Debunking Myths about Travel Bloggers
You know those creative memes that list a specific profession complete with six photos underneath with captions like, what my family thinks I do, what I think I do, what the world thinks I do, what I really do…? I love those. And yes, I’ve seen the meme about travel bloggers. Pretty much lumps all the best myths about travel bloggers into beautiful technicolor. I think my family thinks I spend my time flying from place to place with a big grin on my face as I take selfies by the next biggest tourist attraction. Which is only partly true. Actually, to be fair, my family and friends think I’m living my best life. This isn’t too far from fact. The world, on the other hand, has a very skewed perception of travel bloggers. And the world we inhabit. Like pretty much every other group on the planet, we’re all looked at in a monolith. Which is understandable…but far from the truth. So I thought I’d debunk a few myths about travel bloggers, our world, and what we’re really out here doing. Debunking Myths About Travel Bloggers 1. It’s easy/relaxing Okay, so it can be. Of course, the same can be said about massage therapy, singing in an indie rock band, or writing a novel. But that doesn’t meant it’s all fun and games. Contrary to popular belief, we’re not always jet setting, or jumping into a train car, or road-tripping across the country. In fact, I have to remind myself of this very fact over and over again. Because I want to jet set 24/7. lol. Ask any blogger, no matter the niche–this life is work! Every post requires research: keywords, interviews, articles, books. If you post photos, you’re spending time editing your own or searching for stock. You write, then re-write, then proofread, and edit some more. Each post I have takes anywhere between 1-2 hours to prep before I even start typing…then add another hour or so to draft. That doesn’t include photography. That project is a day-log event! Then, for those who make blogging a their business? You’re adding a whole new set of lists–monetizing, ads, site maintenance, social media presence, business plans, networking…and the list goes on. So yes, when you see me smiling on Rainbow Row, I’m quite relaxed. But remember that it took the better part of 4 hours to publish the post about Charleston in 36 Hours. oh, and this post? 4.5 hours from start to finish. 2. It’s Not for Introverts Well let me have several seats then… Not only is this a myth about travel bloggers, it’s a myth about travel period. Travel, let alone blogging, is for everyone! At least, that’s what most of us are preaching in our posts. We’re inviting everyone to the best party on Earth because it’s not always as exclusive as everyone thinks. I’m introverted. Since birth. Crowds give me serious anxiety and I crave me time to recharge. But I LOVE traveling. And I swear someone invented blogging for introverts. A beautifully made arena where we can interaction with millions (potentially), share our best opinions about what we love, hopefully influence those who listen, but never actually touch anyone? WHAT? Sign me up… 3. We’re Broke or Rich. I’m neither. And I suppose this depends on your definition of both concepts…however. The illusion is that many of us are well-off since we travel so often. But I know of travel bloggers who make six figures (the dream!). And I know travel bloggers who are in college with a college student’s income–little to none. We each make travel work for us and what we want. We each do what we have to in order to make this life work for us. And this leads me into my next myth… 4. We’re All Full-time Travel Let’s debunk this myth quickly. Not all of us quit our corporate job to travel for a living. When I started blogging, I thought the very same thing. That was the image in my head, the end game. Now, some people did. And parts of me are truly envious of that life… But some of us, like myself, still have a full-time job. Some work in jobs that correlate to this life: travel writer, social media director, content creator for a publication, travel agent, flight attendant, etc. Others work in jobs that have absolutely nothing to do with travel. And this is my life. My day job is ridiculously removed from travel. But it affords me the means to travel–which is why I keep it. I would imagine it’s the main reason most of us do. But…blogging full time? That’s still the dream. 5. We’re Always On Vacation. This is one of my favorite myths about travel bloggers. Social media has undoubtedly changed the game for travel bloggers. People are more apt to check Instagram or Pinterest than read an entire blog (sad face because we really put a lot of thought into these posts). And from those pictures and pins, find the information or inspiration they were looking for. But, it also creates the illusion that I mentioned in the first myth. That we’re always vacationing in the South of France. Or driving through the busy streets of Tokyo. Try taking the iconic hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia. Maybe even trekking in Machu Picchu. Let me shatter the illusion, we’re not. Now, yes, we’re fully enjoying ourselves while we’re out. There are even entire moments that truly feel like vacation. But. To me, a vacation is a trip you chose on your own where you can choose to do absolutely nothing or choose to do absolutely everything. And the purpose is pure enjoyment. For bloggers, this is part of it, but we’re also looking at angles for the blog post, getting to know the locals for the article, or visiting specific locations for sponsored trips. Honestly, I spend more time at home than I do on a plane. (cries hysterically because I want to be in the air). I spend quite a bit of time researching the posts I write–nearly as much time as I spent enjoying the sights themselves. Each new location is a much needed vacation from my day job… but each is taken with a purpose in mind. I just really love my purpose. Interested in starting your own blog? Click here… 6. Everything Always Works Out Not even close. I’ve gotten lost more times than I care to count. My phone died in Florida on multiple occasions. We lose our luggage, fail to get the right visa, miss connecting flights. We’re normal. So of course things do not always work out. Which is frustrating for a planner like me. And I make it my mission to keep other people from making the same mistakes I have. Like waiting till the last possible minute to apply for a passport. Or traveling with a battery back. Signing up for a hike without bringing the right footwear. Flying to Chicago in September but forgetting your scarf. And coat. We make the most of the mistakes. And they make for really great blog posts. 7. We’re All Gorgeous Blue-eyed Blondes in Bikinis Disclaimer: No Shade to gorgeous blue-eyed blondes in bikinis. I’m a true believer than all women are freaking amazing and should own who we are in every way. Also, clearly, we have male and female travel bloggers. Although, women didn’t always get the spotlight we’re beginning to get now. However, we’re not all gorgeous blue-eyed blondes in bikinis. Women are varied and unique. And all of us should be represented. Some of us are gorgeous brown-eyed naturalistas in leggings and a sweater. Others are gorgeous green-eyed gingers in a floral dress. And some are gorgeous dark-eyed brunettes in a jumper. We come from every inch of the planet in every color, shape, size, and culture you can imagine. Sadly, we’re not all represented in such a way that best showcases our variety. But I promise we’re out there. There are some truly gifted bloggers of color out there, male and female. Just beyond the Google search… Honestly, when I first started in this world, I didn’t realize how many of us were out there until I searched. And then a new world opened up. Not every experience is the same (the entire point of this post) and who we are affects how we travel the world. Oh, but we are all gorgeous. There’s your monolith. Well, I hope I’ve helped to debunk a few myths about travel bloggers. More importantly, I hoped I’ve helped to give a little insight into our world beyond the Instagram posts. What are some other myths that I missed? Let me know in the comments! Did you like the post? PIN it!