Travel blogs and travel talk


Marrakech Gare: going places!

Travel blogs: hugely popular for good reason

Travel blogging is a brilliant way to keep a travel diary, manage your trip photos, and keep family and friends up to date with your adventures. Also, you only have to write about each memory once — one post and it’s done — but you can edit at your leisure. You can write into life with this genre.

There’s room for every kind of travel blog: visual, verbal, mundane, philosophical, private, public, chatty, literary, jokey, romantic — it’s all good. A travel blog can quadruple the pleasure of a trip.

Travel conversations are not so easy

These after-the-trip conversations are inevitable. When you return from an exotic place, you are obliged to talk about it. Friends ask about Your Trip (especially in New Zealand, where every country except Australia is a fairly long way away). Or you have an urge to talk about it anyway, bursting to share all your strange and marvellous experiences.

But how? Travel talk can be such a pleasure, but it can also go seriously wrong. Half your audience has already been to the same destination, and the other half has been there in spirit thanks to TripAdvisor and Facebook.

Is there a taxonomy of travel talk? I have been watching how others do it, and I hope to learn from their triumphs and mistakes.

A. Travel talk that I enjoy

  1. Personal experiences combined with insights into broader topics.
  2. A story steeped in joy or excitement or delight or drama or fear: strong frank personal feelings.
  3. People who travel with a specific purpose: how did things pan out?
  4. A story about people.
  5. An amazing fact that I have never heard before.
  6. Stories that grow and grow in response to the listener’s questions.

B. Travel talkers who drive me nuts 

Hello B-team. I’m glad you had an adventure and I wish you all the best, but let’s set a 5 minute limit.

  1. The bore who tells you 1,000 (dubious, random, context-less) “facts” about a place.
  2. The know-it-all who believes that spending 5 minutes in a place gives their every opinion the ring of authority.
  3. The full-time cruise traveller who compares tours, not places.
  4. The super-generaliser.
  5. The person who forgets you used to live there.
  6. Mr and Mrs Cost-a-Lot, Mr and Mrs They-Can’t-Make-Chips, and their friends.

After my next holiday in Kuala Lumpur I’d better prepare an executive summary so that I don’t lapse into category B.

This blog post is reprinted from Old Lady Laughing, which nobody ever read. My own photo, cc by 2.0

12 thoughts on “Travel blogs and travel talk

  1. And the person who (tries) to show you 1000 photographs, all blurry and of the same or similar things.

    1. Yep, that’s another.

  2. joared says:

    I, too, was reminded of the never-ending stills — color slides, hour after hour, after hour…….to which an audience found itself politely subjected.

    1. Yes!! In the 1960s. I remember and I blush. At the time we prided ourselves on being selective and amusing. Still, I adore the old slides that we have digitized. It’s mainly the people slides that I treasure now.

  3. Great post, really agree personal experiences make blogs so much more engaging and interesting to read!

    1. And you see beyond your personal experiences to find truths that help others. I like that.

  4. living_life says:

    felt good to read you post… great ! 🙂
    please stop by my website too..

  5. CoconutBites says:

    The struggle is real haha 😂

    1. I can see you’ve been there too!

  6. I hadn’t read this post before, but I’m glad I have now. Not that I’m planning to travel anywhere soon, but it’s nice to be prepared so that I can be an A-type travel talker rather than one who falls into category B! 🙂

    1. You are a natural! I had a Danish friend who could describe a trip to the corner shop as a marvellous adventure…

      1. Thank you for the vote of confidence, Rachel! 🙂

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