Non Stop Family-Travel Blogger?
Over the past few weeks there has been great debate over whether or not it is OK for families with children to travel around the world indefinite, without any goal or end-date in sight.
Children do not have the same possibilities of saying “stop” as their parents do, if they no longer find traveling appealing. And when reading the many travel-blogs focusing on “family-traveling” and “the life-style of the digital nomads” one might think that things are almost always idyllic and that the children thrive no matter what.
And this may very well be the case. In fact, I am not writing this piece to judge anyone. We are all different, and we can all take responsibility for ourselves and our families.
Let’s talk about us, threeonthego. We all LOVE traveling. We love the excitement leading up to the day of departure. The bags fully packed with the carefully selected equipment. The drive to the airport. Check-in and anticipation. What adventures are we going to have?
All this… The anticipation and expectation are things we DO NOT have when we are constantly traveling. When we are traveling long-term, the drive to YET ANOTHER airport, YET ANOTHER hotel and YET ANOTHER car rental company that will only try to drain our wallets with extra insurances and fees simply just seem like another comma in our never-ending row of days, where our experiences all melt together and stack up in the back of our minds, without any proper reflection and processing, which - for us - is required in order to appreciate what kind of life we have.
As previously mentioned elsewhere on this website, the CONTRAST between the wandering life on the road and the stable life at home is a fascinating part of the travel experience. For us. At home we process all the impressions from our journeys. At home we find “foothold” once again. At home we slowly start dreaming of far horizons and build up motivation and hunger for yet another adventure.
And even if we did not have Anton, I am pretty sure this scenario would be the same. For us. However, we have determined that Anton is exactly like we are. He loves the excitement of traveling, but he also cherish his everyday life at home, often doing absolutely nothing but “wedging” on the couch, just like his parents. He loves his everyday life in day-care and the buddies he hang out with. Things, these little things, that he cannot have when we are traveling.
We have seen numerous cases of family travel bloggers, who at one point or another, had to admit that they were worn out, tired and simply needed a vacation. And they even felt ashamed to admit it! Being a travel blogger is not as glorious as it may sound. Of course not! You have to remember to take a lot of photos, in order to properly document your adventures on your blog. And you need to write some positive and inspiring posts about it all. On top of that comes all the social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc) that you need to update on a daily basis (with great variation and motivation) in order to keep the fan-base engaged. A travel blogger can easily spend up to 8 hours a day doing all this. (Not exaggerating here!) If - on top of that - you need time to actually travel, experience things with your family, and actually be mentally present… When do you sleep? When do you re-charge? When do you have time to be the parents that you should (and want to) be? We left our old life with careers, bills and everyday stress behind because we wanted to be PRESENT with our son. Why would we neglect that during our travels, just to pursue clicks, page-impressions and banner-expos?
On several occasions while traveling around for a year, we felt the urge to just “crash” for a while to do absolutely nothing. Just relax and enjoy some peace and quiet. Our trip was in any way a great success, and as it turned out we were a great team of travelers together. But we had no way of knowing this beforehand, and we would have ended the journey prematurely had it not worked like it did. I know, it is easy to say now, after arriving safely back home. But trust me: We would have aborted the “mission” had we not enjoyed the ride! Anything else would have been ridiculous and would only have been a false show. We would have cheated on ourselves and our following readers. The friends, family and fans following us on the social platforms….
A travel blog has to be authentic! You have to feel that there are actually people behind all the glittery pictures and positive words. The bare feet by the pool. The yummy pictures of food buffets. Or the scenic views from hotel suites. You need to make room for the less glamorous portrayals of worries along the way, frustrations and incidents that 99,5% of all travelers experience. And then you have to get used to the fact that your own travel blog cannot always be the preferred “go-to-place” and source of all inspiration and dreaming. In my opinion it is better to provide an authentic picture of what life on the road is actually like. And life IS a great, big mix of everything…
We portray reality as we see it. Sometimes in a very positive light. Sometimes from a more “strained” angle. This is how our life is, whether we are traveling or not. And this is life as it should be! Please remember that everyday life WILL hit you on longer travels! Whether you like it or not. Children get sick. They misbehave. They may fall asleep in restaurants because they are simply too tired to stand up any more. It is all part of everyday life on the road, and it is OK. As long as you remember to feel - really FEEL - when it is time to return back home to “base” for a while.
Bottom line: Well… there isn’t any… We are all different. What works for us, does not necessarily work well for others. And vice versa. But remember, the MENTAL journey is just as important as the physical one, so as long as we move along and learn, I guess traveling is not such a bad thing at all, or?
Safe and happy travels!