By Sebastiaan: Being constantly connected to the internet for travel blogging is ruining my travel experience, in a way. Is it worth it?
I used to travel without any electronic equipment. No phone, no watch, no computer, no nothing. I once had a small camera… but it was quickly stolen in Laos.
It was extremely liberating. Sure, I missed a lot of buses since I had no concept of time, and my parents didn’t know where I was for weeks on end. But, I was also completely disconnected from the woes of the outside world, giving me ample opportunity to immerse myself in the world right in front of me.
Oh, how different it is this time around.
Maintaining a travel blog obviously requires smart devices. Although I am satisfied with the work we are doing, and the information we are providing, the fact that we always have at least two or three of these devices on hand bothers me.
I instinctively reach for my phone when we sit down in a cafe, often failing to take in my surroundings because I am too preoccupied by what is going on on the other side of the world (or on the football pitch of my favorite club). Instead of wandering around cities in the evening, Alex and I spend hours poring over posts on how to pitch, essays on Instagram success, and tomes of Snapchat tips and tricks.
Instead of going outside to see the sunset, I am sitting behind a computer or tablet, typing out some story, finding people to pitch our blog to, or sometimes even just playing games. I am writing this while in (stationary) transit, so now it’s okay. But sometimes I feel like I am missing out because the electronic sirens call for me, and, like Odysseus, I am but a slave to their whims.
Of course, my travels are not ruined. I still enjoy every minute, and am happy I can provide useful information and entertainment or inspiration to others. Just the other day, we got a message on our Facebook from a fan saying our stories make her happy, and help her get through the boring work days. That is definitely worth something. But sometimes, just sometimes, I want to throw out all our equipment, burn it to a crisp, and be freed from the chains of electronics while traveling.
Do you ever have the feeling you are missing out because of electronics? How do you deal with this feeling?
20 thoughts on “How travel blogging is ruining my travel experience”
I feel the same way! I love going out and travelling to new places and just simply enjoying the moment I’m in without the coils of technology, but it’s hard to repress my own urge to snap a picture (or maybe a 100) and check Instagram or upload pictures to Snapchat. One day I’ll log out of it all. But what you said about burning everything to a crisp and being free from the chains of technology I feel on a personal level! Good to know I;m not the only one!
I feel it’s something not many travel bloggers, if they’re actually on the road, will admit too. I’m certain we’re not the only ones though 😉
Glad I found your blog guys 🙂 Also started a blog however it goes so slow…being constantly on the road doesnt really help writing new stories. Sometimes you just wanna hang out, have a beer and relax…Thumbs up to you both for keeping up with new posts and useful info!
Haha we know how you feel. It’s especially hard when you’re in countries that have no internet outside of the cities. Alas, we do our best. What’s your blog?
exactly!! we’ve been in Central Asia and Iran for the past few months and just no internet or it is so painful that you just dont want to do anything 🙂
we travel with as a family with our little one for 1 year already and I am trying to write a blog about it. It turned out there is not that much info as for traveling with babies/toddlers and I hoping to fill this gap 🙂 https://bringbabyabroad.wordpress.com/ have a look if you guys have time
and where are you now?
Wow, that must be a completely different experience, traveling with such a young child. Can imagine people who are thinking of doing the same are desperate for some decent info. We’re in Kyrgyzstan, so we know all about your Central Asian woes 😉 Enjoy the rest of your journey.
thanks! you too!! Kyrgyzstan is an awesome place to be right now!!
Preaching to the choir amigo…. My advice; try and schedule 3 / 4 days a month and go on a trek minus your devices; it’s probably the only thing that keeps me sane.
But, but… the missed Snap opportunities! The Instagram-ready vistas! All that down time to edit and write in peace?!
Just kidding (sort of). Solid advice man!
Currently sitting in a Starbucks in Cusco and wondering where I went wrong 😉 I figure long term travel wouldn’t be sustainable without the project. You’re creating some amazing content!
Oh the horror 😉 We probably spend more time searching for wifi than we are searching for things to do. It’s a tough life after all. Thanks for the compliments, and we at least hope you had some decent coffee or something like that!
I am wondering how can you travel without those equipment. I cannot live without my mobile wherever I go
Haha I know what you mean, but traveling without any electronics is incredibly liberating. Not a care in the world.
Me and a bunch of office colleagues were travelling from Karachi, Pakistan to places in Kashmir as an official retreat trip 🙂
A few kilometers after leaving a medium-sized city Muzaffarabad in Kashmir, we lost mobile signal reception. And throughout our trip in Kashmir, there was no mobile connectivity (let alone 3G/4G for internet). We didn’t want it honestly, but, not quite deliberately, it turned out to be an amazing experience. The only way to kill time post dusk time (since the roads were not safer to drive during night, well you can barely call them roads!) was bonfires and talking to each other until 4 am in the morning. We got to know each other very well. The only instance we took out our phones was to click a picture or make a Video! I did have my laptop all the time during the trip, but I only opened it at night time to backup pictures and videos. I also like to write (albeit limited to facebook posts at the moment), but to be in those places and enjoy every last drop of the waterfalls and every sand dune, and every single leaf, you have to put your gadgets away and truly be yourself for once!
Personally, what I believe, that to really feel the nature, the scenic views, the mesmerizing landscapes and the essence of each of them, to find yourself fully blended into a scene requires the peace of your mind and little or no distraction. This is where the man and the nature becomes one!
Your blog is amazing!!!
Cheers from Karachi, Pakistan
That’s a great story. Disconnecting really is a great way to get to know the people around you. Too often I find myself playing with my phone, while is should be talking to people instead. On the one hand technology brings amazing opportunities, on the other hand it makes us drift apart.
I admit I have the same problem! It’s great to have a blog and help people out with recommendations… but the freedom of traveling only with a camera and a crappy phone was priceless! I bought my first smartphone last year! Can you imagine? I had an old Nokia with a black and white screen for 6 years.. haha those times are gone now!
I loved the article! Miguel.
Haha that’s so oldschool. We’re now at the point that we wonder how we survived without smartphones, where not that long ago we didn’t even know they existed. But everything has its pros and cons I guess. Glad you liked the article 🙂
just found your site because of the crossing the Horgos border between Kazakhstan and China. And now I saw this article and I’m so glad I saw. I have been with my girlfriend on the road since April – traveling from Germany to Asia. Of course all friends said “make a travel blog”. We had/have good ideas. I did some vlogs, my girlfriend is doing fitness videos. Of course not much success yet. We don’t know how to market ourselves at all and it was impossible to be consistent. You know it all.
Then the other day, I thought, it might really make more sense to only enjoy traveling, share some pictures with the family and friend when I feel like to and then just go back to work for a couple of years, save some money and travel again. To me it seems you can make more money faster by doing a desk job for a while than trying to combine working and traveling. You have to put up a lot of effort and you only get so little return. Correct me if I’m wrong and if you can now live of your blog which is truely done very professional!
Are you guys still traveling? Where are you now?
Best, Ildiko (ShapeOnByIldiko) and Florian (FlowVoyage)
Hi there, thanks for reaching out.
That sounds like a sweet trip, where are you now?
Honestly, is you’re just in it for the money, there are much better ways than blogging. Blogging takes a lot of work and dedication, and for most people it hardly pays the bills. We make some money, but not enough to sustain our travels indefinitely. Like you said, getting a decent paying desk job, or doing freelance work while on the road (if you have the skills) are much better ways of making money than blogging.
Obviously it’s not impossible. We’ve had a lot of great experiences, and met a lot of awesome people, because we run this blog. If you have a passion for writing, photography and videography, blogging can be a great experience, and a great way to build a resume in these fields while traveling. But from a financial point of view, there are much better ways, and blogging often gets in the way of the travel experience.
We are still traveling, currently in India. Any plans to make it this way?
Alex and Sebastiaan
After reading your article, I checked out your website, and i really like your post. It looks massive and pretty cool. It offers a lot of awesome things to do.