Saturday, 10 March 2012

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I'm Pretty Sure I'm Famous

See? Your typical American/Canadian family
I certainly wasn't born into this. I had as normal a childhood as anybody could ask for. My parents stayed married all their lives, our family always had a dog, and my sister and I fought constantly until the age of 16, at which point I realized that all her friends had suddenly become cute. Now I'm married, live in the suburbs of a city, and my son has to do daily battle with two sisters instead of one, although it does mean that in a couple of years there'll be twice as many cute friends hanging around for him to flirt with. Our life has been pretty plain, and if it weren't for the fact that we live in Canada, we'd probably be the ideal representative of the typical American family.

Then I started writing this blog.

Ok, so I haven't won a Pulitzer yet, and Hollywood isn't exactly lurking around my car waiting to throw movie scripts at me, but I tell you things are different since I've started writing. No longer am I sharing my thoughts with family members who more than likely aren't listening. Now when I write something, I know that people in England, Thailand, Australia, and one rather odd, couch-dwelling soul in China, hear what I'm saying. No longer are my words empty and hollow - they have power! My voice resonates loudly across the globe, although apparently it still can't penetrate my daughters bedroom door when it's closed.

Did you say something Dad?
The real extent of my fame however, only becomes apparent when I go out in my hometown. Oh sure, people are polite and try not to bother me while I'm out in public, but I know that they want to stop me and talk about yesterday's post. It's really not too much of a hardship, but it can be problematic when I go out somewhere that I'm planning on writing about. I used to be able to slip in without being noticed, but now as soon as I show up, I know that I'm going to get the royal treatment. They don't make it obvious, but it's hard not to notice some of the perks. Sometimes it's something small like free refills on our drinks. Other times it's not disguised at all. Just yesterday we went out for dinner and when the bill came they had knocked $30 off the total. What else could that be, other than a blatant attempt to sway my review of their restaurant? (My wife seems to think it was the $30 Groupon that I gave our server, but I find that kind of logic a little too convenient.)

Being so well known tends to affect my relationship with other bloggers as well. I don't mean that we don't get along...everybody I talk to in the travel blogging world is incredibly friendly, but as my fame grows there seems to be a surge in the number of "We'd better get there before Steve" activities. You want an example? Just last week I was thinking to myself "You know, it would be nice to go to France" and then I wake up this morning and my good friend Lisa from Gone with the Family has packed up her family and carted them all off to Paris. Coincidence? I think not. We thought about going to Texas for Spring Break, but Rebecca from R We There Yet Mom and Jessica from Suitcases and Sippycups have written so much about their home state lately that we decided to go to D.C. instead. Then there's Sarah from Wandering Off who so badly wanted to beat me to all the Vegas scoops that she actually moved there!

Cue the Travel Blogger Paparazzi
I'm not complaining. I knew what I was getting into when I decided to talk about our adventures on the World Wide Web, and I'm willing to pay the price. Fortunately, travel blogging fame is very different from Hollywood fame. Nobody cares who we're dating, we don't get judged on how nicely we wear a tuxedo, and the only time we draw paparazzi is if there's a sunset or strange food item to be photographed. Still, I worry that one day the pressures of the fame will get to me. I can't promise to always remember the little people (heck, I'm working on trying to remember my kids names) but you early readers will always have a special place in my heart. I'm especially impressed with your stealth techniques. Considering the massive extent of my popularity, it's impressive that so many of you manage to follow me without registering a hit on the Google Analytics counter. I should probably let Google know about my incredibly sneaky fan base. If you're reading any other blogs, they may not know just how famous they are.