Travel blogging has evolved into something more useful and important to how I spent my vacation. One reason is obvious. The internet has become more important in our lives each day. New gadgets have made the internet more accessible. Ipad, I-phone, and the expansion of wi-fi have made the internet mobile, and we can now get online almost anywhere. Then there are the social networking platforms like twitter, facebook, digg, and stumbleupon to name a few, which make it incredibly easy to pass along good information.
This is only part of the story. The internet, wordpress, and social networking have made it easier for bloggers to share their story, but it does fully explain why we have gained more of an audience.
In my opinion, the biggest reason for the increase in growth in travel blogs is due to a general fatigue in the alternative. It seems that in the past travel writing can be categorized in two extremes. On one extreme are writers who write for newspapers or magazines and fluff up a destination in order to promote. They write about gems, and diamonds in the rough, and paradises. This is not to put down that type of writing as there is a need and will always be a need for good writers to promote travel and inspire people to move about.
Then the other alternative is the negative side of travel. These are usually disaster reports from the media like tsunamis, riots, and murders. As Don Henley once said: “it is interesting when people die, we need dirty laundry.” News stories concerning travel usually only come to light when somebody dies. Millions of people travel and enjoy the stunning scenery from Halong Bay, Vietnam; however, many only hear about it when 12 tourists die there. Again, these types of reports are necessary because the public needs to be informed about events in order to learn and know about travel dangers.
Travel writers from Marco Polo to Bill Bryson and Paul Theroux have always been around and have provided an alternative, but they write books. When someone wants to really know what it is like to travel Africa they may not want to read a five hundred page book by Theroux called Dark Star Safari, although they should.
Travel bloggers have filled the void in knowledge of what it is really like to travel to a place and have created a center ground from the two extremes discussed above. Many who travel now want research before they go and attempt to get a feel of what a place is really like. Traditional travel writers that wax eloquent about a place might inspire one to go, but they do not get down to the crux of what it is like to experience a destination.
Travel bloggers have evolved to fill the niche. Blogs used to be a firsthand account of my vacation, but now there are some really savvy writers out there that expertly interweave their experiences with useful information on what a place is like and how to get there. They are like narrative Lonely Planet guides.
I get asked all the time for information on places I have never been to. I always advise people to read travel blogs. If I know of a blogger who covers the area I will pass that blog on. I had a friend travel to Colorado and was looking for some spots to camp. I gave him some tips of places I have been, but also pointed him to Jasons Travels. Another good source I recommend is Traveldudes, which is a database full of tips categorized by continent.
Anyone stumbling upon this post via twitter, SU, or facebook check out my travel blog remote control and change the channel to one of my favorite bloggers.
The goal of Traveling Ted TV is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then enter your email in the box to get email notifications for each new entry. Daily travel photos are excluded from your email in order to not flood you with posts. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).