Alternate Title: ‘The Daunting Task of Travel Blogging.’
Travel Blogging: Braving the obvious obstacle of traveling the world into unfamiliar lands, trying to find internet, and spending those few and far between moments to pump out quality, informational posts for readers; sometimes I’m not sure why we even bother to do it. Travel blogging is one of the most overlooked blogging categories (apparently it wasn’t even a good enough category for Bloglovin’s annual awards), but I’m hoping that will change as people are starting look more into world awareness, curious to see what’s out there beyond the big blue ocean.
Sure as an outsider travel blogging may seem super glamorous, but it has it’s dark side. Before you consider taking the leap into travel blogging, here are a few things you should be aware of.
We hardly ever get free stuff. This is no joke. I’ve been more fortunate than most, and 3 companies have taken pity on this poor wanderer. I’ll be writing up a couple posts within the next few weeks about my shiny new stuff! That being said, I’ve been blogging for 2 and a half years. Do the math. That’s only about 1 company per year that’s willing to send things to me (internationally) for me to try out and love.
I know bloggers (usually lifestyle or fashion) who get free stuff all the time! Treats for their dogs, clothes, accessories, luggage, the list goes on and on. And what do they have to do for all that loot? Just post a picture or two with a link!
Someday (in my dreams)…this amazing blogging perk will eventually happen to me.
Finding WIFI is harder than you think while traveling. What’s the number one thing you need for blogging?
Let’s not all raise our hands here. Internet. Believe it or not, without WIFI/ethernet cables, there’s not much you can do in the blogging world. Have I been out of the loop blogging-wise in the last few weeks? That answer would be a resounding yes, and the reason why is because I’ve been traveling thousands of miles (USA and back), and moving houses. I think in the last 21 days I’ve had consistent internet for 3 days straight?
But here’s the deal. When you’re traveling, how stupid is it to spend two weeks in one of the most gorgeous locations you’ve ever been in, cooped up in your hotel room surfing on the internet? Not all of us ‘want’ to find WIFI…that is if it’s even to be found. The entire time Derik and I were in the Philippines, we only had the wifi we found in random restaurants along the road. So maybe you’ll get in a good 30 minutes to read emails and instagram, but blogging? No. Way.
As a travel blogger, part of our ‘work’ is to get out there, experience things, and write about them. Doesn’t do much good to head into the jungles of Borneo if you’re spending the whole time going from cafe to cafe, looking for internet, when you could be feeding orangutans and canoeing down rivers.
Some readers have a certain distain for travel bloggers. Most travel bloggers are bunched into one of two group: independently wealthily or daddy dependent. The funny thing is, 95% of us aren’t either. If you’re curious about a certain blogger and wondering how they can afford such an adventurous life, do some digging in that blogger’s archive. You never know what kind of history you may find up. Whether they worked in SE Asia teaching English and saved every penny they had to travel, currently work 2-3 jobs at home, or have taken up self-employment via journalism, graphic design, and technical work, the point is…travel bloggers work to afford the life we have.
I can understand being jealous (maybe that jealousy turns to hatred?) of a blogger because they get to do things that you may not be able to, but just remember they have most likely made a ton of sacrifices to get to where they are and what they are doing today! Turn that jealousy/hatred into curiosity, and reach out to that travel blogger and ask them how manage to live their particular life!
I’m often jealous of other travel bloggers myself, as there are a few that seem to just jet off every couple of weeks to a new location. How. IS. That. Possible?! Instead of hatred, I’ll turn my jealousy into pure admiration, as those bloggers have really worked hard, and must have their act together to be able to do that!
We look terrible in 95% of our travel photos. This point correlates with the last. Most world travelers have a different mindset than the rest of society when it comes to material possessions. We’d rather sell all our crap, buy a ticket abroad with the money, find work and a house ‘that will do temporarily.’ In the past three years I’ve only professionally cut and colored my hair once, gone to get a manicure twice, and rarely go out to shop. The thing is, we don’t need ‘things’ to make us happy. We need experiences, adventures, child-like wonder. That’s where our money goes.
That being said, because of our lack of material possessions, we don’t always look trendy, stylish, and put together in travel photos. I should mention that not all of us have this problem, some travel bloggers go above and beyond to look good…and I’m not sure how they do it. I’d rather not take an hour to do my hair and makeup when it’s 110 degrees outside; I’d be melting like a candle in 3 minutes flat. It happens.
It’s a good thing I always remember deodorant.
As a travel blogger, safety is a major concern. I want to somewhat blend in with the locals, and not be an immediate target for those who don’t have my best interest in mind. Flashy jewelry, designer brands (not that I even have anything ‘designer’), and unpractical shoes stay at home.
Speaking of photos, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” The worst part about being a travel blogger is the obligation to take a million photos. I love being a shutterbug, and photography is one of my biggest hobbies, but the incredible sense of guilt I feel for not ‘documenting’ a certain part of a trip is stupid and unreasonable. Derik always ends up having to give me a reality check or two as I usually go crazy with taking a picture of everything. I want to make sure I can properly portray the location, feel, and flair of wherever we are traveling to, as I feel that my pictures can explain a place my words can’t.
However, when I go photo-crazy, I lose track of what’s important: really experiencing and acknowledging what’s going on around me. There’s only so much you can experience behind the lens of a camera, sometimes we need to put that camera down and take things in with our own two eyes. Yes?
Pinterest success just isn’t happening. Sure a travel post may get a pin or two here and there, but it won’t ever take off and get those 10,000 referrals a day from Pinterest like other posts about life hacks, not using shampoo, and sunburn remedies. #whatswrongwithpeople
Apparently ‘self and domestic’ help is the latest and greatest. I suppose that’s what Pinterest is made for after all.
We’d rather be outside than sitting on our computer all day. As I’m typing this, I can hear the roaring waves from the ocean crashing on the gorgeous white sand beach not even 100 yards from my back porch. I already spent 2 hours this morning walking around enjoying the sunrise, can I go back and try to spot a penguin or two instead of writing this post? The point is, travel bloggers would rather be out traveling and living, than sitting inside on a computer all day. What’s the point in living life if you can’t actually live it? You don’t have to be on some remote island to enjoy the outdoors, take adventures, or be spontaneous. Seriously now.
Our hearts get all warm and fuzzy when you tell us we inspire, encourage, and enlighten you about world travel. The number one goal of a travel blogger is to share with readers the amazing world we live in. We want you to travel too! The only way (besides buying you an airplane ticket) we can get you to take the first step into a life full of adventures all over the world is to show you that it’s possible! When we get emails, tweets, and comments about how we’ve encouraged you to travel as well? That makes all the hard travel blogging stuff totally worth it. YOU are the reason we write and will continue to write. So for that? Thank you.
Travel bloggers are lovers of life. Travelers see the world a different way than most. We’ve been given five senses (taste, touch, hear, smell, and see), two legs, two hands, a brain, and a big heart to go see what we haven’t seen before; to experience life a way completely different than our own. We crave discovery, a chance to learn, and enjoy getting lost.
As a travel blogger I have the opportunity to share my perceptions of the world with thousands of readers I’ve never met. It’s crazy really. Yeah, travel blogging is difficult, and maybe not physically rewarding, but I love it anyway. Thanks for reading and being such great supporters!