Don't travel for the post
I started travelling in March 2015 (I also don't think that's right, but it's true). I went to visit a friend in Glasgow and I had my blue trainers with me and that was sort of the start of my solo travelling adventure. I spent most of my day walking around, had the courage to go to an Apple Store, at that time I was working there so it was nice to build on that relationship and find out about the different places that I could go and visit. After that I got hooked, came back and shared my story on the blog and then booked the next trip.
Then the travel blogging industry exploded. All of a sudden there were so many different places where bloggers and aspiring bloggers have shared their stories. Some lucky ones have even managed to make a career out of it and it's those lucky ones that caused a shift in my perspective. I'm not saying they made me envious, but the lifestyle that they have been putting forward made me extremely envious.
That envy caused me to lose sight of why I began travelling in the first place. I stopped enjoying my travels and started thinking about my post before I've been gone on the trip. Started searching for "most instagrammable places in (place city here)" and then book my trips based on that. I spent countless hours researching on how to become more popular on Instagram because I'd reached the conclusion that if I was famous on Instagram, then I would get companies approaching me and then I would have the chance to go to a lot of places. For free. I changed my Instagram to a business one so that I could understand more about "the people that were following me". But instead of helping me, I think I was on the verge of getting depressed because of the amount of unfollows that you realise you get. Why? Well I would get a lot of people that would follow me over one post, and then when I didn’t post, in 2 days, almost all of the people who would have followed me would unfollow. Then I would also get people who followed me so that I could follow them, and most of them I did follow because I liked their pages, but then they would unfollow after a few days and then I realised that even though they have 20k followers they are still playing a game. It is a brutal one. And I feel to some degree it might even be changing the way that people interact with each other on social media.
As I became more restless, I knew I had to leave that path that I was walking down on and change things for the better. I had to start making changes before this began to change me and who I was. Firstly, I had to remind myself of who I am. I'm not a travel blogger or a travel photographer. I'm a Network Engineer and I love my job. I love the challenges that come with it and all the different aspects that get me excited to get to work every day. I’m a problem solver and the satisfaction that comes with that is amazing.
I reverted my account back to a normal profile account and posted 1 photo a day. I limited my time on social media and would make sure that I interacted with the people that I followed, and if someone left a comment on my work I would thank them, because writing a comment takes a lot more effort than double tapping. I also focused on writing my blog posts slightly differently.
Instead of being like others and recommending places to go to, I want to take people on the same journey that the trainers have taken me to. So many people out there don’t have the same opportunity that I have to be able to travel and I want to say more than “Top 10 places to go”. All the list places are great, but I feel there’s too much.
So what am I saying? Don’t go to a place because you’ve seen a social media post (Photoshop is a great photographer). Go there because you’ve been inspired by the culture, the people and the cause. Go to a place because you want to make a difference in someone else’s life (I’m thinking missionary work) and most importantly, go to a place so that you can explore beyond the list.
Anyway, that’s my two cents.