F or most of my life, I have wanted to write and photograph about all the places where I have been while traveling the world — and my dream has indeed come true — but it is definitely not as easy as one might tend to believe.
This article written by Point Princess about how travel “blogging” is not all that it is “cracked up to be” resonated with me and had me thinking about how I write for The Gate, which originally started off as a means to direct traffic to discussions posted on FlyerTalk. While I enjoyed doing that — and I still like to link to discussions on FlyerTalk — and although I opined and added levity to what I wrote, it was somewhat difficult to integrate that with my travel experiences using that format…
…so when The Gate moved back to BoardingArea, I viewed it as an opportunity to express myself more — especially with my travels. I do admit that my thought process can be quirky at times; but I hope that you enjoy reading what I write and viewing what I photograph.
There are, however, several problems with “blogging” while traveling:
First — in addition to camera equipment — I now lug a laptop computer, which I never used to do. That adds weight and bulk to my luggage — though thankfully I still do not have to check any bags while traveling.
Second, revenue for The Gate is solely dependent on views. You might have noticed that there is no affiliate links or credit card offers here. If I do not have time to post an article, then there is nothing new to read — and therefore fewer views.
Third — as I just mentioned — time is a factor, as well as effort. I rarely just slap together something within 15 minutes. Many articles at The Gate use photographs taken by me. They have to first be selected, cropped, inserted and captioned before they are placed within the proper positions in an article. The text has to be written and proofread; and facts usually have to be checked and often linked for attribution.
Although I unfortunately have committed my fair share of errors and mistakes, I strive to ensure that what you read is accurate — and I appreciate when you correct me if the information is indeed suspect.
This means that creating and posting an article can take up at least an hour of my time, and — more often than not — it is usually more…
…and this does not take into account availability of the Internet. Sometimes it costs money. Sometimes speed can be slow. Sometimes service can be shoddy and spotty at best. Sometimes connections fail for unknown reasons.
There are times where I have time to write and compose an article; but the place and circumstances are not ideal. Standing in a long queue at an airport security checkpoint while holding my bag as the person behind me is coughing down my neck is not exactly an inspirational moment to whip out my laptop computer with one hand while writing an article…
…and as a person who enjoys sitting in a window seat, I eschew disturbing the passengers in the middle seat and the aisle seat for the purpose of fetching anything I need to write an article — such as reference material which I picked up at a place I visited, for example.
Having a wacky itinerary — such as my unintentional trip around the world, which stunned both flight attendants and FlyerTalk members — does not exactly contribute to an environment which fosters posting articles; but boy, some great stories can potentially be a result of a wacky itinerary…
…which is the main reason why I have not yet included many of the details of my experiences on this itinerary: I just do not have the time while I am traveling. However, I am purposely writing the trip report of my unintentional trip around the world in a way where the individual articles can “stand” on their own and not be a part of a 237-part trip report. I intend to tie them all together with an article which will include links to each trip report.
While I do like to write articles pertaining to frequent travel loyalty program miles and points, I do not want to write about them 100 percent of the time. I want to bring you original material whenever possible; and reporting the experiences of my trips is one way of doing just that.
Travel “blogging” is indeed not easy — and yes, it is work — but it sure is fun.
If there is anything about which you would like to see written here at The Gate — or if you have any questions which you would like to ask — please feel free to let me know…
…and thank you for your support. I may not say this often enough — but I truly appreciate it.