This is a scary post to write.
I’m a Travel Blogger and I’m questioning whether or not I want to be a Professional Travel Blogger. Don’t get me wrong, there’s little I love more than blogging, but I’ve been thinking lately will I ever make this a full-time career? I know, I know, getting paid to travel and write about travel sounds like the dream job! But, my question is do I want to mix travelling with work? Do I want to sacrifice the chilled out attitude I have on holiday for something that feels less chilled-out and more stressed-out. These thoughts have been gathering too much space in my head these past few months and so I thought I better let it all out.
So, here’s what’s been keeping me awake at night…
1. When I’m travelling I want to get up early in the morning because I WANT to watch the sunrise, not because I’m being paid by a Tourism Board to photograph it. Put simply, what I’m saying is that when I’m travelling I want to spend my time doing things I want to do, not what the Hotel/Tourism Board is telling me to do.
2. Travelling for me is about switching off, from life’s daily stresses, turning off my work emails and only using my phone once every few days to check in with my family and friends. If I’m getting a comp stay at a hotel or a free meal at a restaurant the expectation is that I’m “on” all the time. I expect most of my time will be spent taking photos and taking notes for the blog post that will inevitably have to follow.
3. When I travel, I want to well ‘travel’ – I want to be able to leave my phone in my room while I go out for dinner. I don’t want to ever have the overwhelming urge (that so many bloggers suffer from) to photograph my dinner. Then, frantically scramble to find a WiFi connection so I can upload the photo to Instagram in all its filtered glory.
4. Similarly, I don’t want to freak out if I forget my camera one day. I want to live in the moment when I travel, I want to savor every drop this place that I’m visiting is giving to me. I want to have more memories stored in my head than I have photographs on my memory card.
5. Maybe I’m wrong but from what I’ve watched and read – being a Professional Travel Blogger seems a little restrictive and a little too scheduled for me. It goes something like this –
6am: Photoshoot with the Hotel Manager/ Town Mayor/ Local Celebrity.
7am: Breakfast at the most popular restaurant in town with all of the above.
8am: Depart for a bus tour of the city with 50 other travel bloggers.
And so on…
6. As you can probably tell, I’m not one for guided tours, I’ve never done a Contiki Tour or the likes, that level of structured travel just doesn’t appeal to me. But that’s me – I prefer to walk around a city at my own pace and stumble upon a great Cafe or Sandwich Spot, I kind of like the thrill of arriving in an unknown city with no idea of where I’m going to stay that night. I’d rather have dinner at a roadside stall that’s overflowing with locals rather than the fine dining restaurant that’s been featured in Lonely Planet.
7. I want to write because I enjoy it and because I’ve come up with a great idea for a post. Not because I feel like I have to update my blog regularly just ‘cos. I know all the Professional Bloggers say you should write a post a day when you’re first starting out – but somedays all I wanna do is veg out in front of some trashy TV show instead of spending hours on a blog post.
8. I’m currently working two jobs, some weeks I work 60+ hours. I work these hours so that I have enough money to go on as many vacations as possible. This year I’ve been to 4 new countries, 6 new cities and plan to visit a few more before the year is out. Anyway what I’m trying to say is making my blog another form of ‘work’ is just not what I want. I want it to be fun. I want it to be something that I turn to when I feel stressed out, instead of it being the thing that makes me more stressed out.
9. I started my blog out of passion for travel and writing, and have continued on that same path. Travel blogging is not a negative thing but the general obsession with numbers, be it followers, page views, and what not, sucks the fun out of it.
Maybe all this means, I’ll never be a Professional Travel Blogger but that’s okay with me. As long as I still get to travel (obviously)!
Thanks for reading and as you can tell most of this post was tongue-in-cheek,