The Dark Side of Travel Blogging: An Introduction
I’ve been writing this blog for a little over two years. And even before I knew what I was doing or what topics I wanted to write about, I was trying to do at least one thing pretty consistently: acknowledge the dark side of travel blogging whenever I could.
From the beginning, I’ve tried to be as clear as possible about how I pay for travel: I work full time, save up enough money for a trip, go on a trip, come back and start saving again. I’m not supported by any affiliate marketing, sponsored posts or advertisements (and I’m definitely not an insta-model… my less than 300 Instagram followers at the time of this writing can support that statement).
I’ve focused on how to travel with limited time, in addition to ideas for traveling on a budget, because travel bloggers who are able to quit work (or never work to begin with) and travel the world full-time indefinitely are the minority.
But in this travel blogging space, they sometimes feel like the majority.
I’ve written some pretty strongly-worded posts (this one in particular) acknowledging the reality that everyone can’t quit work and travel the world. And everyone doesn’t want to.
And if you don’t want to or can't quit work and travel, you aren’t a follower or a sellout.
But at this point, I’ve barely scratched the surface of everything that needs to be said.
I’ve always believed the best way to figure out your voice and what exactly you want to write about is to start writing. That is still the advice I give to people when they ask me about starting a blog. And that is exactly what I did when I started this blog in March 2016.
Over these past 2+ years, I’ve learned a lot, and I finally feel like I’m starting to find my voice in this travel/life/money blogging space. But I’ve also written some posts that I’m not proud of, because looking back I can see that they didn’t make my positions and beliefs on the realities of travel, or my own position of privilege in the world, clear enough.
I want to say thank you to everyone who has read the blog and been a part of this conversation so far. But I also want to commit to doing better.
I don’t want to write another blog that isn’t providing actionable advice to real people, isn’t telling the full story, and is ultimately being more alienating than inspirational.
There are plenty of those.
But there are also plenty of blogs that are fighting back with a dose of truth.
Going forward, I want to make sure I belong on that list.
I'll link to the full-length version of this post here as soon as it is live, where I plan to dive into the topics that I recognize need to be covered in more depth and with more clarity here on my blog.
If there are things you think need to be clarified or explained in greater detail, I'd love to hear from you in the comments of this post. Let's start a discussion about travel blogging, and how we can make it better.