Rekindling authentic travel writing: Dive into a candid reflection on the state of modern travel blogging and discover a renewed commitment to genuine storytelling, free from the shackles of trends and likes.
Travel Writing 2022
Why haven’t I been writing about travel in the past while? A question I have been asked relatively, well, a lot lately. It is not because I haven’t been traveling, I have actually travelled quite a bit in the past year. The truth behind it is I have been so uninspired with it all. The travel bloggers and writers I used to follow with admiration have, for the most part, all succumb to the pressure of writing for likes and current trends rather than focusing on their creative style. I, however, would rather continue to write and fail as long as I do not have to join the wave of travel writing bullshit being plastered over the internet like North Korean propaganda. This is my first article in a long time, I hope you enjoy it.
What you Want to Hear, What you Need to Hear
“10 Tips to make you as successful as me!” Like a plague, titles like this accelerate to the top of your query as desperation sets in. Why is no one reading my travel guides? Why don’t people care? These are a few realities of what you as an eager travel blogger might be saying.
If you have continued reading this far congratulations, you’re about to hear something you might not want to hear. The travel blogging industry is dead, wait… I think the majority of travel bloggers have already written this post including myself? Except they lure you in with this clickbait bullshit and then drop their optimistic plot twist revealing that it’s not actually dead, it’s just changing, and with their top ten tips you can change with it becoming just as successful as mommy and daddy’s hard earned pay cheque made them.
Well, I can assure you, my plot twist is not this. Why is travel blogging dead? It is dead because it no longer carries the soul it once had. It lacks character, it’s mundane, it’s all mirrored after whoever at that moment is deemed “successful”. No one, or very few are writing from their heart anymore, they are simply writing to get viewers and thus “free shit”.
This, my friends, is the harsh reality of our world. Do not fret, all of us have been subject and lured in by the sirens to drink their kool-aid and join the occult. But just like most cults there can be a silver lining, we can learn from our mistakes.
I will not be writing in the old ways, I will be writing when I want about what I want, reciting this mantra, and indoctrinating myself back into what I believe is the correct path. We are the revolution my friends, the ones who stand up and say “No, I won’t buy into the NFT world, No I won’t stand in front of beautiful scenery with my ass out, and no I won’t rewrite another post about Nusa Penida”
Where in the World to Travel 2022
Since the pandemic travel has not been the same. It is difficult to write about it when it’s almost impossible to experience the world in it’s natural rhythm. Now, the struggle has been ever more present, especially in developing countries. Conversations that usually consisted of cultural aspects tend to now be about when will restrictions be lifted or how the economy has gone onto the shitter. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but this is yet another reason for my absence in the writing world. Not because I care about what anyone has to say, but because I have simply been so uninspired.
The world to some degree is beginning to feel some normalcy again, I recently came back from trips to Iraq and Egypt which gave me deep cultural and historical insights into these ancient nations. I also ventured across the Mediterranean making stops in Italy and Greece. I ventured deep into parts of these countries I had always skipped past as I was in a hurry to be in the remote and unknown areas of the world.
So, where in the world can an inspiring travel writer even travel these days? You can google it and I am sure a self-indulged know it all Instagrammers can flash you photos of their “unique” experience globe-trotting all while financed on the backs of their parents, oh wait! I mean the profitable NFT market.
No, unfortunately, the world is still not back to normal, almost all destinations are subject to random closures, restricted visas, and a lot of paperwork just to sit your ass down on the beach. Still, want to travel? Then I highly recommend you do! Just not on the advice of influencers.
How to Become a Travel Writer in 2022
You have it here folks, I am about to spill the secret formula, the wisdom of ages to all the upcoming influencers and writers alike. Step 1: Start with NFTs and Reels….. no, I am just fucking with you.
In the early days when gifted bloggers like Matthew Kepnes started his blog “Nomadic Matt”, most were writing to just make sense of what they were seeing. The world felt new to us to the unexplored and uninitiated. Some gave tips on how they could sneak into “no go” regions or made humorous posts about “where is the best beer in Bangkok”.
My point is, that no one was writing, in the beginning, to get ahead or be “famous” for that matter. We just wanted to share what we were experiencing, not to give a guide so you too could relive an exact play-by-play of our adventures. Then, something happened. Many lost touch with what travel writing was and then it became an industry in which even myself are all guilty of drinking the Kool-Aid.
Now, the industry has had a hard reset. All that remains in the smoldering ashes are the privileged few who are grasping onto the pre-pandemic world. So how would one become a travel writer or blogger these days? Simple, start traveling and writing about your experience, not your expertise.
Who Cares About Travel Guides?
Ok this is where I will most likely contradict myself, but yes, travel guides are incredibly important, hell I use them daily while traveling. The point is, there are already millions of them. Whether you are a traditionalist and stick to Lonely Planet or look for a more recent account from a blogger who may or may not have just recently been to the destination you are planning to go.
We Don’t Need More Guides! There, I said it, a sin in the blogging industry. “I thought travel guides are good for SEO?”, let me tell you some pre-emptive truth-telling, SEO is complex, and the travel blogging industry is saturated and virtually dead. Why do I keep doing it? Because I enjoy it, that’s why.
What Do I Think About the Future of Travel Blogging?
Just like how the entire influencer world is trying to convince you to buy their NFTs and creative guides, I am optimistic. I feel this way because I am hoping that we as writers and creators can go back to doing what we loved, sharing experiences, capturing moments, and showing our own personal adventures, this is what travel was always about.
I implore you to do something new, to leave your comfort zone and discover a place all but unknown. Taste the food, practice the culture, and make new friends. Rather than thinking of how to become a Travel Blogger and think about what makes you happy while traveling, I can tell you from experience that slaving away taking photos so that I can get a free night’s stay in a hotel, is not it.
What’s Next for the Uncharted Backpacker?
Well, my friends, Uncharted Backpacker was always meant to just be an account for all my wildly bizarre travels into the unknown. I can tell you without a doubt I fully intend on delving into more unique destinations and many known places as well!
This year I have already traveled to Greece, Georgia, Iraq, Lebanon, Italy, and Egypt. I had many wonderful experiences and plenty of things to tell everyone about.
Stay fresh my friends!