Clearly I’m biased on this topic as I love blogging. It’s fun and creative and lets you engage with other people who feel the same way as you. But Heels in my Backpack was not my first time dipping my toe into the blogosphere. Like a lot of travellers, I started a blog of my travels.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I used to jot down my blog posts in the notes app on my phone and whenever I got a whiff of free Wi-Fi, would upload it into my Tumblr app. I used Tumblr instead of WordPress at the time, purely because I was a blogging newbie and Tumblr doesn’t give you so many options and customisations! It’s simply a case of write it and post it.
If you are going to go down this route, definitely make sure you download the app before you go and try it out. See how it is on your phone and on a computer so you can get a feel for both. I started mine before my travels with a few posts on clothes I’d bought in preparation of my trip (obviously), just to test the waters.
So what’s the point of creating a travel blog? Here goes.
1) It’s your opportunity to document your trip and the amazing memories you’re making
This sounds obvious but a lot of travellers think they’ll remember all of the weird and wonderful things they’ve done on their trip. Surely everyone does? I can vouch for the fact that a few years later you will not remember the name of that local beer in Bali or the cool guy you met at Angkor Wat. It sounds a bit ungrateful but when you’re doing these awesome things every day you don’t get a chance to fully appreciate them, and sometimes the details will slip your mind. By posting regularly on a blog, you’re getting it all down in writing. Preserving the memories!
2) It’s a way to stay in touch with your friends and family at home.
This is the main benefit of a blog versus a travel journal. You’re jotting down all of these funny anecdotes and accounts of the wonders you’ve seen, and your loved ones can read all about it! Sometimes you’ll only have 20 minutes in an internet café before your bus leaves which isn’t enough time to Skype everyone you know and tell them you’re alive. By doing one blog post, all of your friends can catch up on your travels and know you’re ok, without you having to speak to them all. It saves time so that you can carry on with the exploring/partying/soul-searching/whatever it is you’re doing. Remember to still call home though, your mum worries.
3) You get the whole story
This one is pretty deep. At the time, it feels like you’re writing very separate blog posts about your trip. What you did this day, what you saw in this city, who you met on that bus. But when you get the end of your trip and look back across your blog posts, you see the whole story. Throughout my blog, my writing style changed, I got more confident with who I was as a person and how I presented myself to the world in my blog. I know this sounds pretty lame, but it’s something I really appreciate from my travel blog.
4) It’s there forever in the webiverse for you to access from anywhere
This may be a really depressing thing that only I do, but I like to look back on my travelling posts every now and then. Usually from my desk in my dreary office in London. Yeah it’s pretty depressing! But I love to remember that I’ve done all of these amazing things. Was it really me who hiked crazy gorges in Western Australia and rode an elephant in Thailand? (Does anyone else do this?!)
I also feel that it’s safer online than in a book that can easily be lost or destroyed.
So my top tips to remember when you’re blogging when you’re on your travels
- Remember that your family are reading your posts. I got frequent feedback from my Grandad saying ‘Don’t you swear a lot Kara?’ or ‘You use the word wanker a lot don’t you?’ Yes. Yes I do.
- At the same time don’t let it deter you from being yourself. I did swear and I talked about crazy parties and boys I met (only briefly mind you) because this was my blog and I wanted it to fully represent my trip. I’m glad I did as much because it’s so fun to go back and read it all.
- Remember that anyone can access your blog. Don’t slag someone off behind their back when they can easily find it online. Also, maybe make sure your full name isn’t on there so that future employers won’t find it in a google search!
- Don’t blog every single day. That’s too much. I’ve seen people spend entire days in internet cafes when they could be having adventures. Remember why you’re there and blog when you can.
- Also don’t specify a particular day you will blogging. You need to flexible on your travels and you could be on an overnight bus or in the middle of the jungle on that day, with no access to internet. If you don’t blog, your mum will worry and call the embassy. Don’t commit to a day.
- Your frequency should be dependent on what you’re doing. In Asia and America I was having new adventures every day so I posted every 2-3 days while I still remembered it all. In Australia I worked Monday-Friday with fun stuff at the weekends so I stuck to once a week. My blog got pretty boring at this point though I must say.
- Add photos or videos to your blog – your readers want to see what you can see! Keep it interesting.
- Even though you’re getting all memories down in your blog, try to take a form of scrapbook to collect the little things – beer labels, tickets, flyers to parties you went to, etc. Those things are important.
If you fancy reading about my adventures (they’re not always well-written, I warn you) take a peek here – The Wonderful Adventures of Kara
So get blogging! And send me a link so that I can follow your adventures while I’m sitting at my desk green with envy. SOMEONE TAKE ME BACK TO THAILAND ALREADY.
If you wrote a travel blog on your travels let me know about your experience with it! Was it worth it?