These are just my feelings not meant to disregard hard work of other travel bloggers.
As the year draws to an end I look back on my journey as travel blogger…I am still far too insignificant in this burgeoning crowd of travel writers and bloggers.
When I started writing about my travels, I genuinely wanted people from other countries to know about the wonderful place that my country was. Gradually I understood that writing travel posts did not mean only the information about that particular destination but also the experiences of journey and place…people are interested more in stories and not history of architecture and kings!
As I read more and more blogs and gained my set of visitors who approved and appreciated my way of writing, the hunger to write a better prose took hold of me and I got into more elaborate and descriptive text. But along the way I came across few glaring trends which are making me question this whole business of Travel Blogging.
- How I left my job to travel:
It seems anybody and everybody is dropping their jobs to follow their passion to travel and share their experience. I have read at least fifty such articles(and there are many more) where the person is leaving his or her job and exploring the world.
All big publications are hyping such stories “How I left my so and so job to travel”. As soon as one big publication carries a story, the next travel magazine is ready with another such travel blogger’s story. Is it so easy? Really?
Many of these bloggers also claim that they have earned while on move enough to pay for their trips … Of course there are definitely few such people, but so many? I wonder…
May be I am naïve, but I feel that for those who are single, such a move might be easier than the ones with a spouse and kids. I mean who is going to pay for bills, school fees, house maintenance etc. unless one of the partner has a proper job and is not bitten by travel bug?
I usually travel with my husband and kid in tow (solo only if husband is not on some out-station duty and is in same city to keep our daughter safe at home)….So does that mean I am not fit to be a travel blogger? I travel mostly during school vacations so that we can relax together and spend some time free of all work and worries. Does that lessen my experience? Does that disqualify me as a serious storyteller?
- The Mad Rush:
The rush to destinations for promoting is almost like the gold rush….everybody wants to be at the same destination and write about everything in a bid to outdo each other. Shouldn’t the travel blogging mean stories from all around the world or from one’s native country where one has travelled because he or she genuinely wanted to be there?
But this trend of herd mentality makes the stories look similar with hardly any difference. Recently various tourism departments(Indian and International), were pushing hard for Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Diu, Jordan, Machu Pichu(I recently read an article which says Machu Pichu is overrated!) and it seemed everybody rushed in there like the news channel journalists hot in pursuit of a spicy scoop!
I wonder if I will succumb to this trend somewhere down the line……
I usually am not comfortable with lists so I never wrote a post like “5 things to enjoy at X place…”, “10 things to eat at Y…” etc but then I found all publications were encouraging listing of things and so I finally ended up writing a post on Nainital which surprisingly for me, was appreciated quite a bit.
Everybody is making lists of ten best things to do at some place or other but do these lists tell us all about the essence of the place and all that place has to offer in terms of experience? Can a place be entirely understood in few lists?
This would be my third ‘List’ type post too…. Am I getting in the groove of current trend and becoming like everybody else? Should I join in the race or continue to go slow and steady?
- Pictures and personal experience:
In trying to write all about personal experience there are blogs which carry the most ordinary and hardly artistic picture of even a flower-pot with caption ‘view from my window‘ ….
Not that my pictures are the best but I find it ridiculous to post such pictures….
The trend however points out that people enjoy such pictures and personal experience of ‘the best vada pav I ever had‘ kind of posts. Either I am strange or these days anything goes…
- Quantity over quality:
There are so many blogs on travel now but with mundane text and full of grammatical errors with hundreds of posts….
Yes there is a huge quantity of posts in many blogs but the quality is hardly commendable.
I like to read nice sentence if it is in English and hence stopped following a few blogs because of irritatingly poor construction of sentence even though those blogs have thousands of pictures and hundreds of posts.
I wonder whether I am being unnecessarily picky and choosy…because everybody else seems to be okay with the quantity and least concerned with quality!
Some bloggers who might read this post may dismiss me as a newbie, insignificant and not good enough blogger who is still coming to terms with networking etc but I blog and want to share my travels along with information about history, architecture, folk lore and how to reach etc.. However I definitely do wonder now and then….