“A week ago, I was looking forward to documenting my 5-day vacation in Beijing by creating a short travel video packed with cool shots of the city, travel advice and my personal experiences. That was pretty much my sole purpose for vacationing to Beijing.”
– Kevin Cook | Monkey Abroad
Travel is amazingly fun, there is no denying that at all. It’s an amazing lifestyle that’s worth all the trade-offs if you can manage it. But, it’s also work. Travel can be exhausting. Physically, you may have to subject yourself to schedules or methods of transport that are certainly not going to endanger you, but will certainly wear you down. And mentally, it can be taxing to figure out what you’re doing in a place where nothing is the slightest bit similar to what you know and so much different from what you expected.
Add blogging to this. Back in my college days, Professor Lowe in my professional writing class asked me during a white paper assignment, “What is the point of writing?” I answered him that the point of writing is to be read. He countered that purposes vary with variation in writing types, particularly in the white paper format. But in writing in general, and blogging in particular, I still hold this to be true.
So, when travel blogging, you keep this in mind as you look around each new environment you experience. And like anything, it’s a skill that’s built with time. When I first started Slightly Removed, the blog that became Paths Unwritten, it was a simple journal-style entry of I did a) b) and c). . . I still base most things on that format, but I also try to look for smaller, more interesting stories in each new place and scenario. And to do that, however successfully, requires an analytical eye and a method of recording.
Enter Kevin Cook‘s recent experience. I met Kevin once in Bangkok through mutual friends and he has since moved on to China. In his recent trip to Beijing, his recording abilities are stifled due to certain circumstances. From that, he ponders on how much this normal approach of his hinders how he really experiences a place.