Has caught my attention but not in a positive way.
MSN (The Microsoft Service Network). These days a web-portal offering a variety of services including a 'Bing' backend search engine, app shortcuts to a number of Microsoft applications such as Outlook.com and of course, predominalty an up-to-date news feed page.
I'll admit it's not often I visit MSN and invariably only when I launch Outlook.com to access one of my e-mail accounts. Now again though 'clickbait' does its job and reels me in by enticing me to click on an advert with a headline or caption that I just can't ignore - although the end results is nearly always the same each time. (The content is anti-climatic and you encounter various pesky adverts!).
However, last week I saw the following appear on the MSN home page and I can admit to being excited to read it because of course travelling SOLO is what I've been doing for a little while now and therefore it's something I know a little about.
So in I delve...
First off - a causal introduction but even from this there are clues that the article might be somewhat questionable. I've highlighted the words I find contentious:
"Travelling is no longer just a family thing. Successful young people have caught onto the trend of solo travelling. Although it has innumerable benefits, certain risks are involved as well. Here are a few tips about things to avoid to help make that solo trip truly memorable".
So you have to be successful (and young) to travel SOLO...!? Hmmmm. Already, what a shocker. To move through the different 'mistakes' or reasons you have to manually click each time in true annoying MSN fashion. Gone, apparently, are the days when you didn't have to go through this ordeal. #bringthemback
In conjunction with the format stated above, each point includes a single, static image and two or three sentences of text, per item. Okay, hardly comprehensive or detailed but as long as it gets the main point across each time, fair enough.
Remember the article is for what NOT to do when travelling SOLO.
So things start off somewhat predictably but I don't mean that in a bad way as these initial points are wholly valid, including; don't leave without providing emergency numbers, don't overload your packing, don't look for accommodation when you arrive and do it in advance. I smirked at this as I have met many people that do this as standard but still, I respect and understand this point.
But then BOOM, there it came in at number 5. I wasn't even 25% of the way through the article and I was already rubbing my eyes in disbelief.
"AVOID STAYING IN HOSTELS"
And the accompanying text is just as bad:
"Though they offer cheap accommodation, hostels have very little privacy. Book your stay at a place where you can comfortably unwind after a busy day of sightseeing."
Oh my good gosh. Politely British enough? I had to re-word that several times let me tell you.
I'm not even a hostel owner and I am incandescent with rage. This is an OUTRAGEOUS point and one I can't believe was able to be published. I would love to see the faces of the owners of the 40+ hostels I've stayed in, let alone the thousands upon thousands all over the world. What about the not-so-small point that it's the very existence of such accommodation that has made travel for so many people possible all over the World, including myself!
As we know there is a distinct difference between blissful ignorance and outright ignorance. If you don't have some hostel experiences under your belt, you'd almost be forgiven for taking such an attitude but if you're in an area of work relatable to such content, then this statement is unforgivable. It really makes you question the validity and profile of the author and what real travel experience this person has. He or she might have even travelled to 100 countries for all I know but from seemingly such an uneducated point, you can easily form an impression of just how non-typical their experience will have been and just how much they will have missed out on. Let's be honest, if you're writing an article on SOLO travel and you're saying DON'T stay in hostels, that you really have completely missed a massive part of the very essence of travelling.
I am The Unlikely Traveller for Heaven's sake. If I can improvise, adapt and overcome then so can you, whoever you might be and what your background is. Don't just take my word for it, take a closer look at the really poorly chosen image associated with text. Yep, that's people smiling and enjoying being around each other. Now why would you want to put yourself through that and stay in a hostel. #classic
Before I leave you, it's rather apt timing that within this last week I stayed in yet another hostel worthy of a couple of photos. Notice how the text from that foolish article doesn't cover the quality of hostels, let alone the countless perks which are beyond the scope of this 'rant'.
When was the last time your 'fancy' hotel offered you an area, decor and an ambience like this? And just look at that kitchen!
Big fan of those last two :-)
That's all folks, rant over. Now how do we get Microsoft and whoever else to see this and move forth united!?