We all know a traveller trying to get rich from their blog. ‘Heaps of people are doing it!’ they proclaim as they hammer out yet another post about the same places and experiences already covered a million times; filled with superlatives and link-backs to improve their SEO. ‘You watch – I am going to be able to travel FOREVER on the proceeds! It’s the perfect source of passive income!’
When we travel we all feel like we are having a unique experience. And we want to share that. It’s natural. But even the most adventurous travellers are going to find themselves following the same general route as others before them. It’s a phenomenon called the ‘off-the-beaten-path path’.
So sorry, but reality check. You have a superiority complex.
Because the world has been discovered already. Several times over. And it’s been written about too. A lot.
The problem with this is that the idea of shared experience is dying as travellers desperately try to make their personal blog the one-and-only source of all travel wisdom – all the while keeping that precious knowledge far from the forums where travellers look first.
Anyone who has sat in a backpacker dorm in downtown Veracruz, or a dingy hostel in Budapest, will know that many travellers spend a huge amount of time trying to ‘discover’ the best things to see and do around them, and plan their trip as they go. Go to any dorm and you will see dozens of people maxing out the wifi connection whilst busily writing notes. Ultimately they are going to end up in the same places as everyone else. Because most people don’t travel to see the suburbs (not that they are uninteresting!) but the highlights and the best that a place has to offer. And those places are limited.
So why are the travel forums and Facebook groups filled with the same questions asked over and over, when all the answers they seek are buried deep in a thousand travel blogs that are impossible to find?
The travel community is just that – a community. A great supportive helpful network of highly intelligent people who are experts in all things travel. They know which bus to catch. They know what a beer costs and they know where the best hostel is located.
So let’s come together and share our knowledge for the greater good. Seek the place or places on the web that allow us to pool our knowledge and support each other in the most meaningful way. Not for money or fame. But because what we know is invaluable, and because we could all benefit from a resource like that too.
Anita has just returned from 12 months on the PanAmerican in a van called Pickles, and is the co-founder of the travel microblogging and community mapping platform [http://www.OdysseyAtlas.com]. Together with