The siren call of far-off destinations, exotic cuisine, breathtaking landscapes but, life keeps conspiring against you. The work grind, a leave-less existence, and a car (or two) that seem to spend more time at the workshop than they do on the road. Case in point, the Landy is presently parked on our verge by the flatbed that got it there. Yes folks, you often see the glamour shots, sandy beaches, clear waters but, what you don’t often get to see is the travel writer’s post of the behind-the-scenes hard slog and obstacles that many of us face. Hey, this is not a whinge fest. We absolutely love that we get the chance to travel and write about it and share our experience with our readers but, it’s not always rainbows and sunshine. So, grab your coffee (or better yet, a stiff drink), and let’s dive into the world of blogging adventures or uh, better put, misadventures.
Urrggh…working for a living
A travel blog needs travel, right? Unfortunately, not all of us have the luxury of being jetsetters or professional wayfarers. In the real world, we’re punching the clock, counting our hard-earned randelas, and pining for the next long weekend that never seems to arrive. We fantasize about globe-trotting, but the closest we get to an exotic destination is watching Netflix’s latest travel docuseries from the couch. Yes folks, it’s not all glamour and adventures. Most of us have day jobs. So uncool!
The land of no vacations when you’re leave-less or when you get ‘basic’ leave, makes for a very ‘basic’ travel life. Imagine a world where vacations are like mythical unicorns – everyone talks about them but, you never actually see one. That’s the life of many who can’t secure those elusive paid days off. Heck, that’s presently the writers personal experience but…we’re working on it. Some bosses (not all but some) seem to think that leaving the office for more than a day is akin to an interdimensional journey. So, while others post pictures of their European or Mauritius escapades… you, me, we, are navigating our way through our office’s endless maze of emails.
When wheels turn into woes
Then there’s the wheels. We love our Landy but boy, oh boy can it offer its fair share of headaches. We make jokes that we know every mechanic and every flatbed operator in most towns across SA. Still, nothing beats driving in the Landy with open roads ahead. The petrol it guzzles, shew, that’s another headache as petrol in SA is pricey and with a V8 engine, just starting the beast costs you a few bob.
And since our car is more often inclined to die on the road than it is to take us on a journey, we resort to different ways of crafting engaging content (did you see our post on the Jimny or Pizza Braai). There’s an insatiable need to travel, to write and at times we have to live vicariously through other’s adventures as the wheels just won’t go. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not without wheels but, when your second car is a Suzuki Jimny and you’re packing for a 2 week long trip with no shops or petrol stations nearby, it can make things a bit tricky. Not impossible, but tricky.
Think of us as digital wizards. Why yes, thank you but sometimes…not so much. Travel bloggers are known for their tech-savvy skills but, that doesn’t make us immune to occasional technological disasters. We delete entire blogs by accident. True story. Laptops get dropped, wine spillage on the motherboard… Our SEO sometimes bombs because let’s be honest, Search Engine Optimization is like a mystical forest filled with dragons and fairies and making a mistake can lead to crickets in your blog’s comment section. We are good at what we do but, we BOMB out too sometimes with the tech stuff.
The virtual travel blog
Here we are. We’ve mastered the art of virtual travel. Leave days, a Landy that won’t go, matchbox wheels, a laptop being held together by masking tape while others are kayaking on the Orange River or climbing Kilimanjaro, we’re on a magical journey from our respective offices. Google Earth, travel documentaries, and our imagination have become our trusty steeds. What do we do, we create posts about places we’ve yet to visit, blending real-world insights with the fantasy of far-off lands. It’s travel blogging without the need for a passport. Think – 10 must do activities when visiting Thailand – We’ve NEVER been to Thailand and, we know about that one travel blogger who has also NEVER been to Thailand but wrote a brilliant piece that had us packing our virtual bags. Yes, there are times when we’ve got to dig deep and take our readers on a journey but when we’ve been glued to a spot, it can prove difficult but, it gets done and we’re all off on magical escape. We don’t like to do this for our own page personally (we prefer speaking about experiences we’ve actively been a part of) but when it comes to ghost blogging, and we can’t make it to our specific destination…. you’ve got to do, what you’ve got to do!
Exploring your Hometown
So, how do you write a travel blog without travel? Well, there’s the virtual tours we mentioned above and then there’s home ground. Yes, the wondrous world of time travel, also known as exploring your own hometown. You discover hidden gems, historic landmarks, and quirky local eateries you never knew existed. It’s like being an urban explorer in your own backyard. In our hood, Lawmans Cantina is definitely one of our favourites, check out our blog on them….
So, there you have it. The hilarious saga of wanting to write a travel blog when life won’t let you. It’s a comedy of woes, a tale of workaholic bosses, an unreliable car, a matchbox car and the art of turning everyday life into an adventure. While the nomadic bloggers may be living the dream, our dream of becoming travel bloggers takes us on a unique and often comical twists. Dark comedy…
But remember, the essence of travel bloggings isn’t solely about visiting exotic places. It’s about the journey itself, the stories, the experiences, engaging with like-minded people and the quirky detours that make life interesting. An individual’s unique perspective, with a dash of humour can turn even the most mundane circumstances into engaging content that resonates with readers. So, to our readers, please keep reading our posts, we really appreciate it and, to those who are inspired to take a dive into travel blogging. Do it! And…share what you’ve written with us because we really believe in cheering one another on.