Being a travel writer/blogger can be seem like one of the best jobs ever. I mean, what’s not to like? We get to travel [sometimes] for free, stay at amazing places, take sweet pictures, and then share it all with everyone else. Although it seems like we’re on a never-ending vacation, there is actually quite a bit of hard work behind being a travel blogger.
What you don’t see are the hours and hours spent behind the computer while visiting that “ultimate vacation spot” due to deadlines and obligations. Or the hours spent pitching stories and jobs, plotting future travels, taking pictures to share, and researching the latest in blogging/social media/computer-everything to stay up to date with the latest trends. I absolutely hated the fact that we were smack dab in the middle of Tuscany last month, and I had to hole up for a couple of days to catch up with my work. Derik and I were literally stuck inside our airbnb for 48 hours, stepping outside for food and a bit of fresh air…when we could have been galavanting around the vineyards, soaking up the Tuscan sun, and gorging ourselves on gelato (no worries we squeezed that in another day). But you know what?! That’s what we have to do when we’re out on the road.
There is no way in heck I’m complaining about it because I friggin love my job, but it’s not all fun and games all the time…just like any other job.
All that to say, probably the #1 comment we get from family, friends, readers, and random strangers is: “Your so lucky you get to do that. Being on vacation all the time must be the best.” I wouldn’t exactly consider this comment as any sort of encouragement, because really, it makes me feel like crap. I do feel blessed we have the opportunity to travel, but Derik and I have worked really hard the last three and a half years to get to this point. In fact, we’re still working and will always be working to become the best travel bloggers we can. There will come a time when we may settle down and buy our own house and cars, so I’m happy about the fact that we get to do this now, but it certainly did not fall in our laps. We worked for it.
Second comment? “So how much money do you make? You must have a lot to be able to afford your way of living.” Seriously though, think about this before you ask. Would you EVER ask a random stranger IRL (in real life) how much money they make because they’re wearing name brand clothes or driving a new car? You just don’t ask people what their yearly income is. Right?! It’s just rude. But if you really must know, Derik and I only make enough to live and save a little. Our priorities are different, and instead of paying a car payment, mortgage, buying new clothes and technology, etc…we travel. So it’s not that we make a lot of money to afford travel, we just don’t spend our money in the conventional ways that normal people do. If you lived the way we did, very minimalistically, you could most likely afford travel too if you focused on it as a top priority.
All that to say, if you’re going to encourage a travel blogger, the best way to do it would not be to make them feel guilty or that their job is inferior to others.
Here are 5 great ways to encourage travel* bloggers:
*or any other blogger!
1. Share how much they’ve inspired you. Instead of hearing “You’re so lucky!” I’d much rather hear about how I’ve inspired you to travel to ____. Our ultimate goal as travel bloggers is to help readers see true beauty in the world, and make them want to go out and see if for themselves.
2. Let them know if their writing has helped you with a trip you’ve taken. We spend hours putting together travel guides, trip plans, and location posts in order to help you when you travel internationally and domestically. We spend days researching a specific area to find all the “don’t miss” locations, hotels, and places to eat. If even one person benefits from a post, our job is done.
3. Comment! Honestly, I love your comments (on all social platforms and blog)! As a blog reader myself, I know that often I’ll read a post but not take the time to comment…and there’s no particular reason why I do this. I also know as a blog writer, if a post is not commented on, I feel like people didn’t really care for it or have any opinions about it whatsoever. This is a personal challenge for myself to start commenting on other blogs again. Doesn’t it feel good when you get that email about XX comments on your new post?
4. Ask what their favorite part of their job is. By asking about what I do for a living, you’re acknowledging that I have an actual job and that makes me feel awesome. I also love sharing a bit about what I do (it’s not all flights and sight-seeing), and if you’re genuinely interested in that…eep!
5. Share posts and pictures (let the travel blogger know when you do this)! There’s nothing like the warm fuzzies you get when someone thinks your post and pictures are awesome enough to share with their friends. I mean !!?!?!? right? Never become desensitized to people’s social shares!
>> All photos taken June 2015 at Tanah Lot, Bali (post on that soon) <<