For the last year, this blog has been dead as I decided I no longer fit in with the travel blogging community. I have been blogging for more than ten years now, and what first drew my to it in the mid 00s was the community and communication, the commenting for real interest and interaction between the like minded.
For the same time I have been blogging, I have been working in marketing related roles, many of which included selling experiences to people (event management & marketing was my first career). As my career proceeded, I learnt more and more about digital marketing, social media and how to harness these as marketing tools.
Now, a lot of people - that is, virtually anybody running a travel blog - dreams of making money with their blog, and that has killed blogging in my opinion. It's not just about ad revenue and sponsored trips - it's about how social media has evolved and influenced blogging and journalism. These days, you have to be super chirpy, positive and yes - sell yourself, your lifestyle and content to 'make it', whatever that means.
Ten years ago, I wanted to be writer. Then I realised that I hated having to write according to other people's standards. I don't want to write an article because 'it sells' - however, I'm fine if that same job is classified as marketing collateral. Art and creativity and business are two very different things for me (not saying I don't enjoy my work!).
I travel the world. I work freelance. Sometimes, these to things are related, but very rarely. For a living, I mostly translate business and marketing documents, and every now and then, if I feel like it, I might write for a publication that I enjoy working with, and that gives me the space to write what and how I like it. It's rarely travel related because the way I travel isn't very glossy. Thousands of people live as digital nomads without trying to make money from blogging - and even more life a life full of travel with a regular job or are nomadic with 'offline' jobs.
I don't travel with rose tinted glasses. Things others might gloss over, I pull out my magnifying glass for. Top sights are rarely interesting to me. I don't enjoy travelling in remote or very poor areas (nor do I classify as hipster flash packer). I like to write about cultural differences and anomalies, things that are shocking, emotionally upsetting, things that change my limited view of the world, and share and discuss these experiences with others. Not because I lack the marketing skills and knowledge, but because I want this to be a space that is totally different from my work.
Let's bring back that kind of honest conversation, shall we?