Reasons I'm Not a Very Good Travel Blogger
Last year, I visited Vienna, Austria for the second time. I am of the opinion that Vienna is one of the most underrated cities in Europe (and I didn't get to spend much time there on my first visit), so I was anxious to go back. I was particularly excited to revisit the gardens of Schönbrunn Palace, because I'd already spent quite a bit of time in cities and on trains by that point in the trip... so I was craving some grass, flowers and a generally more natural setting. Knowing exactly how gorgeous the gardens were because I'd been there before, and knowing that I needed some new pictures of MYSELF to share on this blog, I proceeded to wear basically no makeup, the most casual outfit I brought and my hair in its general dry-on-the-subway-on-the-way-there fluff.
...and this is just one of the reasons I am not a very good travel blogger.
I'm not sure I qualify as "Insta-worthy" most of the time... but that is irrelevant, because I never get pictures of myself.
I've pretty much accepted that I might be the weirdest travel blogger on the web, but at least I try to keep it as real as possible. So I'll voice two very real concerns that travel bloggers face in the wild:
When traveling, I always look a bit disheveled at best... and like I haven't slept or brushed my hair in days at worst.
I am always behind the camera, not in front of it.
Let's address these issues...
Never Looking Insta-Famous
As a travel blogger who works full time in finance, I have quite an eclectic wardrobe. At work I wear blazers, blouses and pencil pants.... every single day. This workweek wardrobe is likely a driving force behind the fact that my travel wardrobe couldn't be farther from business attire if it tried. While traveling, you can usually find me wearing my trusty green North Face puffy coat with leather riding boots that have been resoled, jeans and a six-year-old H&M sweater that I sewed up a hole in myself.
Aside from the fact that I like to take a break from dressing up when I'm traveling, dressing very nice is a bit impractical while backpacking through a foreign country and staying in hostels. I try to pack versatile clothing that will look acceptable after a 8+ hour plane ride in my backpack: nice enough to get me into most European clubs (... or at least most European pubs), but comfortable enough to wear on hours of train rides while exploring the city during the day.
To that end, I find that I'm never really dressed for a photo shoot... sorry Instagram.
Life Behind the Camera
An obvious problem when I'm traveling solo, but I also find that this is an issue when traveling with friends: I love taking photos, so I never remember to have any photos taken of me. And when I do (like I did in Vienna), its usually not my most photogenic day, because I'm bad at thinking ahead and planning photo shoots... again, sorry Instagram.
I'm not very good at keeping up with my blog or social media accounts while traveling.
Don’t get me wrong, I love writing this blog. I like the variety that getting to write about travel and food and other cultures provides from my full time job crunching numbers. I love sharing stories about how to balance travel with other obligations in life. And I love getting to re-live my travels when I'm back in the cubicle after returning from a trip.
But I'm really bad at blogging on the road.
Another lovely side effect of balancing travel with work is that when I finally get a week away from the office, I don't want to spend time behind a computer screen if I can help it. I also love the social aspect of traveling: meeting new people or spending serious quality time with my travel buddies. It doesn't come naturally for me to give up making connections while traveling in favor of writing blog posts in a cafe alone for hours. I'm trying to get better about at least posting in-the-moment social media updates... but I even fail at that pretty regularly.
I'm not very consistent.
Just like batch workouts aren't the most effective option (happy hours all week then trying to make up for it on the weekends?... please don't tell me you haven't tried this before), batch writing probably isn't the most effective strategy. But due to that pesky little full time job that has been mentioned throughout this post, I don't have much blog-writing time through the week. I tend to write as many posts as I can on the weekends, so that on the weekdays all I have to do is wake up and share a post that has already been written and edited.
Unfortunately, due to my 40+ hour a week obligation every Monday-Friday, I usually find myself with a LOT of things to get done on the weekend. So sometimes, batch writing blog posts doesn't result in very many blog posts getting done.
Reasons why the fact that I'm not a very "good" travel blogger... doesn't actually matter.
I wrote this post for several reasons, not least of which is to poke some fun at perfection when it comes at the expense of personality. In today's world, it is easy to assume that heavily edited Instagram shots taken with a $4,000 camera, by a professional photographer, of a travel blogger wearing designer clothes rocking a blowout and makeup done by a professional makeup artist who is standing in the desert not sweating a drop are NORMAL things.
They are not.
They are also not the things that should define whether or not you are a good travel blogger… or a good anything, for that matter.
Good is obviously a relative term... but at least define it for yourself. Don't let the image that you think the industry stands for be your own definition of who is "good" and who is "bad". While I might never be a very good travel blogger if your standards are perfect image and/or a high volume of posts written in and shared from exotic locales instead of from my couch on the weekend, I'm ok with that.
So here’s to more travel blogging and insta fails in the future.
And as always, thanks for following along.