No matter how cliché it might sound, I thought of creating my travel blog one fine day. It simply started as a platform in 2019 to share my travel stories from around the world that now has become my dream project.
Making blogging into a career is still a very new concept, especially in India. I am so often bombarded with questions, rather expressions like - wow! you are lucky to get to travel the world for free, your life is so glamorous, you must be rich enough to travel, etc.
In this post, I wish to clarify many misconceptions about travel blogging/ bloggers.
Misconceptions about travel bloggers/ blogging
1. What you see is what it is
Very often, while looking at a blogger's Instagram grid or blog posts, you see some perfect pictures, perfect setup. In reality, a lot of effort goes into those attractive photos.
For example, The photo below came out very well. It is one of my favorite photos. But, we spent like 20 minutes only to get the perfect angle in the mirror. My team here was my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Sometimes, I have to wake up at 5 in the morning only to click photos in the morning daylight.
2. Travel is luxurious and glamorous
Being a travel blogger does not necessarily mean that travel is always fun and attractive. We often have to travel on a strict budget and take the situation as it comes. But anyway, it is all worth it in the end.
3. Travel bloggers enjoy absolutely everything
That's one of the most liked and saved posts on Instagram. Such pictures might portray that we enjoy everything that comes our way, which we do most of the time. But, there are times when we feel scared too.
For example, This is the moment I posted as I wanted my audience to see only this. They do not know that this was the third time I was released and felt comfortable only then. The first two times I was released in the air, I had screamed at the top of my voice.
4. Travel bloggers must be rich or have their parents pay for their travel
I have been getting asked about this since the time I started travel blogging, especially by my friends. So, the moment I tell them about my next travel plans, the first thing they utter is - what the hell? Are you traveling again? You are a rich chic...And I am like, why? I mean, I am earning just as good as my friends. It is just that I make travel a priority in my financial budget. I would keep a trip to Japan above buying an expensive designer dress. I could let go dining at fine dining restaurants to save for a trip to a neighboring country. And trust me nothing feels as nice as saving for a passion you live for.
5. Travel bloggers are always confident and outgoing
Yes, travel bloggers are confident to a large extent. That is precisely the reason why we are traveling around the globe. But, It is a misconception that we are always friendly and outgoing. Sometimes, we are also not comfortable approaching certain sections of people or visiting certain parts of a destination.
For example, I was supposed to visit Turkey in April 2020, which of course, got canceled due to COVID. But that's when one of my colleagues asked me to go to this remote village near Istanbul for a couple of days to get some good content on the local culture. But the problem was that the village locals there are not used to the tourist crowd, plus they don't speak English at all. Many travel bloggers do stay there in homestays with local villagers, but that is something I am not very comfortable doing. In the end, that village was not a part of my itinerary.
6. Travel bloggers get all their trips for free - one of the biggest misconceptions about travel bloggers
That's my favorite one. Many times, when I post hotel posts or travel posts blog and Instagram, many people ask me if that was a sponsored stay or a sponsored trip? I answer with a yes, because that's the truth. Then they say, oh nice! you are lucky to get all this for free. No, it is not free at all. It is a barter collaboration if it is not a paid collaboration, and we work equally hard for these barter collaborations. I need to give the brands the value equivalent to what we are getting from them. Moreover, I need to maintain long-term business relations with them. In the end, it is about my brand - bulbulonthewing.
7. You need an expensive camera to create good content
Yes, good cameras are the most important thing for us. However, it is absolutely fine to spend on expensive equipment as you grow your travel blog. It also depends on the kind of traveler you are. For example, I always prefer a phone camera for it is handy over a DSLR.
8. You must have a super good body and be insanely gorgeous to be an influencer
Now, that I think is a little debatable. I feel that when it comes to Instagram, it is more about the visual content, which is quickly consumed by the users. So, yes it becomes important that one is presentable. But, it does not have to do anything with the body. I mean, I have turned only chubbier in the last 3-4 years, and I started blogging at my plumpest, if I may say so.
I am not an expert yet, but these are the misconceptions about travel bloggers that I wanted to bust from my personal experiences during the last two years of blogging. Travel blogging as a profession has been such a rewarding experience in itself. It feels like this profession was always my calling. The journey, however, I must say, is not the same for every blogger.