I recently commented on nomad4ever's post about reasons why he, and others, blog. I realized if I'm sharing those thoughts with his readers, I certainly should share them with my own.
1. An outlet to share my travel experiences and advice, partly as a way to encourage others to travel independently.
Soon after I returned home from my European trip in the Summer of '98, I learned HTML and transcribed my travelogue onto the Internet from my parent's basement. My trip was a life-changing experience, and I wanted to let the world know about it, and encourage others to do the same. I can still remember how painstaking the process was to re-type all the text from my messy handwriting, and scan all my photos. Before I knew it, people were reading my entire 50-day journal, and asking me questions in preparation for their own trips. As a result, I created the domain “gobackpacking.com” in 1999, as a way to share my newfound travel knowledge and encourage others to take similar trips. 9 years later, I'm upping the ante, and this blog is intended to be a way for me to share my experiences planning for, embarking upon, and returning from, a solo trip around the world!
2. Stay in touch with family and friends while abroad.
I would venture to say this reason is one I share in common with all my fellow travel bloggers. Sharing experiences and photos from the road, in close to real-time form, is a revelation in communications. You already know that though, given you're reading this right now! Sending postcards is a nice gesture, however you can't fit much on them. Writing lengthy letters might work for the one or two people most important to you, however I've yet to meet anyone drafting old-school handwritten letters to home. Instead, Internet cafe's have invaded every nook and cranny of the backpacker trail. It's a good thing, however I do not intend to feel as though my blog is an umbilical chord while I'm away (ie. the posting frequency will be lower, though content more exotic!)
3. Make a little extra income to help me on the road.
It had been about 5 years since I last updated my website, when my good friend Kai, brother, and parents finally convinced me to pick it up again (because I love it, they knew). In November '06, I wiped the dust off my computer and began working on the site again – first adding a robust phpBB message board, then this WordPress blog. I learned about Google AdSense and Text Link Ads. I responded positively to some recent e-mails I had received about advertising. It didn't take long for me to find out the time and work I invested in the earlier years could benefit me now, so it was not as though I was starting all over again. As a result, I'm working harder to ensure my site and blog can provide reoccurring, if humble, earnings while I'm unemployed and traveling. Your readership and support will help me BIG time down the line!
4. To help break my TV addiction.
There's no doubt about it, when I'm working on the website, I watch less TV, and listen to more music. I know I watch too much TV – I always have and I know better. Actually, I have developed a better awareness about it, and am more likely to turn it off sooner, when I realize I'm in a hypnotic state rather than actively enjoying the show I'm watching. My recent trips to Costa Rica and Belize over the past two years have helped to remind me there's a whole world out there ready to enjoy!
5. I like to write, and I'm sure blogging helps strengthen my writing skills.
If you've been reading along, you'll know I'm courting the idea of trying to become a published travel writer. I'm working with a local writer whose work has appeared in major newspapers and blogs. Learning about copywriting in an effort to provide quality content on this blog will surely develop my writing skills.
I now throw the gauntlet down to a few blogs I read regularly – what are your top 5 reasons?
- Stacy at Rambling Traveler
- Nath at Ubertramp
- Dan at The Lost Globe
And you….reading now….leave a comment with your reasons too!