Address Controversy Related to Ep. 51: Long, Hot, and Smelly
September 3, 2016– This video, Ep. 51: Long, Hot, and Smelly, was and still is a harmless, satire video based upon the budget savvy traveler lifestyle. We decided that we needed to formally address this topic as we’ve been harassed, threatened, and bullied all over the internet. Up until now it really didn’t bother us as we knew we never made any hateful, derogatory, or insulting comment about anyone or any group specifically. What has bothered us is fellow travel bloggers taking this great opportunity to spread hate on other travelers who do things a little differently, act a little quirky, and don’t fit the status quo.
It is these same travel bloggers who have made travel so incredibly predictable and redundant. These are the people who actually inspired us to document our travels around the world in this format. We also thought it would be a good way of sharing our experience with our family and friends. We wanted to show them what it truly incorporates to travel the world on a tight budget for two years. Everyone assumed we were on a two-year vacation. They were wrong. It takes a lot of work and patience. We never created these videos with the intention to be shocking or to go viral. In the past, we were lucky to get 100 views on a YouTube video. And that was on a good day!
As we previously stated in our vlogs, every day can’t be the best day of your life. Travel can be hard. Especially, on a hot train in the summer in Romania. And not everyone has to travel exactly in the same manner or visit exactly the same sites or partake in the exact same activities.
Mainstream travel bloggers have created the notion that there’s only one correct way to travel. It’s these travel bloggers, like xyz (I will not submit his name at this time because he would love the advertising revenue on his travel blog), who create a fake utopian travel world experience. Instead of actually acknowledging the world we live in, they create a fake, scripted, and over-edited perfectly narrated version in order to push their agenda.
Their agenda is to “sell” everyone on how travel is ALWAYS great in the hope that you’ll visit their site and follow their journey (in order for them to gain advertising revenues). They’re living a lie! They NEVER share a real opinion. They can’t (and won’t) judge anyone/anything out of the mainstream because they know the impact it may take on their revenue stream. Instead, they sell the “digital nomad” lifestyle. They travel the world getting virtually everything paid for by sponsors and earning revenue from their sites, videos, fake opinion pieces, etc. They go through life telling everyone how great everything is like a preprogrammed robot. Never ever giving their real opinion. Never adding to the world. Only, showcasing the absolute best case scenario wherever they travel.
Somehow the world has changed into this place where you cannot have an opinion and everyone gets offended. We could state a fact such as, “the sky is blue.” And someone, somewhere out in the world will get offended and argue to the death that it’s not. Guess what? It’s OK to have an opinion. It’s OK to say you don’t like something. You can’t possibly like everything and everybody everywhere around the world all of the time. This is however, exactly what today’s modern mainstream travel blogger attempts to convey. Based on how we were bombarded by the mainstream media in Romania for making silly comments about a stinky train, we can see why. It’s a whole lot easier to paint a perfect picture than deal with the slim possibility of possibly offending someone somewhere and have to deal with the repercussions.
Here’s what really happened. We created a slightly ridiculous travel video that was basically made for family & friends back home. Then, low information sources, like fellow travel bloggers and the Romanian mainstream media blew it WAY out of proportion. Why? To push their agenda.
As previously stated, today’s travel blogger must always state how great travel is even in the worst case scenario. They do this in order to generate advertising revenue. Unlike us (The Budget Savvy Travelers), who haven’t made one dime travel blogging/vlogging. Nothing. What these travel bloggers are doing is selling a Ponzi scheme. They’re really no better than Madoff.
What actions did these travel bloggers perform the second they heard about a controversial travel video? They figured out a way to capitalize on it and bring traffic to their sites. Well, that was a big mistake on both their part and the Romanian mainstream media. This is because both parties made enormous assumptions about an utterly vague, harmless, satire (essentially a family video) before they knew any of the facts.
Here are the facts.
- Some people are upset because I said, “the signs are always wrong, the people are always wrong, everything is always wrong.” You need to take into the consideration (obviously) the place and context of the clip. I’ll try to explain. Audrey and I were talking about TRAINS. Hence, the “TRAIN” signs are always wrong. Hence, the people we interact with about the “TRAIN” are always wrong. Hence, everything related to the “TRAIN” system is wrong. Everyone who’s ever traveled on a train in Romania knows their entire system is horrible and tragic. A huge slow pain. If you can’t accept this, there’s absolutely nothing I can do to convince you otherwise. If you’re also assuming that we meant all Romanians are wrong about everything than you are someone who is just looking for controversy. Or maybe you’re looking for an outlet to vent your own personal frustrations?
- Some people are upset because I said, “it’s not necessarily the train, it’s the people on the train that stink.” Did we indicate whether it was 1 person or all people? Did we indicate where the people were from? There could have been another set of backpackers from Germany next to us or an American for that matter. Many just assumed they knew the answer. Like that disgraceful top cop in Romania who assumed it was a poor peasant. Why? To push his agenda. This was a horrible assumption for a government official to make. To be completely honest, we never wanted to bring up specificities as to who was responsible for the less than fragrant odors on the train (for obvious reasons) but now we must. There were two gentlemen. One was the train conductor (I assume he was Romanian as he worked for the state but I’m not 100% sure of where he actually came from). In reality, I don’t blame him for smelling. He’s wearing a wool suit in summer on a hot train in Romania. How about easing up on the dress code? But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it did impact our experience and therefore needed to be included in our daily vlog. The other gentlemen was what appeared to be middle-aged, middle-class, very ordinary man. We have no idea where he’s from either. When he got on the train he sat about four rows behind us (we could smell him from that distance), he then (thankfully) proceeded to move to the first-class cabin. In terms of other train smells, the bathrooms were of course bad. Nothing else stands out in our memories.
- The unit we stayed in (Cluj-Napoca) was reviewed by 50+ fellow Airbnb guests as having 5 stars. We paid $41.50 per night and did not expect to arrive to a filthy smelly apartment. We have worked very hard for our money and do not spend it frivolously and get extremely upset when we feel like we’re being taken advantage of. Based on the facts of this case, we later opened up a dispute with the Airbnb Resolution Center and they sided on our behalf. Affirming that the host was in the wrong and responsible for our bad experience. Obviously, not all Romanians are responsible for this experience, only the host. In fact, we’re not even sure if the host was Romanian.
Here’s the sad part. Everyone smells. Everyone sweats. Some worse than others. It’s human, it’s natural. We ALL do it. For people to purposely take this so far out to the extreme and so far out of context shows how screwed up the world is. At this point, we’ve been blamed for Hiroshima, slavery, and terrorism. We’ve been threatened with rape, murder, and even sodomy, just to name just a few.
One last final and important note. We’re not going away. Our videos are only going to get more real and more unedited. Our goal is to shake up this fake travel blogging industry that’s been created with the sole purpose of generating advertising revenue. Here’s the official warning to all of you overly sensitive haters. We’re documenting our travels based on our experiences. Not yours. If you don’t like it, you don’t need to watch.
Welcome to the real world.
Audrey & Harry
0 thoughts on “Press Release – Welcome to the REAL world”
Excellent statement. Shame you had to make one in the first. From a Westerner (I’m North American also) who went to Romania in 2014 I have very little positive to say about the country that goes waaaay beyond transport.
I found and obviously you two by now that Romanians are very insecure and have amassed a gigantic inferiority complex, they take out their life/countries ills out on the Western European or North American traveller. Sad really.
Audrey and Harry; I really enjoyed your YouTube clips, I’m sure many around the world did as well. You don’t have an obligation to respond to such pettiness and immaturity from the Romanians but your brave to do so, il give you that!
Romania will never develop into a civilized society until they day Romanians can learn to have a laugh and accept constructive criticism.
Once again a great work and I throughly enjoy browsing through your website site!
Good luck and all the best for your future adventures!!
Well guys, I’m from Romania, I’ve watched your videos and read your posts about this whole thing you’ve got into with the press and people in my country…
Here’s a story about such things:
(please excuse my english by the way)
There’s a comic magazine in France, Charlie Hebdo. Some time ago, they were stirring things with the muslim people by portraying their religious figures in their drawings in some satirical fashion. The muslims were enraged. Whole Europe stood by Charlie Hebdo, you could hear all sort of “freedom of speech” talk everywhere. Well, muslims got pretty crazy about it and raided Charlie’s office and killed some people. So people got “je suis charlie” signs and a bunch of more freedom of speech talk. Everybody in Europe was siding with Charlie and protested against muslims but.. in the end it got into the heads of everybody as a crime against freedom of speech.
But later on, there is this earthquake in Italy and Charlie Hebdo makes some new cartoon portraying italian earthquake victims as types of food. Europe is again enraged but this time it shouts that the freedom of speech has gone too far.
It was all fine and dandy when it was all about those pesky mustims, right?
Like i’ve said. I live in Romania. I use public transportation. I think i have a fair understanding of what you’re talking about. Let’s be realistic (us Romanians to each other in the first place…) you’re right. And we know it. Every time you’ve seen a beggar or thieve in the street, a drunkard or a filthy guy, a broken slow train or a road going nowhere, i’ve seen those things multiplied by hundreds. We Romanians know about this things. That mainstream media will churn miles (km for us…) of paper complaining about such things and you could watch hours on end of media coverage about them, because newspapers are being sold and TV is being watched. We see that and go in a national “yeah, stuff’s broken here, is all about corrupt politicians and companies”. We like playing the accuser game but only when we accuse. When others do that, all hell breaks loose. That’s “politically incorrect” and your opinion and your freedom of speech goes down the drain.
But then you’ve left, all of this will be forgotten and that same media will go about business as usual and we’ll still buy newspapers and watch tv shows things not so different of what you’re talking about.
such is the hypocrisy of man.
Yet for every beautiful castle and city you may have seen here, every mountain vista or river… i know those as well, multiplied by hundred. Such is the way of this country, things are beautiful but contrasts are some times too striking.
Best of luck in your travels.
For really strong smells and sweat, You should visit Brussels, see Gare du Midi, travel with the bus…
Regarding Romania, it may be a sponsor? To “advertise” Romania? Most of Bulgaria is same (or even worse) than Romania but I’ve seen no real things about it on Your videos, just beautiful beaches and good food.
Yes yes yes! I agree with EVERYTHING so much. ..and as i keep saying, i really appreciate the honestly. I even responded to one of your haters that i won’t be visiting Romania NOT bc of some smelliness, but bc i saw the crude behavior of the people!! It’s unfortunate bc you guys clearly saw some spectacular scenery. I’m so sorry fellow HUMANS were so vulgar and profane. I think i speak for other budget travelers when i say THANK YOU for keeping up the truth of your travels and keeping it real. Xoxoxo
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