This photograph was taken on the first day of this year in Shangri La (Dequin), China. I thought it would be fitting for my first post on my new blog. We were alone. A thousand sacred words written on flapping prayer flags on top of the hill at Chicken Temple, the only sound. The light danced across the valley towards the start of the Himalaya. I am so thankful to have experienced and to be able to share moments like these.
My aim for this blog is to create a space where I could put links to my portfolio of travel writing and photography for others to see. To indulge my curiosity in culture, characters, food and scenes. Maybe tickle the senses by discussing local food specialities or random festivals. I want to note my thoughts and share information about travel, travel writing and the travel industry. Things that affect me or that I find interesting, intriguing, beguiling or just plain disgusting.
Essentially, I want this to be a resource to those who share the same passion for travel that I do. Sometimes writing about travel services such as guesthouses, hotels, cafes, restaurants, galleries; other times the process of travel writing such as brainstorming, researching, editing, pitching and publishing or the place itself. Basically, to have the freedom to be creative without the editorial constraints.
I want to share with you the things I find cool when I travel. The things I can’t share with you in the guidebooks I write. Take this scene from the Aleppo souq. It’s two in the afternoon and this man’s asleep at his shop. It’s a cane shop. And they certainly look like nice canes. But that’s not the point. I can’t write about a cane shop in a guidebook. Who wants to buy canes? – Lara Dunston Cool Travel blog
I noticed on the latest TBEX survey that 43.7% of travel bloggers don’t earn any money from blogging. The main motivation they gave was to provide travel tips. Third on the list of motivations was the ability to gain more freelance travel writing assignments. For many writers like me, a place to write that is not policed by an editor might be motivation enough. As Nicholas Gill says in an interview with Tim Leffel
“The beauty of the web is the writer really can be in control. It’s more important now than ever to build your own audience and think long term.”
Why do you blog? What is your motivation? Do tell!
There is an interesting blog post on this topic at Perceptive Travel
Tom Haskins detailed four distinct blog types of writers and where their motivations lie