Travel Blogging: Valuable Contribution or Waste of Time
Every major decision you take in life seems to open a Pandora box of negative opinions and judgments. Moving from your country makes you an ungrateful being. College is apparently a dangerous place for a girl. Marriage initiates a never ending stream of questions about why you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with a specific person. Not even travel blogging (or just the act of blogging) escapes from the tongues of detractors. You set a decent looking website, make the effort to write interesting and helpful content weekly and start interacting with tons of people all over the world. Suddenly, the baby you have raised with immense love and effort starts to be the blank of attacks. Don’t you have anything more productive to do? Why you write of such themes? Why you waste your time like that?
All these comments got me thinking. Does my blog contribute positively to my growth as a human being? Does it help my readers in any way? Or, I just have a blog because it’s “the thing” to do if I enjoy travel?
To me, the effort I put in this website is not because of some superficial or self-centered purpose. And I am going to tell you why.
Travel blogging is not a simple act of putting up some pictures and saying: “Look where I have been”. If that is all I want to do, I will not spend so much time preparing every post. I will simply upload something to Facebook or another social media channel. This blogging thing is more than pretty pictures and shallow thoughts. Why? Because behind every post, article, picture or newsletter, there is a story. And those personal stories make all the difference. You can see a picture a thousand times. But if each picture tells a different story, then you see it with different eyes. And, I think of travel blogs in that same way. There are many blogs but each blogger has the power to describe something in a different way. A way you have never contemplated before and that is when your eyes and mind start to open (so this is more than simple entertainment).
In terms of pure travel related content, blogs provide the following:
- Free travel information
- Hard to find, specific destination information
- General travel tips
- Cultural observations
- Foreign etiquette and practices
- History, language, economics and gastronomy classes
- And I can probably name a thousand more things (you get the idea)
Travel blogging is about more than travel. Bloggers are also experts in providing inspiration to readers eager to travel or to start a new episode in their lives. A lot of blogger also contribute to different causes throughout the world.
Some travel bloggers make their living or an important percent of their incomes from their blogs. You can’t criticize someone who makes a decent living from something he/she loves. Or, a travel blog is just a platform for future plans. What do you know?
Travel is not something that a few are passionate about. Travel is a multibillionaire worldwide industry. Therefore, a large number of people are interested in consuming travel related products. Consequently, we are daily discussing a topic that is relevant in the modern world.
Which brings me to my next point. The travel blogging community is a big group of awesome people who are ready to discuss their travel experiences as a way to better understand themselves, others and the world. Furthermore, the community expands to all the corners of the world. You can’t deny how valuable is to have friends from different countries, cultures and ways of life. To be honest, it is a priceless possession.
Moreover, travel bloggers are not a bunch of airheads visiting the same places over and over again (I guess some people have not visited most travel blogs). Everyday bloggers show their intelligence, skills, creativity, innovativeness, experience, charisma, knowledge, imagination, resourcefulness, originality and power to move masses. The travel community has some pretty talented individuals. This in some way sets the bar really high.
Then, there are readers that are not necessarily part of the blogging community but are equally awesome. Knowing that you can help them in some way makes my heart leap with joy.
And, there is more. Bloggers have to practice and develop new skills daily. Or, do you think we are not trying to improve our writing and photography skills? Do you think we are not trying to improve the design of our site? Do you think we are not constantly studying marketing techniques and how social media works? It is an uphill road but we are willing to walk it.
By the way, am I not allowed to write about what I know and I like (or what I am good at)? What is the use of writing about a topic I am not comfortable with? I don’t know about you but I prefer to put all my effort in something I enjoy doing.
Which brings me to my conclusion. I have just scratched the surface on why I think travel blogging (and my website) matters. There are many more arguments I can use to explain why I blog (and why others blog). But listen to this. Ultimately, I blog because I believe in this medium of expression (if I can describe it as a medium, it is certainly much more). I believe blogging opens a lot of possibilities and adds a lot of valuable experiences to your life. Tanama Tales is all about sharing stories with outstanding people. And I will not put any time in here if I wouldn’t believe that sharing love, life and travel stories would make us better in some way.
This is not a defense of what I do. People who have certain ways of thinking are not going to change their perspective just because I think different. This is about realizing why what we do is important and how we can improve it. It is about appreciating our efforts because if we do not appreciate them, then there is no point in doing what we do.
If you are a blogger, why do you blog? Why do you think blogging is a valuable contribution?
If you are not a blogger, why do you read blogs? How they add value to your life?
As always, I am really interested in knowing your thoughts about this topic.