Holidays, Instagram and privilege.

Whilst I was on holiday a few weeks ago with Siblu holidays I noticed something that I really wanted to address because it frustrated me but also raised a point that I think is really interesting. Before I launch into this I want to clarify that I’m not talking about wankers like Alfie Deyes who I wrote about yesterday. People who have no CLUE what a privileged life they lead and who are openly ignorant to the realities of poverty. I’m talking about an open and unfailing dislike or anger towards people of wealth, people of privilege, regardless of whether they are aware of their privilege.

So, our holiday to Siblu: To be clear, Siblu hosted us, which if you need it breaking down into simpler terms, they asked us to come and stay with them at their expense so that I could review the experience and share it with you lot. It’s a “free holiday” on the understanding that I will work my arse off all holiday to note down my likes, dislikes, constructive feedback, tips for readers to make their stay more fun, things that might make a holiday better for someone, places to visit. To be honest I’m still working through my holiday content – Instagram content to share tips and ideas, YouTube content and blogs so that when someone pops onto google and searches “Best things to do with kids in Vendee” my posts will pop up and be helpful. Essentially it’s not just a free holiday: it’s work and it’s got huge perks but it’s also under the expectation that I will feedback an honest opinion (and no, it’s not on the understanding for any company during a review that you will blindly sing their praises. You are asked to provide critiques as well as what you liked, most companies are more interested in the critique because they want to improve their service.)

So now we’re all clear on what someone does in exchange for a “free” holiday, it should be clear that it is no different to a travel journalist receiving a stay in order to write in the paper about it. K? Cool. No one denies that it is an EPIC perk to this career choice but it is still not merely free and on the numerous occasions that friends have made passive aggressive comments about how they would love a “free holiday” I’ve asked them exactly what they do on holiday: do they meet with tourism boards, spend time by the pool writing, editing video content whilst simultaneously hoping their kids don’t notice they are on their laptop/phone again? Probably not. Does that extend to home where they are still sat on the computer at 11.40pm to work through content? Probably not.
I may or may not have digressed a touch there – I don’t want anyone to think that I am anything but intensely grateful and honoured to be asked to work in this capacity, for the opportunities it opens for my children, but I also found something really stuck in my throat with the responses I received this holiday, largely based around how nice it was to finally see a blogger being sent on an achievable holiday and not trying to flog the masses an extortionate lifestyle holiday that they couldn’t afford. So many messages from people varying from “gosh, I’m really pleased I’ve seen this, I could totally achieve this with my kids”, (which is completely fair and I’m delighted that this was something I could share that was possible for someone and brought a smile to their faces, that genuinely makes my day), all the way to “I’m so pleased to see a blogger who isn’t on a 5star all inclusive holiday, cruising or going somewhere like disneyworld. I’m fucking sick of all these people swanning off and shoving it in everyone else’s face. No normal people can afford it.” To clarify this wasn’t one or two messages but easily the majority leaning to this slant in varying degrees of aggression.

Here’s the thing: what is affordable to one might not be to another. Yes, Siblu holidays would have cost us a maximum of £1000 for all 5 of us, including the days out we did and possibly our food if we were frugal (and the irony of talking about anything remotely frugal when holidays aren’t for the frugal is not lost on me), but the truth is that just because that is one person’s idea of “affordable” and “cheap” for a holiday, doesn’t mean that there won’t be someone sat on their sofa thinking “well fuck me, I would love a holiday but I have to pay my rent and can’t do both.” It is not affordable to them. It wasn’t affordable to Adam and I when we got married and spent £1300 on our complete honeymoon package that we saved for two years and asked for donations towards as wedding presents. Now, our circumstances have changed and guess where we are going in November? Disneyworld. We’re admittedly paying for every extremely expensive, but utterly worth it penny ourselves but if we weren’t? Why is that an issue for people – why was my holiday deemed acceptable because it’s affordable but other luxury holidays aren’t? What about people like myself who have spent HOURS scrawling through Disney blogs and vlogs so that I can find out the tips of people who went before me. That is now affordable for me, and thousands of other people, as are the all inclusive holidays that people are sent on to review.

Before you feel frustrated with people for being sent away to review what you deem to be too luxurious for your budget, ask yourself what “normal” is for other people, because I can tell you for a fact that it is different for all of us. Every single one of us. Ask yourself whether your one holiday a year is “normal” for someone who, like Adam and I a few years ago, hasn’t been able to afford a holiday for 6 years. If it isn’t relevant to you, if it feels like it’s too expensive or it makes you feel unhappy, scroll away. Scroll past. Don’t be one of the people that lambasts bloggers like Mother of Daughters for having a holiday that you deem too pricey but that would be easily achievable for others. Whilst I was away over half term two of my faves were on holiday in Disneyworld and a greek all inclusive respectively. They were both as part of a review and I LOVED their content, if I didn’t I would have scrolled past. We seem to have such an issue with anyone who can afford more than us, like their ability to have more material things if they choose is a personal affront. We LOVE to hate the wealthy, labelling them posh twats…  but I have to ask, when did it become ok to dislike someone because they have more than you? It’s no more acceptable than people like Alfie Deyes mocking people who have to struggle to live on £1 for their food and drink for 24hrs (or longer in the case of millions of people) to hate someone or abuse them online because they have more than you.

We need to stop judging people on what they have or don’t. You can’t dislike someone or be unkind to them because they are one of the “haves” provided they are AWARE that they are in that position. Sure, hate on the people that pretend that they are struggling when they clearly aren’t. Hate on the people who think that slumming it is a 4*star in Greece because, erm, hello 6*star in Dubai is more their speed. Sure – hate away on the ungrateful, the thoughtless and unkind, but try to remember that EVERYONE has a different level of affordable or achievable. It doesn’t give you the right to be angry with them if their monetary abilities stretch beyond your own, anymore than it did me 5 years ago when I couldn’t afford those things.

Being out of touch is not the same as being middle class or wealthy, being out of touch is not acknowledging your privilege.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar June 20, 2018 / 4:41 pm

    Great post! I absolutely agree with everything you’ve said, you wanky posh twat influencer! ?

    Seriously though, you’re absolutely on point. People that are full of negativity and hate for those with more than them are simply jealous. There’s nothing else to it.

    All I see when I look at people in the region of where I’d like to be is inspiration and motivation that it can be done. I feed off it positively.

    Great read Harriet ??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.