y Travel Blog Has No Depth and Backpackers are Young and Naive

I’m a Libran. I like balance and harmony. In other words, I don’t like to rock the boat, start or be involved in arguments. That is not to say sometimes I don’t want to, but usually I’ll just let things slide and find a way to look for the positive side of things.

But, times will come in your life when you have to speak up and out. Today is one of them.

I am happy to take any criticisms of our work here at y Travel Blog and anywhere else we may appear. Critique is what helps us improve and move forward. I like criticism that is constructive, relevant, true and comes with a respectful tone.

I am a teacher, so I know how to give criticism to help a child grow and develop. If I gave a child feedback that was condescending, off the mark, and not based on a thorough review of their work by me, how could I ever help that child?

me teaching in London in 1997

A couple of months ago, I put in for a review of our site at Travel Site Critic. Not really knowing who they were and who was behind it, I decided to do it as I really want to know how to improve our site. I never heard anything back about it and completely forgot until I heard someone else mentioned the site today.

“Oh, let me go and see if they reviewed us”. As we are currently going through a complete site redesign, I thought we might get some credible feedback.

To put it mildly, I was really annoyed with the negatives that were written about our blog, more specifically, the condescending tone that came with it, not just because it was directed towards us, but towards a community of backpackers that I am proud to say I have been involved with for 14 years.

Not only this, but, it was obvious that the review of our site was scantly done and totally inaccurate.

I am still left wondering how on earth they came up with the following:

The Bad:

“In our opinion, what’s missing from y Travel blog is depth. There is no question that Caz and Craig are experienced backpackers, but are they experienced travelers? From what we could see, they seem to have learned much from their fellow backpackers, some of whom seem young and naive. I guess what we’re trying to get at here is that y Travel blog seems to be written more for party backpackers than for serious travelers who really want to get to know the world, as opposed to being entertained by it”.

As my typical Libran self would do, I switched over to a more positive web page to take my mind off it and surround myself with rainbows. But it kept niggling and niggling at me.

So I reread it and thought about what might be true from this and how could I learn from it. I hunted around on my site to double check my posts to find the reflection of my shallowness. While there are lots of stuff about partying on there, there is also a lot of depth that has come from 14 years living and traveling around the world.

China friends
Backpacker friends in China

I thought my ebook: “Living an Empowered life through travel–20 lessons travel taught me about life” just might somehow show some depth to our experiences.Not sure how they missed that one on the home page. Maybe I need to rewrite it–perhaps “20 lessons on how to Skull a Pint,” might suit our blog better.

The niggling eventually got too powerful and I kicked my airy Libran sign out and brought out instead perhaps a fiery moon sign of mine or just my Irish heritage. I don’t feel like this review is accurate or fair. There are a couple of points I need to dispute.

Are Caz and Craig experienced “travellers”?

The first thing I wanted to know from this is what is Travel Site Critic’s definition of experienced “travellers”, and how have they themselves lived this. If you are going to review a travel site, make sure you come from a place of knowledge, or get a new business. Our post on What travel is not and what it is” and “How to travel without travelling would define for us that what travel/travellers means.)

Yes, we are absolutely experienced travellers. We have travelled extensively through 35 countries since 1997, taking care to immerse ourselves in the local culture. We haven’t just bar hopped around Dublin and drunken ourselves stupid on Thai whiskey buckets (although we thoroughly enjoyed this).

We know what it takes to travel with a purpose and live out of a backpack 24/7…

… to travel in public transport (ever taken a 9 hour/97km dirt road journey sitting in the back of a pick-up on sacks of potatoes and bicycles while crammed in with 20 local villagers, hiding under a tarpaulin as the rain pelts down and you slide off almost to your death to the treacherous valley below? Thank goodness for Benjamin, the lovely Ugandan man I sat and chatted with the whole time; he continued to do all he could to keep his Muzungu safe, and that he did.)….

in the back of a pick-up, Cambodia 2002

…to eat food from the street carts whilst living in Bangkok for six months straight shoulder to shoulder with the locals…

….to sleep on the escarpment of the Great Valley Rift or in a tent while a Masai warrior stood guard all night in case of  hungry lion or leopard attacks…

Craig camping on the escarpment, Malawi 2002
Craig camping on the escarpment, Malawi 2003

…or on the rocky ground after a day of hard trekking to see the orangutans in the jungle of Sumatra as our guide stood watch with a giant knife in case of a visiting tiger…

Bukit Lawang Orangutans
Jungle trek in Bukit Lawang

Does jungle trekking through the jungles of Uganda to see the gorillas, white water rafting the Source of the Nile, hiking to see the sunrise over Mt Bromo, coming face to face with a cheetah, or traveling Africa “local style” and independently for five months on public buses, trains, boats, and pick-ups(which is a bloody hard and uncomfortable form of “travelling”)  count towards us being experienced “travellers” with “depth” or is this not “serious” enough and still labels us as party backpackers?

on the trek to top of Mt Bromo, Indonesia 1997

What about the week we spent in a remote village with the beautiful Laotian family eating simple meals under the stars, as she told us in her broken English how for 10 years she lived in the nearby cave with the whole village due to the constant bombing of their riverside village by the American planes?  We spent the week fishing with her son, and trekking through the villages, and watching as he built his dream falang bar – with one arm, the other lost when his curious 11 year old self picked up that shiny piece of metal in the rice fields.

our Massai friend in Kenya 2003

Does all this qualify us for being experienced “travellers”?

This doesn’t even touch the surface.

Would you consider living and working in another country part of becoming an experienced traveller? How about 5 countries? Do you know what it takes to move to a foreign land and start your life over from scratch, time and time again? Do you understand the experiences you gain from this? Do you know the network of friends and family we have all over the world as a result?

me as a witch, halloween in North Carolina, 2007

Would standing up in front of 600 Thai high school boys to thank them for welcoming me into their school to be their teacher for the next 6 months, when they couldn’t understand a word I said, count? Did I increase the depth of my experience when they embraced Craig and I into their school and lives, spending time with us on the weekends, playing soccer with us after school, and greeting me at my 3rd floor school office “bedroom” of a morning to carry my books to class?

…how about tutoring a buddhist monk and being invited as the only foreigners to their religious ceremonies at one of the most important Wat’s in Bangkok…

Wat Saket Buddhist ceremony
Private ceremony at Wat Saket, Bangkok

…or what about when Craig, who is mostly shy with a background in professional sports, stepped out of his comfort zone with no teaching qualifications or experience to teach English to classes of 50 students at one of the most prestigious high schools in Thailand? Would that count as having depth to your experience? Is he a traveller now or still just a party backpacker?

Does working in the bars in London and Dublin not count? Working on a Pearl Farm in the Kimberly region of Australia to help cultivate some of the world’s best pearls? Teaching English to European students on vacation in Dublin? What about teaching the Irish “travelling” minority students? Or starting my first teaching experience straight out of University in the worst area of London, with Somalian and Bangladeshi refugees, and crazed students who threw chairs around the room. Is this deep enough?

Oliver St Jojn gogarty Temple Bar dublin
Working at Oliver St John Gogarty Family Temple Bar Dublin

Sure, I haven’t written about all of these experiences yet, because this blog has only been going 8 months and I have 14 years of stories to catch up on, not to mention the recent  international move in July from the States back to Australia, the full time jobs we work, parenting a beautiful 3 year old, the miscarriage, and the financial disaster of a bad real estate investment in the States that practically sent us bankrupt has got in the way in the meantime.

I am sure if you looked hard enough you would have seen several posts mentioning a lot of our experiences, namely the About Us page, Our Mission, 23 experiences not to put on your travel bucket list, 29 experiences to put on your bucket list, as well as the published writings page which showcases the depth to our experiences and our thoughts on how travel has changed our life.

Craig and Caz, Angkor Wat, Cambodia 2002

Is our tag line not ‘It’s all about the memories” and do we not advocate “make your life a story to tell?

You can be sure some more in depth experiential posts will be coming up in the future – a positive thing perhaps?

Caz and Craig learn from their fellow backpackers, some of whom seem young and naive

I am sorry, my American friends – but what the hell does this mean?

(Yes, from living in the US for four years we learned that “hell” is  a curse word. When you live in foreign countries you tend to learn how to adapt and get along with people from many walks of life. Part of this means treading lightly so you do not offend your wonderful hosts. But I am sorry “hell” is appropriate here.)

This is the statement that really fired me up.

I would first like to know what are you referring to here and which blog posts show that we have taken information from fellow backpackers? Everyone who crosses my path is a teacher, including you, Travel Sites Critic. But what I would like to know, faceless person is what makes you so old and wise??

And what do you know of any of the people I have met in my travels? Young and naive???

These are people who are stepping out of their comfort zones every day to live the life of their dreams. They are venturing forth into an untamed wilderness to discover much about themselves and life. In my 14 years of travel, I have met backpackers from 18 years of age to 70 – each one has been inspiring, uplifting, entertaining, full of good cheer and good fun- youthful -yes, but young – no.

Do you mean to say you know my Swedish friend Kim, who taught me not just to rock climb in Krabi, but to look deep within myself to see the beauty that lies there? Do you know my brother Stilts, who has been travelling since 95 and inspiring me to do the same? Do you know Paul and Kelly who showed us how to embrace the beauty that is in everyone? Is this who you are talking about as I have mentioned them before in posts?

rock climbing reilay bay Thailand
Rock climbing with our Swedish friends

Hang on a minute….You are not talking about all our guest writers or our backpacking blogging friends who we celebrate each week on this travel blog are you? You are not talking about the winners of our post URL fanpage competitions and our fans of the month? You couldn’t be.

I can’t think of any other fellow backpackers we really talk about on this blog. You mean these people who write inspiring posts week after week on their blogs? Young and naive?? I don’t think so. People who are making a difference is who they are. These are people who inspire us every day. We know their names, we know their stories, and we love learning from them.

I tell you one thing Australians don’t like and that is when you pick on our mates. Better to be young and naive then old and beat up by life.

Caz and Craig are more for party backpackers than for serious travelers who really want to get to know the world, as opposed to being entertained by it.

Now isn’t this the killer statement! I wonder what those who are begging for water in Malawi, or roaming the streets of Vietnam with no arms and legs would say about this statement? Or what about the person who has just lost their entire life savings from the global financial crisis and has to return to work aged 65? Wouldn’t you think they would rather be entertained by the world then get to know it? Don’t you think they know enough?

MalawiWho are you and what have you done? Why are you such a serious and important spiritually divine traveller? Since when did serious have to mean boring? You can’t be an enlightened person and have fun at the same time? Do you have to sacrifice one for the other? Aren’t they part of the total package to life?

I think dedicating 14 years of your life to travel, and making all the sacrifices that goes with it qualifies you for being a serious traveler. You think we don’t know the world? What an absurd statement.

I knew nothing about Germans except their role in the holocaust until I sat with them in the beer tents of Oktoberfest. I stumbled out of there praising them for their warmth, their sense of humour and hospitality. A party and a couple of steins smashed to pieces any preconceived judgements I previously had of them and I found myself and my world taking one giant step forward to reconciliation and forgiveness.

me at Munich Beer Fest 1999

I lived in a house full of South Africans, Irish, English, Australians, Italians, Zimbabweans and many other nationality drop ins for 2 years in London.We spent many nights partying together in clubs, bars, houses, and on the road.  We  laughed, we danced, we cried, we sang songs from our home countries, learned dirty words from each others, and got along really well over many pints of beers. You think I don’t know something of their cultures and their worlds?

London friends
Just another great day with my London family

My best friend and I danced on the tables of Ios in Greece with people from around the globe. To this day, we still end up with aching bellies from the roars of laughter brought about by the memories we have of the Swedish in the inflatable baby’s pool who asked us if we would like to go to the “Willage” with them. They had water pistols for protection. (Much funnier to us I know- the Swedes are hilarious though, you just have to spend time with them to learn that).

Do you know how many diseases laughter can cure?

Or the Croat who came and gave me a bottle of wine on the street because I was wearing an Argentinean hat- the team that just beat them in the 98 Soccer World Cup? Enemies on the field united as friends over a bottle of wine.

Or what about the sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, we were the only whites on the boat full of black Zimbabweans. They drank and chatted with us as we played with their children, showing us the depth of their hospitality so we may love their country and perhaps stay a little longer in their politically destroyed country that now lies in financial ruin with people cutting off others arms for food.

Craig on river Zambezi sunset cruise, Zimbabwe 2003

Party backpackers know nothing of the world? We know plenty and sometimes the partying helps you to forget some of the things you do know, allowing you instead to focus on the warmth, love, and kindness that every single human being has within them no matter who they are or where they are from. The partying has the ability to unite people where many roads of seriousness has failed miserably.

Sure Craig and I party- “first to arrive and last to leave” as we always say. It is our ambition to have fun, to be the party, and to create many joyful memories. The parties are part of the travel experience.

partying with fellow backpackers in Zanzibar, Africa 2003

Who wants serious in their lives? Is serious what makes you important or qualifies you as having depth?

Serious? Have you turned on the news lately? Have you walked down your street and noticed the creased brows from strain and worry that comes with people’s every day lives?

Have you seen the homeless people on the streets, the children suffering from leukemia, the war torn streets of Iraq, or have you had a young and naive party backpacking friend die on the travelling road? A friend who reminds you every day to go out and live life out loud and forget being serious.

This is no dress rehearsal and there’s no prize at the end of this thing called life, for those who were the most serious and who got to know the world the best. The prize comes to those who live their life every day in total joy. Ask any enlightened guru and they’ll tell you that joy is our highest state of being. And that is what the party is.

Do you think everyone in their life is aiming to be serious and to get swallowed up by it? or do they want fun, adventure and a party?

Do they just want to let the worries of their day fade into the background as they sit on a hammock with an ice cold beer and talk with a random wise fellow backpacker about the joys of life?

it's beer o'clock in Lijiang, China 2006

Yes. Craig and I are party backpackers. We live and embrace joy. At the end of the day we’ll always strive to be someone you’ll want to sit and have a beer with. We’re not going to laden you down with stories of our spiritual awakenings (although we have had them), burden you with the seriousness of the road, and what a mess the world is when you step outside of the party.

We’re going to listen to your stories, share ours, hopefully inspire you to dream big and encourage you to laugh and laugh and laugh. We’ll give you a back slap, maybe a hug or two as we say…

“Life is all about the memories? We sure are glad you came along for the ride to help create more of them with us!

Beer anyone?…

Please do feel free to drop us some constructive criticism in the comment box below on how we can make your experience at our blog a more enjoyable one. Don’t worry it won’t inspire an irate blog post from me, that is reserved for those who have no idea what they are talking about.

Caz Makepeace is the co-founder of y Travel Blog and has been traveling the world since 1997, first solo, then with her husband, and now with her two daughters. Get her free email series on the 4 best ways to reduce travel costs. Follow her on Google+

151 Comments on “y Travel Blog Has No Depth and Backpackers are Young and Naive”

  1. Never mind the haters…your blog is awesome! Keep up the good work, looking forward to your posts in 2011

  2. Jessalyn

    Well, they’re right about y Travel Blog having a wealth of information, but I certainly don’t know where they come up with it having no depth! There isn’t a single post I’ve read on y Travel Blog that hasn’t made me stop and think, whether to consider a destination I have yet to visit or to reflect on life itself and the memories we create, traveling or not. It sounds to me like whoever reviewed your site didn’t read many of the posts at all, nor did they look at the comments and conversations generated by the experiences you’ve shared.

    I think you’re doing a great job, and I can’t imagine anyone who’s actually read one of your posts from beginning to end taking TravelSiteCritic’s “The Bad” seriously. Keep on doing what you do – your readers appreciate every word!

    • Thank you so much Jessalyn. It really threw me back when I read we had no depth. Sometimes I think maybe I reflect on things a little too much. It really annoyed me that they would write a review without the actual authentic review part. Looking forward to hopefully meeting you this year down under.

  3. awesome comeback! maybe travel site critic should do a critical post on itself. “useless whinging shit” might be a phrase they could employ. do you think they actually even read your blog?
    keep up the good work guys!

    • I don’t think they did read our blog. It makes me wonder just who has written it. It has an eerie feeling about it. It is nice to hear the word whinging again. I have been too Americanized and say whining all the time now. I think whinging is far more appropriate for these people. :)

  4. Screw them!!! You are doing a great job of inspiring and supporting other travelers in the community. We think you have plenty of depth and are the leaders of the Australian travel blogging community. Good to see that you voiced your opinion instead of biting your tongue.

    • Thank you guys! We really appreciate your support. You are doing a great job with your blog too! We hope you have enjoyed your New York chilly Christmas!

  5. Heck, I WISH I was still young and naive. Damn it ;)

    • It’s all an attitude Michael! You can be if you want to (as my 3 year old always says)

  6. Ugh, haters. In a way — they’re entitled to their opinions, but there’s the right way to voice and there’s… well, there’s the way they did it. And I particularly dislike the connotation of ‘young’ that they seem to have. Not that I’m young — but who says you can’t learn anything from those who are younger than us?

    It’s your blog. And if you think it’s great — it’s great. I happen to think it’s great and a valuable source of information… but I never claim to be a blog critic :p.

    • Totally agree. It was their connotations and the way they did it. I’m so happy to take the criticisms as I want to learn and improve but this was just way off the mark.
      I think those who are younger than us have a lot to teach us, what a shame for those who look at age as a determinant to wisdom. My 3 year old teaches me something new almost daily, and has ever since she was born.

  7. The older I get, the more I realize that everything my Mom said was true. And the thing she said the most was, “be yourself.”

    Another piece of wisdom, this time from mythologist Joseph Campbell. He said that no matter what you do, you will offend someone.

    So, be true to yourselves, and don’t worry about offending anyone.

    • You are absolutely right. And thank you for sharing. I always like to say “somebody else’s opinion of me is none of my business” Thanks for reminding me of it. Be yourself is all that you can do! One of our favourite songs!

  8. If they said this about your blog I’d hate to hear what they’d say about mine! On a side note I was told that my blog was whiney at best :)

    I’m with you that I’d love for people to give me constructive criticism as I know there are lots of things I need to work on. However, all of those comments were about you personally and not about the blog. I am so tired of people judging how other people choose to travel and what they want to see.

    I don’t want to go on a week long hike up some mountain, does that make me less of a traveler?

    It’s really sad that when traveling is supposed to liberate people, others use it to judge them.

    I love your site, keep up the good work.

    • Caz, No need to listen to what they say. If your site were sub-par, no one would read it. And that certainly doesn’t seem to be the case! And Ayngelina someone said yours was whiney?? haha. I love ridiculous comments sometime ;)

      • I know sometimes you just have to laugh. I’m laughing now but at first I was shocked at their ridiculous statements, not just about us but towards backpackers! They obviously have some sort of beef with backpackers.

    • Whiney? Where do these people come up with these comments. So absurd. Your site is awesome. I have been thinking about the judging a whole lot lately too as it is going on so much. My thoughts are always, how do they have time? I’m too busy trying to deal with my own life, then to be worrying about how someone else is living theirs. The only thing I want to say is “Are you doing what makes you happy?” Well then wonderful!” You might not be hiking mountains Ayngelina but you are certainly having some very memorable travel experiences. I am always learning and being entertained by your stories.

  9. I “discovered” your blog a short while ago, and I love it, and I turned 64 the other day. I am also not a “party animal”, wasn’t when I was young either, just not me, but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating and enjoying your blog!! I can only think that the reviewer quickly skimmed the odd post, and didn’t look at what you write in depth. I’ve spent the past year reading and researching travel blogs, and there are some which are trivial and shallow, as I found, but your most certainly ain’t one of them. I follow you for interesting information told in an articulate and often amusing way. Don’t let the grumps get you down, god only knows what their problem is!

    • Thank you so much. We really appreciate your comment and your support. Happy Birthday for the other day. You do not look 64 at all, so great to see you living the island dream. You certainly have the youthful travelling spirit.

  10. Well, I can imagine how you feel but… Never mind!

    There are lots of people following you and loving your stories. And that’s the only thing that really matters.
    By the way, I remember having read some time ago another post by another blogger who didn’t feel very happy with Travel Site Critic review, basically for the same reasons as you.

    Anyway, keep up with your lovely blog! We love it as it is! :-)

    • I have heard of quite a few now that haven’t been happy with their reviews. At least we have uncovered a shady operation. Thanks for your support and keep being that youthful naive backpacker!!:)

  11. Ehm… I was about to forget… Just in case… For Mr (or Mrs) X… I may be naive but I’m far from being young… Could be your mother! :-)

  12. Wow – what a rebuttal! Even though sadly this was spurred by some negative comments, it was nice to read more about the scope of your travel experiences all in one post. : )

    I can relate with how you feel. About a month ago someone commented on an Abroad article I wrote about airport security that the author (me) was living in “la-la land” and the gist was that I just did not ‘understand the terrorist threat.’ Oh man was I like “What?!” I kept myself from getting too upset about it, but I definitely responded with a description of how yes, I have felt a terrorist bomb blast go off and lived under martial law, been questioned by security agents, etc.

    Judging from Travel Site Critic’s Alexa ranking, I’d say not to take the review too seriously. It’s not constructive or particularly well-written, and you guys have WAY more readers than they do. Also, their site layout is quite hard on the eyes with all the ads/deals on the sidebar. Ouch.

    • Thanks Heather. It did turn out to be a nice little summary :) Good things can come out of bad. I feel really sorry for whoever that person was who wrote that comment on your post. Imagine how fearful their life must be. And you think they would read a little more about you before they wrote a comment like that. I think having lived in Pakistan you know a lot more than most about security threats. I totally agree with the layout on that site. Does give you a bit of a headache.

  13. Screw them. Don’t let it get you down. Actually, I have a few haters myself. One in real life and one online. It gets to me sometimes. I wonder why this person chooses me to bitch at and tell me how wrong I do things. It all comes down to that own persons insecurities. People love to displace blame or be upset with other’s success because maybe they aren’t happy with their own. I choose to be happy for everyone. I want other people to be successful. Zig Ziggler said, “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” That’s what I try to go by.

    However, I do believe in constructive criticism. If you ask me for an opinion I’ll give it to you straight. I don’t sugar coat things… but direct insults are completely inappropriate.

    Keep Rockin’ it. You guys are doing a great job!

    • We love Zig Ziggler. That is one of our favourite quotes. We use that as our driving force all the time. I love seeing other people succeed, not only does it make me happy to see them achieve and be happy but it is a reminder to me that I can do the same. Direct insults are highly inappropriate. Could you imagine my classroom if that is how I worked to help my students?
      It’s easy to get rid on the online haters but the real life ones can be a challenge. Hopefully you can avoid them as much as possible.
      Thank you for your support Jenny. You are an inspiration.

  14. I said this to Nomadic Matt today on twitter, and I stand behind it as being true not only of blogging but of choosing to put your life in any kind of public forum for people to analyze … “If you can’t stand the heat: don’t blog.” Because there will always be naysayers, not everyone is going to love you! It’s statistically impossible.

    The truth of those statement aside, I don’t believe the person who reviewed your site to be accurate. I enjoy coming here and reading about your travels and I enjoy what you have to share. I hope you will continue to write and do so with the same frankness you have always utilized. Just tweak your expectations perhaps, you won’t ever be able to please everyone!

    • Thanks Kirsten. I know that I won’t be able to please everyone. I just couldn’t keep quiet on this one,mostly due to the statements they made about backpackers in general and their self-righteous attitude. It’s a really bogus review site ands obvious they’re not really reviewing. I will continue to write, share and hopefully inspire. It’s good to have people like this enter your life to give you the motivation to keep moving forward.

  15. Excellent rebuttal to the travel site critic and I hope that person reads it! You guys are awesome — inspiring, entertaining, knowledgeable and you definitely know your way around a globe! Of course, I already knew that without reading this post, as did anyone who has been following you.

    • Thanks Cathy. I hope they read it too. I wrote a comment with a link to it on the site, which was quickly deleted, so I guess they must have read it :) I would hope after 14 years living out of a backpack I would be considered an expert, otherwise I am retiring.

  16. I really wouldn’t worry about it. They said some negative things about us too, but really who cares what this site thinks? Who on earth are they?

    • I just read their review on you guys. Seems as if they know a lot about being expert travellers, unlike those of us who are actually on the road travelling. Would love to know who writes this stuff and just what they have done. I think you guys definitely have a wealth of information to share. I know who I’ll be turning to when I get to South America.

  17. Yeah, weird critique on their part, but don’t let it get you down :) You guys rock, truly. Your enthusiasm for what you do shows, and we all love it!

    • Thank you Brooke!! We really appreciate it :) We’re looking forward to hanging out with you more this year!

  18. You tell ‘em Caz! I guess the critic was comparing your “blog” to a professional corporate travel website? Hard to say. As the saying goes, “you’ve officially made it when you get your first hate mail!” So congrats!
    Shake it off, we love ya! ;-)

    • Hey! We have arrived. Never thought about it like that before. Bring on the hate mail. We’ll have to have a beer to celebrate! :)

  19. I think your blog is one of the most loved by the travel community so I wouldn’t worry about one review from a nobody. I guess they were looking for a negative so just picked something without really reading or knowing anything about your site. Just ignore them and continue to do what you’re doing!

  20. Eh, wouldn’t worry about it much. We are who you are writing for, and we (well speaking for myself and I assume the comments before me) enjoy your blog. I don’t think people pay much attention to critic reviews for blogs anyways. I sure don’t, I rather make up my own mind. :)

    • For sure. I never have really paid attention to critics before and now I know why. I’m more into giving positive feedback and constructive criticism with the aim to help. I’ve just realized that a critic is probably not this type of person. They are happy to insult. Not the job for me!

  21. Wow! I know how hard it can be to let these things go sometimes. I think it’s awesome that you used your blog as a way to vent. Now I know not to submit my site to Travel Site Critic. ;) I really have no idea where they came up with that review. Your site is always full of thought-provoking posts.

    • Yeah, it did feel good to vent. A blog is good like that. You can let it out and then let it go. I wouldn’t submit your site to them Christy. They are bogus and I’d hate for them to write something totally off the mark about your inspiring blog.

  22. Pay it no heed.

  23. Sounds like the people who critiqued your the site are self-righteous uptight “travellers” who try to avoid anything remotely “touristy”, and wrap themselves in local clothing, bemoaning all the fat tourists and the party-hearty backpackers. You know, the kind of people who will scold and lecture you for not knowing every tiny bit of local custom before touching down on their soil, and for not knowing the local language for terms you would never thought to have known.

    Don’t concern yourself with such people, they are so wrapped up in themselves they cannot be swayed otherwise, unless you become just like them, of course! :P

    • Ha Ha I love this response James! I don’t think I have it in me to become like those self-righteous a### I couldn’t do a burqua at the beach-although would like to try it for a day in the city.

  24. Right on! I love reading your posts. Forget the haters, it’s good to do your own thing the way you want to do it.

    • Thank you Scott. We really appreciate it. Time to rise above the haters! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to understand why some people choose to be haters. Life is just too much fun. oops there goes that party side of me again! :)

  25. I know I’m just one of a million commenters here but I just wanted to repeat what has been said already. Don’t listen to the haters. Seriously, Caz, you two are doing awesome things and you have had many years of doing awesome things. I admire you and what you are doing because we’ve had a very similar travel background (after a few false starts in Germany and Ireland in 94-95, I spent ’97-99 in London then kept on going, with lots of expat and travel stints since) and yet you aren’t nearly as, um, tired and jaded as I’m feeling these days. You have an exuberance that I want to get back. I love the fact that you are drawing on your years of travel experience and finding things to teach and talk about. This is nothing worth criticizing! I’ve kind of pushed a lot of mine to the back of my mind because I have so much going on at the moment here in China and I worry at times that I’ll just forget everything I’ve done, as if it didn’t matter.

    Keep doing what you are doing. You’re doing well. You’re doing what you want to do and people are responding. And that’s awesome.

    The critics are just being…well, critical. Doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about.

    • Thank you so much Mary Anne. And I know we have similar paths. You will definitely get your exuberance back. It is so hard when you have a lot of things going on. Maybe you need to take a break from it for awhile to give yourself time to refocus. This past year I finally discovered that the purpose to all my travels was to share it, for whatever reason, I just knew I had to get it all out. I guess that mission has taken me over and given my a lot of enthusiasm to find the stories to write. I am surprised about how much I remember- my journals have helped a lot. Don’t worry about forgetting, those stories that are the most important will reappear for you just like it was yesterday.

  26. Well you know that review is absolute balderdash and piffle as we Brits always say (I say it at least hourly) but I’m really cross for you both that their stupid comments have hurt you a little. I’m extremely hard pressed to think of any bloggers less deserving of the spite.

    • I always love your colourful choice of words Jools! You are such a gem of a find for us this year! Thank you for your support as always. You know we have that drink already for when we finally meet in person.

  27. Great response to a review that I really can’t get my head round – did they even look at your site??

    I was going to break into the young and naive argument because it drives me mad but I’ve done it enough before, I’ll breathe deep and let it go.

    • I really don’t think they did look at it Poi. It just does not make sense to me at all. I’d much rather be hanging out with young and naive, you and Kirsty, then the stuffy uptight person who wrote the review. I’m sure the conversation would be filled with much wisdom and fun spirit. Naive is not a word I would use for any traveller. :)

  28. I’m just really stunned by their comments. I spent a week in Paris but know it better than others who spent a month. And I even managed to get some partying in there. Your response is dead on. Frankly, someone partying with the locals is going to have more of a travelling experience than someone who stays in their 5-star hotel, goes only to the tourist spots, and shops in the dept stores. I’d take your experiences over many of the ones I’ve read elsewhere.

    • Thank you so much. Some of my funniest and most memorable stories have come from the parties. That’s when most people tend to let their hair down. Hanging out with locals is travelling and experiencing the culture and as you said you learn more than if you stayed in your luxury resort and just went where all the tourists went. I bet you had a ball in Paris. :)

  29. They also wrote some strange things about my site as well which basically proved to me that they failed to give it anything more than a quick glance. And of course, my polite reply on their website and the two emails I sent to them have not been answered at all. No surprise there :)

    Anyway, I highly doubt that anyone is going to be fooled by their review and the truth is that most of the people who click over to your site will agree that the review was rubbish. So you really don’t have anything to worry about.

    I’m sure it felt good to write that response and it was a brilliant one at that!

    • Thanks Earl. It did feel good to write the response, it kind of reaffirmed for me a little bit just what we are doing here with our blog. I have just read the review on your site and think it is very strange. You can’t promote yourself as a travel critic, if you aren’t going to do your job properly and only quickly look over sites. They are a hokey operation! I’m not surprised you haven’t heard from them. I left another reply with a link to this post on their today which was promptly deleted!! Thanks for always being a great friend :)

  30. I have never heard of this travel site critic. Will take a look at them however don’t pay much attention to them Caz. As my friends would say “Let it go whoosh”

    • All in the rear view mirror now. Felt good to unleash my frustration in this post and now I can walk away. I’m not too sure how well known this review site is, but I think they are quite dodgy

  31. I’m finding this entire situation perplexing and shocking. You guys have a fantastic site and are obviously ‘real travelers’ with a lot of depth who have seen so much of the world. You’ve got one of the best sites out there and I’ve never thought of it as being for partying backpackers or whatever lame phrase those ‘critics’ used. What I’d like to know is who ‘they’ (the ‘critics’) are, where/how they’ve traveled and what qualifies them to be doing these critiques. I read several of them–of bloggers whose work I’m very familiar with–and must say that I strongly disagree. They couldn’t be more wrong about them….and about you.

    I think you’re doing a wonderful job and the vast majority of people (ie, the travel blogging community and travelers in general) know it. Also, you have a great attitude about what you’re doing and support others in their efforts. You inspire me and so many others. And that’s what counts.

    PS: I’d love to meet you for a beer sometime….not to drink, but because of the real and meaningful chat I’m sure we’d have about travel–and life.

    ‘Nuff said.

    • We would love to meet you for a beer too Lisa. There is so much we could chat about. I would really like to know who the reviewer was too and what they have done with their life. The tone to their review really irritated me. I have read a couple of their other reviews and found some of them slightly strange too. I’ll know not to nominate myself with dodgy review boards again! Thank you so much for your support and your kind words.

  32. You give ‘em hell Caz! And don’t mind the ignorant folks out there.

    I always find it fascinating that people seem to say things online that they would never say to someone in real life. It’s like it’s somehow ok to talk about someone behind their back in a public forum.

    Seriously, your blog is amazing and inspiring. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You’re clearly experienced travelers. There’s nothing wrong with getting down and having a good time here and there. To be naive is to think that you are.

    Can’t wait to see what you guys do in 2011!

    • I know. Some people think that the computer screen some how removes all ethical codes of behaviour! Thank you Aaron for your supportive and kind words! Hopefully we can meet up with you one day for a party :)

  33. Hey guys. I’m pretty sure anyone who has spent any serious time reading your blog, as well as participating in your excellent facebook community, would agree, you guys talk the talk based on many years experience walking the walk. Your site is excellent, the articles are informative and interesting as well as being a pleasure to read. The important thing is to rise above this kind of thing, keep doing what you are doing so well, and you will continue to grow and succeed. Ignore the unfounded criticism (although, constructive feedback as you rightly point out is always a handy thing to have), believe in yourselves and what you are doing (and what, clearly, a lot of other folks on this page believe in too) and all will be well :)

    Happy 2011!

    • Thank you Laurence. You are a great friend. Onwards and upwards, and kicking some dust in their face on the way :) You have a great year as well!

  34. Yeah, I wouldn’t pay too much attention to this. Who said it anyway? What has he done that has given him any kind of credibility to even comment?

    Always consider the source. You obviously have a strong following based on the quality people who have supported you here. All the best, keep doing what you are doing.

    • Have no idea who it is. The owner of the site just said it wasn’t her, someone else reviewed it. That’s an easy out! Thanks for your support.

  35. We (Shaun and I), are also Librans and totally understand that it takes certain things to really fire you up. I would have done the same thing! I’m not sure what is going to happen when I get my first flaming comment or post…

    You guys have been some of the most inspirational and friendly people I have met in the travel blogging community. You took us in, took time to chat, and provided amazing content. I feel incredibly blessed to have you in our lives.

    • Hey a fellow Libran- that is why we get along so well. Librans always seem to. You let me know when you write your first inflamed comment as I want to read it and support your back. It has been a real joy meeting you through this community and we thank you so much for your support and kind words. Can’t wait to read more of your adventure this year. It’s going to be a good one.

  36. I actually laughed out loud when I read that “review”. That is just flat-out ridiculous, as you two know well, as does everyone else who has read even a single one of your posts!

    And who the hell would want to live a life without the party?

    What Erica has said above goes for me too. You two are a tremendous inspiration to me in travel and writing and I thank you for that!

  37. My advice? Let this thing roll off your back. You guys are wonderful, you provide great in-depth coverage of all kinds of travel and locations and you add a level of sensitivity and personalization to your writing that I really appreciate. What’s more, people like you and want to read more because it’s you – because you guys bring something special to this travel writing business.

    Good for you for replying, but seriously, you guys are wonderful. It’s easy to be a critic. It’s much harder to put yourself out there and create something for the world.

    • Thank you so much Amy. It is really hard to put yourself out there, and when you hear someone say you have no depth and aren’t serious it is pretty hard to hear. We feel much better now that we were able to write this post and speak the truth to the shonky review site. I know they have reviewed others in a similar fashion. Get serious or get a new hobby!

  38. Wow what amazing lives you both have lived. You’ve done some awe inspiring things and I for one am glad you decided to start this blog and share those experiences with the world. Please stay true to yoursleves and keep up the good work! Also thank you kindly for defending the ‘naive and young’ travel blogging community. Let us all continue to travel and write in the way we love, anyone who doesn’t like it can hit the unsubscribe button lol

    • Thank you Jayne. We love sharing our experiences, especially if they can inspire others to do the same. I think the backpacking community is awesome and I will always be fighting for it. They leave a positive impact on our planet.

  39. If I can just repeat what someone else said, your site has a lot more readers, followers, and traffic than the obviously stupid travelsitecritic.com. I think that fact alone speaks volumes about the quality of your posts. Your stories and adventures are an inspiration to us all. That review was clearly written on a napkin after glancing at your site for about 3 seconds in an effort to simply have some content on their site. Don’t worry about them, just keep doing what you do. It’s clearly working out great for you, and the rest of us are enjoying it, too!

    • Thank you so much Bryan. We really appreciate it and are happy to have you as part of our community.

  40. Am I allowed to say bollocks on your blog? If so bollocks, bollock, bollocks! If not…sorry about that! From one Libra to another, for the record Caz and Craig I love reading your blog and one thing it certainly doesn’t lack is depth. Yes you have posts on partying but you also have deep thought-provoking posts, advice and great tips with a personal touch.

    I suppose everyone is entitled to their opinion but this one is clearly unfounded. All I can say is keep up the good work and don’t let crap like that get you down (altough it did evoke a good passionate post that I loved :) )

    • Yes you can say bollocks. One of my favourite English words. Thank you for your support and comments. At least a good post came out of it. :)

  41. Yowsers! What a shitty thing to happen.

    Maybe the poor guy was just having a bad day?! Or maybe he’s following the Facebook persona, which is pretty party hard and not so big on the enrichment or learning that’s a real part of the site, rather than reading your content?

    Perhaps, let’s speculate, he’s a freelancer being paid $5-$10 bucks per site review, and rather than visit the site he’s gone on Facebook, seen a few “anyone lost their lunch” questions and gone from there, rather than actually checking out the site at all?

    I wouldn’t let it get to you, though. It’s clear to anyone who reads your blog that you’re serious about travel, and serious-minded people as well as liking to party, and, yes, of course you’re well-travelled too.

    And, given your Alexa ranking is very significantly higher than theirs, I think you probably know who’s right and who’s wrong in this debate… Celebrate what you’ve done that’s good, and please don’t let this take up any more mental energy than it has…

    • They probably did just look at our fan page. That would make sense considering the comments. We are moving upwards and onwards. I had my say and now my Libran self is moving back towards harmony and balance

  42. Well, if we’re doing point scoring, I’d say it’s 1-0 to you from the reply you gave! A good read. :) As everyone else has said, your blog is great and the report isn’t worth worrying about. Easier said than done, I know, but the amount of comments you’ve got shows how much everyone appreciates what you’re doing.

    (Didn’t know you were a teacher. Me too, in a past life.)


    • Thank you. We like scoring points:) It felt good to write it and stand up for ourselves, our backpacking community, and what we believe in. I am a primary school teacher and working my way out of it. Too much bureaucracy , parenting and policing now, and no real teaching or inspiring happening.

  43. Their site seems amateur at best. I read some of the other blogs reviews and they really seem to be grasping for straws. On A Little Adrift, they said there should be photos on the Travel Photos page and that in one of her posts she was too critical of the locals. On Candice Does the World, they said she didn’t have enough posts. Is it just me or does it sound like a teacher grading a school project? Who are they to say how your blog should look or how you should feel about your own travel experiences? I am proud to say that I am one of those young and naive backpackers.

    And I agree with Theodora. This is obviously not someone familiar with the travel blogging community writing these reviews.

    Keep your chin up, guys! You’ve achieved more success in your 8 months in blogging than I have in almost 2 years!

    • Yeah I think they are very amateur. Most of their reviews seem quite odd ball. Even though my age is increasing, I’m proud to say I am still a young and naive backpacker. Will be forever. The spirit will never die.
      Thanks for your support and leaving a comment!

  44. I first started reading ytravelblog about four months ago, and have thoroughly enjoyed your adventurous travel tales.

    Although constructive criticism is very helpful, snarky criticism can be biting. However, when reading the site critique I noticed the following 3 things… Positive #1. your expertise in backpacking was commended. Positive #2. your ability to be social travelers and write/share entertaining travel stories was acknowledged. Potential to become a Positive #3. although the main question concerning depth of travel experience was posed, I thought your rebuttal was on point and highly convincing. 14 years of traveling through 35 countries around the world has certainly enabled you to amass an impressive array of “authentic travel experiences.”

    Thanks again for sharing your wanderlust. I look forward to reading more of your travel blogs. It’s really quite enjoyable!

    ~cheers, hiptraveler

    • Thank you Kelly! We are so appreciative of your support and enjoyment of our stories. We have plenty more to write and will continue to show the party and naive side to us :)

  45. Guys, I think a quick look at the number of followers you have and the QUALITY of the people who follow you tells you all you need to know – but I think you already know that. I’ve been following your blog for several months and the impression I get is of two very fun-loving people who are prepared to take the hard road in order to have a true travel experience that is respectful of cultures and people. And personally, I’ve felt very lucky to have you stumble across my blog – I’ve had nothing but support from you guys and I’ve been so appreciative of that. I read every one of your articles and am always waiting for the next story. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!

    • Thanks Bec. We’ve really enjoyed meeting you online and reading your work. We will continue moving forward :)

  46. Not even going to get into the critique Caz – mine I believe is the 88th comment here. Clearly you are doing something right. And your positivity is an inspiration to many :)

  47. Can’t believe the review this shitty site wrote about yTravelBlog – absolutely ungrounded. Please ignore it, they are probably just jealous of your success!! We LOVE your website, you have great information and SO MUCH MORE DEPTH than most travel bloggers out there, and looking at all the supportive comments and the amount of followers you have, you must be doing something right, no? There’s nothing we would criticize about your website, although we were wondering what happened to your ‘Travel Blog Posts we Enjoyed This Week’ section – we usually enjoyed your picks a lot. Keep the good work up and don’t listen to the haters!

    • I know! I had to pause the best of the week for awhile as I was not finding much time to do it. I have been mulling this over for a few weeks to work out the best way to do it. It will definitely be back in some form or another. Thank you so much for your constant support and appreciation. We love you girls! :)

  48. This blog is one of the best blog i have read in my life…Hats off to the writer “Caz”…You have visited almost every country which is of tourist interest….One can learn from you,how to live the life with traveling….

  49. I read bunch of the “bad” sections in the travel critic site for several travel bloggers, and I find myself disagree a lot. It seems that they are spending too little time to examine and evaluate a blog. Instead of reading thoroughly to get the feel of the blog and people behind it, I feel like in some cases they just flipped a couple of blog posts and dwelling on that. As a follower of many of the blogs being evaluate, I think some of the review is inaccurate, or even opposite with what I feel about them.

    Another thought from reading those bunch of critics is, I love it how we, travel bloggers, are unique individual/couple/group. Of course we have personal style and values. There is no such a thing as standard travel method. Traveling is like a lifestyle, different people has different style, and it’s not about good or bad. Of course we are putting our character into our writing. I think we should embrace that diversity. But seems like some of the reviewers don’t like the diversity.

    Keep it up, guys, I’m so happy we’ve met in person too!

    • Yeah, I think they are pretty flaky. you can’t evaluate a site after a quick glance. They need to shut it down if that is what they are going to do.

      Of course we have personal style and values. There is no such a thing as standard travel method. Traveling is like a lifestyle, different people has different style, and it’s not about good or bad. Of course we are putting our character into our writing. I think we should embrace that diversity.

      Love this Dina! Summed up beautifully

  50. Hello Caz and Craig. That was quite the review and really is hog wash. My younger brother and I are leaving this October/November for our own around the world adventure looking to find work where ever we can and I have personally been referencing your website for “Helpful” details based on your past/current “Travel” experiences and enjoy reading your stories very much. I look forward to coming back again and again for helping in putting together our own travel details.
    Ignore the “Professional” and remember those who count love you guys.

    • Thank you Jamie. That is so lovely to hear, and we are so glad that we can help you on your round the world adventure. Very exciting times for you ahead. Feel free to ask us any questions.

  51. am sorry they gave you such a poor review, it feels like they werent reading any of the material or they had a biased against your blog

  52. Hi Caz, just wanted to drop you a note; I really enjoyed reading your article and wanted to let you know that I think you come across as experienced travellers who are warm and friendly and happy to share your life experiences with others. I wish more people were like you, take what that Critic says with a pinch of salt :)

  53. Who cares what the critics say? Nobody knows you better then yourselves and the people who read you every day. Don’t expect the critics to have read every single post you wrote here. They clearly lacked a birds eye view on your blog. I enjoyed reading this post and all those old photos… Priceless! :)

    • Thanks Laura. It was good to take a trip down memory lane at all we have done. Makes us excited to do more.

  54. Talk about one traveler (the reviewer) judging another traveler (you) on their style. Shame on them. What rotten experiences they must have that they are justified in having a site dedicated to reviewing other traveler’s experiences. The only travel site critic you need are the thousands of readers that come to you on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Clearly you are doing something right, or else me and the other 100 comments on here would not exist.

    As for the travel site review, as it were, must not be worth very much – because this is the first time I’ve ever heard of them. But then again, when you’re out exploring the world and visiting 34 countries before you turn 25, writing several blogs and working full time, you tend to ignore the trash anyway.

    [/rant] I understand how you feel!

  55. Danielle Turner

    Wow is all i can say Caz! You just made me cry reading your post. I only stumbled upon your site by chance as I was checking out the photo Shell had on her profile page (It’s Stevie’s sister by the way) I don’t think we have ever met but Shell has often mentioned your travels and adventures and after reading this post I have to say I am a little envious. I think you write with passion and it clearly comes from a place in your heart that is very special to you and what a great thing to share that with people. Hopefully so they can not only learn from your mistakes and bad experiences but to also be encouraged to go out in the world and explore all that it has to offer and Live life to the fullest with no regrets…. I am sorry for your bad review but going off what I just read I am sure you have already moved forward from it! At the end of the day everything happens for a reason! Maybe that reason could have even just been for you to write this post. x

    • Hi Danielle! Thanks so much for finding us through Shell. It is so funny you wrote today I just had Brady in my class today. That is two Turners I’ve unexpectedly met in a day. You are in Queensland right? I think we met briefly one day when we were living in Mooloolaba.
      Thanks so much for your supportive comments. That is really the reason we started this blog to inspire and encourage others not just to travel but live life with no regrets. Its’ too short not to enjoy doing what we love.
      Hopefully we’ll see you soon, at least at the wedding!!

  56. Hey guys,

    Firstly this is an amazing response to such a pathetic review. From what I’ve seen of your blog, your twitter and Facebook involvement you guys have only given opportunities to others like myself to be able to communicate our true travel experiences. Yes some blog posts are about partying but they are just a small part of what real travelers seek. I’ve been running my site for a while now and I understand the commitment and dedication it takes to operating and constantly updating our sites. Continue on your path, I’m enjoying following your travels and experiences. I’ll leave you with a quote that all us bloggers should consider. ‘it is our involvement with each other that is the best review that we could have. Not from an outsourced and more than likely less travelled critic!’

  57. Danielle Turner

    Hi Caz, we did meet in Mooloolaba a few years back, I thought we had met but I couldn’t remember where or when so thought I must of imagined we had but I do remember now. That is pretty uncanny that you had contact with the two of us on one day and we will definitely be seeing you at the wedding :). It is so exciting and not long now, I know the kids are really excited and Shell was telling me about how Kalyra has been asking her about her flower girl friends! Too cute <3 x

  58. Don’t listen to Travel Site Critics. A lot of their “critiques” are really off the mark. And really, who cares? Not everyone is going to love us. Focus on the ones who do.

  59. Mel Holiday

    Criticise others is what you do when you’re unhappy with your own life. It won’t be any different for people who go on at travel blogs when they consider your passions and experiences as not valid or respectable enough in their opinion. Looking down on others makes them feel better for a while, and makes their lives miserable as they are not able to see the joy and beauty in the little things that surround us. And how special the moments are when you can share these with others.
    It tells more about them than about you ;-D

    • I absolutely agree Mel. I’m usually prettty happy so I don’t find myself judging or criticising others much. But, I notice that the times I do is when I am unhappy with something in my life. If you aren’t noticing or feeling joy than you are noticing/feeling the opposite and usually we want to find that in others rather than ourselves.

  60. I’ve just seen this post for the first time. The underlying critique you received is a really sad testament to some of the travel snobbery that’s out there.

    I have this to add:

    Traveller is spelled with two L’s for a reason: life and love.

    The people who critiqued your blog are missing one of the L’s. Say no more.

    I’m a 40 something female: 2 children, PhD, exec. I relate totally to your site. Have not once got the impression you’re all about boozing!

    What’s more, I find it really disappointing that some people think if you weren’t travelling in the 1970s, haven’t been robbed, kidnapped, shot at, imprisoned at a border station or slept in the cheapest, sleaziest hostel dorms, you’re not a real traveller.

    I say: send these snobs to us. We’ll take them into the Simpson and test the blighters out: make go with out grog, sleep in a swag on a the ground and let them work out how to change troopy tyres!

  61. Sandra

    I like that you posted your criticism. Shows you are gutsy; no doubt from years of travel and worldly experiences. So what if the whole world is not your audience; I don’t even know why that person bothered to comment. Couldn’t he/she just move on to a site that they liked better? What was the point in that nay-saying? Anyway, when you’re living the dream, someone always wants to steal your sunshine. I had a sibling ask me “when are you going to stop living like a Gypsy?” I happily replied that my little family (Mom, Dad and Son) of world travelers is having the time of our life… so maybe never! Keep trekking and blogging!

  62. The fact you feel you need to tick the list of things an “experienced traveler” is supposed to have done (otherwise known as a circle-jerk) just solidifies your real “status” as a party backpacker. You are the kind of bores that frequent hostels with their stories of “when we were there years ago, the place was so much better…”. Your piece is as pathetic as the reviewers you’re berating: grow up!

    • So lovely to meet you Amanda. We have not seen you around our blog or social communities before. Interesting that you know us so well. I wish I knew more about you so we could have a real conversation. Thanks so much for your comment anyway. I really hope your day turns a bit brighter. It seems rathar angry and upset at the moment

  63. Nice blog. Your post are helpful to the others..
    Keep writing.
    Alex (http://lexmove.blogspot.com/)

  64. I lurk a lot…But your posts always give me a boost. And, alas, I can say hand on heart that I am neither young nor naive…;)

    • Thanks Abi! You are such a great writer so that has given me a boost this morning. I am a lurker too so really embrace other lurkers!

  65. wonderful life.. :)

  66. Candidly, y Travel Blog is among the most inspiring blogs I’ve found in my whole life. You saved me from desperation… when times got extremely rough that I’ve had decided to quit from travel blogging. The unfair review you’ve got really pissed me off.

    • Thank you so much Edsan! That is such a lovely thing to say. I am so glad that we have been able to help you and stop you from quitting on your dream. The review was indeed ridiculous!

  67. Haters gonna hate, if you’re satisfied with your travel experiences, that’s all that matters.

  68. Luke Vorstermans


    I’m 62, did my share of backpacking in the 70s and get out and travel (sans the backpack now) whenever I can. Age changes perspectives. Being younger, you get to do things a 20 or 30 year old body can do. And you enjoy the things that younger blood is drawn to. Put on another 30 years or so on that body and you are drawn to other things. And sometimes you wish for that younger body!! But the unifying nature of people who love to travel is their passion for new cultures, new things and new experiences. That is something only those who are absorbed in their expanding world — and love for the spirit in others — can understand. Going to Disneyland, Las Vegas or a bus tour down Hollywood Blvd is a cheap thrill and unsatisfying substitute. I feel the substance of community in your blogs — the uncensored delight in flooding the world with your passion. And in return you receive the inner wealth of those who respond to your offering.
    How could anyone who doesn’t understands what’s behind you (and Graig and others who choose a similar path) make a judgement call on your writing? Your tribe is us… those who you chose to serve. The naysayers don’t need to understand. They speak to a different culture.

  69. Wow..just stumbled upon this rant…you go girl! I’m not sure why ‘being entertained’ by the world is even a bad thing in their eyes. Keep doing what you’re doing – you’re doing it well! :-) Beers are on me if we’re in the same town.

  70. Don’t listen to them Caz, they don’t know what there talking about. Your site is very infromative, and inspring that any one can travel and live there dreams- whether there single, married, or have kids. Keep up the good blogging :)

  71. I was attracted to read this post because of the title. My initial reaction was “why have that as the title – it is not true” so I read on.
    What the review says about you and your site is a load of rubbish. By the way I am 56 years old, and although I am a backpacker and would gladly accept the young title, I am certainly not naive!

  72. Are you sure you gave the reviewers the right URL? If they said all of that, they couldn’t have been talking about your blog!
    Either way, they are obviously wrong. You guys are an incredibly inspiring travelling couple. Lee and I have learned a lot from you and we love your blog. Keep on being awesome!

  73. when you make a mark in this world, you will attract erasers. there will always be haters, i’m sick of those “labels for travelers”, don’t mind them your site is helpful. thanks for the inspiration. and keep the posts coming! *powerhug*

  74. Great post and good for you, Caz. You’ve stood your ground well.

    I’m also a teacher and also taught (as an expat) in a very rough part of inner-city London, in one of those throwing chairs kinds of schools. I’d say that experience alone merits a badge of honour!

    I totally get your frustration with that review, but I wouldn’t let it get you down. Your REAL reviewers are all the people here, showing their support.

    Remember — you can never please everyone. ;-)

    Keep up the great work.

    • There’s nothing like those chairs being launched across the room. Certainly made me a better teacher!!

  75. In my experience so far, there is this subset of people who work in travel industry, but never really travelled and they are resentful of us travellers especially people who’ve backpacked the world, who think we can come along and take over the industry, who might know more than the traditional “travel sellers’. What right do we have to share about travelling through our love of it, rather than traditionally commercial agent model.

    How we communicate, share and sell things is changing and the old guard are not happy. I think you got one of them reviewing your site.

    Good on you for standing your ground. Also find it fascinating that people are still drawn to to this post and commenting, a year later. Passion inspires passion.

  76. Who gives a shit what they are saying? You are living the dream!

  77. Wow – this is quite the piece! I would not let their critique alter what you do. Let your readers be the judge – after all, it is your readers whose opinions matter most! If you are writing for backpackers, there are bound to be a lot of party stories! While we are not all party animals, people do live vicariously through what they read. I know right now, I am working full time and love reading about the crazy fun others are having – it reminds me of the crazy fun I had while backpacking. I am about to do it again – I can’t wait! You also have loads of depth – as I have been planning my next bout of “travel”, I have been turning to blogs, including yours, for information.

    We all learn from others….I have had the good fortune to travel extensively, and have been asked for tips/advice by many friends and strangers – I am sure you have learned from your fellow backpackers and bloggers, as have I! I will continue to learn from this amazing community and am proud to have made so many friends out there…..and I hope by sharing some of my experiences, people also get to learn from me!

    One of my favourite experiences – cycling solo across Canada – people ask for tips all the time. One of the points of blogging about it is to share – please don’t let this critic dampen your spirit – and don’t be offended by learning from your fellow travellers/bloggers/strangers on the street – the world is a better place when people open their minds and learn from others! And thank you – I have learned a lot from you guys – and enjoy reading what your write – keep up the great work!
    Anita Mac recently posted..Canada Day on Parliament Hill
    Anita Mac recently posted..Canada Day on Parliament Hill

    • Thanks Anita! We appreciate your support and encouragement. I thik the point to doing all this is sharing as well. That is why we started and why I will continue to do it. The person who wrote the review didn’t know what they were talking about!!

  78. I enjoyed your travel blog. You have been out there having a go and getting amongst it, experiencing the different lifestyles, cultures, customs etc seeing geographical wonders and places of historical importance in the world. Nothing wrong with having a good time.

    Now in my sixties, and traveling since the seventies i can relate to all this. I still backpack but for a sixty year old, Canadian Customs recently bag searched and grilled me, telling me that it was not a normal thing for a person my age to be doing.

    I was only going through some old letters from 1978 written to me by an old Canadian friend in which he described his trip to Bundi, then to the Himalayas. After reading your comments on Bundi i think i might have to circle in a trip going that way.

    At the end of the day it will be the people you meet locals, and travellers alike, that will make it for you. Just do it.

    • Thank you Peter. I’d love to sit down with you and hear some of your travel stories. You must have so many to share. How awesome! I hope I am living that un-normal life at sixty. Good on you

  79. You know, Caz, we only spent a short time with you and Craig, but ‘no depth’ would be the last way I would describe you, your personalities, your lifestyle and now, after reading several of your blogs, the blogs as well. I am glad you had your rant! It needed to be said. I would love to know how much travelling (in your style) that the critic has done – too bad he/she is faceless and anonymous.
    A fellow Libran – I should have guessed!

    • Oh thank you Christine! We appreciate your kind words and having spent time with you and Peter.
      Another Libran how wonderful!! I always get along so well with Librans.

  80. Wow, better I stumble over this late than never! I can;t believe the bloody cheek of these people to talk about backpackers (and your blog) like this. And I would not say this blog lacks in depth; quite the contrary, it’s one of the deeper ones, discussing why we travel as much as where.
    Simon recently posted..The best markets in Southeast Asia
    Simon recently posted..The best markets in Southeast Asia

    • Thank you Simon, I appreciate that. It’s certainly what we are hoping to do. I think they must have read one post only- a party one obviously!! Just one side to what we do.

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