2 Years of Destination Unknown – and 9 Reasons to Start a Travel Blog

 

Kellie Netherwood Photography

As I celebrate two years of travel blogging, I reflect on what motivates me to keep doing it.

This week is Destination Unknown’s second birthday.  It’s been a rather low-key affair.  There’s no party, no cake, no presents: just a moment of reflection on the decision I made two years ago to create and share this website.

It was a decision that introduced me to a community of supportive like-minded people, has provided me with a creative outlet, gives me a voice, teaches me new skills, motivates me to keep following my dreams, reminds me life is for living not existing and helps me keep perspective as I aim to maintain a healthy work / life balance.

 

Why Start a Travel Blog?

People start travel blogs for different reasons.  I initially created Destination Unknown in 2012 as a way to stay motivated on my dreams as I struggled with the daily routine of the office job that was helping me save for them.

I fleetingly entertained the idea of trying to make money from my blog, feeling inspired by the other successful bloggers who were doing just that.  I had romantic visions of travelling the world on an income derived from writing about what I loved most – travel and photography.  Although it is possible to make money from a travel blog (there are a number of bloggers who do this), I realised very quickly that this wasn’t for me.

Blog post_Kellie Netherwood

Travel blogging is a saturated and competitive market and making decent money from it requires a lot of time, networking and hard work.  Not only was I too lazy to do this, I stopped enjoying it.  It started to feel like a chore and I asked myself “if my hobby becomes my work, what will be my hobby?”

So why do I still do it? For the same reasons I’d encourage anyone else to start a travel blog.

 

9 Reasons to Start a Travel Blog

1. It’s a Travel Diary

Documenting my travels helps me re-live my journeys when I return home, reflect on the experiences I’ve had and apply lessons learned when planning my next adventure.

The most regular reader of my travel blog is without doubt – me!  Followed closely by my parents…

 

2. To Keep in Touch Whilst on the Road

A travel blog is an easy way to keep in touch with family and friends when I’m travelling.  It provides more information than a lazy Facebook status and it replaces the email updates I used to send.  I now avoid upsetting people by forgetting to include them in a group email update, I don’t offend someone by including them in that group email update instead of sending them a personal message and I don’t irritate people who aren’t interested in my travels with unwanted emails.

A travel blog lets me share my travel stories and photographs with a wider audience without forcing it on people who aren’t interested.

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3. To Write

It sounds obvious, but starting a travel blog is a great idea if you like to write.  Writing for me has always been a therapeutic escape, a way to simplify and clarify the thoughts in my head and a forum for sharing stories with others.  My blog gives me the opportunity to spend time on something I enjoy, encourages me to write more regularly and helps me develop and improve my own style.

4. To Showcase Photography

There’s no better example of a square peg in a round hole than someone with a creative mind working in the corporate world of accounting and finance.  And it took nearly twenty years of spreadsheets, numbers, deadlines, reports and meetings before I discovered my real passion – photography.  My travel blog allows me to intersect this with my other two hobbies – travel and writing – for the perfect creative outlet and escape from my ‘day job’.

5. To be Part of a Travel Blogging Community

When I published my first blog post two years ago, I was introduced to a travel and blogging community that provides more support than any other I’ve been part of.  Travel bloggers are united by a common passion for travel, an interest in writing and the desire to inspire other people with their stories and photographs.

Whether its exchanging tips and tricks, answering technical questions, sharing each other’s content or providing guidance and support, it’s a positive, motivating and friendly environment to be in.

6. To Connect With Like-Minded People

There’s nothing more enjoyable than sharing your experiences, dreams and ideas with like-minded people and with a travel blog this extends beyond the travel blogging community.  It opens up conversations with other travellers, other photographers, those who live in the places you visit, those who are considering a lifestyle change and are looking for inspiration or those simply interested in the places you’ve been.  These may be virtual connections via comments on your blog, social media interaction, direct emails or messages or they may as old fashioned as actually meeting in person!

And having new connections to talk travel with means you can free your other friends from your travel-obsessed conversations.  They will thank you, believe me!

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7.  For Inspiration

I share my travel experiences to inspire others to create their own and discovering that I have done that for someone is an incredibly rewarding feeling.

But having this website also encourages me to visit other travel blogs and be more interactive on social media.  As such, I find myself constantly inspired by others.  Travel bloggers have introduced me to new locations, different perspectives on places I’ve been and different adventure options to consider.  I’ve learned of new landscape and wildlife photography opportunities through the images and tips shared by other photographers.  And I feel constantly encouraged to continue paving my own path in life with the realisation that there any many other people out there trying to do the same thing in their own way.

8.  To Learn New Skills

I get bored easily, have an inquisitive mind and love to learn new things.  Before I started my travel blog, I knew nothing about creating a website and very little about social media, other than updating my Facebook status.  I’m still no expert, but the concept of SEO no longer scares me, I’m comfortable using social media as a marketing and promotional tool and I’ve even learned how to customise my website with a little coding here and there.

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9.  It  Creates Opportunities

A travel blog introduces you to new communities.  It connects you with like-minded people.  It helps improve your writing and it teaches you different skills.

If you want it to – it creates opportunities.  If you are ready to – embrace them!

 

Why did you start your travel blog?  And what motivates you to keep doing it?

 

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Kellie is a traveller and photographer who is most at home when exploring the world beyond it. Through the intersection of her travel, writing and photography passions, she shares her experiences to inspire others to create there own. The desire to live life instead of existing through it has introduced Kellie to inspirational locations throughout seven continents and from this a passion for landscape and wildlife photography has evolved. She feels a particular connection to the polar regions and Africa. You can see more of her photography at www.kellienetherwoodphotography.com

Comments

  1. Congrats on your Blog-a-versey! Great list, especially #1. I write for the day that I start to question if I indeed did those things!

    Shaun
    http://www.thislifeintrips.com

    • Thanks Shaun! I realised when I was pulling this list together than most of the reasons I blog are selfish ones – its all about me, me, me!! As soon it’s stops being fun, is the day I stop.

  2. A very good list – as someone just starting out you have few on there I hadn’t thought about but a few other certainly resonate. I think Both you and Shaun are right that it has to be enjoyable – no point doing it otherwise. In the meantime keep on writing – I certainly find social media is a good source of inspiration for future journeys.

  3. I started blogging for so many of the same reasons – mine is entirely a hobby and I have a totally unrelated career but I can relate to so much of what you are saying behind your motivation for blogging – I never expected to end up meeting and networking with other bloggers as I first started it as a journal but have found inspiration from other blogs, met some great people and love that the hobby has become a huge passion.

  4. Allan Seabrook says:

    Hi Kellie,

    The moment I saw the title to this blog entry, I started wondering how you might update in now that you are just three months away from your third anniversary. Can’t wait to see it then!

    And as I went further to read about your thoughts, feelings and experiences on travel blogging, I was blown away at how closely you reflect my own fears and uncertainties of taking on this challenge. Thank you for the inspiration to get going. As a late starter, it’s going to take me a while, but I know I’m going to get there!

    Allan

    • You know, I was only thinking about this very subject a couple of days ago. I think I realise now I have started blogging for myself more than anything else – to capture memories and remind myself why I live this lifestyle which definitely has pros and cons. Enjoy the journey and drop me an email if you have any questions! Good luck.

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