Life's Mysteries: How Do Travel Bloggers Do It?
If I may say so myself, at the moment my life is pretty great. I'm married to the man I love and we live in a fantastic city. I have a great job dedicated to saving animals and I run my own online magazine. And I can eat cupcakes without gaining weight. Life is pretty sweet. But nevertheless there are certain categories of people that I will always be insanely jealous of. Case in point: travel bloggers.
These sunkissed creatures with an eternal smile (or staring-into-far-away-lands gaze) on their faces, long hair swooshing in the wind, tattos of feathers or birds or the word 'dream' decorating their super-toned and perpetually sundress-clad physiques, that somehow never seem to be travelling to icy or windy destinations and never EVER find themselves anywhere it might rain. Their Dior sunglasses only come off at #dusk - a perfect time to Instagram that chilled glass of wine next to the perfectly laid out dinner plate on a white terrace overlooking the sea. Their luggage is always neatly organised into Louis Vuitton carryalls and their hair has not frizzed ever in the history of mankind. All they eat is raw fruit and their bananas are never brown or greenish like mine. Every time they take a swim in the sea, they are mysteriously on their own in the perfectly turquoise water - no beer-bellied tourists playing ball with their noisy kids in the background. Alternating sandy beaches with city skylines, no one awakens my envy quite the way that travel bloggers can. Scrolling through their magazine-perfect Instagram accounts, one single thought comes to mind: how the hell do they do it?
Truth be told, a few travel bloggers address this question on their blogs, but all they have to say to explain their fabulous lifestyle is 'I get paid to travel and blog about it.' Well, Sherlock, we'd figured that one out! Question is, how did you get started? How could you afford to whiz around the world before anyone paid you to do it?
One girl said she'd moved in with her parents to be able to afford her first round-the-world trip. If I'd ever attempted to live at my parents' house without paying rent, while having a job, my guess is that my mother would have kicked me out head first. And she would have been right!
Another guy wrote a handy 'earn money while you travel' guide. He advised people to work in the locations where they went. Which is awesome. But work visas are tricky to obtain and take ages, plus once you have a job somewhere, you're pretty much settled down there. Which means this is more of a 'move to a new place' guide rather than a travel one. Also, if I've spent all year working, the prospect of working while on my holiday is less than appealing.
Another guy, and this really takes the cake, wrote a 'cheap travel' guide which included dumpster diving and washing in lakes. Sounds like a great trip! In all of this, he appeared to have forgotten the most costly part of it all: plane tickets! His favourite tip appeared to be hitchhiking, which is hardly the safest way to travel, for anyone (not just saying this because I'm a woman). Plus I haven't ever tried to hitchhike from London to California or Bali, but I'm thinking it would make for quite an interesting trip (maybe something to blog about?). On a a positive note, he was also a huge advocate for couchsurfing, which I think is pretty great.
One girl, whose blog centers around solo travel, was asked how she managed to have such amazing photos of herself, if she was travelling on her own. Her reply was that she'd asked passers-by to snap a pic of her.
Now, I sometimes do photo- and outfit posts on this blog and my husband takes the photos of me. This is almost always a half-day project, plus lots of post-production. Out of 20 photos, maybe five are usable. And my husband has studied photography! If I'd ask a random person on the street to take a picture, there's almost a 100% chance they'd click once, then walk away, leaving me with less than blog-worthy images. So it's a mystery to me that this blogger always manages to find extremely photo-savvy strangers that get it right every single time.
Still, the above stories are at least somewhat plausible, while the World Wide Web also offers up the enticing personal spaces of people that are in NYC on Monday, Bahamas on Wednesday and Berlin on Saturday, while virtually never wearing the same thing more than once. This leaves me in complete and utter disbelief: how?? Do they have a private plane following them around, packed full of couture only? Do they spend a fortune in duty free shops? Is it not really them in the pictures, but a doppelganger on the other side of the globe, smiling in a Pucci kaftan? Not to mention humidity hair, plane skin and cellulite from only eating airport food - none of which seems to affect them. Some of them also have kids that they lug around everywhere - what about school, guys? Hello, responsible parenting (oh never mind, I'm just jealous)! Bottom line: either they're some kind of superhuman, or there's something they're not telling us.
I would love to have an honest travel blogger explain to me exactly how they did it. Preferably not one of the lucky ones ('I inherited tons of money, travelled the globe with a personal photographer and was born with mile-long legs and Rapunzel-style golden hair'), but just someone who loves to travel and really wanted to make it happen. Preferably someone in a relationship. But something tells me that these mysterious beings are not to keen on spilling their secrets. And who can blame them? If I had found a way to whiz around the Earth without worrying about trivial things like rent, bills and cabin-air acne, I'm not sure I'd tell anyone what it was.
Or...maybe they're all this girl.
Filed Under: thoughts