Why We Need More Travel Bloggers (but not the annoying kind)

When I left for my first trip to India my father pulled me aside and said,

Some of the most important moments in history have been recorded on film or written down by travellers. Make sure you take your camera and pen everywhere.

Unfortunately for me that conversation didn’t end with the giving of a new camera (or pen for that matter).

It did make me think though.

Since that time I’ve been back to India half a dozen times and recently returned from a few months in Europe where I had to work (I’m a non-travel blog blogger) on the road. It was a huge challenge but also extremely rewarding.

During that time I realised that the world needs more people recording their moments away from home – in fact, I think it is vital for democracy, ethics and all sorts of fun things like that.

Let me tell you why.

Note: This post contains a lot of opinionated ranting! Please don’t take it too seriously.

Why travel blogs are so important

Now you might have a picture in your head of what a typical travel blog looks like.

It might be a 20-something kid in a hat or sandals traveling the world and paying for his rent in a hemp-roofed teepee by promoting advertisers in his website’s sidebar.

Well, you’d be right. There are lots of those.

But what I’m really interested in is the vital role that blogs play/will play in the future of our society. I know you probably think that I’m building them up to be more important than they are.

You’re right about that too.

Yes, an individual travel blog is worth very little. But a movement of travel blogs is a treasure that we should encourage. I honestly believe they are the modern equivalents to the journals of people like James Cook and the writings of people like Henry David Thoreau.

Here’s why.

1. Travel blogs encourage travel – and that broadens the mind

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Next time you’re sitting around a dinner table with friends listening to some bloke rabbit on about how people in the third world are hopeless and how we shouldn’t spend any money trying to assist, go ahead and politely inquire how many times they’ve visited those countries.

It’s my experience that those who take off after school or during college to experience the third and developing worlds often have a motivated and effortful approach to the world. A massive generalisation, yes, but I’ve found a lot less apathy in those who have seen the world than those who have been shielded in Western securities.

Of course, there are a lot of people who just head off to Europe or Ibiza to party and do drugs and let loose. That’s fine for them but it’s not really what I’m talking about. I’d call that tourism, not travelling.

If you spend time getting to know a place or a people you start to learn things about yourself. Your limits and your ability to be useful. And I think that is so important for the betterment of our society.

We need more people who think deeply about problems and how to solve them, even if it’s just at the level of your own family.

Sometimes that comes from seeing how another culture does it.

And so if someone starts a travel blog and encourages a few people to broaden their mind due to the stories and photos they post then please, let’s have a few more of them.

2. Travel blogs document historical events

In the future we’re going to be able to look back at all those travel blogs – websites, Tumblrs and Twitter feeds – and see trends unravel and events take place.

Now, I’m not necessarily talking about big events like September 11 (although a lot of those videos were captured by tourists) but more like the way a country changes or how the climate for a revolution develops.

There are some fascinating blogs that discussed the build up to the Arab Spring, for example.

Traditional news sources and writers will call me an idiot for this opinion – but I’m sticking to it. Yes, trained news reporters are the best source of current information but there is so much they don’t and can’t report on that is lost to history. The emotional tales, the family impacts, the view from the outside looking in.

Again, there probably won’t be one single blog that history will look back on as a source of valuable information for learning about revolutions in the Middle East. But by cataloging and studying a wide range of blogs at various points in history I am certain we will learn useful things.

In fact, scholars are already starting to do this.

3. Travel can give meaning to a lifetime

In 2006 I headed off to the Indian Himalayas with one of my closest friends in the world.

Six months later he was diagnosed with stage four Lymphoma and the prognosis looked bad. So bad, in fact, one of the doctors asked me if there was a priest or mentor he might like to invite to his hospital room.

Thankfully he recovered but I’ll never forget one of our late night conversations during those months of chemotherapy when he mentioned that he was glad we went to India and that he’d seen Germany and Thailand the year before. It gave him a sense of fulfillment that, even though he was facing death in his 20’s, he’d at least seen the world and had some cool experiences.

Not everyone will have the fortune to travel overseas.

It can be expensive and circumstances at home (feeding a family, working, political climates, etc.) can make it impossible. But most people will be able to travel to a new place near home. A beach-side car trip. A hike to the mountains. A few days on your own learning to be with yourself.

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woman alone in thought

Those kind of experiences add things to your life that last a very long time. They can get you through the shittiest things that will happen to you at home.

But a lot of people wouldn’t hear about that unless they read it on a blog or saw a photo of some mountain or Buddhist lama and felt a connection and an itching to go and search it out.

Blogs, magazines, Facebook updates. Mostly we denigrate those things for being wastes of electricity. But they can make a huge difference to a person’s life if it motivates them to move.

So what makes a good travel blog?

I should probably remind everyone at this stage that I am not a travel blogger.

I do blog while I am traveling and the ideas I have here come from those experiences. Even from a business point of view, the traveling gave me lots of new things to think about.

1. Find a blogging platform that suits you and your travel

If you’re going to be traveling to China then Facebook is not a good place to document your thoughts. It’s banned there.

If you’re going to be spending a lot of time hiking in places that are very wet or dangerous then you probably won’t want to take a laptop with you and thus a more mobile blogging platform like Tumblr might work for you.

If you want to take your travel blogging a bit more seriously (and maybe even try to use it to make a living) then you’ll want to have a self-hosted setup with your own domain name. This gives you complete ownership and control over the content, server, as well as the look and feel of the site.

2. Don’t stop traveling so you can start blogging

One of the biggest mistakes you can make while you are traveling is that you stop the travel part so you can record something to use it later.

Photographers will understand this.

There is a certain something lost when you just carry around the camera and look at everything through the lens. You miss what’s going on in front of you while you focus on focus, depth, lighting, etc.

Lock Love Bridge, Paris
Lock Love Bridge, Paris

I was recently in the Dali museum in Spain and watched a man go around the entire building taking photos looking only at the art through the camera screen. I kept thinking how many better photos there must be on the internet – why not just look at it while you are 2,000km away from home and there in person?

The best travel stories come from those who are in the mix and experiencing the places. Some people have a gift for being able to teach and explore things with photos alone.

3. Mix your mediums occasionally

The best travel blogs are a mix of photos, written words and videos.

There is something unique to each one of these and you’ll find that certain situations lend themselves particularly well to one or the other.

A good digital SLR and laptop combo will completely cover all your needs. The video quality on SLR cameras is incredible these days and the free editing software that you can put on your blogging laptop will be more than sufficient.

There will be a temptation to get carried away with becoming a professional on all of these things. If that happens to you just relax and maybe put it down for a while. You don’t need to get distracted by it.

4. Go local

Some of the best travel experiences happen when you get away from the tourist areas and the parts of the country that are built up to look like somewhere else.

A good example of this is in Barcelona where I heard that the palm trees and parrots (yes, the bird) were imported for the Olympics in order to make the place feel more exotic. There’s a lot of fakery.

Start with books and blogs and see what you can find out about the place. Then see if you can connect with people who know the area well.

A lot of cities have “alternative” walking tours where a local will take you around for a few hours and teach you about the undercurrent of the city; the things the brochures might not want you to see.

I found that these types of experiences really made me think more. I started to question things back at home more – even my own reactions to things.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

5. Make writing a regular priority

Writing is a lot like sport. Sometimes you love it but other times you really, really don’t want to be at training.

And like sport, your writing gets better the more you practice. It gets easier.

I seem to write my best stuff at night after dinner when the world has quietened down a little bit. When I was traveling I found that the day’s experiences gave me so much to think about and that often translated to better ideas for my writing.

Just keep at it, even when you don’t feel like it.

6. Go to places that interest you

For some reason, I have absolutely no connection to South America. I don’t know what it is but I just really struggle to make myself want to go there or learn about it.

Indian history on the other hand? I can stay up all night thinking about it.

That is an important thing to think about when you are traveling and blogging about it. If you are passionate about the place then you are going to produce stuff that has a lot more energy to it.

If you’ve grown up studying Kung Fu then you might want to take a trip to China and see what strikes you there. Karate practitioners might prefer Japan. Or, if you’re fascinated by your family tree then go back to where your parents came from and discover something new about yourself.

What do you think?

Have you ever blogged while you were travelling?

Do you read blogs about traveling and find that you get something from it?

I’d be really interested to hear whether or not you feel like travel blogs play an important role or whether they’re just more idle nonsense.

Please leave a comment and let me know.

[ybox_title]Author BIO[/ybox_title]

Ramsay sold a blog for almost $20,000 when he was in university and fell in love with blogging. He now works full time from home using blogging and writes to help others do the same. Check out Blog Tyrant or find him on Google+.

104 thoughts on “Why We Need More Travel Bloggers (but not the annoying kind)”

  1. Ruann l Solo Travel Uncut

    I agree with a lot of what you said in this article, not everything, but most of it. Articles like this – that has a bit of a different edge, a different view and title in an industry drowning in similarity – makes me feel honored to be a travel blogger. I’m not going to give my opinion on your opinions, because I don’t see any use for that. Your opinions are yours, and thats what I love about the freedom of blogging.

    Which brings me to my point: Why I think we need more travel bloggers.

    – It removes the blindfold in the overselling, sometimes manipulating tourism marketing industry.
    – It gives honest, first-hand stories about things some people will never experience.
    – It puts places on the map that would have never otherwise seen the light.
    – It inspires people to travel for travel’s sake, and not to blow of steam in a franchise hotel on the other side of the world.

    I’m not a big fan of the whole traveler vs. tourist debate. But for me, personally, travel blogs are for travelers, and mainstream travel media is for tourists.

    Of course thats not always true, but the best travel blogs are rough, raw and uncut. The best mainstream travel media… Pretty, altered and sculpted to perfection.

    Thanks for a great article!

    Ruann

    1. I love this comment. Really appreciate the time you took to share your own thoughts in a way that didn’t make me feel like my post was totally wrong! πŸ™‚

      Thanks again.

  2. Great article and full of tips for a newbie like myself. I need to know what makes a blogger an annoying one though! Just in case I need to correct some behaviors hahahah Love your stories!! Lots of good vibes for you!

  3. Such a great article. Especially such a good reminder that one should travel firstly and blog secondly. I still struggle with the balance especially when it comes to picture taking.
    Interesting notion too on how bloggers document the world and news – I wish though there was more. I think a lot of people are still a bit shy when it comes to reporting news though I like the idea of getting individual thoughts and moments shown that happen in a country.

  4. Really interesting post! I love traveling as well as photographing and the points stated in this post made a lot of sense to me, like enjoy the place you are, enjoy the traveling itself and don’t watch everything through the lens of your camera (or iPad as I’ve seen some people recently). It is fascinating to think that in years to come history will be quite well documented and with a lot more points of view then ever before. Good work!

  5. “Mom, you like to write and you like to travel, you should be a travel blogger. ” That’s how my 20-something travel blogger soon introduced me to the travel blogging world. He was right. Back in the day, I used to write long letters about my travels—by hand, on paper. (Yes, I’m THAT old). Now I can share my experiences with people beyond my friends and family.

  6. What is interesting to some readers is nonsense to others. Depends on your goals for your blog and your target audience. I prefer different styles of blogs, some fact based / opinion based ones however the storytelling styled ones are the best for me. I like the journey to have to have some context that storytelling can provide. For me it’s OK to permit the “annoying kind” as some of us just share with family and friends and they love them. Ones I do not like, you don’t have to read or follow. Fran

  7. Travel blogs are definitely important. I am a travel blogger myself and I have begun to realize how people around me get influenced and inspired by my travel stories and pictures. It happens, when people in general hear an honest experience, it goes deep down in their hearts and they want to recreate it on their own.

  8. I must say I’m always dissapointed when age (twenty-something is such a negative word nowadays) is brought up when making a point about a bad travelblog. However, I don’t feel like this addressed me. My goal is not me-centered, it’s to inspire people. To show them travel is a possibility, no matter your income. That fears of lack in money shouldn’t hold you back from seeing the world. I agree with your points, all of them actually. Practice makes perfect, certainly in writing, and is vital to find your voice.

    1. I think I mucked up that point. I wasn’t trying to degrade young bloggers (I was/am one too). I was more trying to paint a picture of the low quality travel blog that seems to get a lot of flack these days and, probably, takes something away from the really good ones out there.

      There are just so many wonderful travel blogs that I think are really important. Same in my niche – it’s a shame people won’t experience them because of a few bad eggs.

      Hope that clarifies my messy writing! πŸ™‚

      1. No problem! I didn’t take offense, it’s just something I noticed that happens often and I thought deserved mentioning. I do understand your point. Thank you for clearing this up πŸ™‚

  9. I appreciate this post very much! My family has been traveling for 5 years and I’ve FINALLY started a blog (still under construction but it’s open!). I’ve been asked countless times if we have one and when I would answer “no” it felt like I was letting everyone down. People want to know about amazing travel adventures, especially from the perspective of someone they can relate to. Even if it’s logging idle moments, many of them provide inspiration for folks who are ready to try something new in their life.

  10. I would like to think of myself as a travel blogger. I just returned from a trip to Turkey where I spent two hours a day editing my pictures and then writing and sharing all we saw/did/experienced that day. Two things strike me from this write-up. I am spending too much time viewing places through the eye of my camera trying to “capture” the scene, and I’m not getting enough sleep staying up too late to finish that days memories. I would love to inspire others to travel and experience life outside of their normal comfort zone. Finding balance in the length and depth of my ramblings will be my next goal.

  11. I agree with write about places that interest you. I also think you should write about specifics that interest you. If you feel obligated to include some history of a place, but history lessons personally put you to sleep, you are probably not going to write about it in an interesting way.

  12. Interesting article. I’m spending a semester abroad in Morocco, and I spent two months backpacking Vietnam last summer. I’ve been blogging the whole way through. I agree with most all of what you said, and I’ve been trying to take advantage of my prolonged proximity to these cultures to write things that are perhaps different than the average “20-something kid in flip-flops” blogger might cover; that said, I’ve naturally written about the more touristy aspects as well. I’ve been blogging mainly for myself to be able to look back on later and to keep my family updated, but if somebody happens to stumble across my blog I hope they’ll enjoy the little oddities of the various cultures that I attempt to get across in my writing. And, if some awesome photos inspire someone to overcome whatever hesitancies they might have and hop on a plane to a country that they never imagined themselves visiting, all the better; no amount of book-learning can ever replace a good travel experience.

  13. I appreciate this post. I like to read different blogs to make my own writing better. My blog isn’t specifically about travel but that’s a large part of it, as we do travel a lot. I generally take notes with a pencil and paper then write my travel posts later on. I’m still only halfway through a series of posts about Bhutan and we took the trip last June!

  14. I really apprciated this post; it’s thought provoking.

    While both my boys love to travel, one is just completing college and the other took off to travel just out of high school. It will be interesting to observe them over the next 10 years to see how they each “approach the world” based off the path they took and their experiences. I agree that those who experience different cultures have more empathy to other’s situations and appreciate their lives just a bit more.

    For me, I feel travel bloggers are very important today. They share a more real look into traveling and destinations vs. travel agencies or magazines. They inspire me to travel more through both their stories, pictures and facts that they share. As a travel blogger myself, I agree that their is a balance between the traveling and the blogging and it’s not an easy one to figure out.

    You’ve offered some helpful things to think about. Thank You!

  15. The thing I find is so many readers tell me they are living vicariously through us, and that it is possible to change your life no matter your age, number of kids, abilities or disabilities, finances, we’ve done it and it’s totally changed our lives. Not just that but seeing a place, actually living and relating to it as a stranger gives a different insight. Everything is new for us, the people here amazing, the life hard yet so rewarding. I am a travel blogger and proud of it!
    ‘I’m intrigued that simply changing countries can make such a dramatic shift in the way you’re choosing to live life Lisa. I have to say it’s very seductive.’

    ‘Great Idea…I would love to walk anywhere with you as I am physically unable to walk very far. The probability of me ever getting to Europe is quite slim! Love your pictures and other pictures of friends living in Italy! But the very idea of seeing what you see in real time is totally GRAND!’

    It is just not possible to live life behind the camera here, even though I take lots of photos life hits you right in the eyes, be it the slaughter of the pig, chickens to go in the pot, joining in at the local festa, seeing my daughter singing with the kids from her new school in the local dialect, so many joys and we are hitting the road this year. Travel…..best thing I ever did and I have had the bug since a child, yes I read travel blogs if they are personal, passionate and bursting at the seams with the joy of seeing the world.

    ciao ciao lisa x

  16. This is a fantastic, thoughts provoking post and I know I will take more than a few things away from it and into in my travels.

    I’m a travel blogger – I’m currently writing, editing pictures and blogging while roadtripping across the North American continent. Blogging while traveling presents a unique set of challenges to overcome, such as trying to edit and write on a tablet, not a laptop, and trying to find the time to do and see everything you can, while still making time to document and publish the adventures. I wouldn’t change it for the world though. One thing I could definitely learn though is to enjoy more of my surroundings without looking through my camera lens and documenting my stories and adventures for ME, and not just for my blog! Thanks again for this post – it really got me thinking!

  17. Great post! I agree with you! What I noticed of myself is that I travel a bit different now. I always loved travelling and making new experiences but since I started my blog I’m even more curious ask everything, want to try as much local food as possible and my travel diary is full of detailed information of every place I visit. It has turned me into a better observer I think. I may not be the best writer on earth but it fills me with joy to write about my experience and help others with them.

  18. Great article. Brings home some basic truths about travel blogging. I think if a travel blog has inspired somebody to travel, or try do something different then it has succeeded.

  19. Thank you so much for sharing this. I agree! I am fairly new to blogging (about a year into one), but I grew up as a global nomad (third culture kid – TCK) and have continued traveling all my life. A lot of my blog focuses on memories of past travels throughout Africa and Asia (complete with coups, crocodiles, cyclones and wars), but I sprinkle in a lot of current travel as well.

    I don’t usually blog while traveling though. I need time to absorb what I experience and formulate coherent thoughts about the places, people, cultures I encounter.

    I also write fiction and non-fiction, so some of my posts are about writing and topics that inspire me.

    I have been following your blog here and on FB for the past year and a half or so, and I appreciate your insights. I am bookmarking this article. It’s a keeper, and I plan to ponder long and hard on it. πŸ™‚

    1. I forgot to mention that when I research a place, I turn to other travel blogs a lot for insights that you can’t get in a guidebook. So, yes, I read a lot of travel blogs, get a lot out of them, and believe they fill a void not covered by traditional publishing.

  20. Brilliant post and I love the vaguely romantic idea that today’s travel bloggers are documenting our history in a small yet unique way. I’ve been blogging since 2010 and started out solely with the purpose of documenting my trip. These days I’m a little more serious about it (I turned full-time blogger) and I regularly get frustrated trying to balance travel and serious writing/promotion on the road. It’s not something I’m always successful with, but then I look back at some of the posts I’ve written while I’ve been travelling and the detail inspires me again (not from an arrogant perspective, more the ability to read something that drags me right back to the moment I experienced it). Something else bothers me that I have less control over – the proliferation of blogs set up with the singular purpose of making money. I don’t begrudge people seizing these new opportunities to gather an income. Hell, I do it myself from time to time, but the problem I have is when a blog features one sponsored post or review after another with little to no other content in between. Then, I wonder who is really benefitting from the content other than the blogger. It seems to be a minority right now and I hope it stays that way because that isn’t the kind of history of the world we want to record…is it? Ok, that’s my own rant over. Once again, great post.

    1. Yeah I think that was the kind of thing I was trying to express in the article. Blogging for the sake of it seems a bit empty. But even some of those blogs could be useful, I don’t know.

      Thanks for the great comment.

  21. I use many resources when researching travel for our family. When looking for things that will appeal to our kids I find parent’s travelling or local parent blogs really help me find something different to the usual tourist spots.

    We certainly hope that sharing our travels and tips for travelling with our son in a wheelchair helps to give others a confidence to give it a go. We hope that it breaks down barriers so others realise that someone with a wheelchair wants to embrace travel but there are still many obstacles. We endeavour to educate travel industry bodies as to what is needed to make it easier and that there are more and more people interested in travelling despite a disability. We keep it fun, positive and approach it with humour. A blog needs to be entertaining.

    Thanks for the post. Always interesting to read others opinions. Many I agree with entirely. Julie

  22. I agreed with your entry and yes its true we need more travel bloggers, personally when I plan for my trip I don’t really depends on tourism mainstream, instead I read a lot from travel bloggers!!^^I have a blog and I’m not sure if I’m a travel blogger or simply just a blogger hahah! However I do enjoy to write about my traveling and anything that related to my interest (South Korea) People might think that I’m into K-pop as it been world wide fever?? Well I guess you get it wrong, I don’t really into that kind of blogger, my blog is different. I do have concern though, I enjoyed writing on my blog but I got less feedback πŸ™ Not many people comment on it, I wonder did my entry is not that good? or am I writing it too long?? May be I need some advice regarding this πŸ™‚ However everyday I got many readers and that’s encourage me to write more ^^ Feel free to sneak peak on my blog and let me know how was it so that I can improve more ^^ Thanks!

    1. My best tip would be to try and get guest blogging spots on other big blogs. That is a good way to find new audiences if you need to inject some life into a blog.

  23. Thanks for a great and inspirational post. Strangely just what I needed to read right now as sometimes I feel like just another blog in the ocean. I also sometimes need to be reminded to get out from behind the camera and get stuck into the moment.

  24. Beautifully write, I really enjoyed this article. I do believe travel blogging is important, it doesn’t matter if you write for your family and friends only or for an audience of thousands. The traveling community of bloggers tend to be very friendly and tight, which is also interesting.

    One point about the parrots in Barcelona: they were not imported for the olympics, the truth that no one likes to talk about is that they were initially “domestic” animals, part of them illegally sold to people as exotic periquits, but once people found out they are incredibly noisy, they started to dump them into the city. They thrived and live everywhere now. I spent 7 years waking up to the noise of dozens of them, who slept on a palm tree near by bedroom window πŸ™‚

  25. Well first off, thanks Ramsay, for opening doors to read travelogs. I have never ever imagined how useful they could be. I had always dreamt of travelling around the world but honestly speaking never went on a travel blog. By after coming here at YTravelBlog and after reading your this post, I’m determined to come back here as well as go around other travelogs to broaden my mind.
    Thanks again

  26. All great points in the article. I also blog because I want to share my experiences and inspire others. But do you know who is the biggest fan of my blog? It’s myself. My blog is like my personal diary and I keep reading my old posts as it shows me who I am, where I came from and can help me with where I am going. The blog is a means for me to personally reflect and be honest with myself – with a time stamp to it.

  27. I think you brought up a lot of great points, and it’s inspiring to think that maybe my little blog isn’t doing much in the big picture, but in combination with others, we’re creating something of a movement. At least it’s something nice to believe in, even if it isn’t true, right? πŸ™‚

    Great read and some interesting things to think about. Though I do wonder… what are the annoying ones? You forgot to tell people how they’re doing it wrong! Haha.

    1. Hey Sally.

      Yeah, I don’t think I got that paragraph quite right.

      The annoying ones I guess are just the ones that are there to finance travelling or that don’t really add anything useful to the blogosphere. People who write because they want to share or educate or document experiences aren’t the annoying ones. I think the travel blog niche is just a bit tired of all the noise.

  28. Hi Ramsay, I have to agree with you, and your dad for that matter, that travel blogging does matter and has an impact. Well, maybe I just like to think that way, but the whole idea of being able to document your experiences and have other participates in it, simply feel quite compelling…

    On the other hand, being able to find any sort of real life experience, flavored with personal opinions and recommendations, is really something that hasn’t existed like this ever before. Thinking for example of my recent visit to Myanmar and realizing how ridiculously outdated the guide book information was, if it would not have been for all the fellow travellers and travel bloggers who could share their latest experiences, it would not have been possible to get the latest scoop. In that respect, quality blogging might become more and more a reliable and up to date source of news and information in our rapidly changing world… πŸ™‚

  29. I came looking for an outing of “top annoying travel blogs” (kinda like that Ugandan tabloid did with the gays), but instead I find a well-thought out piece detailing (and encouraging) the sprouting of a movement. Damn you Ramsay! Next time — less blog, more tyrant! πŸ™‚

  30. Great points and I agree that travel blogs encourage travel and that journalists can report back on facts where the emotion as you say is what can really inspire us. I love reading about trips to get an idea of what is out there, what exists, what inspires others. Sometimes I wonder if I can live in one place straight for a year. Not that I hop around like crazy but have the opportunity to live in a few different places whenever I’m up for it. It reminds me to not stay stagnate and to write about experiences to hopefully inspire someone else to see what I’ve seen, to connect, to evolve.

    -tiana

  31. LOVE this article. I am a Travel blogger and I couldn’t think of anything more I would rather be doing that travelling and writing about it. You are correct about these kind of blogs going down in history. Th internet is awash with useless information but once you stumble upon someone’s travel blog you are immediately transferred into their world and live their travels with them via their blog. Travel blogs inspire me to live the life I’m living an this article motivates me to keep writing my blog coffeewithasliceoflife.com.
    Thank you

  32. Linda - Mums on the Go

    I really like your reflection on how writing about travel and sharing it on a blog helps inspire others to travel, which in turn broaden the minds of those who choose to set off somewhere new. A nice feeling to think that perhaps I have helped even one person on this planet have a broader perspective of the world we live in.

  33. I liked this post, thanks Ramsay. I am relatively new to travel blogging, and became involved because I couldn’t find the info I would like to find on normal travel sites. Most tend to point you to the same, obvious information for each city/country. Travel bloggers give you the other side, the non-touristity line.
    Since becoming involved in the travel blogging community, I have noticed I have less faith in other travel/tourism websites – you know that most of the information is on there because someone has paid for the advertising, so I take a lot of the information with a grain of salt.
    I also find that most travel blogs fall into 2 categories – young, travelling the world full time and full of tips on how to do it cheaply or make money on the road, or families writing about travelling with kids. Some of these blogs are great, but as I fall in to neither category I’ve had to search though many to find the ones that I really like (Ytravel being one!).
    BTW, I would love to know what you think makes an annoying travel blog!

  34. I really enjoyed this read! We have just relocated from Australia to the remote jungle island of Sumbawa, Indonesia. When we broke the news that we were going on this life changing adventure to friends/family late last year, there were many mixed reactions and it was some of the more ignorant responses that prompted me to start a blog. It’s my hope that by sharing our experiences in getting to know this new place, that some of the more closed minds back at home can be opened even a little. I hope that eventually, maybe they can even begin to understand WHY we would do such a thing! If I can inspire just one person who swore they would never ever visit ‘a place like this’, to step outside their comfort zone and take a peek outside of their own little bubble, I will feel like my mission has been accomplished!

  35. I’ve gotta say, I’ve never really thought about travel blogs in this light before, but it makes a ton of sense. In a sense, we’re the grassroots history chronicles of the future. I really dig that.

    Though, I too get annoyed with certain types of blogs. But, I suppose they all have a place, and that’s why we all have vastly different audiences. I’d much rather live in a world with a spattering of ‘annoying’ travel blogs, than one without any travel blogs πŸ™‚

  36. A great reflective post and I love how early on you talk about tourism v travelling.

    Your blogging tips are great and I like no. 2 especially.

    It is true that it is a hard balance trying not to stop travelling and not to stop discovering as blogging can become all consuming.

  37. Love the article and as a newer travel blogger on a trip around the world we used travel blogs as inspiration and research for our current trip. The advice is relevant and real

  38. Catchy title!

    I like reading this post, it reminds me that I should prioritise and be consistent with my writing!
    By the way, I like the way you give points then relate to your experiences. I also enjoy the photos that go with this article.

  39. This is exactly my thoughts! I’m just planning my solo trip and I hope that It can be an eyeopener for others. Nobody seems to want to come, but I’m sure they will be rethinking that decision when I’m home showing them pictures.

    Thanks!

  40. What a lot of great comments this post has inspired. My wee thoughts simply are… I’m so GLAD I didn’t blog when I was young and wandering around… the lengthy letters are mortifying enough when they occasionally are found… BUT… I’m glad lot of people blog now. There’s so much more detail to be found on blogs, very often and they give a real perspective, with heaps of pix…. so useful for inspiration and planning trips. I used to read heaps of travel books – hello Wilfred Thesiger – but tend to read blogs now. Armchair travelling at the click of a mouse.

  41. Interesting article, thanks. My two cents… #2 and #5 strike me as slightly at odds with each other. In order to blog, you’re going to occasionally need to take ‘time out’. The writing aspect is equally important, otherwise there is no blog. Then, ideally, you’ll also need time to promote the content you create. The word doesn’t tend to spread very far and wide if you don’t give it a bit of a helping hand, be it with shares, tweets or whatever.

    Also, for it to be financially viable (and better still, financially successful), particularly if you have mouths to feed other than just your own, and perhaps other commitments, the idea of perpetual travel isn’t a reality for most, I don’t think. You really have to be among the very top travel bloggers (bearing in mind there’s thousands out there nowadays), I think, or base yourself somewhere where the cost of living is low, to make endless travel a reality.

  42. I enjoyed reading your post. My wife and I had careers in the media and find blogging a great outlet in our post-work lives. Life should be an adventure and stepping outside our comfort zones is difficult, but exhilarating. Our blogging mission is to show how each step outside that comfort zone builds confidence that makes travel so satisfying. Last year, we walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain, something we would have considered a frightening notion not long ago. We hope our writing and photos might encourage others to find a new place in their lives. So, travel bloggers, keep at it!

  43. I love this ! Just to be short, I agree with everything you’ve said. I know I got a lot of BS from people when I started my little blog. But you know what? It does’t matter how much u travel, it doesn’t matter will u earn money with it or not. Just do blogging for yourself, let it be like a public diary for yourself, let it be your own map of self-development, experiences etc., let it be there to maybe inspire someone. Cause believe me, you never know. Somebody inspired u once. πŸ™‚

    Love, peace and pancakes from Croatia

  44. Ahhh I couldn’t agree more to all that you said, especially how traveling loses its essence when we get too carried away with our cameras. I used not to own a camera but I realized during one of my travels that it’s not totally a sad thing. One day, I was in a bookstore abroad and I passed by the section for pastels. Then it hit me. I may not be able to take pictures of the places I visit but I would be able to draw them. Today, I still keep with me my drawings and sketches. It taught me how to appreciate what is in front of me and to be attentive even to the tiniest detail that even though it was already years back, I can still recall my experiences vividly.

  45. I think this is a great perspective. Too many people judge other countries without ever going abroad- traveling has helped me appreciate the commonalities we all share and the unique aspects of other cultures- plus, our world is changing so rapidly, it is important to see it before everything becomes a tourist attraction.
    We need more travelers and travel writers, and people who can look in fascination upon our beautiful world.

  46. More travel bloggers?! My mind started to race when I read that! You have a point though, we do need more GOOD travel bloggers to help show us the world and share their experiences with us. What we don’t need are the other travel bloggers whose blogs look more like a series of Facebook posts that nobody wants to see. πŸ™‚
    I really like your blog; you feature interesting locations and real world travel that I can see myself doing.

  47. I loved this. I have been traveling around the world the past four years. I’m 55 and have virtually severed my ties with ‘home’. My friends always encourage me to blog about my travels, but I’m too busy traveling and embracing each place I visit to spend time writing.

    I’m ccurrently riding a motorbike bike I bought for US$250 from Hanoi to Saigon and wonder how many travelers deserve to know if this wonderful experience . As sit here drinking local beer with the stares of a half dozen Vietnamese men, I’m considering getting serious about recording how and why I do what I do. Thank you for your perspective!

  48. #6, I write about my niche, which is southeast Asia and a few places near where I live in the UK. #3, is a good tip mix words with photos, don’t have many videos, so words and photos have to do at present. Thanks for your informative post on travel blogging.

  49. Totally agree! I’m forever trying to explain the difference between a holiday and travelling to people and it rings a similar bell to your blog post. I’m a travel blogger and photographer but have learnt to take a shot, then take time to experience where I am. I write a journal at night and blog within a few days around my travels. It’s important to inspire and describe things that many will never have the chance experience or even know about. It’s not always pretty but I think a good travel blog and writer/photographer is always beneficial to someone. Great post!

  50. I know this is an old post but Wow Ramsay, I agree with every word and I hope we are not the annoying kind. Travel blogging saved us from festering and feeling sorry for ourselves, but more importantly it has helped other people.
    We describe ourselves as accessible tourism bloggers rather than travel bloggers because our travel has a purpose. We travel in a wheelchair, not as a gimmick but because we have to, and as a result we’ve joined a small group of bloggers who for them travel is a way of overcoming barriers and proving anything is possible.
    Love this post, thanks Ramsay for writing it and Caz and Craig for sharing it.

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