27 May 2017

I am not a Travel Blogger: A Case Study in Oslo

Sometime during the summer last year, some article appeared in the travel blogging community that somehow ruffled quite a few feathers. Apparently, one travel blogger "completely hated Oslo" and published an article about it. It garnered plenty of reactions, including some that were rather aggressive, so the travel blogger in question took the post down. Nevertheless, there are some copies floating around and if you just search for the phrase I mentioned, you'll quickly find which article I am referring to. Anyway, I happened to be in Oslo recently, and I must say, it was a totally different experience. The experience I had was more positive, and I must say, it strengthens my reasons why I am not a travel blogger. It gives me more reasons why I just shake my head when I read the majority of articles travel bloggers write.

First of all, I find how naive travel bloggers can be sometimes when traveling. They tend to eschew using guidebooks and other traditional methods of information gathering when it comes to doing destination research. Instead, they prefer reading blogs (imagine that) and using crowd-sourced websites to determine which things are worth seeing when one is in a new location. And I guess this travel blogger also did the same. If she used a guidebook, then she probably had a better time exploring Oslo. Instead, based on her descriptions, she found herself in Oslo's immigrant neighborhoods in the east, and because she couldn't see blonde people on the street, she panicked.

I spent several days in Oslo and I must say, I saw lots of blonde people. Her description of Oslo makes it sound like Oslo was Ramallah, and I must say that is so far from the truth.

Oh, she also talked about refugees, saying that Oslo was completely taken over by them. Again, that was something I cannot confirm. She said that she felt unsafe at night because there were too many refugees, and because of that, she thinks that something is wrong. I guess, something is wrong with her attitude.

And she also complains about Oslo being ugly and trapped in time. I suppose she hasn't seen the whole waterfront development, as well as the town center. Again, if she used a guidebook then she'll figure out where to go if one is visiting Oslo. Oh well...

Anyway, I find it sad and pathetic that some travel bloggers think they are travel gurus, and think that they are great resources of travel information, when in reality, sometimes, all they care about is monetizing their blog, and write emotionally charged and factually dubious articles in order to achieve that goal. Because Oslo really is not a trash dump. It was a wonderful city with plenty of things to see, and it has no problem with the fact that sometimes the person behind the counter in the 7-11 convenience store is Arab.


  1. Sounds like the person had an agenda :-/ These are not harmless observations!

    1. Zhu,

      I know. And even though I also see the value of travel blogs, one must also know how to determine value from crap.