Travel Blogging: Stage Fright After Attending TBEX

Me at TBEX in Jerusalem

So two months ago I attended TBEX, a travel blogging convention for travel bloggers and other travel media professionals. This was a wonderful conference; I learned so much and made many contacts in the travel field . And I got a head full of ideas on how to build a travel blog and a travel bloggers business. This was all fine and good and useful, but all the ideas started pulling me in too many directions. There was much advice from people who had already built successful travel blogs!  Some experts said you needed to focus on one main theme. Some said never to discuss the business or mechanics of blogging. Some said you had to have video! And on and on and on….

I decided I needed to let all the advice settle, and focus on one thing.  I decided to focus on first growing my Instagram account, TheTinyTravelholic, through daily photos and micro-blogging. This has been very successful; I’ve grown that account to almost 5000 followers and I’m getting between 200 and 400 likes on most posts. This is a substantial jump from 2 months ago, and since I’ve grown the account by hand without any automation or follow/unfollow hijinks since its inception in September 2016, I’m very happy with it.

But now I’m ready to jump back into my blog. Here’s what I decided: I’m going to stay uniquely me. That is really what the travel blogs I most enjoy have: a unique voice from a traveler that I like.  I’m also going to blog about travel photography (I’ve been involved in travel photography for 30 years) since I have so much to share on that topic. I’ll also  blog about the mechanics of blogging (like today) and social media since I think this is of interest to my audience, especially older travel bloggers and new writers  (by older, I’m thinking post-Millennial,  since the Millennials seem to have been born with smart phones in their hands). I’m going to continue to discuss travel for empty-nesters, as well as disability travel.

I obviously love Instagram

Yep; love that Instagram!

If you stick with me, you’ll get my unique spin on all that, and much more on travel (of course). I’m a wide-eyed traveler; I am in awe of the natural world and the myriad of peoples in it. I find joy in the beauty of people, places and things. I can’t understand all the fighting and war on our planet; God gave us this amazing place and short lives and that is how people want to spend their limited time? Uh, OK. It’s beyond me. I’ll spend my time traveling and meeting people, marveling at wildlife, and tasting the bounty of the earth. I’m also pretty fond of sand between my feet, the sea, and mountian air. And cities amaze me in their own way.

Again, thank you for joining me, the Tiny Travelholic! As always, I micro-blog daily on Instagram (you can just click on my most recent posts on the right-side of this blog). Pleasse sign up  with your e-mail to get alerts on new blog posts. Currently I’m in Maine for the whole month of May. After Maine, I’ll be mostly in California and Nevada, with a trip or two to New York (I’m going to be closer to home for a few months because I’m assistant directing a production of Spamalot at Chico Theater Company); I’m intending to explore some closer-to-home locations during that time, including Lassen National Park, the northern coast of California, Mount Shasta and the Shakespeare Festival in Oregon. Plus, when I’m work-bound at home, I’ll be talking about other locations I’ve been to this year and in the past, plus travel photography, traavel planning, Instagram, and much more.

Thanks, TBEX; looks like you really did focus where I wanted to go with my travel blog after all!

Writing My Travel Blog

Walking around Osaka last November I found many restaurants and cafes perfect for writing.

Walking around Osaka last November I found many restaurants and cafes perfect for writing.

This post could just as easily be entitled “Not Writing My Travel Blog” because sometimes life just conspires against you when you are a writer.

Writing a travel blog is the hardest when I am actually traveling. Because it’s always a choice of spending my time having experiences and taking photos or spending my time writing.  Generally I do try to build some down time into my trip so I don’t exhaust myself (rheumatoid arthritis and exhaustion do not go well together), so I’ll try to couple the down time at a café, hotel, or cruise cabin with writing. Sometime this works, sometimes your significant other or best friend has other ideas.  I generally travel with someone, be it my husband,  children, other family members or friends, and sometimes the downtime belongs to them; sometimes sitting in a café with your husband or friend talking and laughing beats writing.

Which brings up trying to write at home when there are other people around. After a break from writing for a few years after I left, I am just now getting back into a writing routine.  This seems a bit hard for certain members of my family to comprehend.  This week was a bit of a writing wash out, since I had family members in town, a premiere of The Producers at my theater company, and backed up home chores after my recent cruise.  Did I mention the giant storm that blew in making my RA feel just terrible (honestly, I’m like a weather vane).  In any event, I woke up all ready to write this morning!  And them Mr. Travelholic bops into the bedroom all energy and excitement, and announces that we have 14 errands to do in town, plus he needs a trip to the bookstore.  I grumble that he has enough books and I planned to spend the day writing. He grumbles that I shouldn’t ignore him on a Saturday morning. Negotiations ensue; so here I am writing and bookstore and errands shall commence later today.

Then there is Instagram.  Instagram is the perfect thing to do when I want to work on my whole “travel blogging and travel photography Tiny Travelholic” thing, but just don’t have the time or the energy to write.  But the thing about Instagram is it is  a huge time suck, especially when you are trying to grow a new account.  Which I am. So, I’ll head into Instagram to post one of my 100,000 travel photos (yep, been taking travel photos since 1984) and before you know it, I’m liking other people’s images, adding followers, and sucked into Lightroom or my iPhone photos to find more photos to post.  Next thing you know it’s an hour (or two) later.  I’ll definitely do an article on Instagram and travel photography in the near future; if you haven’t yet checked out my Instagram it’s The Tiny Travelholic and it’s a great place to see my travel photography and micro blogging about places while I’m between posts here.  And of course, more actual blogging is on the way. I have a few upcoming articles on my recent Carnival Breeze cruise, a review of the DxO One camera, a look at different types of photo equipment for different types of trips, plus I’ll be in Maine shortly and then Japan again.  So stay tuned!