Perception – An Open Letter to Travel Writers and Travel Bloggers

Dear Writers,

I often wonder of your experiences with support.  Do the people that surround you in your personal life “get it?”  Do they understand what you’re working towards?  Do they understand your level of commitment, the hours of research, and the deadlines?  Do they get that you’re translating your curiosity into tangible content that’s shared with others?

What perception do the people in your personal life have of your passion?

During a bit of a heated discussion, someone close asked me matter of factly if I felt five years was enough time for me to get over my travel bug.  Apparently, the reason I want to travel is because I’m under the illusion that the “grass is greener on the other side.” 

Is it a bug or is it passion?  Do I want to leave or do I want to explore?  It’s all perception.

Another statement comes to mind.  It was asked if my motivation to travel came from the desire to run away from something.  Instantly I stated, “No, I’m moving toward something, not running away from something.”

I have been gaining momentum.  I write pieces for my travel blog and pitch freelance articles.  I’m getting to know more people within the industry and was invited on my first press trip.  Due to scheduling conflicts I had to decline the trip, but I was bubbling over with excitement at the prospect.  I shared my news with this same person and received another one word deadpan answer, “scary.”

Scary?  What an incredible opportunity to see a new country and meet others within the industry.  As I gain momentum, I think they’re worried that I’ll be gone all the time, if not vanish forever.  Does there need to be some sort of support group for family & friends of travelers and writers?

Later that same day I was scanning Twitter and came across a tweet from BootsnAll Travel (@BootsnAll):

“I imagine my life as a permanent traveler, and never see an end to my adventures via @erin_marie_ “

That statement really struck a chord with me.  Once passion is ignited, it needs to be nurtured not bound. 

I then replied:

“Someone close 2 me asked if 5 yrs is enough time 2 get rid of my travel bug…uh, this is passion, not a bug!”

Then others retweeted, favorited, & chimed in:

Alouise‏ (@Alouise_D) “If travel is a “sickness” I never want to be cured.”

Erin Marie (@_erin_marie_) “haha, definitely not a bug!  It’s funny what others think, isn’t it?”

T.W. Anderson (@MarginalBounds) “Amen to that 🙂 I don’t EVER want to be cured!”

Isn’t passion a barometer of sorts?  In the compass of life, isn’t there something to be said about following your heart.  I mean…what gets you up in the morning? 

So writers and travelers I ask you, do you feel that people’s perception of your passion is supportive or dampening?

Carpe Diem,



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12 thoughts on “Perception – An Open Letter to Travel Writers and Travel Bloggers

  1. Eric Hiss May 31, 2012 at 1:32 pm Reply

    Love your post Meghan. For some travel is a hobby, something they get to when the can. For others it’s a passion, something they save for and do regularly. For others, it’s in our DNA. I first awoke to travel when as a little boy I sat in the backseat of my dad’s Ford station wagon and drove with him up Calif. Central Valley during his sales calls. The movement was exciting to me; to see new things and meet new people. Pretty humble beginnings to be sure, but that’s changed a lot in my 15 years as a travel writer. The bucket list is pretty full now, but it’s never been about collecting passports or bragging about how many countries I’ve been to (I refuse to count, I have no idea actually). It’s always been about experience: sights, textures, emotions, colors, people that I could never experience at home. And I do love my home, it’s not an either/or proposition after all. Some people get it, others don’t. And that’s OK, it means one less person to stand behind in Customs 🙂

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      You hit on something… it’s not an either/or is it? I think in the recent past I’ve been having the “either/or” conversation with those around me.


      haha, Customs makes for great people watching. Talk about a cross section of humanity!

  2. Murissa May 30, 2012 at 11:41 am Reply

    As a writer feeling the need to explore as it is a sort of fuel for my creativity and imagination I was encountered with other writers feeling that I should stick to my own home and write about it. However, when I travel I learn more about my home and my connection to it. I would never live anywhere else than the Okanagan Valley of BC but I will always travel and experience different cultures and food.
    I know my boyfriend’s family and grandparents keeps waiting for me to settle down and want children but I will never stop traveling. It is such a pleasure, a joy that I can’t find any other way so far. I love to learn and traveling is living knowledge, history and culture.

    Some people absolutely can be condescending about our love of travel. It isn’t an affliction but a curiosity that some of the most intelligent people I know possess including my professors, parents and writers I admire. Some people prefer investing in kitchen cabinets and marble counter tops, we just enjoy experiences because my family has learned the hard way, memories are all you have after life is said and done.

    The Wanderfull Traveler

    • Meghan's Guilty Pleasures Travel Blog May 30, 2012 at 11:58 am Reply

      Well said, I totally agree.

      For me, it’s about experiences, not things. It’s quality, not quantity.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love nice things, but it’s interesting what you can justify. Should funds and time allow, I have zero hesitation about booking a ticket to Europe. However, I still can’t “justify” a couple hundred dollar flat screen TV. I’m after the adventure and the story!

      Thanks for your thoughts…

  3. Meghan's Guilty Pleasures Travel Blog May 29, 2012 at 11:36 am Reply

    Thanks for the “Likes” ladies & gents!

  4. suzukimiho May 28, 2012 at 11:07 am Reply

    AMEN to this! Strangely enough, I was looking for inspiration when I accidentally saw this blog entry. I have yet to find a job/something to earn money from as I’m only a fresh graduate, but right now I think I’m sure I’m not meant to be an office girl doing repetitive office stuff. But of course I know reality will somehow lead me to this kind of job, considering that I don’t have professional experience yet. I’m sort of scared that if I get a high-paying job, I’ll be so secured that I’ll forget about my REAL dreams. I’m also scared how the norms might affect the path I want to take. The world IS meant to be my classroom, that I’m very certain of. I don’t even know if I’m making sense now, but this post struck a chord with me. Really. Thanks for this and I admire you for taking the bold step of following your dream! 🙂 Pardon the cheese. Cheers!

    • Meghan's Guilty Pleasures Travel Blog May 28, 2012 at 11:32 am Reply

      You make perfect sense & it wasn’t cheesy at all! It was very heartfelt.

      I graduated college about 4 years ago and have worked with small to large businesses. I’ve carried around the same thoughts of the limitations of being tied down to a traditional job. Once you get a mortgage, car payments, consumer debt, college loans, kids, etc it seems limiting. The more you increase your financial obligations, the more you’re tied down.

      Reality may not lead you to repetitive office work.

      Now you may thing this is cheesy 😉 but check out my Pinterest “Travel Inspiration” board & let me know what you think:

      • suzukimiho May 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm

        Thank you very much for this! Just the thought that I’m not alone in this keeps me very much motivated. Anyway, amazing Pinterest folder you’ve got there! Everything’s bookmark-worthy. Thank you! 🙂

      • Meghan's Guilty Pleasures Travel Blog May 29, 2012 at 12:05 am

        You’re the best!

        Thanks for your thoughts and you’re not alone – promise. Some people act more put together than they really are.

        Checked out your blog. You have quite a bit of photography. Maybe that might be a field you’d be interested in pursuing?

      • suzukimiho May 29, 2012 at 1:04 am

        Oh no, no. Although I’d love to! 🙂 I love to keep photography on the side, but my heart belongs to travel and tourism first and foremost. I’ll see where the winds will take me 🙂

  5. T.W. Anderson (@MarginalBounds) May 28, 2012 at 10:50 am Reply

    It’s absolutely about passion. My joy is in cultural immersion, in going native, in immersing myself in my environments and sharing in the Human Experience through long-term immersion travel. I also enjoy the financial benefits and absolute freedom to go where I want, when I want. You can’t take that away. I’m not beholden to any singular government, I’m not tied down by a 40+ year mortgage and school debt, I’m debt free and I can pack my bags and go anywhere I want, any time that I want.

    That’s what keeps me getting up every morning, knowing I have the freedom to do what I love to do best…exploring the world. And if I can help bring other people to this wonderful place of absolute freedom as a traveler…well, everything is better when shared 🙂

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