The rise of the travel blogger

I probably have just noticed this, because I am a fully employed person who admittedly travels the world, largely for work and occasionally for fun, but there seem to be a large number of bloggers out there who are engaged full time in travel blogging. And I am finding this slightly fascinating. I am not always able to pay my credit card bills in full due to my taking adventurous work trips to interesting places where I can’t quite get my trips fully funded by my work obligations, but where I decide that it’s a good idea to travel regardless because the opportunities are immense in terms of seeing interesting things and traveling to interesting places.

Clearly, there is a sub-set of the (American, or other “western”) population who agrees with me, that travels to interesting places are a mandatory part of our lives and thus this sort of foreign travel needs to be done regardless of the details of the finances. But the people who have no formal jobs and who are virtual nomads, blogging about their adventures? How do they do this? I am not saying that I would give up my day job if offered the opportunity, but I am still fascinated by this phenomenon because there just seems to be so many people out there on this pathway.

I have never made any attempt to “monetize” my blog, nor have I been the type of person who has seeked blog funding or website revenue. But I am truly interested in the stories of those who have. Some of the travel blogs I’ve read have been sadly full of poor grammar and thus clearly not edited by anyone. It’s not like these are words that will make themselves found in future travel guides without substantial effort. Is this still the new frontier for travel writing? Are these blog posts full of grammatical mistakes going to be the edited versions found in the next Lonely Planet edition? Curious bloggers want to know. And those of us with day jobs who happen to be living abroad are remarkably curious (and perhaps slightly jealous?) about those who have made this a nomadic lifestyle.

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7 responses to “The rise of the travel blogger

  1. Good question. I have a full time job, too. But I try to blog about travel in general in addition to my own trips – just to keep the old saw sharpened and increase readership. There’s always something to write about even if we can’t always be traveling!

  2. I also have a full-time job and a new travel website..www.viviennetoile.com . I am currently a business owner, but when I worked for Corporate America I still traveled just as much. You can have an incredible overseas adventure in 5-7 days of vacation time if you really try hard. If you are passionate about traveling you will find a way to pay for it. When I first started travelling I spent so much money. Over time I realized how to maximize my money and also sacrifice, clothing, shoes, movies, ect for my trips. My blog is full of grammatical errors as well. I write while i’m on the train or waiting for a client:)

  3. Interesting post. I don’t monetise my blog with ads or anything. I’m from a journalistic background so I always have to do the write/copyedit/copyedit again thing. I sometimes envy travel bloggers who are more free-wheeling. Sometimes they can really capture the feeling of travel and the seat-of-the-pants experiences that you can’t with more measured posts.

    I know in the travel blogging world there are a lot of folks who are doing it only to get free trips. I’ve also heard that there’s a whole travel blogging subculture that’s grown up to support this. Bleh.

    Press access is what makes a lot of coverage possible, but the base unit of a good travel blog is content that surprises, delights and educates.

    In terms of the ever nomadic travel blogger, the press loves this story (former City worker/school teacher/whatever chucks it all in to travel the world). There are some great blogs of this kind, but I’m just as interested in people who see an adventure in checking out a new area of the city they live in, or giving a new spin on well-travelled destinations.

  4. Interesting – I tend to save like mad for a couple of years and have no social life then travel for a while before heading home to work again. :)

  5. I know a couple that saved some money and traveled around the world for some months, they went hijacking (is that the correct word??) and using coach surfing.

    I would like to travel more, but being an inmigrant I spend more than have of my holidays going back home to see family and friends, so I can only spend a week or a week an a half to visit other places, at the end it is a balance between what I want to see and who I want to see.

    I guess that if I had better connexions between The Netherlands and Basque Country I would go more often to see family on weekends and have more time to travel around, but this is the situation now.

    I guess I should focus more on weekend trips or day trips, that’s also something that a lot of people don’t do. Living here I realized that I know The Netherlands better than most of Dutch people! A lot of times we missjudge what we have around and idealize what is far away. Well, this is another discussion anyway :P

    Cheers!

  6. a lot has to do with the ease of digital photography I think.

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