Bleats

Is There Anything In This World More Entitled Than The Freeloading Travel Influencer?

Imagine requesting to stay at a resort for free.

Here’s a sad thing about living in 2019: travel spots that were once “hidden gems” are not so hidden anymore. It’s a hard truth to face but the concept of a unique and adventurous travel experience has almost been completely abolished. Who is the culprit? Instagram and travel influencers.

Through a simple hashtag search: #phillipines, #india, #thailand, we’re flooded with pictures of all the “remote” and “secret spots” of that particular country. Instagram’s over-exposure of certain places has led to some awful effects for the communities attached to them. This photography-focused platform has left low-socioeconomic communities vulnerable to mass-tourism.

A prime example of this can be seen on the Phillipines’ Boracay Island. In 2018, the entire island closed for six months out of need for restoration. I’m slightly impressed but mostly disgusted that a bunch of rowdy travellers and influencers caused enough havoc to shut down a literal island. There’s one silver lining here: at least, for those 6 months, the locals saw peace.

“Boosting the economy” is the card often used to justify mass-travel and for that argument, I have one question: would you care if your economy was “boosted” if it meant ruining the environment and worsening living conditions for the poor? That’s what’s happening in the Philippines, dear friends.

A representative from White Banana Beach Club in the Philippines recently told HuffPost that mass tourism has meant a massive surge in the price of goods and services which locals simply can not afford.  Considering that in 2015, almost a quarter of the country lived at or below the poverty line, this is a pretty dire consequence.

Posting to Facebook, White Banana Beach Club wrote, “We kindly would like to announce that White Banana is not interested to ‘collaborate’ with self-proclaimed ‘influencers.’ And we would like to suggest to try another way to eat, drink, or sleep for free. Or try to actually work.”

It’s hard to believe that travel influencers are doing this so frequently that this business felt they needed to publicly call it out? The sass in their post is astounding, inspirational and to be frank, completely called-for.

It appears some individuals are completely lacking in travel etiquette, so if you’re an aspiring traveller, here are some tips:

  1. Don’t ask for free things
  2. Support local businesses
  3. Minimise your waste. Invest in one of those high-tech water bottles that filter dirty water.
  4. And finally, if a place is already suffering from mass-tourism, go somewhere else.

By all means, take your selfies and live your best life but please, for the sake of struggling communities, stop engaging in horrific tourist behaviour.

The Best Grub In Each Aussie State, So Pack Your Comfy Pants

Eat your way across the continent.

Sometimes the holidays roll around and you just can’t be stuffed leaving the country, and that’s okay. There’s beauty in keeping it domestic, especially if you’re lucky enough to live on a continent home to a million diverse restaurants, beaches and bushland. You can stay in Australia and simultaneously feel like you’re travelling the world.

So if you decide on having a “staycation” this year or plan on road-tripping interstate, we’ve hit up the team at Delicious Magazine for the insider tips on the best restaurants in Australia.

Queensland: Happy Boy

Forget sweet and sour pork, it’s all about authentic Chinese cuisine at this adorable eatery based in Fortitude Valley, Brissy. If you’re planning a trip to QLD, this place is well worth a pop-in. Not only is the quality of food notches above any basic Chinese restaurant, but the dining space is also beyond charming. The industrial vibe of this little restaurant makes it trendy without it trying too hard.

You won’t be finding tiny portions here and you won’t be needing to fork-out the big bucks, either. Most main meals are between $15 to $20, though we’d 100% recommend splurging and getting the pork and prawn wonton entre. For mains, go for the beef brisket stew with noodles or the mapo tofu if you’re vego.

And if you’re into wine, here’s the good news: not only does this place have a stellar meal menu, the wine list is incredibly unique. This little establishment favours small producers which means it’s the perfect place to go if you’re into trying lesser-known wines from around the country. You can even take a bottle home, if you so wish.

Western Australia: Kailis Fish Market Café

If you’re heading to Fremantle it would be a darn shame if you don’t make an appearance at Kailis Fish Market Café. It’s the perfect spot to pick up your weekend fish and chippies fix. What’s great about this local legend is that you’re able to splurge on the finer foods of the sea, like rock lobster and fresh oysters, but it also offers the classics – basic snapper and chips or catch of the day. There’s a meal for every taste and price range.

The dining space is open, airy and right by the water. This eatery has a relaxed vibe and is the perfect place to visit after a day spent outdoors or if you’ve had a particularly stressful time at work. Why? Because they offer wine and good wine at that. If you’re wanting to be adventurous try the whole fried herring or seafood chowder served in a hollowed out loaf.

Australian Capital Territory: Yat Bun Tong

If you love dumplings, this is your new home. You can’t find a place in the ACT that perfects dumps like this one, you just can’t. Head to Braddon to visit this gem and while you’re there make sure to try the pork and chives buns or the signature pork and crab.

And if their delicious dumplings weren’t enough, you can also watch the chefs make them through the glass window front. It’s entertainment and dining all at once.

New South Wales: Pazar Food Collective

Have you ever tried Turkish-Mexican food? Well, you can after paying a visit to Pazar Food Collective. Turkish-Mexican is how chef-owner Attila Yilmaz describes her eclectic menu. If you’re vegetarian, you’ll be cheering when you see the countless veggo options on offer. The charred pumpkin with pepita chimichurri and feta is out of this world but if you’re a meat-eater, go for the harissa-roasted chicken.

The vibe of this eatery is low-key and on-point: the interior has a warehouse feel and the drinks list is fun and innovative. If you’re down for an evening out with mates or are on the hunt for the next cool restaurant, head out of Sydney’s CBD and to this restaurant in the outer-suburb of Canterbury.  

Victoria: Mya Tiger

If you’re heading to St Kilda and want to know where’s “popular” to go for a feed, this would be the place. This Cantonese restaurant is constantly packed and is clad with velvet booths and its walls are covered in peeled paint. Mya Tiger has got personality in spades and that’s what makes it all the more special.

This Cantonese food hasn’t been dulled-down to suit Aussie tastebuds. The menu’s greatest hits include kingfish in yuzu, crunchy school prawns, five-spice chicken ribs and tender wagyu in black pepper. The mains are a tad pricey so we recommend heading here if you’re looking to treat yo’ self.

South Australia: Topiary

Chef Kane Pollard is all about sustainability at Topiary. He’s not about chopping off the tops of carrots or throwing away pumpkin seeds and yet the food remains delicious.

Topiary’s rustic vibe and cottage feel (it’s literally tucked away in a garden) will have you feeling like you’re in a scene from a vintage novel. The cocktails are equally as classic. This eatery serves eggs every way for breakfast and the scones are top-notch. There are more adventurous choices too, like fried gnocchi with peas, beans and house-made ricotta.

It’s fancy, quality food that you’d expect to cost an arm and leg but the prices remain surprisingly modest. So if you’re feeling a little “extra” drop those dollars and splurge on dessert. You won’t regret it, not here.

Tasmania: Maharaja Authentic Indian Restaurant

This low-key dining space is located in Hobart’s CBD so if you’re planning a trip to Tassie, there’s simply no excuse to not go.

This eatery’s impressive factor is that somehow, someway, the menu manages to include a dish from all of India’s different regions. There are a million different curries and Indian-style breads to choose from. If you’ve never had Lachha Parantha, here’s the place to try it. This place has perfected this flaky wholemeal brushed with butter.

If you’re a novice when it comes to spicy food, there’s no issue here. All plates can be ordered mild, medium or hot. We love a restaurant that offers BYO – Maharaja only charges $5 for corkage, so come prepared.  

Who needs a Euro trip when you’ve got the low-down on the best eateries across Australia? And if you’re hungry for more, grab Delicious magazine’s special 18th birthday edition, complete with Australia’s top 100 restaurants.

People Are Horny Over Instagram 'Cleanfluencers' And Honestly, Are We OK?

God, they organise that so well.

We all know of the “influencer” but many of us are yet to come across the “cleanfluencer.” These Instagram users are passionate cleaners and you guessed it, they record themselves cleaning stuff. That’s their schtick. The whole schtick.

You best believe it’s legit – cleanfluencers have thousands of followers. It appears many of us have a total fetish for watching others clean and learning from their ways, and they’re not just on the Gram. They have merchandise, have written books on cleaning, and most of them have a YouTube channel. Mrshinchhome has 2.8 million Insta followers, The Organised Mum is sitting on 173,000 and This Girl Can Organise is at 109,000.

Nine times out of 10 cleanfluencers seem to embody that “soccer mum” look. The question that came out of my deep dive into their world was: why on earth are we so obsessed with watching people clean? Surely there’s more to life than that.

Here’s what I’ve learnt…

This Girl Can Organise

When I hop onto Nicola Lewis’ cleanfluencer Instagram, her bio says “professional home organiser”. I’m intrigued, as I didn’t know that was an occupation. But the second thing I noticed was a post that said:

“the closest I get to a spa these days is the steam from the dishwasher door smacking me in the face #motherhood”

This Girl Can Organise.

This is the first red flag for me. I quickly learnt that many cleanfluencers tend to glamourise that “self-sacrificing” mum image and it seems a little toxic. But there are positives: one of This Girl’s tid-bits is to engage her followers in a “summer detox” challenge where they tackle decluttering things one thing at a time – the car boot, the “junk drawer” at home, the shoe cabinet. She’s also a level 12 on the likeable scale.

Sophie Hinchliffe

I hop onto Sophie Hinchliffe Instagram account, arguably the internet’s “biggest” cleanfluencer and immediately I’m baffled. How does this woman have 2.8 million followers? All of her pictures are grey and white, her account is straight-up depresso. So I investigate further… and that’s when I come across this:

The first video on her YouTube channel is a tutorial on deep cleaning and it’s quality viewing. Seriously. After watching this I feel the strong urge to invite her to the pub. At one stage she pours soda crystals in her sink plugs, sprinkles them with water and sings “look at the fizz…look at the fizz… easily pleased mate” in her thick British accent.

The Organised Mum

Much like the other cleanfluencers I’ve discovered, The Organised Mum has her own merchandise and has even coined her own cleaning method: The Organised Mum Method. It involves spreading house chores over the course of the week so that one can “enjoy” their weekend.

I’m beginning to notice that cleanfluencer accounts are all run by mums and it feels a bit off. None of these influencers seems to mention that it’s not a woman’s responsibility to do the bulk of the housework.

But what is inspiring about the cleanfluencer is that she seems to be a self-made, successful businesswoman, which honestly, is pretty badass. Cleanfluencers seem to encourage “downtime” and self-care practices too, and we can’t complain with that. But I’m left wondering: where are the male cleanfluencers at?

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