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. 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
- Personal experiences combined with insights into broader topics.
- A story steeped in joy or excitement or delight or drama or fear: strong frank personal feelings.
- People who travel with a specific purpose: how did things pan out?
- A story about people.
- An amazing fact that I have never heard before.
- 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.
- The bore who tells you 1,000 (dubious, random, context-less) “facts” about a place.
- The know-it-all who believes that spending 5 minutes in a place gives their every opinion the ring of authority.
- The full-time cruise traveller who compares tours, not places.
- The super-generaliser.
- The person who forgets you used to live there.
- 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