Logan Paul is ruining travel for all of us. Here's why...


I could write a fully-formed ten-page essay on the issues I have with Logan Paul’s content in his suicide video. But what I want to do instead is focus on what his actions mean for other Americans travelling abroad, and how I felt as a Japanese-American.

If you live in the western world and you have an internet connection, it’s hard to avoid Jake and Logan Paul. The Viners turned Youtubers have garnered a huge following and are easily some of the fastest growing content creators online. But their fame and notoriety have led to some (more than) questionable decisions on their part. And it seems Logan Paul decided to ring in the new year with one of these decisions.

Logan Paul posted a video in which he went into Aokigahara - better known as the Japanese Suicide Forest. In this video, he and his friends went off the footpath into the restricted area and eventually found a dead body. And rather than stopping the recording and contacting the right authorities, Paul took it upon himself to continue his vlog. They got closer to the body, zoomed in and made various jokes and insensitive comments.

Something my parents said to my sister and I when we were growing up has stuck with me as I’ve gone along in my travels. They said that wherever we go, we may be the first or last Americans that the locals ever meet. Essentially, they meant that when we were on holiday, we were representing our country. I’ve said this to many people, when you visit a country with so few foreigners like Japan, you truly represent your country.

Logan Paul’s actions were a prime example of why people generally hate American tourists. They’re seen as loud, disrespectful and disruptive. And to many of the people who ran into Paul on his Japan trip or who heard of the controversy over his video, this stereotype of “awful American tourist” is confirmed in their minds. This may very well stain the impressions of other Americans who wish to travel abroad. They could be polite as can be, but still be treated a coldly by the natives who are wary of American tourists.

This recent controversy has also made me even more keen to distance myself from my American heritage. I hate sounding like a tourist when I visit places, and I worry that people will react negatively towards me because of the reputation Americans have. The Logan Pauls of the world risk ruining it for the rest of us.

So I urge you, whether you’re American or not, to remember that when you travel, you may be the first or last of your race or ethnicity that someone ever sees. When you go abroad, have respect and, at the very least, have some dignity.

#tyro #TRIP #travel #LoganPaul #Westerners #America