love traveling in any form. I am just as happy backpacking as I am staying at a resort and having my every need catered to. 🙂 So there is never a reason to criticize another person’s approach.


  5. Absolutely agree with this! I was definitely snobbier when I was younger… I thought traveling alone was the only way to go, insisting that the only good way to travel was for long periods of time, immersing yourself in the local day-to-day, etc. But now I love all types of travel from cruises to off-roading. Volunteering to pure vacation. Day trips to quitting your job and going all-out. My last trip was with my parents (more inexperienced travelers) so we used a tour van and stayed in hotels to make sure they survived and stayed healthy. I loved every second of it. Tourism is not a dirty word. You do you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s right, the way one person likes to travel doesn’t mean that’s right for everyone, and in reality, unless you stay somewhere a signifacntly long time, no matter how much you try and get into the culture, we are all tourists and that is not a dirty word!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I just don’t understand why people feel the need to comment on ANYTHING if they don’t like it. See that X at the top of your screen? Feel free to push it anytime, peeps! Oye.


  7. Each to their own, so long as the earth and vulnerable people don’t get hurt in the process The internet can be a ruthless, mean place and all we can control is our response. Do not be silenced. Keep writing and publishing.


  8. I understand what you mean but you also get those kind of things from people who don’t travel. A lot of my friends are getting married and having kids and I’ve lost count of the “the most rewarding job is being a mother” “being a parent is the best feeling you will ever have” etc memes flying around Facebook on a daily basis. In some way these memes I think are a bit crass whether it’s a meme about travelling or a meme about parenting as some people may long for children but can’t have them and some people may long to travel but never in a position to do it. I wish people would learn to do what they want to do in life but not brag or rub their own opinions and feelings in to other people via social media.


    • Oh yeah, I think people should just do their thang, whether it is travel,having a family, living with 6 dogs,whatever and not be like “You haven’t LIVED until you have done XYZ that I like to do”. Though maybe I am judging other people for judging other people haha! People often make their lives seem amazing on Facey or whatever but it can be far from the truth.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I think we are all entitled to be critical of publicly posted opinions of others, but this should not extend to personal attacks on that persons character. Many publications have sadly had to turn off their comment sections because of these trolls. The haters will always hate, keep spreading the love to beat them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yeah for sure you publish something in publicly you have to be open to critcism, I think the internet does make it easy to be mean though. Like you said you can critise an article without personally attacking someone and there is no way if I spouted these views down the pub these people would call me names, they might disagree but I doubt they’d be nearly as name-cally in the real world, much easier behind a screen with an anonymous name.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. We’ve met some of those cool travelers before that just ‘squatted’ during their travels, which really meant not leaving our couch for months. I am not sure if sitting there was really a mind-opening experience… You do have a point there. Some people will always find something to complain about.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “For people that pride themselves on being open-minded, “travellers” can sometimes be a judgemental lot. ” I’ve come to the same conclusion myself – too true! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great piece and just read your article that the Brisbane Times posted.

    The problem today is that political correctness has gone crazy and we can’t express our feelings or honest opinions for fear that we’ll offend – bring back the ’70s and ’80s – what happened over the last decades? The thing is, no one is forcing anyone to read an article, snippet, post, book, whatever – it’s totally our choice, so like we say “get over it”.

    I started travelling in 1985, solo-backpacking around the world for 12 months in the days of pre-internet and mobile phones where nothing was at your fingertips in seconds. Letters took 2 sometimes 3 weeks to reach Australia – reverse phone charges were prohibitively expensive and only for emergencies. I sometimes wonder how today’s travellers would cope in those days…

    I’ve met all sorts of travellers over 30+ years of travelling whether solo, partnered, sailing, backpacking, motorhoming, independent, on a tour, treks, whatever the method…it’s great that people are still getting out there and travelling.

    I guess we’ve all been guilty of passing judgement on other travellers but no one should really look down on the choices that other travellers make. I do know exactly what you mean as some long-term travellers do tend to carry an air of snobbery that’s uncalled for…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey thanks for taking the time to comment! It must have been a totally different world backpacking in the 80s. I started travelling in 2001, so there was internet, but you had to pay at a cafe. I think it is a double edged sword. Stay at a hostel now and people are glued to their deviced whereas people used to be more talking, hanging out, playig cards ect, though social media has helped me contect with people and make friends in Saigon as well as keep in touch with friends from home.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It was and much more challenging than these days. I remember the days of Internet Cafes and still used these sometimes in 2011 through South America.

        I’ve noticed that in hostels.
        Remember staying in Vang Vieng when travelling through Laos for a couple of months in 2014. Walking by all bars and restaurants, the amount of 18-25-year olds glued to TVs watching Friends was incredulous.
        I remember commenting to my partner, why travel to a spectacular place like this just to sit and watch Friends. Travellers watched Friends day after day and for hours – we walked past daily!


      • Hahaahhaa yes! Friends is such a random thing in Vang Vieng. I think I first went to Laos when I was 23, so it would have been around 2005 and they were playing Friends then too!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I am not surprised you were mortified, I would be also. You can disagree with a writer but to host a hate thread about you, it so childish and horrible! Says more about them than you. Keep writing! I enjoy your writing xx

    Liked by 1 person

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