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I was discussing this with another blogger on Twitter the other day and we both agreed we felt we were ‘late to the party’.
Some of the first commercial travel blogs started popping up around 2009. I vaguely remember when I was planning my first big trip to South America (in 2009) someone telling me I should start a blog.
I think I even made an account, looked at the blank screen, had no idea what I could write that people would actually want to read (there weren’t many blogs to get inspo from either) and never used it again.
That’s not to say I didn’t write while I was away. I wrote A LOT.
Just as I’ve been doing since I was 7 and wrote my first holiday diary in Cornwall, I scrawled down every single story and memory. In the evenings my new friends in South America asked me to read it aloud and we rolled around laughing at the calamity that often seems to occur when I’m around.
If you’re keen for an early example, when we arrived in the Ecuadorean rainforest and settled into our host family’s houses, I was pointed to a shower area, totally misunderstood and ended up taking a bath in the local family’s pond (shampoo and everything) – to their huge amusement. I honestly think they still talk about it today.
I sometimes wonder where my blog would be if I’d started it in 2009. I’d have had a six-year head start on when I actually did start it and that would surely make a difference, right?
With so many 23-year-old bloggers with 100k+ followers, what chance do I have, five years older and thousands of followers behind?
Undocumented on my blog are my travels to South America and Australia, my study abroad experiences in Canada including my States and Mexico trips, and my three-week Great Wall of China trek in 2012.
To get top blog content about them all, I’d have to go back… What a horrible inconvenience ;). So in many ways, I wish I’d started sooner.
In other ways, nah.
In the last couple of years and particularly in the past 12 months, I’ve learnt about the challenges that come with this industry. It can be easy to forget to enjoy the moment because you’re trying to get content.
It’s easy to feel like it was a failed trip if you lose your photos. It’s easy to feel like you’re annoying your companions by asking them to take the 11th photo of you and then take photos of their dinner.
This isn’t me saying I don’t want to do it. Far from it. When any hobby grows, your relationship with it changes. Like any relationship, you balance it and learn to manage it.
But am I glad that I didn’t have to do that for my early trips? YUH HUH.
Like any early experience, your first trips are so important because you learn so much about yourself; things you already know by your fourth or fifth trip. I don’t know about you but I was more in awe during my first trip than I am nowadays.
It’s not that I don’t still enjoy my trips – it’s just that now I’m more worldly (LOL) I know how different cultures live, and things are rarely as much of a surprise. On my early trips I lived, I really, really lived.
I didn’t worry about getting Instagram photos and I didn’t spend hours doing work. I’m up for the challenge of combining the two, I am. But I love that my early travels remain unaffected.
My stories belong to me and me only. Oh, and one seriously confused Ecuadorean family.
If you liked it, please share it 🙂
Check out my other opinion blogs:
- Is technology ruining travel?
- How to take photos of yourself travelling solo
- Why coming home is the hardest part of any trip
See you next time for more adventures,