Does it look easy to be a travel blogger? Well, it depends on your definition of easy. The actual writing of the blog itself can be easy if you're an excessive writer, talker or storyteller. I tend to fall into all three of those categories as I've been known to put people to sleep with my incessant talking. It's something that I've come to accept about myself and put to good work in writing this blog. The obsessive travelers are a fraternity and the bloggers within the fraternity are a different bunch for sure. The difficult part is all of the "back office" stuff that goes with it. Search engine junk, optimization, trackbacks, blah, blah, blah. Just stick my ass on an airplane and let me write about it. Ahh, if that was all it took. In my career (not the blogging) I spend much of time trying to get the most out of the least. Working on all of the little things that can make my world go round. Notice I still don't mention what I do for a living as I've learned I like to keep that completely separate from my passion for traveling. Yes, there are several of you who know what I do, have seen me at work, may work with me or maybe you've seen my 5 minutes of fame on local cable advertising. Still waiting on those royalties by the way or at least a key to the city. What you need to know is I travel, love my family and I really like beer. I mean REALLY like beer. I digress...again. What I've discovered reading some blogs about travel is how they position it as a tough thing to do. How it's hard to come up with good content and the countless hours sitting on a balcony typing their blog with the clear blue Caribbean behind them. It just goes to show that even the easiest of jobs have complainers. It's what we humans do best. It would be interesting to see how the world would be if every person did what they were best at doing for a living. Too perfect I guess. I would venture to say that for those folks who decide to make travel blogging or any blogging a career, it could be quite stress-inducing to have this pay the bills and this only. Anyone who knows me could tell you that I have content literally coming out my ears. For this to be a less-than-part-time gig, I seem to spend an incredible amount of time on travel. But, I don't rely on it and that's where it's quite different from the others. I truly enjoy trying to help people get to places that they've never seen. There are so many travel blogs out there that you really need to differentiate yourself, but no so far as to take away from who you are. I seem to harp on the positive benefits from travel and how it affects your health. I'm a 9-5 employee that believes travel is the key to a healthy body and a healthy mind. I'm an advocate for time off from work and I will fight the fight for more vacation hours any chance I get. It's these things I try to get across to the readers. You don't really have to agree with what everyone says or does, but you can take bits and pieces from it all and formulate your own destiny. That's exactly what I expect out of the blogs I subscribe. My favorite thing is when I hear somebody say they're about to take a trip. My mind immediately goes into overdrive on how I can possibly give them a tip, save them some money or persuade them to change up their itinerary. That's my "butt-in" moment. Maybe one day this will become a career, but if it doesn't I hope I'm giving a few of you reasons everyday to do something different. To maximize your vacations, don't waste your days and to see the entire world. As I move through this year, our family has been making some pretty big travel plans that I will be blogging about soon. They seem to get a bit bigger in scale each year which is exactly the way I planned it from the beginning. It's been a great year and a half talking about travel to an audience that keeps expanding and I can't wait to do more. Stay tuned for some great adventures and hopefully some ideas for your travels in the future. Thanks to all of you for taking a few moments each day to spend with me and thanks to my family who passed to me the bug of traveling.
Live with your means, travel beyond them. Oh, and drink good beer.
Of course this should be the #1 reason to travel! The world was intended for all to see and there's no reason we shouldn't be lining up to take advantage of it. Well, there's the money thing, and the vacation day hang-up and probably a medley of other reasons, I guess. Maybe they are just excuses since you don't have to go far, generally, to see something new in the world. But at some point you have to buck up and make it happen. It doesn't have to happen overnight and I'm sure there are not too many of us over the age of 21 and under the age of 65 that have the time and the resources to take an Around the World Trip. For those of you who can, I envy you. But as it turns out for the Fryes here, we will probably have to take the lifetime route, and that's OK. I've seen some pretty cool things in my short 40 years, with 95% of them coming in the last 6-7 years. That was about the time we decided as a family that we would conquer the world, state by state, island by island and country by country. So far, so good. The pace we're having to take is a bit on the slow side but until that fantastic offer comes our way that will spring the necessary funds and allowances to travel on their dime, it will have to do. But, this challenge of seeing the world is one that should be met by all. The very place that you live is truly unique in one way or another. What you consider plain is quite extraordinary to others. I always find myself wondering what it must be like to live in some of the locations we visit. Traveling down Route 66 in Arizona, we were met with blowing tumbleweeds and vast ares of nothing. Yet, right in the middle of it all there are homes that call this place their backyard. Of course, my thoughts tend to drift towards the, "I wonder what it must be like not to have to mow a lawn...ever!" Yet, the reverse is true for most folks who visit our hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. Visitors love the rolling hills, green grass and a truly legitimate four seasons. Oh yeah, country music also. Just for complete disclosure, I'm not a fan. Hope that didn't hurt any folks out there, but more on that with a coming post.
It's easy to take your own home area for granted, but yet there are visitors everyday who relish the opportunity to see it, even if it's only once. We get country music fans from all over the world who are simply giddy with excitement, yet for us, it's just another day. How must it be to live on an island and sail every day or live within a few miles of a castle in Bavaria that resembles a fairy tale from your youth? Could you imagine living in the shadows of the Great Wall? Instead of wondering, go there. Immerse yourself in the culture, talk with the locals and make yourself at home. Bit by bit, become determined to live your life learning about everyone else's. It will give you a greater respect for the world around you.
What we've learned from my 5 reasons to travel is that it is worthwhile and life changing. We are becoming a global society and what we once thought was far off has become much closer with each passing decade. Getting from Point A to Point B is easier than it has ever been. The world opens up when you allow it to and it can positively change you. We will never be as good as we want to be, but we can absolutely become more accepting of the people around us. The bubble that we live in isn't impermeable to the rest of the world and the effects of a global society are felt by all, good or bad. We know exactly what is going on in every part of the world at any given moment, and can watch it if we like. But don't let this ability dissuade you from traveling. The pictures are never as good as the real thing. I've seen pictures of mountains all of my life but nothing compared to the sound of the wind coming down the face of the mountain and the feeling on my body when it reached me. It's those types of moments that make traveling much more than a hobby.
Think about the most beautiful place in the world and visualize yourself there. Now, make it happen. No more excuses. Enjoy life. Travel.
Let's face it, this could realistically be the #1 reason you should travel. Valuable time with your family is something that is precious and the memories that come out of family vacations are priceless. If you have kids, it's time that speeds by faster than you can ever imagine. Looking back at photos only a year or two ago on travels shows just how quickly my kids have grown. My wife and I are firm believers that families who travel together, stay together. We simply do everything together, go everywhere together and have some fantastic adventures. What's best is that memories from trips tend to stay with you longer. You spend so much time at home or in your hometown that the memories tend to blend together as one. It's so simple to remember key events that happened while you're away. Much of that is due to taking more pictures, and we all know that when we're on vacations, we take alot of pictures. As I've said in earlier posts in the same series, adults tend to have more fun, act more along the lines of kids, and are just plain friendlier. It's also a welcome breath of fresh air for kids to see their parents unstressed. One of the reasons I love to travel as much as we do is that my kids see that side of me more often, and I for one enjoy that side as well. I don't want my kids to think that life is nothing but a 9 to 5. If my master plan works out, I'm hoping these fine kids of mine make a living out of traveling to new and exotic places. Sure, we're hoping for some kickbacks, but hey, shouldn't all parents? I don't want to go on all of their trips, just a few here and there. Retirement is always a concern as you grow older, but if everything is on hold for that magical moment, it may not have waited around for you.
Be smart, take the time you have with your family and make some memories for life. It will be the best decision you've ever made.
Such a generic term for a reason to travel but one that bears paying attention to I believe. We take things for granted on a daily basis, falling into the humdrum circle of life. My question to everyone would be, how much do you appreciate your life? When you see the sunrise in the morning, do you really take the time to think about how lucky you are to be a part of that event. Chances are, maybe not. But how about if you tried it from a different vantage point, such as the sun rising over the earth toned Grand Canyon where the sun's rays cause an eruption in color that forces you to stop and take account of how lucky you were to see that singular event. Maybe it's a sunset on the vast Pacific Ocean from a cliff in Southern California. If you're landlocked like me, maybe the thought of a sunset painted over the water seems to far off in the distance, but once you've seen it, you can visualize it and appreciate it that much more. Some of the most simple and mundane things in life can be transformed with a simple adjustment of your mind. But, you do need that trigger, and travel supplies that.
Visualizing the good things is one way travel can aid in deeper appreciation of the things around you. Another way is by seeing how the other half lives. If you don't get out much, there's a chance that your view of the world extends only to the street you live on. Have you seen a poverty stricken third world country? Have you watched little kids on the sidewalks of far off places selling anything and everything they can to make a dime for the entire family? At what point on that Jamaica trip while you were getting inundated with locals peddling their goods did you take the time to fully understand why they were doing it? Life is not as easy for some as it is for others, and I don't care who your higher power is or represents, you must take the time to appreciate the life you have...the good and the bad. Seeing the world allows you to see both sides of the fence. And the paint on that fence is chipped in some parts and finely coated in others.
In the end, it's up to you to decide how you will take the sights you see. Appreciating life means that you will be aware of the world around you and not jump to so many conclusions when your first inclination is to push back. Get out, talk to the locals and learn to live life like you are part of the world, not just part of your neighborhood.