Friday, October 24th, 2014

Guest Post: When A Travel Blogger Is Stuck At Home

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This guest post was written by Amanda of A Dangerous Business.

Dear Fellow Travel Bloggers,

I have a confession to make to all of you out there planning or already in the middle of your shiny travel adventures: You all make me feel like a loser.

Unlike some of you, I am not selling my car or moving back in with my parents in order to save up for a RTW trip. I am not quitting my job or buying expensive airline tickets in order to explore the globe for a year or two.

In fact, I’m so incredibly NOT traveling right now that I don’t even know when/where my next major adventure will be. I’ll be lucky if I make it out of Ohio again before next year.

Image: A Dangerous Business

Each day, when I check my Google Reader list full of my favorite travel blogs and writers, I generally find myself both inspired and incredibly frustrated at the same time. I read about travelers across the globe – finding love in Brazil, volunteering in Eastern Europe, backpacking through South East Asia, roadtripping across Australia – and I’m jealous. Absurdly jealous some days. Being anchored in place when all you want to do is be on the move can start to make you a bit bitter like that, I guess.

But, having been rooted for a while has allowed me to examine my thoughts on travel in general. Yes, I’m envious of some of you out there just embarking upon your travel dreams. But, I realistically have to wonder: Could I really be like you if given the opportunity?

It’s one thing to want something you can’t have. But it’s another entirely to be able to have something you want – or at least something you think you want.

Image: A Dangerous Business

I have never yearned for the backpacker lifestyle. Even though it seems exciting and romantic, I’ve never truly wanted to set off indefinitely, with no idea when I might see home again. I like having plans. I like having goals. I like having a general sense of stability and place in my life. Honestly, I don’t think I’m cut out for long-term, RTW travel.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t still think about it. Constantly, sometimes.

Being a self-appointed travel blogger and yet not really traveling irks me. Travel has been placed high on a shelf that I can’t reach, and getting all sweaty trying to get to it only invites the travel bug to bite even harder. It bothers me that I can’t be out there exploring, discovering, getting lost. I miss having adventures of my own, as opposed to living vicariously through all of yours.

When I get to feeling extra loser-like, though, I try to remind myself of all the adventures I have had: touring Ireland with an Irish rock band, playing in a marching band concert on the Great Wall of China, bungy jumping in New Zealand. I’ve climbed to the top of the dome of St. Peter’s in Rome, snorkled with a barracuda in Mexico, wiggled my toes in the Indian Ocean, been on an Alaskan cruise, and studied abroad in college. In short, I’ve been extremely lucky.

So I should probably just suck it up and stop whining.

Image: A Dangerous Business

Being stuck in one spot for a while has forced me to look at things differently. Would I rather be traveling? Sure. But since I can’t be (for myriad reasons), I am left with two options. I can either read all about the adventures you, my fellow travel bloggers, are having and become increasingly jealous and bitter, or, I can read about your experiences, become inspired by them, and challenge myself to come up with new travel options of my own.

I think it’s obvious which option is best.

I may not be able to take a freighter to Antarctica, go on an African safari, or enjoy thermal pools in Iceland right now. But I can explore my home town, state, and country and then report back on what I find. I can find adventures around the corner instead of around the globe.

And who knows? Maybe someday you’ll find yourselves envious of me.

Sincerely yours,

Amanda

Amanda is a 20-something college grad with a journalism degree under her belt, which she plans to use to rid the world of bad grammar and “there, their, they’re” confusion. After studying abroad in New Zealand, Amanda has decided she’d love to move there one day so she can wear jandals, eat hokey pokey ice cream, and continue pretending she understands the rules of rugby. When not working or blogging, Amanda can usually be found dreaming of her next travel adventure, wherever that may be. Follow her at A Dangerous Business or on Twitter @DangerousBiz.

Comments

45 Responses to “Guest Post: When A Travel Blogger Is Stuck At Home”
  1. travelpology says:

    Great post! It’s so true — it is hard to be a travel blogger who doesn’t travel the world for a living. I’ve found that weekend trips around the US can be just as inspiring as weeks-long trips around the world. You can’t dismiss the travel adventures that are close to home.

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks! And yes, I agree that weekend trips closer to home can be just as fun, interesting and enriching as longer trips abroad — as long as you go into them with the right mindset!

  2. Ashley says:

    I totally know how you feel!!! Due to a variety of reason (all good stuff), my next international trip is like a year and a half away – even though I want to be traveling right now. But I love travel writing and connecting with other travels, so I don’t want to become that grumpy person who just becomes terribly jealous of everyone around them. My solution has been to completely embrace being a local tourist – all the fun of travel, but I get to sleep in my own bed and see my dog every night…so really, not a bad compromise :-)

  3. Hi Amanda,
    I’m happy to hear that you have come to the conclusion that travel in your own city, state and country can be just as exciting as overseas travel. My boyfriend and I have normal jobs and we travel all the time! We really enjoy getting to know our area. I used to be the type of person who would ONLY travel to another country. A few years ago I realized how much there is to see in the United States and I constantly find new treasures to explore. Not only that, it can be done inexpensively when you drive your own car and camp instead of stay in a hotel. Just because I have a job and my next overseas trip is not until next year doesn’t mean I have to stop traveling until then. Great post!

  4. Jeremy B says:

    Thanks for this post Amanda! This was awesome to read. So often, we are reading about the trips and adventures of bloggers and RTW enthusiasts. Yet, there are times when it is OK to stay home and not travel.

    I admire your courage to write and share this. However, I also want to encourage you – traveling doesn’t have to be about leaving the country to write about adventures. Explore towns or places close to your home. Write about those. Explore your own backyard – that is travel also.

    I just went hiking in Tahoe about an hour and a half from my house this weekend. It was a great adventure and so far removed from my daily life that it was exciting and refreshing (check it out on my site). So even if you can’t afford that vacation to an exotic destination, seeing places close to home can be fun, exciting, and worth writing about as well.

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks, Jeremy. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      And I’m all about traveling and exploring things closer to home. I’ve got a section on my site devoted to things I’m seeing and doing in Ohio (my home state), like country fairs, tractor square dances, and fun days at Cedar Point. There are plenty of cool things to do in Ohio, so long as you know where to look.

      I’m glad to hear that you’re doing the same thing!

  5. Alouise says:

    I’ve struggled with writing a travel blog and not traveling. And my next really big trip probably won’t be for a few years since I’ve just started my first (of four) years of university. And while I am a little jealous of everyone out on the blogosphere traveling around the world, I am also really inspired. And I always love hearing about a new destination I’d never really gave much though to before. Being a local traveler helps, especially if I can go somewhere I’ve never been, like a recent road trip to Banff.

    • Amanda says:

      Yeah, I definitely aim to take more inspiration out of fellow travel bloggers’ writings, as opposed to jealously. But, sometimes a bit of envy still manages to creep in. But hearing that others out there can relate is great to know!

  6. Michael says:

    Yeah, I can relate to that. I’m stuck in a gross job playing with body fluids right now in a lab and just waiting to break out. There’s not even a window in the place. I bring travel books, magazines, surf your guys blogs and look at all these places realizing that even though I know I will visit some of them its probably like 5% of the fantasy travels I’ve had…geesh!

  7. Emily S. says:

    Great post! I’m in the same boat… and it’s ridiculous to feel sorry for myself. I can’t travel far right now, but there’s plenty to explore right where I live.

    An inspiring blog!

    • Amanda says:

      I’m glad to have inspired you! And yes, it’s really no use feeling sorry for yourself. It’s a much better use of your time and energy to put those feelings to other uses – like vowing to explore the things you CAN see right now!

  8. Sarah says:

    I just wrote a post about this feeling!
    I’m so very jealous of my friends who are just embarking on their travels. It’s be great to be able to be happy for them while feeling no jealousy at all, but I’m just not that good of a person! I think once you’ve caught the travel bug it’s so very hard to be entirely content with staying at home…

    • Amanda says:

      I think you made a good point in your post — that, no matter how much you’ve seen or done, you always want more. It’s okay to be a little jealous, as long as you’re happy for and supportive of your friends, too!

  9. Gray says:

    I can relate to this, Amanda. I get travel envy a LOT reading other people’s blogs. But then I remind myself about the way so many other travel bloggers are traveling–backpacking, staying in hostels, using squat toilets–and I’m not at all jealous about that aspect of it. By the way, I support you in your mission to “rid the world of bad grammar and “there, their, they’re” confusion.” Rock on.

    • Amanda says:

      Yeah, I’m not sure I could be a hardcore backpacker, either. … And thanks for supporting my “mission”! Haha. Not sure it’s a realistic one, however…

    • I totally understand, Gray — I just moved out of a very old construction apartment into a new house, and just the act of using a nice shower is a dream! Better enjoy it while I can, because there won’t be any of that around the world!

  10. Annie says:

    I feel for you Amanda! I know how much it sucks to be stuck at home, back from an amazing adventure and unsure and unable to get back on the voyage!

    Hang in there! You are every bit a travel blogger and traveler as anyone else out there, you have seen some amazing things and there is much to come! Keep up the good work, I love your blog!!!

  11. Andi says:

    Such an honest post!!! I agree, you can ALWAYS travel at home. People forget to keep exploring once they’re home. Just the other day I went for a bike ride and found a restaurant that I had never seen before and I’ve lived here for 3 years. I’m going to try it Saturday. :)

  12. Poi says:

    Great post – I love your writing style! and sorry if we are one of the people making you jealous but it sounds as though you have it all figured out in your head!

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks, Poi! And yes, you two are definitely making me jealous right now, but at the same time I’m so happy that you’re getting to see the world, and I’m loving reading all about your adventures!

  13. Amen, sister! I too am a stuck-at-home travel blogger. I basically just rely on my past experiences to furl my blog, but I constantly think about what I am going to do when I run out of interesting things to say.

    I totally get the feeling. In the meantime, keep up the good work!

  14. Candice says:

    I seriously feel like I wrote those post, I can identify with EVERY SENTENCE you wrote here. Geez. I sometimes feel bad for not being a RTW-er, but honestly, I want my warm comfty bed to return home to eventually. And a homebase. And my friends. Short-term travel suits me better.

    • Amanda says:

      Glad to know so many people can identify! And I know what you mean about wanting your own comfy bed and circle of friends to come home to. I’m totally with you on that!

  15. Kelly says:

    How timely! I’ve been home from my travels (living in NZ for 1.5 yrs, then backpacking in Thailand/Korea for 6 weeks) for just about five months now, and while I’ve a short jaunt planned for British Columbia (next week!) I know it’s just a tie-over until I can leave for longer again. Sadly, “again” wont happen for at least a year, so for now have to just accept that Im a traveller who is stuck at home.

  16. Jamie E. says:

    Hi Amanda,

    I was so happy to find this post. I empathize, as I too yearn to travel more, but at the same time, I want things like a car, a place of my own, a 401k (eek, how adult), etc. Even going further with that, I’m sure there are people out there who are limited further by things like having small children, having an illness or handicap, having fears and anxieties, or simply a lack of funds… but who all still want to travel in some way.

    I actually ended up starting a blog to address this very issue (tinytravel.wordpress.com), with the idea that travel close to home is also travel, and can be as meaningful and fun as travel to some exotic foreign destination. I think exploring things close to home is often overlooked, and in my mind, does count as “real travel.”

    Anyway, good luck, and happy local travels. :o)

  17. Dominique says:

    There is a lot I can relate to in this post!
    RTW travel is not an option for me at this point, but there really is a lot to see and do much closer to home (Detroit area for me).
    Sharing my closer-to-home adventures became the basis for my own blog when I started it 2+ years ago. I write a lot about travel in Michigan, and a good number of my stories are about Ohio destinations. I’ve yet to run out of ideas for things to write about, or new things to do around the Midwest.

  18. Dan Collins says:

    Awesome post! Gives me relief from knowing that I’ll be stuck at home for some time soon too! Oh well…. OHIO!

  19. Mitch says:

    I often feel this way myself–I wish I would have thought to start my blog while I was away but I find myself writing about past travels–and while this is no less valid its easy to be frustrated and inspired at the same time by those who are currently on the road! So for now I too am concentrating on exploring my own back yard.

  20. Mich says:

    I am glad to stumble your blog and this posting. All I say was: my sentiments exactly. Although you can’t have enough planning for the next trip.

    Thank you!

  21. Aaron says:

    Great post! I’ve also found that being home gives you a great opportunity to reflect on your experiences. And, as you said, it’s a fantastic opportunity to explore your own hometown. I’ve done a whole lot of exploring here in the U.S. too! I think when you’re “grounded” at home, it forces you to find ways to fill your wanderlust.

  22. GV says:

    Great blog. It’s cool that you can come up with so many ideas to write about when you’re not traveling. I’m not currently traveling either, but instead sitting at home working on creating a difference type of website. Not too exciting. lol

    (theglobalvagabond.net)

  23. So true Amanda, I hope you get back to your own adventures soon, but in the meantime, try to look at home as your “travel destination” Check out our latest post on the subject :)

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