I went to bed really early last night and was up really early this morning, well before sunrise. So I was surfing the Internet and did something I never really do. I read other travel blogs. I often get people asking me if I follow this blog or that or do I know who this blogger is. No, I have no idea in general. I believe travel and blogging to be a personal thing for me that I am happy to share with those who want to read. It acts as kind of a personal journal for me and if it helps others for reference or inspiration then that makes me feel great and makes posting online well worth it for me. But I don’t read other travel blogs and here’s why.
Many blogs are written by people who are traveling for long periods of time. These people are admirable but at the same time I find that many of these people become jaded, disinterested and stale. These people, especially backpacker types, are over it. They are on a long trip for whatever reason, whether it is out of a love of travel or to prove something to themselves, their families and others or a variety of other reasons but they have lost the focus on why they are traveling.
I have obviously traveled a lot and have taken many different trips of varying lengths and distances. I love to keep my blog. As I said, it serves as a diary of sorts for me that I can reference for the rest of my life. It also gives me credibility and a point of reference for other things travel related that I like to do. I put a lot into my posts. They take a lot of time to write, think about, upload pictures and make them compelling or at least you like to think they’re compelling.
Many travel blogs update daily and have a lot of crap as it’s hard to think of things to write about every day. This morning I read some blogs from long time travelers who have very well known blogs and large social media followings. I am reading this stuff they write and thinking to myself, “Why do you even travel? Or better yet, write about it?” So many travel bloggers seem to hate traveling, hate other people, hate hostels and all that goes into travel.
To me this defeats the purpose. Then they take a lot of time and effort to reassert their vast knowledge and credibility that they’ve been on the road for 5 years or whatever the timeframe is and they’ve done this and that, etc. That’s fine and very respectable but then they go and criticize other people and what they like to do when they travel. Generally this comes from being on the road too long in my view.
I believe that the longest trip people should take unless it’s an initial trip to Europe, Southeast Asia or Australia where you are traveling a highly traveled route and everything is new is 3-4 weeks tops. Once you’ve done these types of places that everyone goes to, it can become old news. I mean that’s the way many experienced backpacker types view it. Then you get the holier than thou, I hate everybody else traveler like I was reading today.
The funny thing is this one blog of a guy that I was reading this morning was claiming that others are essentially awful and he knows all without saying that directly. He claimed that everyone’s experience is separate and special but then turned around and criticized everyone for following the herds of travelers and not exploring on their own which is exactly what he had done beforehand. Just one example but there were several.
This tends to be a problem with backpackers that drives me nuts. Everyone likes to assert themselves as an expert traveler and likes to impart knowledge upon others. If you don’t know me, you’d probably imagine me to be like that as well because I post how many places I’ve been to and that I want to break a record. It may seem like I am bragging. Far from the truth. I hate talking to others about my travel unless I am directly asked and the person genuinely cares about the answer. My friends always ask why I don’t openly bring up my travel stuff when I meet new people. I hate talking about what I do travel wise because there is so much more to my life and what I like to do and it can seem like you are showing off and being arrogant. Not to mention it turns into me just talking to others about me instead of talking with them and I really hate that.
I keep a blog because I like to document my experiences, share with others and it gives me credibility for other things I am working on with regards to travel. It has gotten me on television, radio and in many print articles, etc. That’s pretty fun for me but it doesn’t define me.
That’s an issue I have with backpackers who are on the road too long. They lose their identity and grow angry toward others doing the same thing as them. Hostel life is a good example. If you’ve stayed in hostels, especially in the tourist havens that I mentioned before, you’ve likely had a blast but also been driven crazy for a variety of reasons. They are filthy; people having sex in your room; five people snoring at once; people making too much noise; smelly dorm rooms; nasty showers; the same conversation; annoying know it all people, etc. It doesn’t end.
That’s all true but if you don’t like it, don’t stay there anymore. Camp or spend more money to get your own place. If not, don’t bitch about it and even more so, don’t criticize others who are doing the same as you. It’s a strange dynamic that people who just did something, criticize the way in which others do the same thing as if their experience was so much more amazing than others. I hate people like that. Almost always it’s veteran travelers who are like that. That’s the opposite of how it should be.
I believe that maintaining a regular life at home, with friends, significant others, family, etc is imperative to enjoying being away. I love to travel, I really do but I love to be back in the States and being at home to visit friends and family etc. If you lose sight of what you’ve got at home, then you’ll lose sight of what you’ve got on the road.
Travel is the best thing that you can do, I truly believe that. It helps you build character and reshape you view of the world. But if you feel that the travel and the reasons that we travel are becoming annoying or too much to deal with; perhaps those people should think of another hobby. Or at least stop the negative blogging that will deter others from doing it too.