What Is A Travel Blog?
What is a travel blog? If you really are asking questions like that, this early on, you must shake yourself and question where you have been the past 5 years! Travel Blogs have really increased along with Fashion Blogs, in the 21st Century.
In the past we would pick up a magazine from the local newsagent and have a good read through skipping articles that were no use to us, and enjoy delving into the more in-depth topics that tickled our fancy. Re-usable these magazine would often be kept in a pile where you would say “ill keep it just in case I want to read it again”. When in actual fact we all know it would stay in that pile until we decided to have a good clear out of junk.
Well kind people… This is a thing of the past! Who needs to a) spend money and b) store something, that is broadly available on the Internet at the click of a button? Yes you guessed it, the World Wide Web!
The fantastic bit about online presence is that you can pick and choose what you want to read. So for example everyone has their preference on travel, some want a slow paced relaxing perspective on travel whilst others, a fast paced adrenaline style. Well guess what… It is all available on the web. None of this which, magazine do I purchase because I like the story in Magazine A but then the rest of the magazine is rubbish, plus Magazine B has this story and I am not spending that amount for two magazines. The list goes on!
Online you can search for travel blogs that suit your need and are fit for purpose. Some funny, some informative it really is down to personal preference.
Hell there are even content sharing websites like www.stumbleupon.com which allows you to share content you find interesting for others to view. Logging into StumbleUpon you can even choose your preferences and it will only show you websites that meet these requirements. An online magazine catered to you.
So in essence, a travel blog is a way of story telling, sharing those magazine articles with you. The pure brilliant aspect about it, is that anyone can do it. You don’t need to be a fully published author to share your views online. Ok some peoples writing is pretty poor (mine included), but that doesn’t mean their photography skills are. Websites offer content and visual aids, and combined. You truly are in for a treat.
Now you have a greater understanding of the basics, I bless with you with a link to my own travel blog which quite frankly shares some of my greater stories whilst travelling.
The Joys Of RSS Feeds
Now we have got the explanation out of the way, let me tell you about RSS Feeds and sites that offer a similar service without the need to log into individual sites.
An RSS Feed is basically a “Rich Site Summary”, which uses a standard web feed format to publish blog entries and other important news into a feed that allows easy reading.
Used by millions of web users on a daily basis it gives you absolute control over all stories coming into the RSS Feed. Imagine having a set variety of sites you like to visit but not enough time in the day to click on each of them. An RSS Feed brings these stories into one central location where you can see new stories/posts and have full control on when to remove some etc.
Here at South African Monkey, we set up one here… feed:https://southafricanmonkey.com/feed/ – Click to subscribe.
There are also similar sites out there offering a similar more picturesque view on this allowing you to follow certain blogs etc. This is called ‘BlogLovin’. Naturally the South African Monkey Blog is linked in here, and can be found on the following link… https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/south-african-monkey-14228381 – Please be sure to follow it. Naturally helps me and gives you exciting up to date stories as soon as posts are listed.
Why Do I Travel?
Why do I travel? What a silly question, anyone in their right mind would… Surely? You would be surprised at the statistics of people who haven’t even left their own country. I myself have friends and family who have never even been on a plane. Not because they are afraid of what may happen, but just ‘never got round to it’.
It still amazes me, but then again maybe I have just been fortunate enough to experience it from a young age.
With a South African background, we lived our lives between South Africa and England. I don’t even remember the first few years of flights, I was that young! As time progressed it began to become a part of my life. Christmas for example would always be spent in South Africa on a beach with Champagne, whilst friends in the UK would be shocked as a traditional Christmas was about ‘turkey, snow and presents around the Christmas tree’.
Nope… The sunshine did it for me!
I lived for flying, driving, delays and packing. It wasn’t just about the destination, it was everything that came with it. The culture, excitement and entering the unknown.
That being said travel isn’t just about flying far, far away where time zones differ. Travel is about the adventure, exploring different places. Whether you live in America, South Africa, the United Kingdom or anywhere, it is about venturing out of your house and walking to somewhere new. It could be a local park, it could be a town centre or even the other side of the Atlantic. It truly doesn’t matter, it is all an adventure.
Travel isn’t just about seeing new places, it is the stories you gain from it to tell friends, family and young ones.
In fact through travel I have experienced some of the many tales I tell today, and that leads me on to why I document about it.
Why Do I Document It?
Why do I document it? Why not?! I am not fussed who reads it, or how poorly written it is. After all, it fills me with great pleasure and gives me something to look back on in later years.
Some people keep scrap books, I hate paper. So what better way than to keep it electronically.
Always wanting to better myself with website development, I started off with forums which was a form of communication with others, this then developed as I finished University and decided I wanted a year to ‘expand my horizon’ and go travelling. With family in South Africa, I decided to go visit but at the same time keep in touch with friends and family back home in the UK. It is always easier said than done, especially when trying to keep on top of emails and social websites such as Facebook.
So I created my first blog… www.southafricanmonkey.co.uk – The purpose of the site was to post pictures and stories daily on my everyday life in South Africa. Where I had been, where I was going and what stories I had to tell.
From the time a lion made us late for work where it was stuck laying in the middle of the road (click me), to the time we got chased by elephants, and had to reverse back for half an hour (click me).
Stories like these were not possible to share without documenting them, and although these stories will stick with me forever, what use are they if I am not able to share them. Ironically some stories people, to this day, do not believe. Like the time I dropped my laptop whilst running from an Elephant. To the time Rodney grabbed a monkeys hand to tease him (the look on the monkeys face). It truly is moments like these that just have to be shared.
Social Side Of Travel
Travel isn’t just about beautiful places, there is much more to it. There is also the social side. You will meet many people along the way, from the good, the bad to the damn right ugly (and I am not talking looks). One thing you will notice along the way is just how friendly people truly are. Whether you are in need or just wandering the streets people will always surprise you.
I guess there are a few things to take into consideration when travelling. In some cultures you are seen as new, and a guest in their village/land. Some people may have not even experienced outsiders before.
That being said with tourism today so many people are used to it. I remember arriving in a small town in Southern Africa to which two kids were playing in a burnt out car.
Straight away I took a photograph and their reaction was to ask about Snap Chat? This just shows the mess Technology has provided us with.
However moaning about technology isn’t the answer. In fact in many instances it helps. Especially with communication. I had a pen pal in South Africa for years, posting letters but as time progressed, it moved to Social Networks and emails. It was a much quicker process and helped me find other friends around the globe I had met along the way.
Some of my closest friends live in South Africa, Germany, Greece and India, and I seem to speak to them more than people just down the road. What does that tell you?
Travel Doesn’t Have To Be A Round The World Trip!
Who said travel has to be focused on a Round The World Ticket offering a year out gap year from work or education? No one! Travel is everything from your route to work, to the weekend walks to the shop. Everything can be made into an adventure. Make the most of it.
One thing I have found over the years was time is money. Who needs a huge bank balance, when you can’t spend it? That is where my short breaks come into it.
Ok I have spent a year travelling South Africa, and time away in other countries but in todays society, with holiday entitlement etc, how can we begin to fit in travel?
Based in the United Kingdom means access to Europe is bliss, and what better time to spend there than at the Weekends. For me it was about long weekends, but quite frankly, no time needs to be off. Leave late Friday evening after work, and get back Sunday evening ready for work on Monday. Not only does this begin to become exciting it gives you something to look forward to. Use sites like www.skyscanner.net which show you the cheapest time of year to travel. In 2014 we spent each month visiting a different country.
Money doesn’t even have to come into the equation. Pack a bag and go camp under the stars. This is the whole idea of an adventure. Enjoy it!
Make the most out of your time on this beautiful planet. That is what I have done and the sole purpose of this travel blog. A) To inspire people like you and B) to explore the paths less travelled.
Life Is An Adventure!
Life is an adventure… Live it, embrace it! That is my motto, and quite frankly it is how I stand when it comes to making the most out of life. Travel doesn’t have to be expensive, neither does adventure, and naturally they both come hand in had. Whether you decide to finish work and camp out in the stars or go for a walk, every step you take is a mini adventure.
Take risks, take chances and challenge yourself 100% of the way. Go for a walk, visit somewhere new. And the best bit about that walk, is that its healthy.
Becoming an adventurer requires dedication. Dedication to make the most out of life, and that is where we stand! Sit back, let that line soak in and now get up and go!
Become an Adventurer. – https://southafricanmonkey.com/adventurer/
No I am not the most well travelled person, but when I visit somewhere, I like to do it properly. None of this tourist malarky. Get down and dirty. Save where I can and enjoy the culture.
I have compiled a list of some of my top pickings. Although it is still under construction check out some of the travel destinations and guides available to help you decide for yourself where to go and what you will need with you.
The map below shows how little of the world I have seen but still, watch it grow as my time on this beautiful planet continues.
From countries such as South Africa, to European beauties such as France, Germany and Spain, I have compiled a directory to help you navigate throughout. Visit this page for more – https://southafricanmonkey.com/trip/destinations/
The Roads Less Travelled
Tourist traps are what travel is all about these days unfortunately. Hell if you want to witness it first hand, go to Venice in peak season and you will soon realise why I wanted to sink every bodies boats.
Travel isn’t about going to places to tick them off your list in the shortest period possible, it is about enjoying life and experiencing new things.
That is why many places mentioned on this travel blog are places you may have never heard about. Now that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth visiting! Some of the most amazing places I have visited are the places that haven’t been stepped on by many others.
Helping You Decide!
I am by no means a Michael Palin, I haven’t travelled the whole world in 80 days or any of that malarky. I merely write about my experiences. After all that is the whole idea of a Travel Blog. Be informative but at the same time enjoy explaining your stories in such a way that you can look back and think, what I remember that.
That being said, I want to help others get out there and travel. Whether it be local or a long Round The World Trip, I want to get you involved. Therefore I write with you guys in mind.
Little hacks I find along the way, products that have been life savers, and so on. I write about them. Take for example our last trip to Rome, we saw the queue for the Colosseum and decided against it. Later we found you could skip the queue by buying a ticket to the Roman Forum which gave you access to both… Morale of the story, that has just saved you a couple of hours whilst in Rome so now you can go and see more in that time!
That is what I am here for. Now it doesn’t mean what I say is gospel. Make your own decisions, that is what life is about. Get out, and explore!
Who knows? I try to be organised when I can but travel is something that brings out the worst in me… Who am I kidding! Why plan when you don’t know what to expect. This is the problem with modern tour companies, they plan everything down to the T! ‘Get up at 7am, breakfast at 7:30am’ blah blah blah! Who are they trying to kid. That is the fun of travel. It is all well and good saying ‘Today darling we are going to walk around the Louvre followed by a spot of lunch overlooking the Eiffel Tower’, but that being said last time we were in Paris there was a Protest. We spent 15 minutes just watching a Ferrari try to get through the traffic. The amusement alone from watching some of their facial expressions was enough to say the trip to Paris was well worth it.
So that being said, why plan your next destination. Make every footstep a destination, and savour every god damn second of your life.
I may not have planned our next trip but be sure to check out the blog to what we have been up to…