I’ve never been to Paris, I’ve never been to London. But boy do those places seem familiar. In my new Youtube lifestyle I spend a lot of time abroad. I watch daily vlogs of an Irish lady living in Dubai, beauty gurus living in London, and Americans who get to travel for work all the time. And in a weird way I feel kind of worldly.
In an another era, 1890 or 1990, travel literature provided this proxy-worldliness. Even reading our subscription to National Geographic in 1996, this was still my primary portal to global cosmopolitanism. Some of the current fare on Youtube, especially the “travel” centric stuff, actually just feels like those 1996 National Geographic photo spreads.
But in 2001 I actually lived in Turkey for a whole year, and I can tell you with pretty good authority that this stylized video has nothing to do with Turkey.
The amazing thing about daily vlogs is that they are so mundane, so stupidly real, that they kind of do show you what a place is like. How do people get around blistering hot Dubai? Are there any black people at alterna-jam-band concerts in South Africa? These are the kind of questions that daily vloggers answer.
And a generation of tween Youtube watchers (and me) will be more worldly for having watched them. Worldly in a sense that goes beyond the Grand Tour romance of middle-class travel aspiration. Worldly in the sense that they will understand the true banality of the “global” experience.