Challenges of Travel Blogging
I like to travel. I like to write/blog. When I go on a trip, it's an easy solution to generate content for my blog, or at least it should be. While I write up my trips pretty faithfully, it always seems to be such a chore. Why?
1. Lack of quality photos
We do get photos when we travel as a family, but she usually captures family shots or selfies. These make for good personal memories but are not necessarily informative to the reader who might want to know more about the locales we have visited (maybe for their own research). I don't take enough pictures myself, as I'm either busy enjoying myself, wrangling the kids, or I get dissatisfied with the shots I do take.
2. Lack of an itinerary
I'm not a super planner when it comes to travel. I guess I fly by the seat of my pants. To be honest, while a little research is a good idea, I think obsessing over finding "the best" option for where to stay, what to eat, and what to do can lead to "paralysis by analysis" and add to pre-travel stress and anxiety. When the trip is all done, it was still enjoyable, but not necessarily an action-packed story.
3. Writing Style
Speaking of the story, I find when I try and recount our travels, a chronological order (probably the only sensible way to tell a travel story) gets really boring. First, we did this, then we did that, then we ate there, etc. It never bothered me as much during, say, a race recap as it's describing the parts of a single event. A trip extends over several days, and listing the hours feels boring to write, and even worse to read.
4. Impostor Syndrome
Who would even care to read this? There are so many better blogs out there... these are the kinds of thoughts that can plague any writer, but if you're already self-conscious about your deficiencies in a particular topic/style, this kind of anxiety gets exacerbated.
5. Imperfect Memory (Notes)
By keeping a journal during the trip, I have improved my recall of events, but because my journals are not detailed, some things get missed. This makes the blog post less informative for the reader, whereas facts and trivia about the locales could spice up the reading.
6. Time and Effort
Writing a blog is always a free-time activity for me, but after a trip (which was probably a vacation), I"m going to be busier than ever with work, or any other real-life catch-up activities. If I want to do a trip recap post, I'm likely to feel rushed in getting it done, and put in less effort. This shows up in the quality of the writing, or any research I could have done after the fact.
7. Deadline Pressure
I've written trip recaps months after our return due to procrastination and the aforementioned lack of time. I get some satisfaction out of having completed a piece of writing, but it feels weird posting "Here's a trip we took last year!' and the imperfect memory problem doesn't improve with age.
8. Thematic Mismatch
I started the blog to talk about multisport/triathlon and fitness, and it kind of morphed to include what I dub "active family living" - it's hard for a family man to fly solo, so sometimes my active living has to include family, you see. Whenever we travel, there are always some outdoor/active components to the trip, but it's usually far from 'adrenaline junky' levels of activity, and at the same time, the blog is not a travel blog either.