On the eve of my epic adventure in the Philippines, I’ve been reflecting on blogging while traveling. TerryTreks is, after all, a travel blog, and I want to document and share as many travel experiences as I can with you. But it’s just so hard to blog well while on the road.
It’s often difficult to explain this to non-travelers, but long-term, independent, budget travel is not the same as the two week vacations I took in my cubicle days. On those trips I would plan and book everything in advance, so that when I arrived, everything would go smoothly. Time was limited, stress from work was high, and I didn’t want to have to deal with the logistics of travel. I had more money than time, so could pay to make things easy.
Going to the Philippines for two, or possibly three months, is different. I sketched out a rough itinerary, but there’s no way I could book every hotel in advance. What if there is a travel delay? Or what if I wanted to stay somewhere longer? The ripple effect of having to adjust all my bookings would be a nightmare. Many small places aren’t even online.
Long-term travel is a more time than money situation. Instead of paying to make things easy, it’s like cashing in the more plentiful commodity, time, to find inexpensive ways to get around. This often means riding local buses, trains, and ferries, rather than easy, expensive planes. Inexpensive local transportation can’t be planned and booked in advance, so there is a lot of work on the ground, figuring out how to get from point A to point B. It takes up a lot of time, and is rather exhausting.
This isn’t to complain, I’m simply making the point that the work on the ground tends to cut into writing time. I read about many travel bloggers staying up late after seeing some amazing sites in order to get a blog post out, only to burn out in a few months. Just the work involved in independent, budget travel can cause burnout, and I don’t want to add to that by forcing myself to have to write a blog post every day. Yet I want to keep the updates coming. How can I accomplish this?
I’m still trying to figure out how to blog well on the road, but what I did on #TerryTreksUSA seemed to work. This was a very intensive two-month road trip to 14 national parks. All my time was spent driving and hiking. I was always camping in the parks, so I hardly ever had wifi. My blog languished, but I cultivated a habit of writing every day. Every evening, without fail, I would write up what I did that day. That allows me to write more polished articles later, when I have time.
I never had that time on #TerryTreksUSA. What I hope to do in the Philippines is stop every few weeks or so to rest and write. This should help avoid burnout, both from the rigors of constant traveling, and from meeting my self-imposed deadlines. Scheduling posts should allow them go out without having to worry when I’m in remote places like Llocos Norte and Palawan.
I’ve stressed the importance of “blogging well,” not just blogging. It would be easy to pump out a bunch of low quality fluff pieces. But I’m striving to create quality over quantity. I hope I can meet that goal.
Have any tips for blogging on the road? Leave them n the comments!