The World of Travel Blogging in 2019

The World of Travel Blogging in 2019

The World of Travel Blogging in 2019

I was slow off the mark. I came across my first travel blog back in late 2012. I think it might have been Gary Arnt’s Everything Everywhere. That brought me to other blogs like Nomadic Matt, Goats on the Road, Expert Vagabond, Landlopers, Ott’s World and Johnny Vagabond.

“Wow, you can have your own blog, with your own domain!” For many years, as a hobby, I had a small blog on a shared hosting website. I had little traffic, infrequent comments, but had always enjoyed writing and posting my photos. It had never even occurred to me that I could get my own website.

In those days the best blogs were about story telling. They were travelogues and it was about these bloggers writing about their travel experiences, good and bad, around the world. Sometimes they were informative, sometimes inspiring, sometimes funny. I remember spending a lot of time reading other people’s blogs. Those other blogs were part of the reason that I decided to start my own blog…that and because by then I knew we would start our own travels around the world and I wanted a space to document it all.

I was late in the game by the time I actually got my blog up and running in 2013. But it was still a good time in the days of travel blogging. I made quite a few connections among other bloggers and I felt that there was a “travel community”. You could reach out for advice on either blogging or on travel information and people would normally be happy to help you out. I had zero social media experience and a few bloggers taught me the basics of Twitter and Stumbleupon (in the early years it was Stumbleupon that drove traffic to the website). I had zero technical knowledge and I can actually thank Matt from Nomadic Matt for referring me to his IT guy Chris (who still does all the background stuff on this site).

 

bbqboy at the airport

 

Over the years there’s been a lot of turnover in bloggers. I remember sometime in late 2014 hearing that Johnny Vagabond had died. He was the best story teller of all the travel bloggers and I haven’t come across any travel blogger that’s come even close to matching him (here’s a small sample. Somebody thankfully has kept his blog up and running). Many other travel bloggers quit blogging because they had to stop travelling for various reasons  – the most frequent one being that they ran out of money. I can’t tell you how many bloggers I’ve met who thought that blogging would make them rich.

Through the years I mostly kept up with the same circle of blogger friends. Over the last year however I’ve noticed quite a few of them dropping out of blogging. Most of them never had intentions of making money from their blog, it was more of a hobby and a way to connect with likeminded people. I’m not sure of all the reasons they dropped out but it’s always sad seeing people you’ve known for a long time fall off the face of the blogging world.

These bloggers have been replaced by an army of younger bloggers. I’d be curious to know how many bloggers use “Nomadic” or “Vagabond” as a name. I’m surprised nobody’s thought of using “Nomadic Mat” as a knockoff (“I have a magic carpet that takes me to all these fantastic destinations. I’m Nomadic Mat!”). Very few of them have gotten into the blogger game because they love blogging – they’ve gotten into it because they wanted to travel and because they see blogging as a way to fund their lifestyle. It’s a means to an end.

 

So it’s no surprise that the quality of travel blogging has declined precipitously over the years. I don’t know if people really write anymore. It’s all about lists: “Top 15 Places to see in Budapest”, “6 Things to do in Lisbon”. It doesn’t take much imagination or skill to write those posts. Things like “Walking around the Old Town” and “Buy fresh bread” (I have a story on that one) should never make it on a Top 10 list. Non-bloggers may wonder why bloggers write these kinds of posts. It’s about SEO and affiliate links. It’s about making money.

Don’t get me started on the influence of Instagram on travel blogging: the posing, the fakery, the “Best Instagram Spots in ____” posts. That’s a whole other post.

It’s all contributing to the vapidity of travel blogging.

 

Hello Kitty at the Keio Plaza hotel Tokyo

Promoting Hello Kitty in Tokyo. Ok, I never said I’m perfect….

 

What I used to like about blogging: the travelogue, is almost non-existent. People will write about places and things but I’d rather know about day-to-day experiences, interactions with people, and their feelings about a place. I want to know the issues they face as travellers and hear their opinions. Opinions on anything. I might not agree with it but at least it makes for interesting reading. There’s no opinion anymore in blogging and that’s really, really boring.

 

Related: Reasons why I don’t visit your blog

 

Many of the top bloggers 5 years ago are still the top bloggers now. I like Landlopers because Matt (yes, another Matt. There’s a lot of Matts with popular travel blogs) often has insightful thoughts on travel and blogging. I enjoy Goats on the Road because they cover a lot of Digital Nomad and blogging topics (and because they’re also Canadian). I also follow Never Ending Voyage because they are also long-term, full-time digital nomads. But I’ll admit that many of the top blogs – like most blogs in general – have gotten more boring with time. Today it’s all about those lists packed with affiliate links, or sponsored posts, or product and hotel reviews. There’s more blogs out there than ever before but it seems harder than ever to come across good reading material. And because there are so many blogs the good ones get lost in the numbers.

 

The Blogging Community? If you’re a reader with a question or another blogger who writes me a proper email asking me about something I’ll help you the very best I can. And if you leave a comment on the blog I’ll always reply (and I’ll check out your blog if you have one).

But these days the majority of emails I get are from people asking me for free links and guest posts (half don’t even address me by name, it’s usually “Hey there”). I get tons of people writing me about their SEO service, about writing a sponsored post for $50 (but they always promise to be repeat customers and bring me lots and lots of business) and from affiliates asking me to include them as an affiliate (just as I was writing this I received an email from an affiliate that specializes in body brushes. This is a travel blog. Doesn’t anyone read?).

The thing is that with all the bloggers out there blogging has become very competitive. People don’t really want to connect anymore, they want to get something for free to advance their own blog. That in turn makes you less willing to help out others.

The blogging community isn’t what it was 5 years ago. Or even 3 years ago…and that’s a shame.

 

***

How do I feel as a blogger today?

Things change and you have to adapt with the times. When I started “officially” blogging in 2013 it was as a hobby. I always kept it at the back of my mind that I might one day want to monetize but my philosophy was always that I wanted traffic and a community of people who read my blog before I ever went in that direction. Anything else was secondary.

It was earlier this year, when Lissette was “downsized”, that I officially started monetizing. That’s meant freelancing for newspapers, including affiliate links in posts, doing some sponsored posts, and joining Mediavine (the ads you see on the page). It’s just been 6 months but it’s already greatly subsidized our lifestyle.

In the beginning I really felt bad about running ads. I felt guilty. For 5 years I’ve written with no ads on the blog. But circumstances change. Every website runs ads these days, even CNN.

I do my best in trying to keep my posts interesting. 1. I don’t think posts with affiliate links have to be boring. They can be informative even with affiliate links. 2. Sponsored posts don’t have to be spammy. You can weave a storyline around the links to make them interesting (an example). 3. Mediavine is great and although ads show up on the page, you earn your monthly commission based on traffic. Which encourages you to write the kind of articles you want to write without thinking of selling something. Most readers have probably noticed that I’ve tried to post twice a week over the last 4 months and that I’ve written more personal and/or travel related stuff. I’ve written more about things I care about and that I think readers want to know. And part of that is because of Mediavine.

All I’m saying is that you can make money on your blog…but you still have control over what you publish and it doesn’t have to be boring or spammy. In the end it’s all about how much you enjoy blogging and what your blog means to you. 

The future of blogging and of this blog? Who knows. Some people say Vlogging (video blogs) are the future but I don’t believe that. Who’s got time to listen to someone ramble on for 20 minutes when you can scan through an article in about 2 – 3 minutes? I think there will always be people who prefer reading. As for this blog, we’ll have some changes coming up over the next couple of years. But it will always stay a travel blog even if there are tweaks in the way we travel.

 

Related: The Best and the Worst of Travel Forums

 

Ok, these are some of my views on the world of travel blogging in 2019. As a reader or blogger, give me your thoughts or opinions.

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The World of Travel Blogging in 2019

36 Comments

  1. Hard to maintain a good blog. You really have to be passionate about travel. I think many grow tired and lose the enthusiam. I used to enjoy driving and moving around. Now I’d rather just eat and relax. Don’t really care about museums and “attractions” anymore.

    I don’t know how you two manage to get excited about visiting the 100th museum or old building. It’s a credit to your passion for history and seeing things.

    1. Thank you very much Tom. Have to admit museums don’t excite us much. Has to be very special. But we still get excited about seeing new places. But you’re right, easy to grow tired and lose enthusiasm. Even happens to us time to time. I often mention that we slow travel…if it wasn’t for that we would be burnt out and sick of travel.

  2. Hi Frank, I’m a new reader, living in Japan.

    I’m, hands up, guilty of changing my blog – entirely – for the reader, not for myself. It is very timely that a post on Andy’s World Journeys directed me to this post today. I started a personal blog in 2008 (I had blogged in a professional capacity before that). But nowadays I just churn out data, and haven’t “blogged” since 2015. I have struggled with my decision, four years ago, to self host my blog. After self hosting I needed to make the money to cover the costs of self hosting and started to write “top ten” style and impersonal information posts rather than blog.

    Like you, at the start and for many years it was about the community and my blog was an online diary really. I’ve since deleted or unpublished most of the blog posts on my website because quite frankly they just weren’t getting read anymore. It is the boring mechanical posts that get the most traffic nowadays. And the only community I have left now is Andy! Everyone else I came up with went offline a long time ago.

    I have adapted for the times, but I would go back to blogging as it was ten, even five, years ago in a heartbeat. I admire you and Lissette for staying the course.

    Great article. So glad that Andy sent me in this direction.

    Lynda

    1. Hi Lynda! Nice to meet you.
      You made a good point and one that is a symptom of the times – the boring mechanical posts DO get most of the traffic. Because most people are like sheep and don’t want to think. They just want you to tell them what to see so they can go take their photos.
      I realized that a little ways back and have a Guide Series that I started called “Mindless Guides”. I’ll have a mindless guide to 3 days in Prague for example where I tell them day by day what to see, how to do it, what to eat…the only thing they have to plan for themselves are their bowel movements. “Mindless Guides” was tongue-in-cheek but reflects the reality of travel today. Honestly makes me sick. But you have to have a little something for everyone if you want to have a half successful blog…I realize not everyone wants to read about my point of view or experiences. Sad you deleted those posts though because although fewer people appreciate them hard-core travellers do.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Lynda 🙂

  3. I think more people should consider traveling as another challenging and risky occupation that may required quite a lot of research, energy, patience, planning, expenses, etc depending which location one is heading towards to. Anyway, it has always been interesting reading about others traveling experience and it is great one get to read many inspiring travel blogs that would also hopefully contribute towards a safer traveling environment for us.

      1. HI Frank,
        Thanks for your reply.
        I recently had to put up again with various degrees of shocking, uncomfortable and unpleasant traveling experiences during another one of my rather exhausting adventures traveling through various parts of SEA by various land transportation such as train, bus, minivan and taxi!
        Anyhow, nice to know you and Lissette is in Europe now.

  4. Hi Frank – As always, you hit the nail squarely on the head. Coincidentally, Never-ending Voyage was one of the first travel blogs I ever checked out too, back in the day. I remember being shocked when they announced they had financially broken even with their blog, after a long while in the blogging game! I naively thought all travel bloggers were well off, back then – hilarious. You’re right, though, blogging has now spawned a ‘what extra money and free stuff can I get out of this?’ mindset, which has produced a huge array of godawful, affiliate-spam tripe that’s not worth anyone’s time to read. Story-telling and strong opinions have gone by the wayside. And if I hear that an overseas city is ‘vibrant’ one more time, I may chunder on my own shoes :). I just visited the Great Ocean Road in the south of Australia recently, which I’d never been to, despite being an Aussie for the last 28 years, and found it hard to get decent photos, because at every viewpoint or attraction, bus-loads of tourists were clogging up the photogenic areas with their vapid Instagram poses. And I think that’s part of the problem, nowadays – people don’t travel to truly experience a place any more. They can’t put their cameras away for three minutes and just enjoy an experience. They only go somewhere so they can take a photo to prove they’ve been there. Anyway, enough ranting from me. I’m busy planning an upcoming jaunt to the Cook Islands (sometimes the urge to snorkel and binge-eat reef lobster overwhelms me), and Macedonia and Albania or on the cards for early 2020. Think I’ll sneak Olomouc, Wroclaw and a few new Romanian spots in next year, too. Next time you’re in Brasov, make sure you check the gelato place on Prundului Street – best ice cream on the planet, for sure. Catch ya next time…. Kevin

    1. Hi Kevin,
      Thank you for the comment. I know you’re very familiar with the whole industry so appreciate your feedback.
      I think I’ll dedicate a post one day on those Instagrammers. I just don’t understand why they NEED to take so many photos of themselves. I get taking photos of places and things, but you can see yourself by looking in the mirror. So are you taking photos of yourself in places just to try to impress everyone? Because that’s what it seems like. And if that’s not vapid and narcissistic enough, then you have to rob people who do want to see and photograph monuments of seeing them without your damn fat face in each of their photos. No kidding, I was in Marrakech and there was this one girl just posing in front of a tomb for 20 minutes, oblivious to anyone else. THAT burns me.
      Cook Islands. Very exciting. Have never been to that part of the world.
      Olomouc gorgeous Kevin. Not big, so a full day is enough. But you’ll be very impressed.
      Thanks again for the comment.

  5. Frank, very interesting post. One that reflects many of my own views on how much the travel blogging community has changed. I am passionate about traveling, therefore reading about other people’s experiences is what got me interested on travel blogs back in 2011. I started my own (not very good) travel blog in 2013. I wanted to do something creative and improve my writing skills. I have met people and made friends that I would not have met if not for the blog. I don’t want to monetise my blog because it would became a job and a chore. I am retired from a job I loved and don’t feel the need to work again. I am happy for others who are monetising their blogs and as long as I enjoy their writing I will keep following and reading. I love your blog because it feels authentic, funny, honest. I thrust your opinion and like that you are not writting just for SEO. There are many blogs that I no longer follow, including Goats on the Road…maybe occasionally I will have a look. It has became a bit too commercial. As for my blog, I will keep blogging for as long as I enjoy it.

    1. Thank you for the kind words Gilda! If I ever get too commercial please let me know 🙁
      I like you blog and the great photos you take, you’re real and that’s refreshing. You’re one of my early blogger friends and I appreciate having met you through the blog.

  6. very thoughtful and interesting post. I have never got my head around SEOs and publicising properly. or even the right tags to drive views. i really tried for a time to get my views up but it still wasnt enough to monetise, and so now I am happy just to post. if one day theres a spike in views I guess I’ll consider it. I do get countless SEO emails and offers of guest post from who knows who. and like you i feel like most of them are not travel related at all. so its an outlet and a hobby for me and I am okay with that.

    I’m going to do a few more videos, I’ve always done a few, but I know what you mean – 20 minute vlogs and its mostly talking to the camera.

    anyways again, great post!

    1. Yes, a lot of technical stuff and I’m not good at it either. And I’m still terrible at social media because, honestly, I find it incredibly boring.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Andy.

  7. Great post Frank. As usual.

    I’ve been reading travel blogs (and personal finance ones) for years now. I used to love – love – Goats on the Road and checked in on them regularly to learn about their ‘day to day lives’. Years ago now, I responded to their poll about the direction of their website – about blogging or about their day to day travels. I lost the vote of course. Now I only check in on them occasionally because they don’t write about themselves in a destination very often anymore.

    I used their World Nomads link for our RTW travels and their Blue Host link to start our own blog. It didn’t take long after that to realize why they recommend certain products. (I don’t use either of them anymore.)

    There are very few blogs that I still read from the old days – Bumfuzzle and Greater Fool. And I only follow a few ‘new to me’ ones, BBQBoy being one of them (thanks for that).

    Personally, I prefer the information on blogs over city gor travel uides because of the personal insights. And feeling like I know the blogger from being a long time reader makes it even better. I don’t want restaurant recommendations because the advertising fees paid for it to make the list. I want to know where the good value is and how to avoid some of the tourist gouges. I want a sense of what a place and the people are like. Some grocery store tips and where the locals eat are a big bonus.

    Nowadays, my preference is slow travel and expat blogs. And I’ve found some great infomation in digital nomad blogging.

    I’m still hopeful and check in on old blogs from time to time. But I really want to read about the bloggers experience. I don’t want a list of the top things to do in a destination written by someone who only visited for 72 hours.

    And I don’t put much weight on info from press trips. I’m not going to receive the VIP treatment myself and it’s likely too expensive for this family of five.

    Quite some time ago, I read a post from a once favourite blogger about a food tour – I think in Guanujuato Mexico. I mentally added it to my list of things to do while I read. At the bottom I learned that the prices were crazy! Especially for Mexico. This being from a budget blogger, of course they would never have done this tour if they were paying themselves.

    Frank, I loved your own Budapest Food Tour inspired by the Taste Hungary one. I’ve bookmarked it for our upcoming travels. I wan to save big bucks too.

    Anyway, sorry for the rant. Thanks for all your info and a look into your lives.

    I love your blog!

    Colleen

    1. Thank you so much Colleen, really appreciate the comment.

      You are right about overpriced tours, especially food tours. I’ve found even local options sometimes very expensive which I don’t understand. That’s why researching where these tours go (and they’ll often say it right on their tour description) and doing it on your own is a much better idea.

      I still enjoy Goats on the Roads. Yes, they could be more personal and have strayed from that. Like I say, we find that to be the case with all the popular blogs that have been around for a long time.

      Any other Canadian blogs you enjoy Colleen?

      1. Oops, no!

        I do still love the Goats. Just not love – love. You know. Okay, careless writing on my part. I didn’t mean to give that impression.

        And hats off to them for making a career out of it.

        The new content about how to have a successful blog is the first place I’d go if I wanted to try for one. Yeah, I know I have a blog. But it’s still a personal one and I’ve no intention of trying to monetize it. Even if I could do it so well as them. Or you.

        I check in on the Goats a few times a year and seek out their travel posts from the rest of the content.

        After more than a decade of travel (them not me), I see their rationale and need to change the tone of their business. Though I am excited and hopeful that they’ll make frequent posts on their upcoming travels. Indonesia is on my short list and their travel style these days is more in tune with mine.

      2. Oops almost forgot.
        I haven’t been following any other Canadian travellers these days. Most of the websites were retired. But I’d love to if you have recommendations. Canadian perspective (and dollar) is always relevant.

        1. Hi Colleen. Used to be big fans but at some point they shifted into videos. And they do videos very well…but I just don’t enjoy watching people’s travel videos. And it’s funny you pointed out their youtube site and not their website. That’s the direction they’ve chosen to go in.
          As I said, what’s the future of blogging? For me it’s not video. There’s too much fluff, not enough meat and it means too much time spent watching video. Others may like it. But just not for me.

  8. I can’t comment on how far the travel blogging genre has fallen because I haven’t been reading them long, but I have seen quite a few lately that I won’t revisit. Too much look at me, how cool is this that I’m doing? (and a warning to myself, perhaps, not to fall into that trap!!)

    I can see great value in Vlogs, if correctly done. (Although admittedly I see few videos I find correctly done! It’s about the visuals, not about the talking head…). A well-done video can be worth 1000 photos, and give you a much better appreciation of a local. The operative here being well-done, of course… And, there will always be those of us who prefer to read, although I fear our numbers are shrinking! (At least, YouTube has that 2x speed switch…)

    1. About that first paragraph Paul, I think it’s generational. Maybe we all like to brag a bit when we’re young and successful. And marketing wise I think people brag in order to sell. Look a Trump. Some people buy it.

      Ha, didn’t know about the 2x switch. I enjoy doing videos but they’re not popular. The most recent I did on Kyiv. I like fast-paced and neither of us want to be filmed, which is not the recipe that works. I think a proper video very time consuming which is why the line between bloggers and vloggers doesn’t often cross…

  9. Spot on Frank. I’ve been writing for 7 years next month (October 2019). I’ve always considered my site a small fish in a giant fish bowl but we’re still in the game, but the game has changed enormously and not for the better.

    I too have seen many bloggers drop out for one reason or the other. There is a lot of crap out there and you better believe some of those crap blogs are accepting $30/$50 for a sponsored post or those paying the $30/$50 wouldn’t be getting away with it. As for social media, while I keep my accounts live, Twitter and Instagram are basically done for me. Both platforms are so full of %#)*^ it’s just pointless for me to invest any of my time.

    Case in point about IG “influencers”… a blogger friend recently sent me a copy of a conversation that was playing out from a comment made at a TBEX conference in which the 30-something blogger posed in her bathing suit with arms up in the air in a V pattern, (I’m sure you get the imagery) and there was a heated discussion about how she is a successful influencer while older old-school man was no longer relevant. She was defending herself that her pose was not a “sex sells” kind of picture. You get the gist, right? My questions to such influencers is… do you want your readers to see you in a bathing suit and your fabulous life, or do you want your readers to see the ocean behind you? This to me, is the very essence of the problem with the IG platform.

    I’ve seen it in other instances as well. For years I’ve been following a solo female blogger/traveler (to remain nameless) and over the years I’ve watched her transition from an authentic story teller to a self-glorified poser. Her posts have gone from genuine stories of human interest and good travel information to here I am in xyz, and all of her photos are posed for the camera to the point of ad nauseam. She also posts monthly updates of ALL the money she has earned. Pretty sure she does it to get people to sign on to her “this is how you too can earn money blogging” course that she sells. I give her credit for making a living at what she does, but she’s lost all authenticity from where I sit.

    I have stopped reading a lot of blogs because of the saturation of adds/videos, etc. Even looking for a recipe online has become a trek through the ads. I refuse to waste my time and will click off and look for another source. I understand people/companies want to monetize with ads, but the over saturation makes for lousy reading and I don’t understand why people keep going back to a such a site.

    I’ve always monetized my site but I’ve tried to do it in ways that didn’t interfere with the flow of the content so that my readers won’t do what I do, which is click off. 🙂

    Well, that was long-winded! It’s a constant dance, but I’m still in the game trying to maintain a balance of being an authentic story teller while sharing relevant travel resources/tips.

    Write on, Frank!

    1. Thanks Patti. You of course recognize yourself as one of the blogs I’ve followed for a long time 😉

      Those cheap sponsored posts. Absolutely. Tons of bloggers…but they have little traffic so what’s the point? You get what you pay for and we can usually see the sponsored post factories from a mile away….

      IG. Have a look at these young influencers. 77k likes. I wish I had abs of steel…It’s not blogging though, these people can’t string 2 words together. But it’s exactly what I’m talking about when I mention the vapidity of what “travel blogging” has become (again, I don’t think this is blogging and I hate that we’re lumped together with these influencers).

      Ok, now you’ll have to write me privately and tell me who that blogger is. I think I know who it might be. I personally think it’s tacky but I guess if you’re trying to convince other bloggers to take your course…

      Anyway, agree with you on every point Patti. And every blogger who’s been around will say the same but what can you do? There’s no barrier to entry and they’ll always be people scratching the bottom of the barrel trying to make a buck. But I think people like this, who are not committed, eventually fall by the wayside. There are many better ways of making money then blogging. And we’re still around, enjoying what we do while also making a bit of money from it 🙂

      1. Ha! I looked at the IG link. Yes! That’s exactly what I’m talking about. It has nothing to do with Greece, but rather look at me, isn’t my life great?! In reality they are probably sleeping in a hot windowless hostel dorm room. Or, they’re posting from their mother’s basement. 🙂

  10. Very good read and I totally agree with you. I think the first time I became aware of travel blogs was in the run-up to our overland trip 2006. Mark Moxon and Chopin and Kinga were the first travel blogs I found on the net. We have been blogging since 2006 and sometimes I feel we missed the opportunity to get some money out of the blog. But most of the time I am glad that we do not need the blog to earn money and just travel, when we are not traveling for work. In these days the blog is just a platform to keep contact with some of our friends around the world and a space to try different text ideas. In my oprinion blogging has become just another way of marketing and I find it tiresome to look for the blog articles that are different. Actually for the hard core information I am back to guidebooks and history books. For restaurant recommandations I seek out local food blogs rather than travel blogs. I do read some travel blogs but mostly because I want to follow the people who run them (like you two).

    1. Never heard of those people, they all sound like yogis.

      As far as the blog, you’re right. I think originally the idea of having a platform to keep in contact with friends (or in our case, to record our own memories) was the reason people started blogs. With time it’s evolved to what it is today.

      Great point about local food blogs. We hunt them out in different places but in many locations (such as Eastern Europe) you just won’t find anything in English. Language is a barrier even with google translate. Books we don’t do just because we travel full-time and can’t be lugging books around. But the day we’ve got a base and back to 2-3 week trips it’s something we’ll get back to…I do like blogs but for me blogs bring the emotion into travel. Guides just give me factual info that doesn’t translate to “am I going to like this place?”. That’s why I like a blog written by people I trust and who’s opinion I respect. I’ve used both for different purposes.

      Great comment Natascha. Thank you.

      1. Mark Moxon did great travel writing and Chopin and Kinga, a Polish couple hitchhiked around the world. I think she got malaria around 2006 and died somewhere in Africa – I was really sad when I read that.

  11. Thank you for your polished and informative blog posts. Your strong opinions about cities or countries you have visited resonate. They are reasoned, supported with facts and anecdotes. I hated Costa Rica and will never return. The only road from the capital to the west coast is a pothole laden hot mess. Pure vida was nonsense, as the place is a security nightmare, where women can only stay safely if behind walls and locks. So, continue, please, and totally agree about most millennial “yoga and woke” blogs. The one on world heritage sites is ridiculous. Great idea, because I base my travel plans around visiting UNESCO-designated sites, so it is disappointing. Thanks for pointing out such sites as you travel.

  12. Hola from Mexico. I appreciate your comments here. I started a blog a year ago to inform friends & family about our process of moving to & living in Mexico from the US (colorinthestreets.com). It has morphed into tales of my experiences here, our travels around the country, my feelings & reactions to it all, etc. Recently someone told me I should add a donation button. I’m minimally tech savvy so will find help with it, but wanted to thank you for addressing this issue. And for your blog!

    1. Hi Chris,
      I’ll have a look at your blog (my mom retired in Mexico and has lived there for 5 years).
      I wouldn’t know how to add a donation button, that’s an added level of security because people would likely be entering their financial info. Maybe a link a to a Palpay account? I’m sure if you google the subject you’ll come up with something. But I don’t know if I would do it or even recommend it…not sure how people would react to being asked for donations for a blog.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  13. Totally agree! I discovered blogs in 2008 when planning an overseas trip and they were so helpful and interesting. My favorites not only told a story but also gave information on less obvious things to do or a neighborhood restaurant. Not a list that was the same as every other blogger’s list. Now, most make me wonder if the blogger has ever been to where they are writing about. For that reason, I’m working on creating my own blog on retiree travel to join bloggers like you, and others you mentioned in keeping the blogging world real and helping others discover something special that makes their trip different than the “top 10”. Always enjoy your postings.

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