For a while, I forgot I was a travel blogger. Because I’ve long been someone with a huge amount of self-doubt and contrariness bordering on apathy for blogging.
But after a weekend spent at Traverse Rotterdam, amongst peers and newbie bloggers something clicked. When Elle Croft reminded me how to write she lit a fire in my belly and a hankering to start blogging about travel again. She reminded me that travel writing is about storytelling as much as it is about helping others to plan their trip. It’s about creating a ‘vibe’, a wanderlust in someone as much as it the practical nitty-gritty of where to stay and what to do when you’re there.
Travel blogger or journalist?
After years of travel blogging (five, to be precise!) I hit a wall. I’ve changed my blog name, I’ve lamented why I only rank well for a few posts and why my traffic is confined to a few Google-search worthy itinerary posts. I exclaimed time and time again “I hate writing about travel” and proclaimed I don’t do press trips as a blogger.
I started to exhaust myself with my own lame excuses as to why I only write about travel in my capacity as a journalist. And, to be totally honest, I very rarely do that anymore (although watch this space for a pretty cool commission soon…..)
Yep, my life has changed massively since having Anaïs. Travel is harder and I can’t jump on press trips whenever invited. Which, as a blogger, is rarely if at all. So it follows I mustn’t be a travel blogger anymore right?
Hmmmm. Or is it that I’ve put very clear vibes out to the universe I don’t want to be offered these opportunities? And did the universe listen?
Breaking the rules
The blogs I read, the rules I’ve come to believe and the numbers my ego wants all point towards a style of travel blogging I don’t like writing. And the posts I’ve found flowing from me, the ones I get the most engagement and interaction from – they aren’t my ’10 things to do in….’ or ‘a two-week itinerary for….’
They’re the personal posts that come from the heart, with no cynicism or guile. Posts like this one or this one (note, terrible SEO there….) seemed to resonate with people and get me the most ego strokes.
Which is what I’ve come to crave. I talked about my addiction to feedback in a podcast episode, and while I think it’s so human to want to hear lovely things and feel validated for our work I know it’s made my path a bit muddier.
I’m so lucky
I love travel. It’s honestly one of my favourite activities and it’ll always come above other treats. Yes, I’m ‘lucky’ enough to own a house but if you know how I could afford to buy a flat in London you might not think I’m so lucky.
However, that privilege comes with other responsibilities. I have a mortgage. I also have a family, and while there are two of us bringing in the dollar, I still have to contribute monetarily while looking after a baby. And that means tough choices.
So when I hear people complaining they can’t afford a holiday because of XYZ I empathise, of course. But that doesn’t mean I’m so rich I can afford to do whatever I want AND travel. We, as a family, prioritise travel. We don’t buy ‘stuff’…….I don’t buy clothes more than maybe once a year. I don’t get my hair cut or coloured and I don’t go out for dinner and drinks all the time.
Photo credit: Peter Parkorr
All this rambling is simply to say I love to travel. And I REALLY love to write about it. And that’s something I’d forgotten about.
Hi, I’m Lucy and I am a travel addict. I love taking holidays and playing tourist. I love travelling to the same country over and over again and I love going to new place too. I adore beach holidays where you lay in the sun with a book all day, sweat dripping on your sunglasses and neck crooked awkwardly to block the sun.
I love hiking trips and walking aimlessly in a new situation. I love bars and EATING. Oh my, I love eating.
I love the airport and the journey…..I love getting lost and found again.
And I really, really love writing about it. I just don’t think I’ll always offer a whole heap of value. Soz and chips for that ❤
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A little story about how I lost my travel blogging mojo and found it again after a solo trip to Rotterdam. Don’t let writer’s block stop you from blogging and learn from my mistakes!