Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I Don't Want to be a Travel Blogger

Travel is my passion. I love the endless opportunities and possibilities in the world. I love exploring new places, discovering beautiful things, and opening up my mind to new ideas and perspectives. Travel is constantly changing, engaging, and is never boring. 

I also love sharing my stories, pictures, and experiences with you here on this blog. I'd like to think that maybe I can inspire others to see the world. Maybe (probably, really) I'm only updating my family and some close friends about what I'm up to but even if my blog reaches no one, I'd still be content in writing it. I've realized, It's as much for me as it is for you.

When I first started writing on Destination Exploration, I wanted to be a professional travel blogger. I wanted to write professional but fun pieces that everyone would love and share with their friends and travel buddies. I wanted to be a travel writer and write pieces that whisk people away and create a sense of awe and wonder, while at the same time letting people know that travel is easier than they originally thought. I wanted to be location independent and constantly on the road and exploring.

What could be better? I love travel so I should make it my career, right? People always say, "do what you love and you'll never work another day in your life." I started working hard to blend my love for travel with a career. 

You might have noticed that since the year started, I've been posting a lot. I've even made a couple of posts not concerned with our travels or thoughts about South Korea (where we are now). I wanted a variety. I wanted as many people to see the blog as possible. I was working on getting as much writing experience as I could and I think I made some pretty good progress but then something happened--it became work.

That's when it occurred to me that I don't want to make travel writing my job. I don't want my job to revolve around constantly traveling. I want my life to be one big trip after the next but I discovered that what I really want is to be an perpetual expat. I want to live in lots of countries and regions throughout the world. I want to travel around to nearby places while I'm in each place but I want to do it on my own terms.

I want to be able to decide to stay somewhere forever if I fall in love with it. I want to be able to plan my life without worrying about scheduling enough press trips or writing enough articles to be able to pay my student loan payment. I need something a little more stable and something a little more free.

Plus, I don't want to have to spend days of travel looking at hotel rooms and gathering brochures for tours I'll never go on. I don't want to work when I'm meant to be having fun. For me, that is what is so great about travel--it's fun and I don't want that travel spark to be extinguished.

I know of a lot of bloggers who don't lose their spark, even after years of traveling and living abroad but I honestly think if I made my work about travel, travel would lose it's appeal. I wouldn't look forward to trips anymore because it would be work. There would be things I would have to do and there would always be other things that I would want to do. The more I realize about myself, the more I know what I want and don't want. I'm still growing and learning about myself and one thing I definitely know is that I want travel to remain an escape: a sense of complete freedom, exploration, and discovery.

I still want to be here on Destination Exploration as an inspiration for those who want to live an alternative lifestyle, like the one my husband and I have chosen. I want to share our story with the world and show people that anything is possible if you want it enough.

You can explore and live and grow and love and move to as many countries as you want. You may not ever be a millionaire or own property or spend every Christmas at home with your extended family but you will have a lifetime of exploration and growth....or maybe just a year or a few years. It doesn't have to be a lifetime decision. That's the great part about this lifestyle. It's free. You can choose to change your life at any moment. You just have to actually do it.

I want to be here to help others and open their hearts and minds to the possibilities the world has to offer.

That is my goal. I don't want to be a travel blogger. I don't want to go on press trips or write endless articles. I want to live the life of my dreams and share it with the world.

With this said, please excuse me if I don't post perfectly regularly or if my posts are boring or too "dear diary" or whatever. I'm using this space as a way to share our journey through this world. It may not be pretty at times, but I'm hoping it will always be honest. I hope to keep it interesting and inspiring as much as I can but sometimes I'm boring. I admit it. I'm not always fun and exciting. Sometimes, I'm conceited and self centered. Sometimes, I'm lazy and depressed. Sometimes, I'm so full of energy I feel like my body will just explode with excitement and love for my life and travels. Expect anything and everything.


  1. Good for you. I post a simple travelogue, mostly for friends and family. I recently revamped a few things before my next trip and started paying attention to the travel bloggers on twitter.

    What a pretentious circle-jerk that can be :)

    So yeah, write, for you and your audience, whatever it may be. Don't feel any pressure to pander for retweets or comments or likes.

    Then again, I'm not trying to make any money off this gig, so that's easy for me to say. To those that are, your income is inversely proportional to my interest.

    Very few successful blogs stay true to what I consider to be engaging, interesting posts.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I'm glad someone else is in the same boat as me. I'm not looking to make any money from this and was actually relieved when I figured that out!

  2. Really honest post, Maggie. I'm busting my ass off this year in prepping for my RTW as travel blogging IS something I'd love to do full time. I love writing, I love deadlines, I love seeing my work on other sites. I'm planning a big re-design in the not too distant future, and I'll be approaching various tourist boards for the possibility of press trips or exchanges.

    That said, travel blogging isn't for everyone. I've seen a lot of people start out, thinking they'll make a ton of money and get to go on all these amazing trips - but they don't put in the work. They give up after realising how much work it does take. And it takes a LOT. I semi-gave-up at one point.

    I love following your adventures here, and hope you continue Destination Exploration as a fantastic expat blog and all things Maggie and Spencer - with a healthy dose of travelling in there, too!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Tom! :) It is a lot of work to make money from a blog and I just don't want to do that. I'm so glad I figured that out now, before our first long term backpacking trip. I don't want to be stressed on our vacation. I just want to share our vacation.

      I've noticed how hard you've been working on your site recently and I think if you keep it up, it will pay off in the end. Good luck, Tom! :)

  3. I love this post - so honest! It just shows how diverse travel blogs are, everyone does it for different reasons and that's what make each one so interesting! xxx

    1. Thank you Scarlett! :) I love the diversity of blogs too!

  4. Came across this post from 'reclaiming my future' and wholeheartedly agree with its sentiments. Too many folk seem to rush around ticking places off and creating '10 things to do lists'; this does seem to take the joy out of travel and just being somewhere different.

    Travel should be fun - and I've found it helps if you slow down a bit... I know this is a luxury some don't have, but you do get a better 'view' of both people and places.

    Each to their own: viva diversity and above all: enjoy yourself.

    1. Thanks for the kind words Andrew! I agree that you get a better understanding of a place and culture the longer you stay and having a good time should always be a priority when traveling. :)

  5. Great post :)

    I think that sometimes its nice just to write for the sake of writing, to share what you like. Also to write for yourself so you have something to look back on.

    I only started my blog a few months ago and I'm still deciding where to go with it, I doubt I could travel blog full time though, it seems an awful lot of work and like you said, it wouldn't be as fun anymore.