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..
VIDEOGRAPHERS WITH A MISSION
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.
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…
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
THE TRIP OF THE YEAR: Traveled Earth
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!