Why Do Travel Bloggers Blog? Because You Get Gifts Like This.

by brian on June 2, 2010

The easier question is often WHY travel. The harder question sometimes is why do we blog about it.

For me I enjoy the writing process. I enjoy hearing about other trips and make mental notes about where to go next. Blogging keeps me in touch with other like minded individuals I can learn from, trade stories and share my knowledge.

I got an email recently about the post I wrote about why Americans don’t have passports. How do you know someone is actually going to use the information in any post? You don’t until you get an email like the one below:

I wanted to let you know that your post on the ease of obtaining a passport is one of the main factors that pushed me to get one. I’m amazed at how easy it was to get it done, I figured there would be many more hoops to jump through. I took an hour of my time, went to my post office, paid my 100 bucks, and a week later my passport arrived (VERY quick turnaround). I can go wherever I want, and I LIKE that. I’ve never been out of the states, but I desperately need a change, so something is brewing.

It’s very hard for me to get into these blogs about minimalism, lifestyle design, etc. but I browse them all the same because sometimes there’s a bit of wisdom hidden in there, and I wanted to let you know that you made a difference. When everything is situated and I make that leap, you will be an influence in my decision to change my life for the better; to do what I want. I’ve found that it’s the small steps, like getting a passport, that really push you towards your goals, and I’m glad that I stumbled upon your site.

Cheers,
Mitchell

Friends, this is what keeps me going.

Something that seems so simple as getting a passport can be intimidating to someone else. Never underestimate the knowledge you have. Simple to you is complex to someone else.

Sometimes we think a topic has been beaten to death, so we don’t approach it. But the topic has never had YOUR particular touch or approach on it. And people may find you faster/easier to understand than they would the other person discussing the same issue. Just put it out there.

Just like most things, when you enjoy something, you want to see other people experience it, especially when they have the same misconceptions you’ve had.

One important thing: When someone gives you advise – USE IT, or don’t ask for it at all. It is not only gratifying to be asked our opinion but for someone to actually go out and USE IT. No one wants to feel like they are talking or writing in vain.

Travel bloggers and bloggers in general do it because they know they have a whole new world they can influence. It’s incredible, it’s intriguing and it’s satisfying when a plan comes together…or at least someone starts taking those small steps forward.

What unique talent or gift can you give to others? Don’t hold it in. Share it however you can.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Candice June 2, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Ahh, such a cool story! How nice to know you might turn someone’s life around by doing what you love.

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brian June 2, 2010 at 7:46 PM

You never know. That’s why you have to keep putting it out there.

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ayngelina June 2, 2010 at 4:43 PM

There’s something about writing and shooting the experience which makes it feel like it comes full circle. Not only have I expressed it for myself but for my friends and family who were unable to travel with me.

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brian June 2, 2010 at 7:56 PM

That’s the reason I started the blog before my RTW trip. Tell your story to as many people as possible in one post. Point ‘em to the blog and let them read it for themselves. If you’re real fancy, you’ve got audio and video to compliment your writing. How ever you want to express yourself, you can. And people will come.

Then I discovered that I liked it so much that I wanted to keep doing it. Funny what you find out when you stretch yourself a little bit.

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Gray June 2, 2010 at 9:19 PM

I love this story! He’s so right, that just taking that one small step gets you that much closer to your goal. I also like your comment, Brian, that oftentimes, we bloggers will avoid writing about a topic because we feel it’s been done to death. I’m very guilty of that. And if all we say about it is what others have said, then yes, it’s pointless to write about it…..but if we personalize it, explain why we feel compelled to write about it, why it means something to us, then who knows who it will touch? Good advice.

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brian June 3, 2010 at 8:32 PM

Yup I’m getting out that habit of self-censoring. No one has a monopoly on ideas. No guarantee that they saw the same story you just did. And even if they did, your fresh take on it may be more helpful/educational/inspiring than the other post to that particular reader.

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Adia June 2, 2010 at 9:54 PM

Great article! I’m going to share it. It’s amazing how many members of congress don’t have passports either. I can’t remember the figure, but I was shocked. Thanks for sharing!

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brian June 3, 2010 at 8:34 PM

Those who we elect to lead should be the most well-rounded and educated, and I would count travel as education. Hope you’re good A!

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Sherry Ott June 3, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Congrats…you are making the world a better, more educated place! It’s a great story Brian and yes – a comment like that will keep you going for months!
I think I work so hard at it for the same reasons – I want to really show people the world. I understand that not everything can do it; due to self-imposed, social, and other tangible reasons. However for me it’s about giving people another perspective other then the nightly news which tends to be ‘scary’ and has a very specific agenda. I guess my agenda is to be the anti news!
And of course my big goal is to help Americans understand that you can leave your job temporarily to travel for more than 2 weeks and it won’t ‘kill’ your career.
Bloggers like me are no different than the street evangelists…we are just online!

Keep up the great work…convert more people to travel!!

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brian June 3, 2010 at 8:42 PM

The travel gospel is good to preach. Not everyone will listen but to those who want change like Mitchell, your words are like the teacher appearing for the student looking for knowledge. Aren’t we all like that at some point in our lives, looking for info or inspiration? I think it is a great way to give back something to the world when someone has given you something.

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Michaela Potter June 3, 2010 at 3:21 PM

What a great inspiration. Blogging can be a very lonely existence – one where you often question why you do it and is anyone listening. Especially when feedback doesn’t come often (they say 90% of your readers are lurkers and only 1% will contribute to the discussion). So when you do get great feedback like this, it can really help keep you going. I know it does for me! Keep up the great work and inspiring others to make extended travel part of their lives!

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brian June 3, 2010 at 8:43 PM

So true Michaela. Come on lurkers, speak up!

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Eli June 3, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Brian, I think you hit the nail on the head right here. For me, writing and blogging is a way to put your thoughts down and often times the process leads to discovering ideas in your head you never knew were there. I always start out writing a post with a few well-rehearsed opening sentences, but it always wanders in its own direction and takes me somewhere I never expected. And if what we write ends up being useful, even to just one person, then I think we’ve succeeded. Anybody else beyond that one person is just icing on the cake, so to speak.

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brian June 3, 2010 at 8:52 PM

If one person is helped, great. If more than one is helped, even better. You just get the feeling someone is listening and using my advice and making themselves and the people around them better.

Extremely satisfying.

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Earl June 4, 2010 at 1:11 AM

Perfectly said Brian and that sure is an incredibly rewarding email to receive.

I think it is important to realize that we all have our own adventures, our own lessons and our own opinions and that translates into being able to offer our own unique advice.

For me, I try to focus on the educational aspect of travel and how even a visit to a seemingly unexciting place can offer a valuable first-hand education if we’re open-minded enough.

And I’m sure there are plenty of people whose lives you have positively affected, even if you don’t receive emails from them!

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brian June 5, 2010 at 6:46 PM

I sit and I read my Google Analytics and I know people are out there reading, but sometimes you want to hear what they are thinking. Especially if you have affected them in a positive way. I always try to remember everyone has an opinion or a perspective that may not be valuable to everybody but it could be vital to somebody.

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Joya June 7, 2010 at 12:10 AM

Hi Brian, I just discovered your site through SoloFriendly.com. This post is great and I had a young reader comment that my blog posts made her want to travel as soon as she would graduate from school. I know how you feel and we may not think our posts reach anyone but there is always someone out there who appreciates what we write and we should remember that whenever we feel discouraged.

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Dave and Deb June 8, 2010 at 2:38 PM

So awesome that you inspired someone to change their life. (or at least get a passport:-) It is wonderful to receive that kind of email and to think, you had such an impact that somebody actually took the time to write. How many other people have you moved in some way that didn’t write to you. Probably more than you know:-)

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brian June 8, 2010 at 9:42 PM

You never do know how your words and actions will affect other people. That’s why it is so important to keep it positive. Not blind yourself to the truth and tell lies, but just telling someone, “I can, and you can too.”

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Poi June 9, 2010 at 3:21 PM

What great feedback to get, it must be amazing to know you have inspired people to move forward.

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brian June 9, 2010 at 9:38 PM

It is. I realize why writers write. They want to move people, help someone see a different perspective.

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Nancie (Ladyexpat) June 13, 2010 at 6:31 PM

What you say is so true. I can understand why some people would think getting a passport might be difficult. We only do it every five (if you’re Canadian) or ten years. There are lots of things that we travelers take for granted that those just starting out on their journey’s may have questions about. Different views on the same topic are what makes the world go round :)

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brian June 13, 2010 at 9:22 PM

That’s so true. What we consider easy or old hat is brand new to someone else. We can never assume everyone understands. All of us had to learn something from someone else.

When you find something easy you often forget how hard it was to learn in the first place!

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