Before I had a blog, travel was a hobby. I would take a few short trips a year with friends, usually no more than five days. That’s not including the 3 weeks I had in Canada and New York in 2013 but that was a once in a lifetime thing. Or so I thought at the time. As the same with most, I initially started blogging to document my travels. To remember the little things that you forget in time. Since then, my relationship to travel has changed.

It feels less of a hobby now. Maybe that is because I travel more often and take longer trips. Or maybe it’s because, in terms of a “normal career”, I have no idea what I’m going to do with my life, so I am focusing all my energy on seeing the world. Either way, blogging has changed how I travel. It has changed how I approach a trip. It has made me more adventurous in my destinations and more adventurous in my experiences. I am more driven to fill my time in a new place to the brim and make as many memories as I can.

I look back on that trip to Canada back in 2013

My first long haul flight. My first solo flight. I said goodbye to my parents at the gate, braved it through security, and tried my best to repack my hand-luggage with my uncooperative, shaking hands. I was emotional and scared out of my mind. Not knowing the etiquette of long haul flights, I refused all (free) drinks offered to me assuming they were extortionate. I was nervous talking to the flight attendants because English wasn’t their first language, and even if it was, they would still struggle to understand my Scottish accent. God forbid I would have to repeat myself! Basically I was very shy and quiet and the least assertive person you would ever meet.

travel

I take for granted how comfortable I am with travelling now. Sometimes I am sitting on a plane, literally flying through the air in a metal box, and I may as well be on a bus going into town. It’s such a drastic change from the nervous 21-year-old I was four years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my moments. I stress about not knowing what to expect from a new destination. If I don’t know what I am walking into, my mind starts to convince me it will be a maze that I will never find my way out of.

Have a Little Courage

When I was sitting in Schipol airport, waiting to board my flight to China, I remember looking up at the departures board and seeing a flight for Glasgow. “I could just go home. I don’t have to do this. Why the fuck am I going to China?!” I don’t know if I thought that I would step out of Beijing International into rural China, or if I was just scared of the massive language barrier I would about to be hit with. Low and behold, everyone I spoke to in Beijing Airport spoke English! I walked out of the arrivals gate, headed over to the TAXI sign, showed the driver the address and off I went. Simple.

Would I have even had the courage to go to China without the online travel blog community I have become a part of this past year? I honestly don’t think so. I had never even considered Asia as a travel destination before because the thought of it terrified me. But being part of this amazing community, and reading all these incredible blogs from all over the world about travellers jetting off, fearlessly into the unknown has been inspiring. “I could do that. It doesn’t seems that scary”. Hey presto, a year later I’m in China.

hiking the great wall of china

In 12 days I fly off to Australia on a one way ticket. To understand the gravity of that, I have been talking about this since I was 12 years old. Moving to Australia has always been my travel endgame. I say endgame, because I never thought in a million years I would do it this soon. I would plan it out and tell myself ‘one more year’ but I always knew I was lying to myself. But again, being introduced to a fountain on travel blogs this past year, moving to Australia for a year seems so common it’s almost expected of travellers these days. I 100% believe it has given me the push I needed to take the leap myself. While I did wait for my friends to be able to come with me, I am actually doing it!

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined” – Henry David Thoreau

Blogging has also made me appreciate Scotland more.

I’ve always loved Scotland and thought it was a beautiful country. But the desire to travel is, whether intentional or not, the desire to get away from home. Away from the familiar. I will admit, it was mainly to get more content for my blog, but I have seen more of Scotland this past year than I have my entire adult life. I’ve hiked mountains and visited cute little towns, been a tourist in the capital city as well as my own. And I’ve come to realise that I bloody love it here! It really is the most beautiful country in the world and I will always call it home.

travel

Knowing this has given me a new-found freedom to stop looking for where I am going to live my life and just start enjoying it. I have no career plans. I have no financial ties to Scotland right now. This is the opportune time to set out and see the world. Why work away my life and save all my money just to live comfortably in a life I don’t want right now. Or better yet, not ready for. Why buy a house or a flat at 25 years old unless you know you will be happy living in that one place for the foreseeable future? Regardless of whether I end up back here and set up my life, or settle somewhere abroad, knowing I have my family here to come back to is a massive support.

Blogging has sparked a different kind of love of travel. I live for it. I can’t imagine a life without travel. After my year in Australia, who knows what’s going to happen. Will I stay another year? Will I come home? Or will I just carry onto my next destination until I’ve seen them all?

The unknown still scares me. But it excites me so much more.

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu

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Blogging has definitely affected how I travel. I appreciate it more now and aim to make the best of every experience. To truly SEE the world!

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41 thoughts on “How Blogging Has Changed How I Travel”

  1. I agree with the not needing to have a house but it gets tricky. I bought a small place and carried on tour leading but could barely afford to keep it without being away working ! Became an expensive wardrobe – but rented it out to someone who looked after it better than I 😃
    Prior to that I had stuff scattered among parents, friends houses (a dismembered life !)
    Good on yer- I’d do almost anything to get away from Glasgow 😂😂

  2. I loved this so much! Don’t know why my eyes got a bit misty reading this. 😂
    I feel you really captured that feeling of wanting to see the world, but also the anxious feelings that accompany the unknown.
    Can’t wait to see your adventures in Australia! 😊

  3. I understand how you feel about Scotland after you have traveled so much. I feel the same way about Yorkshire, I love to travel and get away but I have the most beautiful part of the world to come home to! And since I started blogging I’ve seen so much more of Yorkshire than my whole life before it!

  4. Such a great article! I’ve only been blogging about travel for about a year, but it really has changed how I travel and see things. And I totally agree with it just naturally making you more adventurous and wanting to see all kinds of different locations.

  5. It is true, travel changes you but I also find that travel changes over time. I always like to go back to a destination a few years later to see what has changed and how you have changed as well.

  6. Shieeeeettttt Chiera, this is a fantastic post!

    So much of what you so eloquently explained here hit home for me. The idea that travel, battling the language barrier, guiding ourselves around new places, and dealing with culture shock have all become “normal” to us is actually amazing. I hadn’t thought of that for a while before reading this.

    I think that your point about the support and motivation from the online travel community is on point as well. Would I have ever thought of going to the Caucasus earlier this year without the community? Maybe. Would I have been comfortable and prepared as I was? Definitely not. I mean, we weren’t that prepared, but thanks to bloggers and writers around the world, we knew how to get around the region. That meant we didn’t stress over the idea of huddling into a raggy 30-year old transporter van “minibus” to get from A to B.

    Great post as usual, cheers!

  7. I love this post! You could not be more true on these fine point from being a nomad and long term traveller. I agree its also made me realise how much I appreciate home more since being away almost 6 years! I think blogging makes you think just a little more about your adventures and places you encounter,

  8. It’s amazing to hear how much your travel experiences have transformed since that first brave step. I have no doubt you will inspire many others who feel scared to travel alone – you go girl!

  9. Great thoughts. I think the main way that blogging has changed travel for me is that I reflect a bit more on everything. Marinate in the adventures and come up with stories and lessons that I can share. I love it!

  10. Oooohh I love this post so much!! I’m very much the same as you now, with the whole plane feeling like a bus thing. It’s mad isn’t it?! I’m off to India next week and someone in work asked how long the flight is – I told them and they were all “oh wow that’s so long, I’d hate that” and I was so confused. I was thinking “what are you talking about, 12 hours is nothing”. (Also, I was exactly the same as you on my first long-haul! Drank nothing but water the whole way because I was too cheap to *pay*)
    You’re my idol for actually flying off to Oz! I remember first reading your blog months ago and you mentioned it in passing – can’t believe it’s come around so fast!! :O

  11. Whoa, this post hit close to home. I know the feeling of all the changes over the years and I certainly can’t wait to see your adventures in Australia, as that is still my endgame!

  12. One gets blasé, for sure. My first big trip, I arrived at LAX and it was all new and scary. All the tiny details of being in a different country assumed a massive importance. Nowadays, I know the layouts of a dozen American airports, have my favourite shops and seats, feel right at home..

    Blogging adds a new dimension, I guess I’ve always blogged, one way or another, but instead of just cruising through a new experience, I’m making notes, taking photographs, juggling headlines in my mind. Keeps my eyes open, I guess.

    Picked the right time to leave Scotland for Australia; you’ll miss the drear Scots winter, and have a warm Australian summer. Hope you are planning on staying in the southern states; it gets hot and muggy north of the Tweed until about April.

    After Australia, the real jewel in the Southern hemisphere is New Zealand. I love that lovely little country, and there’s places like Dunedin and Invercargill and Oban, where you’ll feel right at home!

  13. Great post and perspective! I totally agree with your sentiments, blogging has changed how I travel, too! It’s really interesting to look back on recent years and see how it’s changed us as people 🙂

  14. I’m so happy you are living out your dream of living in Australia! I’m a firm believer of speaking dreams into existence. Blogging has made me a more observant traveler.

  15. It is great to see all the positive ways Blogging has helped you grow as a traveler! Traveling to the unknown can always be a bit nerve wracking even with a ton of travel experience until your feet touch the ground! Good luck in OZ!

  16. Hei Chiera! I totally feel you. Being part of a community such as travel bloggers, or more generally backpackers or travellers definitely makes a difference. My family and friends are now kinda used to my adventures. Back in my early 20s though, I also moved to Oz and then came back the long way (overland around South East Asia) and my folks felt like it was the most adventurous, hazardous and unconventional choice ever! 😀 Then you start to travel and discovers that there are thousands of young people like you around the world, with a similar vision. That’s when you find your tribe and actually redefine the boundaries of what’s challenging and what’s not.
    Anyway, I’m pretty sure you’re now all set up for your Australian move, but here my series about how to settle in Oz: https://www.junglexploring.com/moving-to-australia-5-steps-to-nail-your-gap-year/
    On my blog you will also find some stories about my Australian experiences such as tractor driver, station cook and 4wd adventures in general. Safe travels!! You will love Australia! Gonna follow you on Insta!

  17. Blogging does really change a way we travel! In my case, I wouldn’t say it’s for the best though ( I’m obsessed with taking photos for Instagram, spend hours researching beautiful spots for photos and don’t really have time to enjoy the place at all…It’s been better before 😀

  18. It’s great when you lose the fear and just go for it. I like how scared you were to Exit the airport once in China, and it’s certainly societal norms that have programmed us to be AFRAID of things that are different, places too, people especially. But look at you living and loving your life and your relationship to TRAVELING the world. beautiful!

  19. I’d really love to visit the Great Wall of China. You’ve been on some adventures but your story is only just beginning. Glad you had the courage to go out and live your dream.

  20. What a beautiful post. Sometimes we just have to remind ourselves to have courage to board that plane, buy the ticket, jump into the river and just trust that it will be amazing, even if we can’t see it right away. I think it’s awesome how much we learn to appreciate our homeland when we’re constantly writing about it. It’s like, wow, this really IS an amazing place!

  21. I feel so related to this! Sometimes I ask myself why I am traveling, or why I am blogging. But I’ve noticed that, both of them have become essential in my life and that I need them complementing each other. Its just part of who I am.

  22. Very nice insight! For us, blogging inspired us to go traveling and engaging in adventures even more. When our readers show their appreciation, use the information in our blog posts to plan out their own sojourns, email us for advice, etc., all these interactions made us realize that we are helping people pursue their passions in our own small way. That is truly an honor.

  23. Hey fellow Scot!! I come from the other side though (Edinburgh) but most of my family live outside Glasgow, scattered through ayrshire, renfrew, paisley etc. Cannot relate more – it wasn’t until we left for the undetermined future that we really started to realise how damn lucky we are to have Scotland as a home to come back to. It has my heart a million times over. We’re actually going to be back over the Christmas/NY period! Would love to have a meet up with you if you aren’t off in Aus! 🙂 Love from Vietnam.

  24. Great post – I feel a lot the same way about traveling and blogging and how it’s changed me, my perspective, and my outlook. Good luck in Australia!

  25. Blogging has opened our eyes to the wonder that is traveling. Being able to read someone’s stories of there journey and off the beaten path tales expands our horizons on travel. We owe a lot to blogging. If we never read any blogs we wouldn’t know half the information we did about our trips to Africa or Europe.

  26. Great post. I can totally relate to this one. Travel was a hobby for me too before I started blogging. Blogging does make my travel interesting and adventurous. The best part is, thanks to blogging I now have more knowledge about the places and countries I visit.

  27. Thanks for sharing. Blogging has definitely changed the way I travel for sure. I’m more aware of my experiences and I now have a way to preserve these experiences.

  28. It is so true that traveling solo and for longer periods of time changes everything- and you grow so much and become such a capable and different kind of traveler after dealing with every kind of thing that can happen on the road… and blogging ( especially if it’s a job) pushes you to do more and different things than if you were just on a vacation.

  29. As cheesy as it sounds – everything starts with a single decision! I completely understand learning to appreciate the familiar. I have so much more love for my hometown than I ever thought I would. With that said though, I don’t think I could go back to staying in one place for too long.

  30. You are right blogging does change your entire perspective of travel. We have been traveling extensively before we actually started blogging and can see a marked difference in our outlook. We seem to see things in a new light and also have become appreciative of our experiences and like to havemore immersive travel experiences.

  31. Love that you are so honest about career plans when many people are just out to judge! I just want travel until I run out of money and then I’ll figure out what to do with my life! Love it. #gltlove

  32. Great post! I think you definitely consider different things and travel differently when you’re also trying to concentrate on creating content! But the travel blogging community is awesome and definitely gives us a push when we need it!

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