Travel blogging is hard. Sometimes travel blogging sucks. It takes some serious commitment. It’s not that any one thing about it is hard. Sure, taking pictures, writing, updating text and having interesting things to talk about is easy. But, it’s like planning a successful surprise party…you have to bring everything together, not forget the important stuff or wait until the last minute or it will be too late.
Here are some suggestions I’ve learned along the way.
#1 – Live in the moment.
Never put off a unique experience in order to write on your blog or “get a perfect photo”. No, you’re here to travel and have experiences. You can write about it after. Then later, after the experience, remember it and write down everything you can. I’ve haven’t yet passed up an opportunity to have a new experience and write instead…and I’m really grateful for that. I’ve had incredible experiences on days I thought I would just sleep or work online. I’ve met people at unexpected festivals/events that have changed my perspective on life.
#2 – Take photos often.
Try to take perfect pictures, but don’t be obsessed about it. A few times in the past month I’ve seen travelers (solo and couples) carrying a selfie stick on the beach all day trying to get that perfect shot. If a picture is going to take me more than 2-3 minutes, I’m done with that picture. No thanks. I’m not trying to make a statement on Facebook. Some travel photos I see, I wonder how obsessed that person had to have been to get that “perfect” picture. How narcissistic and vain can they be? Ugg.
#3 – Take little notes every chance you get.
Take lots of notes, but if you can’t, at least jot down little notes occasionally. Then take those notes and write about them later. It’s worth it. Sure, I hate being on my phone, but when it’s a must-have note or memory, I appreciate that I did later. Even little notes can spark memories and events of entire days. If you have a 40 min bus ride while traveling, don’t just sit there…write a note! These micro-blocks of time really add up…and really, what are you missing by burning a few minutes on a bus? Probably not much if you take buses a lot.
#4 – Don’t wait too long.
The longest I’ve comfortably gone without updating my travel blog is 4 days – and those 4 days were slow and without a whole lot happening. Any more than that and I start forgetting what I did during those days. It’s so much easier to take notes and then update the entire blog 3-4 days later. I often hear other travelers saying stuff like…”yeah, if I had a travel blog then I would update it every 2 weeks”…ok, but you would miss a lot of the good stuff. I don’t suggest waiting more than a couple days, especially if the purpose of your travel blog is to log the memories and experiences that you had.
#5 – Write about all the little details.
The details are the spice of life. Sure, we all want to know if you generally liked a place and what you thought in your moments of reflection. But nothing beats pure, unadulterated, real-world situations with details like who was involved, the time of day it happened, how much it cost, what the air smelled like and how that one thing caught your eye. People love putting themselves in the shoes of the writer. What happened? Give it all. You will thank yourself later for it.
That’s really it for my tips. There’s no secret formula. It’s work. It’s a pain, but 100% worth it. I love reading my old travel notes and remembering those tiny, obscure details I never would have remembered.