I decided to write a list of all the words that came to my head when I thought of the travel community and this is what came out
Strangers who are friends
Strangers who help one another
Advocates of peace
Common ground of wanting to explore, not just the world, but of themselves
Wanting to make a difference
The travel community was a big factor to us doing what we do here on y travel blog and our social spaces.
The travel community has always been a place filled with those from around the world willing to share, support, encourage and have fun together.
That’s what we wanted to emulate.
We have always loved being part of the travel community. It’s a place where no labels exist, no judgement or expectations.
It’s a place where strangers, who speak and think differently, are embraced for just who they are in this moment.
Another human being, like me, having an experience I can connect to and understand.
Just tonight we travelled home on a bus with fellow Aussies, Americans, English, Maori New Zealander, and Romanian.
We laughed together and sang songs from our countries after a memorable experience at the Tamaki Village.
We were part of the same family for a while and understood each other. The common bond and language being travel and discovery.
A pure human connection
This is what our connection with each other should be about – embracing and celebrating, helping and encouraging, sharing and caring.
So many cultures we have learned from and been inspired by on our travels, so many hat have loved and embraced us simply because we shared the journey of life together for a moment. That was all that matters and all that should be.
That’s why I love travel so much and why I can’t get enough of it, it taught me that love, acceptance and tolerance is possible, if we all just live it in our own backyards.
It’s a major reason why we started our blog, we thought we could take that travel spirit, create that community online and make a difference to our world, one traveller and one travel story at a time. Help this world we love so much become happier, and united in peace.
Be the change.
I thought that the travel blogging community would be the same, after all it is a community of travellers- you would hope!
It’s just not Travel
That is why I was so saddened and slightly pissed off to hear of a post this week asking travel bloggers to oust out and publicly shame other travel bloggers for making decisions about their own blogs that have been judged as being morally incorrect.
I’m not sure who the King is that makes those judgement calls, but I wish he would step down.
I’ve noticed a fair bit of this moral superiority going on in the travel blogging community and I have seethed quietly into the background when all I wanted to do was jump out and shout,
“Who the hell do you think you are? What are you doing calling yourself a traveller. You don’t understand what it means. Travellers don’t judge, they accept, they embrace, they celebrate.”
But then I stop myself as I realise I don’t have the right to define what travel is and what it is not and what it means for others.
In believing in a higher ordeal, I can’t make myself morally superior as well, like I have travelled and found the Zen of the Universe and others haven’t.
I’m jumping out now, not because I believe I am better than others, but because I believe in the spirit that inspired me to create what we have created with y travel and what we have experienced on our travels.
Choosing to Judge Others or Just worry about Yourself
I don’t have any right to judge others for the choices they make in regards to making money from their blogs or business activities. I don’t have any right really to judge anyone for anything.
All I need to worry about is what my choices are and how I am providing value with what I am doing.
I read travel blogs all the time; I see links that are obviously paid links.
I don’t care. I don’t feel like my trust has been violated. I am BIG enough and SMART enough to decide whether I think that link is worth following or relevant to me.
I get ads thrown in my face constantly, from magazines I pick up in doctor’s surgery, to ads on TV, sponsorship statements at conferences, and recommendations from friends on what their favourite products are.
None of these are violating my trust or committing evil acts, they are just doing business. It’s up to my intelligence and ownership of choices to decide what is valuable to me or not.
The person selling the link may have had a week where the mortgage was due, the car blew up, the kids were hungry, and they were almost to the point of quitting on their dream, so they just wanted to see one small reward for all their hard work.
And if for 99% of the time they are providing value than who am I to begrudge them for that or say they are less than worthless?
Have a problem with it? Then talk to Google, the monster that created it. Talk to the big companies that take advantage of it.
And to invite people to stand on their moral soap box and point the finger at their blogging comrades, who are just doing the best they can from where they are, is disgusting.
Those who are pointing the finger obviously feel threatened and believe that the only way to succeed is to take down the competition in order to give them a better chance. It is like they don’t believe enough in what they are doing and the value they can provide.
How can a community that is based upon travel- something that has a profound effect on the lives of all those who do it- be so cut- throat, judgemental and unsupportive?
I find myself turning my back on the community more and more as I find it becoming full of narkiness, superiority and mean-spirited stuff going on.
Haven’t we learned that co-operation serves us better than stomping all over each other? We should be united by common goals and ways of thinking.
Focus on Our Ideals and Community
There are so many travel bloggers who are doing inspirational things and who are helping others to do the same. My focus is going to be on encouraging and celebrating with them and doing what I can to help other bloggers get to where they want to be.
We would never have had the success and opportunities we have had if it wasn’t for other travel bloggers inspiring, sharing and teaching helping us learn. I am so grateful to so many because of it.
We are so lucky as bloggers because we have the ability to share the awesomeness of the world and its people and to encourage others to live their dreams. This should be our focus.
Now I choose to just focus on what we are doing, and continue to build that community of like-minded friends who want more laughter and love in their lives.
To our community, we are here to provide you value and inspiration as we live our dreams; we want nothing more than for you to do the same.
We will encourage you and support you and provide you with as much information and inspiration to assist you as we can.
There may be some things we do on our blog to help us make money so we can continue to do this. We have to make money in order to do this.
We are trying to work out the best way to do it so we do not inundate you with ads and marketing messages, instead giving you what you came here to get.
We want it to be win win win. We are still working this out and have made a mistake here and there, but we are learning from that and working out how to make it better.
Our dream of creating a community that inspires, encourages, supports, shares and has fun continues to drive us forward.