unique travel experiences

Category: Travel Blogging

Too busy travel blogging to enjoy the moment?

As travel bloggers are we sometimes so preoccupied with “travel blogging” we’re unable to fully enjoy where we are at the time?

I was considering this at the ‘Traverse16’ blogging conference in Cardiff just last weekend. As well as inspiring me with new writing ideas, best practices and the many ways to improve my blog’s reach, the conference also made me realise I need to make sure to switch off and continue to enjoy the places I’m visiting rather than always having to Tweet/Instagram/blog about them too!

Being inspired by Everest summiter Tori Jones

Being inspired by Everest summiter Tori Jones

During conversations with attendees the ubiquitous “n” word reared its head many a time, that being “niche”. Personally I’m still working on that one as I tend to take a shotgun approach to blogging, but if I can write about specific topics rather than absolutely everything and anything, it will allow me to enjoy the destinations I go to by NOT necessarily having to Tweet/Instagram/blog about them.

So when was the last time you visited somewhere wonderful and were too preoccupied with:

  1. which photos to take?
  2. whether you should actually be taking a photo or a video?
  3. which array of photos/videos to then select for your posts?
  4. whether to “Instagram” them first to make them look nicer before tweeting?
  5.  … or just use the edit feature in Twitter to adjust the effect?
  6. whether in Twitter to use ‘wide’ or ‘square’ or the ‘original’ image size?
  7. whether you should add it to your Facebook page first and then share it onto your personal one?
  8. … or just add it to one or the other?
  9. whether to do anything on Pinterest and/or YouTube too (and that’s even before considering SnapChat)?
  10. whether you tweet while an event is still happening to get retweets/mentions or actually enjoy the event while you’re there and make more considered posts a bit later on?
  11. whether to “@” the event directly or just mention them within the Tweet
  12. whether to stuff Instagram with hashtags or add them in a second comment below?
  13. whether to write a short post or a long post?
  14. whether this is actually something I need to blog about in the first place!?

… which is why the on one of my last trips to the Isle of Wight I just decided to put my phone away, talk to who I was with and actually enjoy where I was! Crazy I know. It was just like it was 2005 all over again 😉

So can you switch off from “travel blogger” mode and simply enjoy a new event/location?

Or are you always thinking “this is an opportunity I. Cannot. Miss. And. Must. Blog. About. It?

PS. I do enjoy blogging. Maybe some people simply enjoy it a bit more than I do! 🙂

Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park

Enjoying Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park by not blogging about it

Don’t go travel blogging around the world

Well that’s a controversial post to end 2015 with, especially as you might currently be planning a ‘Round the World’ adventure or be a keen travel blogger yourself. And before I continue this is not one of those posts that’s the opposite of its title stressing why you “should” actually go off travel blogging!

Keep calm and don't go travelling

Keep calm and don’t go travelling. Photo: edited from Megan Woodhouse

So why shouldn’t you go travel blogging around the world then?

  1. Travelling is bad for the environment. Exactly how much CO2 do you actually produce on a flight though?
  2. Financial security is more important. Maybe you could be be overpaying your mortgage instead?

Travelling (flying) is bad for the environment

Flying is very bad for the environment. Photo:

Flying is the worse thing you can personally do to the environment. Photo:

And let’s just talk about flying here (if you’re planning to travel around the world by land then you can be excused). According to the ETA the average personal carbon footprint in Britain is 9.5 tonnes. On just one return flight to New York each passenger emits 1.2 tonnes of CO2. That’s 12% of their annual footprint used up in just 0.2% of the year.

Short haul flight aren’t much better. A one-way flight from London to Manchester (185 miles) emits 44.7kg per passenger if the plane is completely full compared to:

Car – 7.7kg per passenger (family of four)
Train – 5.2kg per passenger (if 70% full)
Coach – 4.3kg per passenger (40 people)

So is travel blogging by its very nature a bad thing for the environment? Some travel blogger friends of mine made 30+ return flights this year. That’s environmentally disastrous. And then further to that they’re encouraging others to go off and do the same too! It’s funny how environmental concerns about the polar bears fly out of the window when press trips and the opportunity of a career travelling around the globe becomes a reality?

Financial Security is more important

Every day yet another inspirational meme appears in my Twitter feed saying you should “Quit your job and go travelling”. That can be disastrous in the mid/long term too!

Flying is very bad for the environment. Photo:

Another “Quit your job and go travelling” meme. Photo:

Some of the people advocating this might have good reasons to head off into the sunset:

  1. A mortaged house they can rent out
  2. A windfall of inheritance money
  3. Redundancy money
  4. Wads of cash already saved up

Now for people who fall into one of the groups above then great, but those blogs that advise people to just head off into the wilderness without mentioning the financial side of things could be seen as downright irresponsible.

Quit your job, sell all your possessions and then travel around the world for a year or two. So great, and then when you get back you’ll have no money, you’ll have been out of the job market for too long, you’ll be back living with your parents in your old room (which they’ve painted pink while you were away) while further reducing your chance of ever being able to buy a house. And remember very few travel bloggers can actually make a living from solely travel blogging if that’s the intention?

Yes ok, you only live once, there’s the FOMO, and “if the world is a book and you don’t travel you only ever read the first page.” I get that.  I travelled around China, SE Asia, Australia and New Zealand for 6 months in 2009 and absolutely loved it … but I’d been fortunate enough to receive a nice fat redundancy payment after 10 years working at the same company. 35 year old “you” might look back at 25 year old “you” and wish you’d got a career going first, saved up a deposit, bought a house … and then gone travelling (if you still wish to) … and all still in your 20s.

The Tory government have a lot to answer for pushing home ownership on everybody but without thinking about such things you could be screwing yourself over in 5-10 years time when you then try to get on that even more unobtainable first rung of the ladder and conform to what society thinks we should all be doing in the “rule book of life”!

Skinny polar bear: Photo Kerstin Langenberger

Keep calm and don’t go travelling

So go travelling around the world if 1). you’re financially secure to do so (or if you simply don’t give a damn) and 2), if you don’t care much about the polar bears and the impending cataclysmic disaster if CO2 levels cause the climate change to tip irreversibly. We’re only alive for the blink of an eye after all so who cares?!

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