Warning: Travel Blogging is Depressing AF

Warning: Travel Blogging is Depressing AF

I knew starting a travel blog would be hard work, but I wasn’t quite ready for the emotional roller coaster it would be…

 

Haters gonna hate

Travel and blogging have become such a big part of my life now. But it’s gotten to the point where I barely tell any of my friends or coworkers if I’m going on a trip. All I hear is “You’re going on a trip again?” I feel like they’re judging me, thinking I must be some reckless spender because of course that’s the only way I can afford to travel. Do they think I’m irresponsible? That I’m racking up credit card bills? Who am I to have these kinds of experiences? And then I get laughed at if I do say I’m going somewhere… “Are you taking the monkey with you again? Haha! That’s so funny!” Yes, I’m taking the monkey. And I walk away, biting my tongue.

 

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Travel Blogging Is Depressing

Brussels, Belgium

 

I’ve been bitten

According to Michael Palin, “Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.” It’s so incredibly true. This past year, with the start of my blog, I’ve committed more than ever to travel the world. But like any junkie can tell you, it’s never enough.

Now, more than ever, I long to be in faraway places. Even while I’m on trips! I know that sounds ridiculous. I should be grateful while I’m on trips and focused on the present. And yet, when I stop to check my various social media accounts during any brief availability of Wifi, I think “Wow, look at that place! I wish I was there! I’m so jealous!” I’m a part of so many travel communities online, that all I see are gorgeous places and the people traveling to them.

And then when I get home and get back to my “normal” routine, it’s even worse. I’m so sad that my trip is over and I’m not sure when I’ll be going on the next one. I know what I want to do for my next big trip, but what about the time in between now and then. I can’t NOT go somewhere for that long. I’ll die!!

 

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Travel Blogging Is Depressing

New York City, US

 

It’s a lonely world

It’s kind of ironic- travel helps you meet so many wonderful people and yet at the end of the day you feel alone. Unless by some crazy coincidence you meet travelers that happen to live in the same city as you, what are the odds of you ever seeing them again? Sure, technology makes it a lot easier. You can Skype or use Google Hangouts, message each other on Facebook or WhatsApp. But with everyone living in different time zones, it can be really hard. What if I just want to hang out and bs about waterfalls or talk about crazy animal encounters while sipping a white chocolate mocha? I can’t do that with any of my local friends. So it gets a little lonely at times.

 

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Travel Blogging Is Depressing

Bali, Indonesia

 

Hello? Are you out there?

I started writing about my travels in the hopes that I’d inspire others to travel as well. I write some posts with practical information; some addresses, costs, etc. But for the most part, I just want to tell stories. I want readers to know that the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle is in Miami. I want readers to know why I fell in love with Edinburgh. And I want to do it to pique their curiosity. I want readers to be inspired to go see new places, whether those places are across the globe or across the street. But do those readers exist?

Sometimes I wonder if anyone is reading anything I write. And by anyone, I mean the average person and not another travel blogger. Not that I don’t love travel bloggers reading my stuff. We obviously share a passion for travel, understand each other, and try and support each other in any way we can. But do I need to inspire travel bloggers to travel? Nope.

What I want to do more than anything is get through to the person that doesn’t have a passport, that has never left their home town, that thinks they have to be rich to travel, that thinks they can’t travel by themselves. Am I reaching those people? Because if I’m not, then what’s the point?

 

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Travel Blogging Is Depressing

Barcelona, Spain

 

Am I traveling wrong?

There are a lot of bloggers out there that have quit their jobs, travel slow, and are considered digital nomads. They say it’s not all rainbows and unicorns and that you really have to work at it, but if they can do it you can too. The hardest part is taking that first step and deciding that’s the lifestyle you want to lead. So if I want to be a successful travel blogger, I have to sell all my stuff and quit my job?? But I like my stuff! You have no idea how many times I look around my apartment and wonder if I’m doing the wrong thing by not taking that first step. Am I a coward? Am I not committed enough? What if I want to live in one place and have my own bed? I can currently only take short trips, but does that make me an icky “tourist” instead of a “traveler.” Sure, I might not get to know the ins and outs of every city I visit, but that doesn’t mean I don’t try and learn as much as I can while I’m in a new place.

 

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Travel Blogging Is Depressing

Munich, Germany

 

Compared to everyone else, I suck

We’re always our worst critic. I know that. I tell that to others when they’re being too hard on themselves. But that doesn’t mean I still don’t beat myself up. I see what others are doing or writing and think, I’ve done similar things. Why don’t get I get the same responses? Why do they get so many more page views than I do?? WTF??

I know I’m not a full time traveler and can’t knock out as many posts a week as others do. I know others have been doing this a lot longer than I have. I know, I know. But it’s still hard not to get bummed about my progress. I remember talking on separate occasions to fellow bloggers G of Travel with G and Mel of Footsteps on the Globe and we were all having the same insecurities. We knew, and told each other multiple times, that we couldn’t compare ourselves to others. We do what we can according to our lifestyles.

Sometimes I need a night on the couch, watching a movie, eating a grilled cheese, and drinking white wine. But then I feel guilty. Guilty that I could have been working on a post. I feel like I wasted a few hours and was so unproductive. This is why other bloggers are doing so much better than I am. And yet, I know that sometimes you just need a break. I know that if I don’t take those breaks that I’ll go bat shit crazy.

 

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Travel Blogging Is Depressing

Machu Picchu. Peru

 

So what should I do?

Well, I for damn sure am not going to stop blogging. I knew this was going to be hard work when I got into it. The blogs I read all said it would be. I don’t mind hard work. And I’m not a quitter. I might need to buy a couple more bottles of wine to deal with the emotional ups and downs, but I won’t stop. I’ll keep reading about SEO, and how to be a better writer. I’ll try and figure out Google Analytics and Facebook algorithms. I’ll keep reaching out to other bloggers and asking questions. I’ll keep telling stories about the wonderful places I’ve visited. I’ll occasionally write rambling rants like this one so I get much needed stuff off my chest. I’ll try not to be so hard on myself and try not to compare myself to others. I’ll be grateful for those I’ve met and what I’ve learned so far about blogging. But mostly, I’ll hope. I’ll hope that my words reach and inspire others to travel. I’ll hope that my words lead readers to get out of their comfort zones and explore this great big and amazing world we live in.

 

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Travel Blogging Is Depressing

Boston, US

 

Thanks for reading!! It means the world to us!! 🙂

 

38 Comments
  • Man travel and bloggers are get some beaten this week! Everyone travels differently at their own pace, long term / short term whatever works so you are A OK girl. I do think travel is important though, it widens your cultural experiences, helps you have greater understanding and create opportunities!

  • Vanessa says:

    Anyone who questioned the monkey would be dead to me! I think the key thing to know about travel blogging is that any job – even those that are pretty darn awesome – can have good times and bad times. It seems pretty great to be a famous actor – except for the stalkers and lack of privacy. Being a watercolour artist seems so serene – except for the anxiety over paying the bills.

    And on top of the fact that blogging, like any job, has its ups and downs, is the challenge of being an entrepreneur in general. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a blog, opening a hardware store, or setting up shop as an architect. There are some aspects of being your own, self funded, self directed small business that are very, very challenging. There are financial challenges, there are logistical challenges, but the biggest challenge of all might just come from the loneliness and isolation when those who don’t have any insight into this world make comments based on ignorance.

    Keep up the slog. Good things come to those who drink wine, worry a bit, and travel the world with a stuffed monkey.

  • I don’t think there’s a ‘right’ or a ‘wrong’ kind of travel blogger. Just because you haven’t sold all your possessions for a life on the road doesn’t make you any less of a writer nor does it make you any less of a traveller. As long as you love what you do, do it as much as you can!

  • Amanda says:

    Keep at it Vicky! I can’t believe you work a full-time job and maintain your site so well. Like you said it’s so easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves to others. At the beginning, I would do the same but that’s a dark and lonely road. Just stick to what you do best and focus on doing it even better.

  • Laura Lynch says:

    Let me be the first travel blogger to say that I would read your blog regardless. I am always inspired by the places you go, as I’m sure most of your readers are. There will always be people who will not understand why you travel and/or why you’re not spending your money on the typical things like designer clothes and a house payments, but you don’t have to justify your choices. Everyone has different priorities. Additionally, I LOVE BUDDY. 🙂

  • Gemma says:

    You are certainly not the only one who feels like that! I feel disconnected from my friends because I’m travelling and they’re not, but I also can’t wait to return home and hopefully get my own place (or at least live on my own, I’m so over hostels and flat shares, although that will be my reality for a while) Now I’m working as an expat, most of my friends aren’t interested in talking about travel, I’m actually amazed when someone does, and although I spend the majority of my evenings writing blog posts and currently increasing publicity about my blog, I feel like they don’t get it, and don’t realise all the work that goes into it, especially when your tired from a day at work already. But then I think, this is way better than whatever I’d be doing if I’d never left home to travel, and didn’t try to write a successful blog. Yes, there is always more I could do, and more places to go to, but a whole life time isn’t enough to go everywhere, so we should appreciate what we have, and not feel guilty over the night off with wine and a movie (I did exactly that 2 days ago) because those are the things that keep you going.

  • Jenna says:

    I hear you–totally in the same spot as well–thanks for sharing! It’s a lot of hard work, but thankfully, can be so rewarding at the same time. And it does seem like the more you see, the longer the list gets, haha! Keep up the great work and best wishes for many more years of wonderful travels 🙂

  • I’m with you girl! Travel Blogging is tough. I was gonna have a beach day today and I just thought, ‘I can’t sit on a beach. I need to do this and this and this’. Crazy really. I mean, I’m too active to sit on beaches anyway but I definitely need to learn to give myself ME time drinking wine and vegging out on movies too!

  • Everyone has their own travel style–and that can change over time. It’s good to be flexible and to re-evaluate every so often.

  • I agree with a lot of this. I travel a lot for work as well as personal. I try to travel on a budget and keep it reasonable. I don’t spend money I don’t have and try to stay in budget. I had a friend get back from Colombia and comment that I must have broke the bank on my three-week trip there. i hadn’t at least in my mind. I asked here how much she thought I spent it was 3 times what I really did. It’s hard to hear how much people perceive I spent verse what I really spend.

    I love the travel blogger community. Almost everyone is supportive and helpful. It is hard to stay motivated at times don’t give up. Let me know if you ever want to get drunk on Skype with a bottle of wine and lament over blogs.

  • Don’t worry, we feel the same at times too! It’s so hard to put so much time and effort into something that seems like is a waste of time on occasion. When we work hard, we see small results so that’s what keeps us going! I don’t think you are traveling wrong. I think many travel bloggers are backtracking saying selling all your stuff isn’t the way to do it. Who’s to say there is a right or wrong way to do it? It’s all about how you can balance your life, travel, and freedom in a way that makes you happy! Don’t give it up if that is what keeps you happy! I know I really wish I had a bed to go back to some times… Just so you know, I read this whole post 😉 See people are reading this! Happy Travels!

  • Thanks for sharing. I can definitely relate. I’m about 6 months into my blog and get both so excited about how is going, but then turn around and feel like it hasn’t done enough. Keep at it!

    As for the picking up your life to travel, I agree with you that I don’t think you have to become a nomad to be a great traveler. I love traveling and exploring, but love having a real home to come back to.

  • Els Mahieu says:

    Awe, let me give you a hug! 🙂 I like your post, very honest! And I know the feeling: “why does X get so many comments when I’m nearly saying the same thing and nobody cares?” I gave up, I just write when I feel like it and that’s it. If few people read it, tough luck! And without spending so much time on SM or writing, I have the feeling I got a part of my life back! 🙂

  • Meg Jerrard says:

    Vicki my love you’re doing amazingly well, and I’m glad that you can write about these insecurities and that you’re not going to let them stop you, because trust me when I say that everyone has the same insecurities. We may all have different personal circumstances and situations, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this blogging journey it’s that the most important thing is to have a clear focus on why you’re doing it and not let what others are doing affect you. Easier said than done right! But surrounding yourself on a day to day basis with people with the same motivations and goals has really helped me, even though that’s online. Being able to talk back and forth with people with the same mindse who are going through what I’m going through has been a real lifesaver in making it as though I’m not alone. And I promise you’re not.

    Keep blogging, stay awesome, and happy travels. Love what you do XXX

  • Hi! So, I’m just getting over to this post… First of all – Hugs from Colorado!! I was about to call you right now, but it’s almost 10pm your time. I’ll text you mañana.

    Next, this is a great, candid post. I’m with ya, girl. You know that. And you’re brave to admit your insecurities. We all have them! I wouldn’t believe anyone who tells me they’re 100% confident. But I think it is good you’re asking yourself these questions – it means you’re always looking to improve your work and yourself. I love your dedication and honesty. And I love your blog – and you do inspire me, as I’m sure you inspire others. I know you’ll get to where you want to be. So glad to have met you – and I can’t wait to hang out in Miami again 🙂 Un abrazo! G.

  • We can relate to so many points in this piece.
    Of course, don’t stop. Won’t stop. We have been following your blog and love it!
    It’s sometimes hard between posts, but do you also get that awesome feeling after you have hit “publish”?! That’s the reason why we do it!

  • I think you’re doing a great job, Vicki! It can be a little frustrating, at times. I always get a bit of a buzz, when I see the occasional comment on my own blog, or the occasional hit (hopefully my Sydney-Melbourne bike ride, in September, will give it a bit of a boost :). But, at the end of the day, I blog because I, well, blog. If someone else reads it, great. If not, then that’s ok too. 🙂

    Keep up the good work!

  • Melanie says:

    I think doing what you are doing will appeal more to your target audience than doing the whole digital nomad thing. The majority of people aren’t going to quit their jobs and travel. They aren’t going to look for that off the beaten path coffee shop in a lesser-known European city. They are “icky” tourists, and want to see the big touristy things. They want to know that is it is doable while working full time, or having other priorities, and I think a blog like yours would help them much more than a digital nomad blog. So keep up the good work!

  • Meagan says:

    Girl, keep blogging. Do it for you first and foremost. After you, if others read, that’s a bonus. If you are passionate about travel and blogging, give it your all- and sit on the couch a few nights too. I think it’s about quality and not quantity. People will start to follow in time! And as Taylor Swift said…”hater gonna hate…”

  • Tammy Mahon says:

    Brilliant piece, your doing a great job keep going. I feel you are a real/normal person that has not gotten lost in the blogging world yet. Do it your way, its the only way, its the best way.

  • I feel so much for this blog, I know I have been blogging with my partner for 2 months, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have these struggles. I feel you so much. But I guess, we just have to live and continue on being better and loving each place that we go to and people we meet in the process. Thank you so much for this and I will definitely share this on our page!

  • I think this post speaks to ALL bloggers, not just travel ones. I started out as a food blogger who expanded into travel blogging, so I always feel like maybe my travel pieces are not taken as seriously by other travel journalists & bloggers because I am not 100% travel. In fact, I am probably 70% recipes, 30% travel. And I like that ratio. I think you just have to do you. Focus on you and what you are doing and not worry so much about the other guy, you know?

  • Lara Dunning says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and emotions. Travel blogging is a lot of hard work, and my friends who are not writers or travel writers have a hard time getting how much time I invest in this passion. Sometimes I think they think I am avoiding them on purpose, but the fact is my writing life is a busy life. Often, I force myself to sit at my computer for another 2 hours when I’ve already been sitting there for 9 hours, so I don’t feel guilty about not keeping up with it all. But, then I feel guilty about not playing with the dog, etc. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to stay true to yourself and it feels like that is what you are doing. Keep it up!

  • Mags says:

    You’re preaching to the choir! My friends make fun of my all the time because they’ll ask me to go to dinner and find out I’m out of the country. I never tell them beforehand because I don’t need the judgement!

  • Jill Wiley says:

    I am glad you are going to keep traveling and writing… hopefully you don’t let others discourage you. We too, travel a lot… on a very limited income… it can be done. We often get looks and comments… but we don’t spend our money on other things… Travel is our THING. 😉

  • Ashley says:

    I completely understand the comments you get and how it makes you not want to say anything! My husband and I had decided to stop telling people when we go somewhere because we received SO MANY discouraging comments like well i don’t have to leave my town to be happy like you do, your life must suck or must be so nice to have all that extra money laying around, us poor people know how to be happy at home. It was so upsetting because 1) we wanted to share our love of travel and connect with people over travel not hide it 2) part of what we love about traveling is finding a cheap way to do it! To me there is nothing better than finding a great deal on travel and knowing you saved money! After a lot of thought we choose to keep sharing our experiences because it’s what we love and of people have an issue with it it’s THEIR issue not ours. We only get this one life and I choose to live it how I want to l, not how other people think I should. All I have to say is do it for YOU! Also, I love the monkey you take with you! That’s what piqued my interest to check out your blog!! Take care and happy travels♡

    • Buddy says:

      Oh Ashley, thank you so much for this! I wish that other people’s negativity didn’t always get to us, but unfortunately it does. But then we find encouragement elsewhere, and it makes it all worth it. I’m glad you and your husband are continuing to do what you love, no matter what. Like you said, we only get one life. Thank you so much for taking a look at our blog and I wish you many safe and happy travels! 🙂

  • Jenn | By Land and Sea says:

    My oh my, how I can relate to this post! I feel many of the same sentiments mentioned here!! But, we’ve all just gotta do what works for us and try not to compare, as hard as it may be. And, that’s when it’s also good to find other likeminded people who support you.

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Hi! I'm Vicky, a South Florida-based blogger traveling around the world with my stuffed monkey Buddy. We show you how to make travel a priority while working a full time job. Click on the photo to learn more!

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