Angsty Thoughts on Travel Blogging

Wow, I’ve really sucked at posting lately, and I’ve been trying to figure out why.  And I think it comes down to this: considering what’s all going on in the world, me writing about wonderful trips with Andrew feels embarrassingly self-indulgent.  I feel guilty for having an enjoyable life, and ignorant in the fact that I’m saying precious little about the highly complex, utterly sad and scary situations that are playing out in the world with increasing ferocity.  I feel like a bumbling idiot for focusing on anything other than these very real, very important issues.

beatles

Doing nerdy, happy things, like posing for photos in front of George Harrison’s boyhood home.

Just my guilt and angst were reaching a fever-pitch, I stumbled across this post by the Everywherist, who is probably my favourite blogger.  Basically, she puts the question out there — what’s the role of a travel blog in a world such as ours?  And her amazing readers replied in a very exquisite way.  This is the benefit of reading through archives — the responses are already there for me to check out.

Their response?  That sometimes we need a break from the pain and chaos.  Sometimes we need to know that there can still be fun and enjoyment in the world.  And true love.  Not to stick our heads in the sand, but more for a reprieve, before we dive back into addressing the more difficult things.

This reminds me of something one of my very most dearest friends said to me once.  She was single at the time, and called me out on never telling her anything about my happy marriage.  I was avoiding it, because it wasn’t her truth at the time, so I just wasn’t going there.  I was staying quiet about my happiness.  One day, she told me that she knew what I was doing — she knew I was happily married, and that I wasn’t talking to her about my joy.  She told me she wanted to hear about the good things in my life.  She needed to know she lives in a world where this kind of thing is still a reality.  Where loyal, joy-filled romantic relationships still exist and even thrive.

water

Exploring the Amazon jungle, smiling at the simple things… like not getting eaten by a caiman, or falling into piranha-infested waters .

And maybe this applies to travel blogs, too.  If you want to know about the harsh reality of many aspects of our world, that information is definitely available and as a thinking member of society, you’re probably digesting these very difficult things all the time.  And maybe you want to balance it out a little bit with some happy reality, too.  Or maybe no one reads this anyway and I just need to do this for myself.  To tell myself about my own reality, which actually is happy, and I can spend some time thinking about that.  And anyway, I think that if life has taught me anything, it’s that life has a way of throwing plenty of sadness and difficulty your way eventually anyway — you know, the inevitability of death and all that.  And maybe it’s okay if, even just for the sake of our own sanity, to sit up, look around, and say, “You know what?  Right now, for the time being, things are amazing in my life.  Here’s what I’m appreciating…” and then actually talk about that.  Think about that.  And dwell on some happiness.

walk

Me & my love, strolling back to our accommodation in Rome, after a full day of exploring.

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2 responses to “Angsty Thoughts on Travel Blogging

  1. Beautiful post. That is EXACTLY what your blog (and nearly all other feel-good blogs) are about. I remember after 9/11 that when “Friends” was coming back, the actors were quoted as to saying they didn’t know if they should return to television just a week or two after the attacks. But, fans bombarded them with messages saying that they needed the show as a reprieve and a chance to laugh and not think about death and destruction for 22 minutes.

    So, I just feel that if I wanted to read about terrorism or criminal activity or poverty or genocide or any other important world issue, I would search for that. But, when I want to take my mind off those issues–and there’s nothing wrong with that–I turn to blogs like yours. 🙂

    Like

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