Over the years, this blog has been a lot of different things. It started long ago as True Colours (if you’re a follower that was around back then, you’re a rockstar for following for so long!) where it was basically a journal of my life. Then over time it morphed in Land of Marvels and became travel-focused as I started traveling more frequently. Over the many years I’ve been blogging, my focus on Land of Marvels has changed as my life changed. Sometimes over those many years I’ve been all-in on this space, working behind the scenes for hours and hours. Other times, I’ve stepped back as my life got busier in other areas. But over the many years I’ve been blogging here, the one thing that keeps me coming back again and again is the community.
I’ve watched as followers have come and gone, as we went from posting ads on each other’s blogs to it becoming all about SEO and how many likes you get on your Instagram account. I’ll be honest, at times, I’ve been disappointed that Land of Marvels hasn’t grown as fast as other blogs I follow. There have been times that I’ve considered giving it up. There have been times that I just don’t have the bandwidth to give Land of Marvels the time it really needs to succeed. But in all of it, the one thing that keeps me here on this platform is the idea that I’m sharing the world with all of you wonderful readers. Whether you’ve been around this space for years or you’re just starting to get to know me, I hope that Land of Marvels offers you a glimpse into some really incredible places around the world and offers the tips and suggestions you need to see those places yourself as well.
As the blogging world has changed over the course of the last decade, I’ve realized something: I’ll never be a great travel blogger. Let me rephrase – the way the internet now wants travel bloggers to be, it seems that to meet those standards, you have to be a certain type of blogger. And even if it means that I won’t get the page views that other blogs get if I don’t meet those standards or if I never make a solid living from this blog because I’m not following the “rules” of how to grow a successful blog, I’m ok to never be a great travel blogger in that respect. Honestly, I just want to share what travel has brought to my life, I just want to share the journeys I take and I hope they inspire you take journeys of your own. And so as I go forward on Land of Marvels, if you’re here for a typical travel blogger, it’s probably not me and that’s totally ok. But if you’re ok with me taking a little bit of a different path, here are all the reasons why I’ll never be a great travel blogger.
I won’t post 10 million pictures of myself.
It seems these days that the Instagram accounts of travel bloggers are most successful if every photo has them in it. And yea, I’m not against a selfie or a photo of me in a destination here and there, but I won’t ever be the blogger dancing around in the middle of a crowded location to get an Insta-worthy photo of myself to add to my feed of other pictures of myself. It’s just not me.
I won’t go somewhere only for the Insta-moments.
I totally get that a lot of bloggers are trying to make a living and are taking trips to places solely to get great photos or more likes so that they can grow their audience. And that’s cool if that’s what you want to do. I personally won’t go somewhere only for the Insta-moments and in actuality, when I’m traveling, the stuff I post on Instagram is really only a tiny fraction of what I’m experiencing behind the phone or camera. My first priority when traveling is always the place in front of me, the experience I’m a part of.
I travel to see and experience a place the way I want to.
I’m not a tour person. I don’t like following someone around all day telling me a bunch of information. I like to travel some place and really just experience it. If I don’t learn all the facts, I can read about them later. If I don’t know the names of everything, that’s ok. For me, travel is about experience. It’s about doing it the way that makes the deepest impression on me and frankly, that’s going to be different for everyone. I find that a lot of travel bloggers force their way of experiencing on their readers and I tend to go a different route. Travel the way that you want to and there won’t be judgement from me on that end.
I also don’t believe that you should run yourself ragged while you travel. I believe in getting a full night of sleep and staying in the hotel if you don’t feel well. I’ve seen a lot on the internet in the travel blog community about how you should take advantage of every second of every day when you’re traveling even if it means you come home exhausted. I subscribe to a different theory – travel and experience places the way that works for you, don’t force yourself to adhere to what someone else says you should be experiencing with travel.
I won’t tell you what to do and will only offer suggestions.
I’m also against the idea that travel bloggers should tell you exactly how to do a trip, which restaurants to eat at every single day, which stores to shop in, etc. I definitely will always offer suggestions for a place, but I also believe in being a little bit vague in my travel advice and here’s why. If I lay out everything for you, if I give you a minute by minute itinerary of what to do on a trip in a certain destination, you’re not really experiencing a destination for yourself. Part of the point of travel in my opinion is to get lost, to eat at terrible restaurants, to walk for miles and miles because you can’t get a cab. Those are the experiences that become a part of your travel stories, the good alongside the bad, those experiences over time teach you more lessons and allow you to experience so much more in a destination. I personally want you to take the tips and suggestions I offer and then go out and do it all yourself, that’s the most transformative part of what travel offers and I firmly believe that each person should travel and experience a place in their own way, not following a step by step guide and only doing and seeing what someone else did.
I have a dayjob and don’t travel full time.
I’m not a full time blogger and I don’t travel full time, nor do I want to. I don’t want to live out of a suitcase or be so exhausted from constant travel because I wouldn’t enjoy it as much. If you’re new here, I have an Interior Design company that is my main job and travel for me is just a hobby and I’d like to keep it that way. Sure, I’d love to be able to grow Land of Marvels a bit more and make a little bit more money from this space, but honestly, it will probably never be my main income stream and I’m totally ok with that. Land of Marvels for me, is and always has been, a passion project. It’s a space where like-minded people can converse about travel, where I can share what I’ve learned along the way, where the destinations are the most important part of this story, and that’s how I intend to keep it.