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An Open Letter To The Girls With Floppy Hats & Flowing Dresses Who Travel

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An Open Letter To The Girls With Floppy Hats & Flowing Dresses Who Travel |
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

How dare you.

How dare you bother to be concerned with your looks and your photos while you’re traveling.

You’re not a real traveler. You should be in leggings or jeans, roughed up from your arduous trekking throughout the city, only able to truly experience another culture when you drop every effort to look decent while in public.

Get off your high horse and stop posting pretty pictures of yourself on your travels because it invalidates your ability to be a travel blogger or give any information of value to your audience other than outfit details.


Sounds pretty ridiculous right?

An Open Letter To The Girls With Floppy Hats & Flowing Dresses Who Travel |
There goes that annoying black chick with the flowing skirt again. The heathenry! | Kagawa, Japan

I guess the latest phenomenon to sweep the female travel space is the seemingly mutually exclusive idea that travel bloggers cannot also be fashionable people.

If you want to be taken more seriously as a travel blogger, just dress uglier… apparently.

Don’t take pictures with yourself in it.

Never show your face unless you want to own up to being the narcissistic heathen you are.

And make-up, don’t you dare touch it with a 10-foot stick!

The nerve of you chicks to care about your looks! *eye roll*

As if there weren’t more trivial things to be concerned about, I always feel a bit disheartened when I see people, especially women, attack others in the travel space who are passionate about their fashion sense, or because it’s a part of their brand.

The lines are quite blurred when it comes to Instagram and the legions of traveling women who have full-time jobs and can afford to go on luxurious vacations where they can post fancy pictures and one-lined captions offering no details about the actual location.

They flaunt the title of ‘travel bloggers’ and ‘travel influencers’ so they can reap the same benefits while doing half the work.

I get the frustration towards those people.

But the rest of us? Heck, we just like to look nice! I was an ugly duckling all my life so ‘scuse me as I scooch my sessy self across the globe to shine on my middle school bullies one time.

An Open Letter To The Girls With Floppy Hats & Flowing Dresses Who Travel |
Permission to pretend I’m unraveling my skirt so that it could look more voluptuous? Granted. | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The thousands of photos I’ve amassed for my personal travel portfolio is by far the most treasurable thing I own.

What I’ll be able to do with them, what I’ll be able to show my future kids, and the new memories I can continue to make is why I put so much effort into my appearance and travel photography.

Before I started traveling, I was a photographer. Photography was my trade, and I loved styling and posing my clients for photo shoots.

Now that I travel with a tripod, I can do both, framing my photos and then hopping in the picture to pose myself in front of gorgeous landscapes and backdrops.

An Open Letter To The Girls With Floppy Hats & Flowing Dresses Who Travel |
Whoops, I did it again. #BlackBritney #Posing #NoShame | Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

There isn’t just one way to be a female travel blogger or influencer. So the idea that this faux hierarchy exists based on the notion that the more photogenic you are, the less credible your work, is absurd.

If you’re an aspiring blogger or person of influence, I hope you continue down the path you feel most comfortable walking.

Floppy hat and flowing dress travelers, this open letter is for you. Click To Tweet

Don’t feel shamed into shying away from your best form of self-expression — your fashion sense.

Women love to police other women. Why? Because we’re petty, jealous, and quite frankly insecure and need to project these emotions onto others to feel better about ourselves.

An Open Letter To The Girls With Floppy Hats & Flowing Dresses Who Travel |
Does it look like I care about your opinion from this angle? No? K, good | Mekong Village, Vietnam

Living out of a suitcase for 4 years means I’ve had a lot of practice experimenting with things that are most convenient for my everyday travels — and it’s usually a flowy skirt or sundress.

I feel most free, comfortable, and cute in that. And as a woman, what more could you want in life?

Floppy-hatted fabulosity or loose-fitted leggings, I encourage female travelers to continue wearing what they feel the most comfortable and confident in.

Do it for the ‘gram, or don’t. Life, somehow, will still go on 🙂

An Open Letter To The Girls With Floppy Hats & Flowing Dresses Who Travel |
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Facebook Comments

  • KaSandra Mitchell

    Thank you for reminding people that there are no rules. Period. #Womenforwomen

    Also, thanks for doing it with sass because it makes me laugh.

  • I love this! It was such a great read and I love the positive message of ignoring negativity and just doing what makes you happy. Great post, girl! 😄😄

    – Mwahaki King
    It’s a King Thing |

  • CaliDreamTravels TV

    I’m not sure if this is direct response to a specific article or not, but I’ve seen articles that have criticized the fact that to get noticed as a travel blogger you or your photos need to be attractive and actually sharing information about places comes second or not at all, which I think is a valid concern. It’s not fair to ever consider someone “not a real traveler” because there isn’t one definition. I don’t think people have an issue with those who dress up and care about looks …it’s just frustration with seeing the same look represented over and over and over. I don’t think you should take it personal.

    • Cristiana Groza

      I agree. Truth is I also get frustrated with “travel blogs” posting lots of pictures of the owner and what she is wearing and not one useful line about the place pictured. But I just unfollow those. And this is certainly not the case with The Blog Abroad. Fashion and travel can coexist. But one is not a travel blogger is the pictures consist of the latest fashion photographed all over the world…

  • Katie Featherstone

    I am on the other side of the coin here. You won’t often find a photo of me, because I just don’t particularly like being in them and to be honest I usually dress pretty terribly! I think you look wonderful though and your photos are never out of place in your articles. In city trips particularly, I like that you don’t just show us a bog standard photo of landmarks we have all seen before. You make it artistic. I would love to be able to pull off your outfits. As you say, it is really nobody else’s business anyway!

  • Ha! I like this and I will admit that I have previously written a post ‘complaining’ about girls in the floppy hats. Mind you, I don’t mind at all people dressing fashionably on the road or anywhere else. However, I have been on trips when girls hiked in flowy dresses just to get a pretty picture on the mountain top. And I guess you are right, one could just say – well, done if you manage to hike the damn mountain and still look fresh in your dress. To me personally though it is not very inspirational. I know I don’t look like that after climbing the mountain so pictures like this don’t inspire me. I think if you cannot provide content beyond that pretty facade as a travel blogger or cool shopping and styling inspiration as a lifestyle/fashion blogger it is a bit pointless. To me at least.
    But to be honest my biggest issue with those pictures are the fact that most of these girls are white, young and skinny. I just wish there was more diversity of who wears the floppy hats and who knows – I may squeeze on in to my suitcase as well 😉

  • Jean Farrell

    I don’t have a problem with you representing yourself the way you want to be seen. I do have a problem with blogs that call themselves travel blogs but are really fashion blogs in exotic settings. And what I’m talking about here are faking the travel background to make for a prettier photo, adding a skyline that wasn’t real, photoshopping food to different locations, etc. I just ask for authenticity in travel blogs. Did you really go there, what did you learn, what story do you have to tell. You can tell the story however you want to, but the story should be true. And if your authentic self is flowy skirts and sundresses, then you do you. But I do get tired when all the photos on all the blogs and instas are the same, with the same poses, the same hats, the same outfits. That’s not authenticity, that’s just copying.

  • This is such a great read! I don’t understand the floppy hat and sundress in a completely inappropriate context, but anywhere else – go for it! I’m rarely in front of the camera unless it’s tongue in cheek, but I admit to recently buying a bright red coat which will look awesome in pics when we go to Vienna next month… 😄

  • Deepika Gumaste

    As someone rightly mentioned here below in the comments, I am actually in a very opposite spot here. I am not the skirt person but a leggings person. I usually don’t care about what I wear. And then I get those “are you even a travel blogger?” Sort of look, just because I prefer a message sense of fashion 🙂

  • Beautiful! I’m one of those who still likes to dress for my plane trip (I know…dying breed). This was lovely. Keep sharing those gorgeous photos.

    • Dylan

      I love seeing people dressed up in the airport! It gives me hope that one day, I’ll get the hang of it– instead of feeling frumpy and disheveled during long layovers.

  • Mônica Morás

    The best post I’ve read recently about this subject. I’m travel blogger and also a photographer, but not particularly interested in fashion. Well, it’s part of my job have beautiful photos of me in all places I’ve been to sell photos, guides, etc, to people see themselves in my place, even it’s always with the same 2 dresses and 2 long skirts, because I’m live 3 years out only with my hand luggage (and a “life” inside). Congrats, you are doing a great job and keep your hat and dress 🙂

  • Lucy Elizabeth Lourdes Pearson

    Such true words; it’s high time women start hogging each other up rather than tearing them down for their choice of attire! And you always look amazing in your pics so continue to show your old school mates who’s laughing now xo

  • Gloria I love your posts! I’ve become seriously obsessed with your blog. You’re writing is always on point… super funny and real. I also totally agree- I wish women stopped hating on other women! I’m one of the travelers who pretty much always looks like shit, but I fully support flowy dresses and floppy hats (but really, how do you pack those hats tho?! :D) One love!

  • Kay Rodriguez

    Oh Gloria, I love your photos and this definitely resonated with me. I tend to err on the side of being a “comfortable” traveler, though I try not to look too rough 😉 People should travel however they want to, and that includes what we wear! To each their own 🙂

  • Sheree Strange

    Damn right! I can’t stand the imagined criteria we hold ourselves to, to be a “real” traveller or a “real” cyclist or a “real” photographer or whatever else. I love the “you do you” ethos, and this post hits it right on the head 😉 Plus, you look amazing and your photos are amazing, so you win! Keep up the great work! x

  • Ellie

    Yesssss could not agree more. People need to stop judging how others travel and focus more on how they want to travel themselves, and enjoying that. Wasted frustration if you find other peoples travel annoying!

  • Lilla Bálint

    First things is: Dare to shine! Most importantly, do what makes you feel comfortable. If you like hiking in a skirt, go for it. If you hate makeup, don’t wear it just because you think you need it. The only thing I laugh about is when girls do a hike in full sportsgear and change to a dress on the top.That’s fashion photography, not travel blogging anymore in my eyes.

  • A Travellers Footsteps

    Very interesting post

  • Jessica van Roij

    I am over the whole ” you are not a real traveller ” thing… people who say that are just mean… as if there are laws to be a “traveller”.

    I love shooting shots in pretty clothes…why? because I love to feel pretty and have pretty memories! Everyone should do the hell they want. I mean, I never judge the ” dirty backpackers”, even if that is totally not my thing or way to travel, I respect them, like anyone else who chooses to travel their way. We need more love and support between travellers and less mean critics

  • lol.. I loved this post. Currently painted my nails to feel more like myself. And later on matching it my lipstick to it 🙂 For me, it is hard looking nice coz B.A.B.Y. B.O.Y. But I try non the less. It is funny how people still have the look on their face like: “You don’t look like a backpacker! ( and you smell nice)”, when I tell them that we have been on the road for the past 5 years. I love leggings….and sweatpants, and red nails….ok I’m done 🙂

  • As someone with a blog called A World of Dresses, I LOVE this. My blog is a mix of fashion and travel. Sometimes a dress is just more comfortable to travel in, especially in the hot weather. At the end of the day, everyone should just do what makes them happy. Wearing a cute dress while traveling is awesome.

  • Liz

    The most important thing is to love yourself and enjoy travelling – whether you love dressing up for your photos or not. I don’t get all this hate, every person is different and so are the pictures. Great post!

  • Thank you! Let us do what we want to.

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