Why Have a Travel Blog? My Top Ten Reasons for Blogging
Top Ten Reasons to Have a Travel Blog
Why have a travel blog?
With my blog, I travel the world for free, stay in 5-star resorts and earn a 6-figure income, all in a 4-hour workweek ….. IN MY DREAMS!
Soooooooo ….. why have a travel blog? What are the benefits?
The blog has been running for a year. This is the perfect time to pause and reflect on why I have a blog. Since I am not travelling the world for free, why blog?
The greatest benefit of having a blog is that you connect with your family and friends in new ways. They help when you ask for help. You reach out and they are there. They tell you when they like a post. They open up and share their travel experiences. You learn new things about old friends.
This blog is a big thank you to all my family and friends who have faithfully followed my adventures and follies over the past 12 months. Thank you to those who have given me blog ideas when I am fresh out of ideas. Thank you to those who help me with a direction for the blog when I am rudderless. Thank you to those who post comments on blogs. I love the feedback! Thank you to those who recommend the blog to their family and friends. And the biggest thank you is to Norman who proofreads every blog. All mistakes are my own!
Sooooooo ….. here are my top 10 reasons to blog:
#1: I keep up with friends and family
When I started the blog, I wanted people to read it. So I emailed all your friends and family and invited them to read my new blog. It turns out that friends and family are happy to keep in touch. They offer travel suggestions and blog ideas. They invite me to visit!
#2: I meet new people
Now that I have a blog, I follow other bloggers. Sometimes, I develop an online rapport. On our recent trip to California, we were invited to an art event at the home of one of my blog friends. It was a special evening that would not have happened without the blog.
#3: Travel is better with a blog
Every place I go, I look for something interesting, something blog-worthy. When I look for something interesting, I generally find something interesting.
When I was in Rome last spring on a Rick Steves tour, I used some precious free time to search for a keyhole that I had peered through 20 years ago. All I remembered is that the keyhole offered a perfect view of St Peter’s Basilica. After a bit of research and with a map in hand, I set out by myself to find a keyhole in the middle of Rome. I enjoyed the journey and I enjoyed the view. I enjoyed learning why this keyhole is special: the keyhole opens the door to another country: the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. St Peter’s Basilica in the distance is also another country: The Vatican. You see three countries through the keyhole: Italy, the Order of Malta and the Vatican. After posting the blog, some friends shared treasured memories of their experiences when they peered through this keyhole.
My memories of my trip to Rome are sharper and better because I looked for something interesting in a keyhole.
#4: I do more
I do more on every trip because I don’t want to miss something interesting.
With the last of my free time in Rome, I set out to find an unobstructed view of Trevi Fountain. Lucky for me, the best view is from a bar that overlooks the most famous fountain in the world.
#5: I look for photo opportunities
Generally, I don’t mind crowds when I travel. It makes a place feel alive for me. However, the crowds at Versailles were so heavy that it was difficult to move. A friendly security guard offered the best tip: visit just before closing time when all the tours have departed. We spent the next couple of hours wandering around the vast palace. The crowds diminished at the end of the afternoon. Just before closing, we returned to the Hall of Mirrors, the most famous room in Versailles. We had the room to ourselves. The only person in the Hall of Mirrors was the security guard!
The next day, we were in Paris and I wanted a sunset photo of the Louvre. It is not painful to hang around the Louvre at sunset!
This is the Louvre at sunset
# 6: I travel more
My first trip for the blog was to see the Alhambra in southern Spain.
When I started my travel blog, I decided that I would post once a week. Well, once a week comes … every week. I just get one blog out the door when I start thinking about the next one. So I need to travel to find a fresh inspiration every week. Sometimes I go to exotic destinations.
Sometimes, my best trips have been local. Last fall, I took the ferry to the Toronto Islands. The trip was short and the journey was long. A fifteen-minute ferry ride took me back to my first trip to the Toronto Islands when I was seventeen.
We had a spectacular fall in Ontario last year. If it were not for the blog, I would not have set out to follow the trail of Tom Thompson and the Group of Seven.
#7: I search out new places to see
Since starting my travel blog, I am more aware of interesting places around me. I go home to Nova Scotia every summer. I love my trips and my days are full with family and friends. But a family vacation is not really blog material. On my trip last summer, I decided to look for blog material. I did not have to look far. The Alexander Graham Bell Museum was just a couple of hours away. I jumped in my rental car and enjoyed a fabulous day in Baddeck. It turns out that this is my most popular blog.
On my trip this summer, I will search out lots of blog-worthy spots in Nova Scotia.
#8: I look at my photos
I live the experience of a trip all over again when I look at my photos. A moment in time becomes a memory in time.
I try to include photos in the blog that capture the emotion that I felt when I snapped the pic. Every photo has a back-story and I remember the story when I look at the photo.
This is a photo that I snapped yesterday when I took my sweet sweet grandson to Riverdale Farm to see the twin lambs born last week. This was a short trip. Riverdale Farm is a 5-minute walk from our house, right in the heart of Toronto. When I look at the photo, I think of the wonderful day I had with my grandson.
I named these twins Yin and Yang
#9: I learn new things
When I started my travel blog a year ago, I knew absolutely nothing about blogging. Nothing. At. All.
If you go online and research about starting a blog, you can find dozens of sites that tell you how easy it is to start a blog in 15 minutes. Do not believe this! It is a steep learning curve. I am still on that learning curve and have a long way to go. Sometimes, it is really frustrating and I get very annoyed with myself when something that is suppose to be ‘easy’ is not easy for me. Then I remind myself that I can quit the blog at any time. But if I do, I will not be on the learning curve. I would rather be on the learning curve. I like learning new things.
You do not need to be an expert at anything to start a blog. You just need to want to try something new.
#10. I hope that I am keeping Alzheimer’s at bay
The biggest fear for baby boomers is losing our minds. What if I don’t know my family! What if I can’t remember my life! A disease with no known cause, no cure and no effective treatment is very scary. Maybe an active mind will keep the demons at bay. Maybe not, but I won’t remember.
As long as I can draw a picture of a clock, I will keep on blogging. A really quick test for Alzheimer’s is whether you can draw the face of a clock.
I will fail the Alzheimer’s test if I draw the clock in this photo. The numbers start at 5 o’clock and run backwards! This clock was made in 1443. It hangs on the wall inside the Duomo in Florence. The 24th hour is sunset, not midnight. The gates to the city closed at sunset. The clock was coordinated with the bells of the Duomo that rang at sunset to warn residents to return to the city for protection.
Well, those are my top ten reasons for having a travel blog. Thank you for reading!