So you want to make all your friends jealous. Here’s what you do. You go traveling. All around the world. And bring a little netbook with you. Blog as you go. Take photos. Tell stories. Insinuate that you aren’t telling the whole story. It’s a public journal, and its something that will stick around for years to come. There are a few things that you can do to make sure that your travel blog is not only useful in the moment, but also will be a concrete memorial to your amazing trips when you’re too old to really remember the details.
There are two big reasons to be specific – one for you, and one for everyone else. One of the major reasons that people read a travel blog is because they are looking for advice for when they travel themselves. So if you really enjoyed climbing to Macchu Picchu don’t say something like, “Oh man, that hike was really hard – but totally worth it.” You were at Macchu Picchu – say so! It’s a very different blog if specifics don’t play a part in it.
And you know that one day you’re going to want to know the name of that great cafe in Berlin that you spent the entire day at just people watching. So record it! Your brain isn’t going to remember that ten years down the road – or at least mine isn’t.
Photos and Video
There are only a small number of people who are true wordsmiths. And when you can’t find the words to describe the sunset over the water in Vietnam, take a picture. And when a picture isn’t enough, record it.
Not only will the elements of photography serve to make your experience more immediately present to people who are reading your blog, they will also not get so bogged down in reading text. It will break up their interaction with you and your experiences. Make it much more immediately present for everyone that isn’t in Cambodia with you.
Tell the Whole Truth
Your trip isn’t going to be all shiny happy and fun. You’re going to be exhausted and miserable at some points, places aren’t going to look the way they were presented in the travel guide – it may be dirty and smelly and you may get ill at some point or another. If you didn’t like a place, or didn’t enjoy it, fully explain yourself. Whining about the food would be very different if you got food poisoning or if you just didn’t have the guts to try the spicy food.
Now this may be hard for the guys – but talk about the soft mushy stuff – your emotions. Talk about how your experiences have affected you – talk about that local couple that you talked with for hours, or how you played soccer with that little kid on the street and his face lit up. Write in your own voice, and don’t do that monotone, boring, travel-photo-slideshow voice.
But when it boils down to it, for both the sake of your memories and all the readers slowly turning green, be as detailed and rich in your descriptions as possible. It may take a good chuck of your time, but get into a nightly routine. That way it’s not like you’re trying to recollect your entire week. It will be worth it looking back, believe me.