I am a failed travel blogger.
I try, I really really do try, but I am yet to make travel blogging second nature, yet to create the habit.
My blogging journey started around 18 months ago with my first tentative steps into the saturated world of travel blogging. But as is the want of our modern World of ‘all about me’, I felt the desire to share my experiences and hopefully encourage others to stretch their travel wings, or travel with me vicariously. Up until recently, my approach to blogging has been historical, trawling through distant memories and reviewing old travel journals, but I am now decidedly more current with a ridiculously short trip to Nepal a couple of months ago.
Before departing Australia, I made a conscious decision to pop on my ‘blogger glasses’ and to approach this trip with a totally different mindset.
But, I failed.
I kept forgetting I was a travel blogger! I was so busy being overwhelmed by the moment, and absorbing everything around me, that the volume of information and input simply filled my brain to the brim and flowed over me. I would pause for a split second and think, ‘Wow, that is fascinating. I must remember that’, and then lose it in the onslaught of the next riveting fact. At the end of the day I wracked my brain trying to recall who said what and when, but that little gem was lost in the mountain of input I had received that day. D-
Note to self: Carry a little notebook in my backpack or satchel, jot down in short hand the fact/titbit for later review. Record in point form the list of things I see on a tour, so that nothing falls through the gaps.
I failed to take photographs of absolutely everything I saw and ate. Yes, I took 444 photos in seven days, so I literally gave it my best shot, but my photography effort needs a boost. I also forgot to take photos of every exotic meal I ate. I was too focused on the ‘eating’ part of the exercise to pre-empt it with a few stylistic shots. Often I was halfway through a meal before I thought, “Bugger, should have taken a photo of that”. C+
I failed to remain objective and focussed on the task at hand. Maybe I have a short attention span and lack the clinical eye required to be a precise recorder of a travel experience? Who can do that when a brilliantly coloured, and extraordinarily loud, Nepalese wedding party comes dancing down the street? All restraint and factual orientation goes out the window as I leap to my feet and dance along with them. D
Travelling is tiring. How can I continually be analytical and objective when I am absolutely knackered? On this recent trip to Nepal, a wake-up call at 0415 was not out of the question, and collapsing into bed at 10pm a daily occurrence. Long, riotous days with little spare thinking time in between. At the end of days like those, I simply didn’t feel like writing and there was not a witty phrase to be found. C-
Blogging takes time and that was in short supply. I didn’t write up my journal every day and I ended up having to play catch-up on the plane on the homeward-bound flight. I wrote for four hours straight, ignoring the siren call of the inflight movies and my book. I didn’t want to forget a thing and wanted to capture as much information as possible in long form, while it was still relatively fresh in my mind. (See previous tip about the small notebook stashed somewhere handy). B-
All this did translate into a detailed journal, complete with brochures, pictures, and ticket stubs. It is a comprehensive and colourful, yet random snapshot of all that I saw. No doubt, it is full of illegible handwriting, unintelligible drivel and spelling mistakes, but it does make for a useful resource when tripping down memory lane and future blog posts. B+
I may have failed ‘live’ blogging, but I excelled at travelling. I made the most of every opportunity I could, I opened my eyes and my mind, and tried to learn the language. I took photos, ate like the locals (well, not the super spicy stuff), I tried to be respectful and ‘Namaste’d’ through a full-to-overflowing four days. I invested in the local economy, admittedly not as much as the hawkers and touts would have liked, but I chose items that supported aide projects, represented the local culture, and meant something to me. A+
I may still be a novice travel blogger, but I reckon I score full marks as a highly skilled student of travel.
How do you rate?