Like many other travel bloggers, I originally started this site to let Mom know I was still alive. That, and I figured that if nothing else one I day I was gonna have a really bitchin’ online journal to go and read.
Then one day I went and installed a stat counter and noticed that someone else besides my Mom and and me had stumbled upon my blog. Whoa. This thing just went public. That was back in 2007.
Since that time I’ve traveled like crazy, lived a hectic existence, and spent a ton of money trying to craft myself into a global travel expert.
Am I getting there? Eh, who knows. But I’ve had a great time along the way. Through this whole blogging thing I’ve been fortunate enough to trek the Annapura Sanctuary in Nepal, bask on Mediterranean beaches in Spain, climb the highest mountain in Borneo, and get lost in a Moroccan medina. Maybe even tour some vineyards in France and try to not get eaten by alligators in Bolivia.
Sounds like a great life, right? Well, this might come as a shocker, but travel isn’t exactly free. People always ask me how I afford to travel all over the world, and while I wish I had some secret answer or elixir, the reality is pretty old fashioned: I work a job, I save money, and then I go travel. To this date, 99% of all of my travel has been out of pocket.
Sure, there are the occassional freebies from being in the travel writing industry. Sometimes I get awarded a press trip to Nepal via MatadorU, or other times maybe someone just buys me a beer in Vietnam because I tell them I have a blog and they have a cool bar. Sometimes I sell advertising on my site, and sometimes I let people post articles on my site that say nice things about people and companies they represent. Much of this advertising is paid. Why? Because traveling is my passion, and traveling costs money. That being said, you won’t find any products, links, ads, or recommendations on my site that I don’t personally endorse or stand behind.
Why am I saying all of this? Well, for starters, the FTC says that I have to. It’s called a disclosure statement, and it’s the law. More so, however, I say all of this because I like being as up front and transparent with my blog, my business, and my travel as possible.
So yes, I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to travel across the globe and experience myriad cultures and dramatic sites along the way. At the same time, the reality is that sometimes I want to eat a plate of steaming pad thai, but instead settle on a cup of rice because the ol’ site has been a little slow lately, and for the most part, travel writers and bloggers are dirt poor.
So why do I have this blog? Two reasons: To let Mom know I’m alive, and so I can order that plate of pad thai.