Instagram vs Reality: The REAL Story Behind My Travels



A cursed trip, a terrible mistake, and THE WORST HOTEL EVER. I’m still mad about it. •The first 500 people who use this link will get 2 months FREE of …

47 thoughts on “Instagram vs Reality: The REAL Story Behind My Travels

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    Erin S. says:

    The only bad experience I ever had on a trip was walking through the streets of Jakarta. I was with a female friend and a male friend. Lots of men were staring at me and my female friend and trying to make us go with them, following us down the street and trying to get close to us to whisper in our ears. It was very strange. It got to the point where our male friend made us walk in front of him so he could keep us in his eyesight and he was legit afraid someone was just going to come up, grab us and kidnap us 🤣

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    Shiloh Morris says:

    You're story about Anchorage is hilarious. I lived there, got married there, had my first baby there, and will still admit that it's ghetto AF.😂 I had drunk people loitering outside my apartment all the time. I had to take mace with me just to check my mail. It's beautiful, but I don't miss it.

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    Ju Lafleur says:

    Hi Allison what a great video ! I'm from France and booked a trip last night to Portugal for September, and in Lagos we are staying in the same hotel as you were (saw it on the bill), did you like the place ?
    Have a nice day!

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    BeautyChemCam says:

    Haha, I was sick during a safari I paid much more than 400 dollars for. I could barely eat something at night, because I felt so miserable, and the chefs were always offended, because it was a very exclusive trip. They thought I wasn't enjoying their food. But it was still a magical trip.

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    Caitlin Scott says:

    I loved this video! That's what is always so funny about travel vlogs is that the delayed flights, creepy subway rides, lost passports, and 8 hour bus rides are typically edited out. Traveling is such an amazing and immersive experience but it is NEVER as glamorous as YouTube/Instagram makes it seems. Thanks for sharing your stories, they were super entertaining!

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    Allison B says:

    Girl, your wallet mishap is why I'm crazy about making sure I am always checking to see if I have my wallet with me. I often wear a jean jacket and it has an inner breast pocket and I usually put my wallet and phone in there. BUT I never leave anywhere while traveling without checking to make sure that I have my phone, wallet, passport, and camera on me.

    Great video! xo http://www.thatgirlaway.com

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    Akuma Kanji says:

    I'm sorry you had those experiencies. I'm sorry for what happened in Portugal. Being Portuguese and living in Portugal all I can say is sorry. Hope you consider to come back one day and have a better stay 🙂

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    Stephanie x says:

    I enjoyed this video, but I find it a little sad too. That there is somuch going on and people arent "feeling ok" about sharing the real life stories. It should be OK to post a bad photo or say that you have a bad day during a vlog or travelvideo. Why are people trying to live a "perfect life online" when real life just isnt perfect…never, for no one. I believe it is better to accept that and be yourself than to try to "have a perfect online presence". 🙂 no hate btw, just my opinion. i understand that you want your videos to be uplifting and happy 🙂

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    Jennifer McDonald says:

    I enjoyed this video as much as I enjoyed the original travel videos! Your Iceland solo travel video inspired me to travel to Zion National Park by myself after my graduation when I couldn't get anyone else to go with me. It was awesome and nothing really went wrong, but the entire time I felt very dumb and vulnerable. I thought it was just me, so it is really refreshing to hear that your trips have not gone perfectly!!

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    Christine D says:

    Loved this video!! I am pretty savvy and well traveled. However, last year I was pick pocketed in Italy..😥! Luckily, I did not have all my cash or passport on me. I was pretty bummed, but managed to totally enjoy the rest of my trip.

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    T D says:

    Can I just say how much I like the way you talk? You're so articulate! One of the reasons I started watching YouTube was to improve my English and your videos are some of the best I've found (in addition to being fun and helpful). Thank you for this 🙂

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    Victoria Maeva says:

    Omg the rat story was all too real for me…in my first college (I moved elsewhere partially because of this story), our dorms were in a very old, historic building and on two occasions we had a rat in our room. The first time I was standing on a chair between our room and the hallway throwing cheese into the hallway hoping the rat will leave. The second was the worst – I woke up early in the morning to a scratching noise and there on my duvet was a rat. I will never forget that experience 😂🤦🏽‍♀️ It's funny now but at the time it was horrific. P.S. Your Alaska vlog is also my favorite you've done. I frequently rewatch it for the beautiful imagery – I WILL go to Alaska someday. Have to.

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    ODC says:

    I was traveling alone in Austria, and was stopping in the town of Melk between Salzburg and Vienna. I had been DYING to see Melk Abbey, which is high on a cliff overlooking the Danube. Because it was winter, they were only open for 1 tour per day. I was planning to stash my suitcase in a luggage locker at the train station, but when I got there, the station was under construction and they had no lockers!! Time was short, so I set off, dragging my suitcase. I got to the base of the hill I'd have to climb, and it was several switchbacks and covered in snow. As I started to drag my suitcase up this hill, I realized that I wasn't going to be able to make it all the way up carrying a bag. I knocked on the doors of a few hotels to see if they'd let me store my bag for an hour or two, but no one was around! It was like the city was deserted!
    As I'm trying to figure out what to do, the abbey's bells start ringing, signaling that I am now LATE for the tour I needed to be on, and at that moment, an old lady threw open her window to try to see what I was doing, and I started yelling to her in my broken German what my issue was. I have no clue why, but I just started bawling. So here I am, on an icy hill, carrying a suitcase, crying to this really old lady who has no clue what I'm trying to say.
    I called it quits, went back to the train station, and headed into Vienna. I didn't get to see the Abbey, but it just means I'll have to go back another time to see it!! In the summer!!

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    RachelHeartsBenefit says:

    Also really love all your lifestyle and travel content! I remember watching you and other beauty gurus collab back in the earlier days. I joined YouTube around 2012 and at that time your “what’s in my bag” videos and shopping hauls and beauty room organizations were what I looked forward to! But in this era of my life (mid-twenties versus mid-teens) I really enjoy this kind of content-minimalism and travel! Looking forward to more of your creations (:

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    RachelHeartsBenefit says:

    I never would have guessed that all that was going on! But I know from my fair share of travel experiences that things are not always as they appear. I remember my first major trip in Europe was through Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic and during my trip in Budapest my friends and I stayed in a hostel and the morning that we packed up to leave and check out all my makeup and some of my toiletries were stolen! I kept checking and rechecking my bags and all over the shared room (8 person mixed room) and I remember there was a girl whose bunk was under mine and I swear she took it. But there were no cameras in the rooms and the staff was apologetic but couldn’t do a lot for me so I moved onto the next stop bitter and angry because makeup was expensive and I had nothing except for a lone tube of mascara and lip balm for the rest of the trip. I was self-conscious about pictures and always paranoid about leaving my stuff whereas before I was more trusting (I think my stuff was stolen off my bed because I remembered that my locker was kind of broken so I thought it would be safe to leave stuff under my sheets and pillows and close the curtains, and I was in a hurry so I didn’t want to mess with the locker (BIG MISTAKE!). I definitely have more horror stories too but that doesn’t detract from the overall amazing experience itself (:

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    Angela says:

    During a solo trip in Ghent, Belgium I had a similar experience. I checked into the hotel – which was actually quite nice – but got a VERY bad vibe. So bad, in fact, that after a few hours I asked if I could cancel my 2nd night stay. They said I'd be charged so I decided to stay. That first night, I hear the distinct sound of scurrying!! I laid there listening for a moment, hearing it scamper around the window and across the room, my heart beating wildly. I finally flipped on the light and saw it dive into the drapes! I dashed out to the lobby and told them there was a mouse. They waved it off, saying they've NEVER had a rodent problem and I was mistaken. I went back to my room and found a massive flying insect hanging out on the lamp. The next day, I DEMANDED to check out without being charged. They allowed it, but were very rude. Later, I left a review on TripAdvisor about my experience and they actually responded saying I'd made up the rodent/bug story simply to get out of paying my 2nd night. UGHHHH!!!! I was so angry. It was the Hotel Harmony, btw. Worst experience ever!

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    Georgina says:

    Love this video Allison! It's actually reassuring to know that others also have travel blunders… I did a lot of inter-railing across Europe when I was in my early 20s and the amount of frustrating experiences my husband and I came across was unreal. We kinda just thought we had bad luck! Weirdly though, we both still talk with great delight about those adventures and would still to this day say that those were the best holidays we've ever experienced. Also, I'm so inspired that you did these holidays solo – I'm considering a trip for myself since watching your series!

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    Danielle's Diary says:

    ik you are currently using the Sony A7iii, but I was wondering if you would ever review the fujifilm xt-4 for video and photo quality. Because I know you used the xt-2/3 and the quality on the photos were pretty good.

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    Kyley S says:

    Omg 😂 I have been watching you for literally YEARS and this is the most I’ve laughed at one of your videos! It’s funny, I could always tell that underneath your very seemingly reserved personality that you had a wicked sense of humour! ❤️

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    CT1010101 says:

    Thanks for doing this kind of video! I think it's really important for our generation's mental health to frequently be reminded that social media is not reality. Even though I know this, it's almost impossible to not fall into the trap of comparing your life to what you see of someone else's which is a pretty awful way to live.

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    Morgen Schreiner says:

    Iceland was my first solo trip (from Seattle!) too – AND I had a cold! The 8-hour delay was on my second trip, though, and it was on my way home 🙂
    Tip for anyone who might feel sick before going to Iceland: Take cold medicine with you! Unless things have changed since 2016, you cannot get OTC cold medicine like you can here in the States. Thankfully someone in my hostel (who was also from Seattle, small world) had some Airborne-like tablets from Poland that she shared with me, otherwise I would have been completely miserable on my trip.

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    shelley s says:

    I loved your Alaska vlog, my fave one of yours!! You need to start sharing all the real unglamorous stories in your travel vlogs! People appreciate that and would give them a more real look at solo travel, loved this share!

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    hs4x says:

    Loved seeing your behind the scenes Allison! It's always interesting to see how much effort goes into making your travel videos and the issues that can arise.

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    Mallory Green says:

    Wow your Iceland trip is literally so similar to how my trip to Ireland went! Looking back I definitely remember everything that went wrong and I was not a happy camper at the time but overall I had a great trip so yes traveling has its moments, honestly I don't think anything ever goes exactly right but you make the most of it and it's still worth it all in the end!

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    Rania says:

    I used to watch your videos when you lived in LA and talked about beauty but I have to say, I’ve fallen back in love with your videos and I’ve enjoyed watching you evolve!!

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    Susan Firth says:

    Always nice to see/hear about the real stuff that happens too not just the glamour parts. Okay, how on earth did you even feel like you could close your eyes in that hotel even after changing rooms? I would have slept outside. LOL. Back in the 90s a friend and I went on a trip to Margarita Island, Venezuela. First mistake was going in May……soooooo hot and humid but I could live with that. Absolutely beautiful hotel, brand new and very classy. We were robbed during the night while sleeping. Fortunately, all the took was whatever cash was in our wallets. Passports, cameras, jewellery were all left untouched as were our travelers cheques. We were very lucky that was all that happened. What really upset us was when we reported to hotel staff all we got was when front desk opens, cash travellers cheque and pay room bill. What? Seriously!

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    AnnEvelyn7 says:

    Honestly Allison, I am glad to hear there were some hiccups on your trips. You make them look so amazing that I think fairytale vacations. I do remember the story of your wallet – which is kinda fairytale. I sometimes feel like I am the ONLY person that has vacation issues – like someone is out to get me. Of course I do realize now that it’s just life and things happen.

    Your videos are SO amazing that I feel like I’m there with you on each trip. I have watched you for years now and remember the Allison who was going to YouTube events and trips, shopping all the time, reviewing makeup and showing her veggie meals. I’d rather hear you complain about some vacation issues than see another makeup tutorial. (Not that there’s anything wrong with makeup tutorials) I just LOVE the Allison you’ve become. She’s super cool. 😎

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