2012 Best New Travel Blogs

2012 Best New Travel Blogs

If I had a dollar for every travel blog out there I’d be able to pay off the US National Debt.  If you wander the internet you”ll find a wide range of genres, including the personal diary (“today I learned the meaning of the phrase, ‘never trust a fart'”), to the story tellers (“it wasn’t long after getting kicked in the head that I regretted my decision to try Muay Thai while drinking…”), to the, wow-look-at-how-cool-I-am, (“yet again, I did yet another thing that you will never do…”). As travelers ourselves, we find a lot of useful and relevant information on these blogs, especially the round-the-world (RTW) blogs.

Every month people plan, start and finish RTW trips, making the RTW blogosphere an ever changing place.  While the sites in the lower right-hand corner of this site have been long-time favorites, we’re interested in the following these “new” blogs of travelers who have recently departed or will soon.  I believe they represent the creme de le creme of the new travel blogs..

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VIDEOGRAPHERS WITH A MISSION

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Video is the highest art form.  Before you start mailing me hate paintings, hear me out.  Video combines writing, sound, motion and imagery.  I’m not discounting other art forms, it’s just that making an interesting and watchable video is very difficult.  Shooting the footage itself is only a small part of making a great video.  I am excited to see these travelers bring us videos along with their social missions to connect, learn and interact with other cultures.

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Since the 18th century wooden barrels in Post Office Bay of Floreana Island served as the Galapagos’ Post Office.  The idea was simple: drop your letter in a wooden barrel, no postage necessary, sailors heading in your letter’s direction would pick it up and hand deliver it for you.  I picked up a few letters myself while passing through in 2006, intending to hand deliver them, but my good intentions were weak, so I sent them snail mail.

Capitan and Clark are not me though, they picked up 22 letters and plan to hand deliver them as they travel around the world (read story here).  Clearly one of the best ideas for a RTW trip out there.  It will be fun to watch the videos and read stories of their unpaid courier mission.  I hope they are able to find the letters recipients…but not without a few harrowing adventures along the way…

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Global Encounter isn’t your traditional RTW team. First, seeing two men on a RTW trip together is about as rare as meeting a talking lion.  They are a welcome change for the RTW circuit composed of couples, individuals and female duos. Second, they’re from Texas.  Third, they intend to educate others about traveling and different cultures through educational programs such as an affiliation with Cook’s Children’s Medical Center.  Combining these things makes this a worthy trip to follow.

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PRE-TRIP BLOGGERS

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The new crop of travel bloggers have started well prior to starting their trip.  It has given the world a glimpse into the life changes, saving and planning required to take a RTW trip.  I think this is useful for people that are considering a RTW but don’t know where to get started.  God knows our pre-departure planning wasn’t all that interesting…we left roughly six months from deciding to do it, looked in our closets and asked, “what’s going with us?”  “OK, everything else gets packed, sold or given away.”  Thankfully, these couples are much more thoughtful and articulate…

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At a VC group I worked for there was a saying, “you can’t criticize a company name until you name one yourself.”  It was short for saying that branding is damn hard work.  After naming a NewCo, designing a logo is a horribly difficult task.  How do you convey what you’re about, in a tiny graphic?  Two Oregonians knocked it out of the park with a logo that says it all: where they are from and where they’re going.

They have exciting plans for their trip including crossing the Atlantic by sea, working at a Spanish culinary school and spending time in my favorite part of the world, Patagonia.  Being a social worker and landscape architect by trade, I am excited to hear their personal and professional thoughts on the places they visit.

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I’ve had the opportunity to meet many wealthy and successful people in life and have always tried to ask, “what lead you to starting X company or inventing Y?”  Several people have told me, “getting laid off…it was the best thing that ever happened to me.”  May that be G’s future as he heads off to travel as half of GQ Trippin after being laid off.  Taking the long way to a wedding in Hawaii, they are traveling through Asia, Australia and New Zealand.  Looking forward to hearing their stories and experiences from many of the countries we visited this year.

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If the early bird gets the worm, Kim and Brian can look forward to a feast!  Having been blogging at So Many Places for a year now, they have been online as long us, yet haven’t even left yet.  Thankfully they have produced a lot of useful content for the prospective RTWer, including details on how they have saved, planned and budgeted.  It will be fun to watch the evolution from desk jockeys to full-time travelers.

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I highly respect that Two Travelholics is blogging anonymously prior to resigning from their jobs.  This is the only professional way to blog prior to leaving and will pay dividends to them in goodwill and references.  I realize many people considering traveling around the world are more excited about the trip than their current lives, but I am appalled by the number of people that blog from work, about work, or their plans to quit, while still employed.

I enjoy their off-the-cuff style of writing and think it’s more genuine and appealing than the sterile writing on many blogs.  That’s my opinion, but maybe that’s because I’d rather do Epic Shit than try to write a politically correct travel blog.

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THE TRIP OF THE YEAR: Traveled Earth

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There is a somewhat spoken rule in the travel blogging community not to judge people’s itineraries as any trip is great.  Sure…but some trips are way cooler than others.  The reality is that, LivingIF included, most RTW trips hit the same backpacker trails and stay in Thailand about twice as long as anyone should.  This is probably due to awareness and the fact that many RTWers get inspiration and travel tips from each other.  It’s hard to get excited about a place that you know very little about, or where travel is difficult, but were completely floored by unplanned, unknown destinations Myanmar and the Philippines (read our reactions upon arrival).

To make a long story short, if you’re going to quit your job and travel the world, I believe you should go to places that either are too far or require too much time to visit during a normal vacation.  Thankfully the duo at Traveled Earth seem to agree, creating a jealousy inducing itinerary including some places Madagascar and Papua New Guinea.  In the LivingIF spirit of living a great “what if?” our hats off to Traveled Earth, we love following your journey!

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Comments

» Tawny- Captain and Clark :
Jan 2, 2012

What a great list! We have followed most of the travel blogs that you mentioned, but have also found some new ones that we’re eager to explore. Thank you for including us. We are so honored and humbled!

» Bohemian Trails :
Jan 2, 2012

Great list and congrats to all! Maybe we will make the list next year :)

thinkCHUA Reply:

We enjoy and follow Bohemian Trails, didn’t quite fit with the group of bloggers (we featured pairs traveling continuously, kicking off or recently started). We’ve got another feature that we hope you participate in coming up!

» Gerard ~ GQ trippin :
Jan 2, 2012

Thanks for including us guys! Glad to be in great company! Cheers to an exciting 2012 to all!

» Kim :
Jan 2, 2012

Thanks for including us on this fabulous list, we’re thrilled to start sharing our travel stories in 2012.

» Wrabbit007 :
Jan 4, 2012

Ah, to live the dream and just wander the Earth! How I wish I could. However, I will probably just live vicariously through the RTW trips of others. Great list – I found some new blogs to follow and glean inspiration from.

I myself write a blog about your typical everyday person who longs to travel, except I have made myself a travel bucket list and am attempting to fulfill it while still balancing a satisfying job and happy family, and doing some home renos now and then. If you ever compile a list about travel blogs like that, check mine out!
downthewrabbithole.blogspot.com

LOCAVORista Reply:

Thanks for sharing your travel blog and glad you found the list inspiring, they should be lots of fun to follow.

» Wrabbit007 :
Jan 4, 2012

Ah, to live the dream and just wander the Earth! How I wish I could. However, I will probably just live vicariously through the RTW trips of others. Great list – I found some new blogs to follow and glean inspiration from.

I myself write a blog about your typical everyday person who longs to travel, except I have made myself a travel bucket list and am attempting to fulfill it while still balancing a satisfying job and happy family, and doing some home renos now and then. If you ever compile a list about travel blogs like that, check mine out!

» Mike Lenzen | Traveled Earth :
Jan 8, 2012

As other’s have said, great list, and thanks for including us!

» Sightseeing Helsinki :
Jan 24, 2012

Nice list, spent nearly an hour at GQ Trippin.. :)

» Sightseeing Helsinki :
Jan 24, 2012

Nice list, spent almost an hour at GQ Trippin… :)

LOCAVORista Reply:

Sightseeing Helsinki, they are all great sites that we obviously recommend and I reckon you could spend a half day on each site and be entertained.

» Finola :
Feb 19, 2012

Travel blogs that I’ve not yet come across – thanks for the info – keen to get reading in earnest. Maybe you’ll pop by my blog at some point too :-)

thinkCHUA Reply:

Thanks Finola, glad you came across us. Hopefully Australia is treating you well, we loved it! Let us know if you’ll be in India this year, maybe we’ll cross paths.

» apartments in rio :
Apr 11, 2012

Loved your blog .. lots of useful information. I also have one about Rio de Janeiro. The ever changing story of where I happen to be. Heavy on pictures, heavy on travel, these are my impressions as I live half the year in Brazil and half the year in Houston.

» 100 places to visit :
Aug 15, 2012

Great list thanks for sharing these, our list of great travel blogs to follow just keeps growing
Read 100 places to visit’s awesome post G Adventures Promo Discount Codes – August & September

Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems
as though you relied on the video to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just
posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something enlightening to
read?
Read Bring The Fresh Review Kelly Felix’s awesome post Bring The Fresh Review Kelly Felix

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About the Author

thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.

About the Author
thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.
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