Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Why It's Hard For Me To Read Travel Blogs

Tiananmen Square, China. Trust me, EVERY travel blogger has been to China and makes it seem cliche.

I consider myself a pretty adventurous person, and I definitely LOVE to travel. So you'd think that I'd devour travel blog posts like an intercontinental buffet. But I don't. I subscribe to a few that I really like, written by average Jo's (mostly women) who travel when they can. Those posts almost always lead to more blogs and more blogs and suddenly, I'm miserable.

I can't decide if the travel blogs depress me because I'm envious, jealous and smitten with bad cases of wanderlust after I read them? Or if it's because so many of them detail journeys to far-flung corners of the world that I don't imagine ever exploring. The locales in these blogs are always exotic: Angkor, Egypt, Antigua, South Africa, Marrakesh, Manitoba, etc., etc., etc.. And the events are always over-the-top extreme adventures that involve living alongside the locals: walking with cheetahs, carving up a whale, teaching English to South American children, harvesting crops in Chile, etc., etc., etc..

This is not how I travel.

These blogs exclude me and categorize me as someone who takes trips instead of someone who "travels." And so I cannot relate.

I (finally!) have four weeks of vacation a year and have to make that coincide with my family's work and school schedules. I have limited funds and know that most of my trips will involve getting to my destination and back in about a week. My primary objective is to see as much as I can of whatever city I'm visiting. And as much as I like meeting people in the locations that I travel to, there's not much time to do so if I'm going to see all the sights as well.

Most travel blogs leave me feeling very inadequate. I sit and read them and my shoulders slump. I would love to board a ship to Antarctica as much as the next guy. But my next trip is likely to be within a 7-hour drive of Ohio. I'm probably not going to get mugged as I leave a hostel, or find myself crowded off the road by oxen. I will wander into quirky little museums and eat at hole-in-the-wall mom & pop restaurants. I'll hit all the tourist attractions and take loads of pictures. But the reality is that I'll get home before my postcards do.

I'll blog about my trips and immediately begin planning the next one. But they won't read like the travel blogs that chronicle the lives of those nomads who've chucked it all to travel the world. I wish I were one of those gypsies, but I'm not. So I stay away from their blogs. Instead of slurping up their travel tales and licking my lips as I savor each detail, their smorgasbord of adventures makes me depressed that I seem eternally stuck on a 4-weeks/limited-funds diet.

Boy, do I need a vacation...


  1. Dude, I totally know what you mean, but really, most people like you. (Or aspire to.) You should in no way feel inadequate! And I love reading your travel posts.

  2. A great travel blog! Definitely looking forward for more interesting posts.

  3. There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking short trips, as there's nothing wrong with being a nomad. It's all about prioritizing. You should do whatever makes you happier now.