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Why I want to tear up your Bucket List

We used to love bucket lists. Now we loathe them. I want to explain why I want to help you tear up your bucket list so you can travel better.

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Bucket List

I used to love bucket lists. Now I loathe them.

Bucket List

The problem is that the movie The Bucket List was fantastic and a real tearjerker. I imagine it inspired thousands of people, young and old, to put pen to paper to create their own.

In fact, one of the first things we ever wrote for this travel blog was our own bucket list. It is featured right up there in our main menu and is one of our most visited pages.

When we wrote it, we chose 44 adventures and “things” that we wanted to achieve during our short lives. They didn’t have any rhyme or reason to them. And they all seemed manageable at the time.

I mean, who doesn’t have the time time to travel the width of China, volunteer with turtles and drink the local beer in over 100 countries?

These were activities that I thought would bring meaning and fulfillment to our lives. These 44 items were going to help us plan our next travel adventures as a couple.

Four Jandals Egypt Pyramids

I vowed that I would keep it updated and that we would do whatever it took to tick them off our list. We even managed to cross off 7 of them. But the others?

Here is where the problem lies.

Every time we find a cheap airfare, travel somewhere new or talk to people about travelling, I discover something that I want to add to this list. If I had kept on adding items up till now then we would have over 200 adventures to do before our time on this planet was up.

Now all I want to do is tear up our bucket list.

Sure I understand the usefulness of having a bucket list. It gives you a place to dream of all the things you want to achieve. A place to write down things that sound awesome. Like kayaking in Italy.

kayaking in Naples

We still want to do all the things on our current bucket list.

But in reality, they are a list that most people use for hope that they might be able to escape their current lives.

Because what happens if you don’t tick them all off? I know that you are not going to die. Technically that is impossible if you treat a bucket list like a bucket list.

But shouldn’t our travels, and lives for that matter, be as flexible as we want them to be?

And when you are dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies bucket lists that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… our FREEDOM! (Sorry, couldn’t resist the Braveheart reference).

Edinburgh Castle Braveheart Scotland

To be honest, that is what it feels like our bucket list is currently doing. It has taken our freedom. It is holding us back. It is making us change our travel plans so that we can pursue something we wrote down over a year ago.

Christina from Couple of Travels agreed that she hates bucket lists because they are procrastination tools.

Adventurous Kate also wrote about her problem with bucket lists. She argued that “if your deadline is death – you’re not making it a priority”.

She even challenged her readers to create a realistic list of 5 – 10 totally achievable travel adventures and tick at least one of them off in 2 years.

This is the sort of movement I can agree with. 

So, I am tearing up our bucket list.

But what will you use to inspire our travel plans?

Good question.

Nothing.

By having a bucket list we are actually turning down perfectly amazing places that we could visit. We are limiting ourselves to only doing those activities or visiting those countries where our list sends us.

Cinque Terre Sunset Photos

As Matt from LandLopers stated, “as one expands their personal travel boundaries, more travel destinations will suddenly become more appealing”.

We agree wholeheartedly.

We have changed a lot over the last 3 years of travelling. We still love stepping outside our comfort zones and doing travel adventures. But we don’t want to be broke-ass budget travellers all the time. I even quit my job to pursue our travel blogging dreams.

Our priorities continue to change and we are adapting with them.

So, instead of having a piece of paper, or in this case a blog page, dictating that we need to do something in the next 50 years or so, we are just going to live each day as it comes.

We will still prioritize where we want to travel in the next 12 months. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet.

So my question to you is…

Can I tear up your bucket list?

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51 Comments

51 Comments

  1. Sweet Mama M

    August 28, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Interesting viewpoint given that I just blogged about our international travel bucket list! I think it all depends on what philosophy you take towards your list. The husband and I have travelled extensively domestically but very little overseas. We still see our lives being based in NZ but by having the list, it’s a consistent reminder that we value the experiences that travel will bring us and it helps us stick to our saving goals. It’s aspirational, rather than strict guidelines that these are the only places we’ll visit, and of course we are open to seizing new opportunities as they come along. Anyway, that’s my two cents 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      August 29, 2012 at 8:50 AM

      Agree with you there! I love the ideas of bucket lists as they do give you a place to record all those things we all want to do. The only problem is that most people will never cross them off their lists. I think “Bucket List” is just the wrong term for them.

  2. Adventurous Kate

    August 28, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Well said, Cole! It’s great that you’re throwing away your predetermined plan in favor of serendipity.

    I have to be honest — it’s been months since I wrote that post and I have made ZERO progress on any of my goals. I figured they’d be easy. Maybe your homeland this winter after all.

    • Cole Burmester

      August 29, 2012 at 8:52 AM

      Haha maybe this will be the reminder to kick your A-into-G and start crossing them off. Will make a good follow up post anyway 🙂

      Cheap flights with Emirates back to NZ the days around WTM from London. I just booked my flights last night for a few weeks of catching up with family and friends. Hope you get out there soon too!

  3. Christina

    August 28, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    SO awesome!! Thanks for the mention – and you know I agree 100%!!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 29, 2012 at 8:53 AM

      No worries Christina 🙂 You made VERY noteworthy points!

  4. Someday I'll Be There - Mina

    August 29, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    I have never written down a bucket list, and I don’t think I can…Simply if I start writing one down it will be too long, could be depressing, so the top items on my “bucket list” is what is possible to do next, and even that is always changeable depending on the situation and the people I meet. No plans, no bucket lists, just enjoying the given moment as it is…

    Ok maybe very little planning for the future, but as you said, I don’t go too far…

  5. Jemma

    August 29, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Agree 100%! That might just be my personal bias though because I hate plans. I can deal with them if they’re very simple, but generally I prefer to go with the flow and see where that takes me. And it’s taken me to some pretty awesome places 🙂

  6. Jeremy Branham

    August 29, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    I wrote about a travel bucket list earlier this year. Every bucket list is personal. However, a bucket list is MUCH MUCH more than a list of places to check off. I wrote about mine and stated that a bucket list is really about connecting your past with your future to help you better understand who you are as a person.

    Take a look at your bucket list and don’t just do it. Examine why those things are on your list. It may help you understand who you are as a person which is far more important than just checking things off of a list.

  7. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    August 29, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    Here, here! We’ve never had a bucket list (AND we never saw the movie). Instead, we treat each morning as a blank slate full of travel adventures and opportunities we never even dreamed of. Trust us when we tell you that fate, timing and serendipity can toss some pretty awesome experiences your way!

  8. Cherie City

    August 29, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Sometimes I’m tempted to write one, but then my everyday ‘to do list’ is so long that another one would just stress me out.

    In a way, I prefer to look back on some of the great and unexpected things I’ve had the opportunity to do and keep the future open to cool new experiences and travels.

    My one on-going travel goal is to make it to California and the west coast for the first time in the next few years…

  9. Genevieve

    August 30, 2012 at 5:00 AM

    I don’t use a bucket list to inspire my travel plans; amazing photos like the ones in this post are travel inspiration enough!

  10. The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen)

    August 30, 2012 at 5:11 AM

    Haha, I’m not sure I’d let you tear up my bucket list just yet, but Justin and I are pretty much in a similar place as you guys. We still have our dream destinations or experiences, but now we’re much more content to just go where the wind blows and take advantage of whatever opportunities present themselves. Our trips are much less planned out now, and we just kind of have a “rough draft” of what we want to do while we’re in a location. You’re point is very well said … in reality, we’re all probably going to die before we can do everything on the list, and just because we don’t achieve that doesn’t make life any less fulfilling. In fact, it probably means we enjoyed it more!

  11. Turtle

    August 30, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Rip it up! Bucket lists are foolish ideas. They are for people who can’t find happiness in the moment and always need to be looking to the future. They’re also for lazy people who like to think that once they’ve ticked everything off, they’ve experienced the world. Live every day like it is on your bucket list!!

  12. Zara @ Backpack ME

    August 30, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    It’s funny how I had never had a bucket list as such before I started traveling this much… But now, the more I travel the more I informally add new places to my mental bucket list! The more you see it’s almost like you realize there is still so much more goodness to see in this world. Still, I agree at following a bucket list makes no sense – sometimes the best experiences are those you never thought you’d live or even planned for!

  13. Annette | Bucket List Journey

    August 31, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    The bucket list is the whole premise surrounding my blog, so needless to say I am a HUGE fan. With that said, I don’t allow myself to be bound by my list. There is plenty of room for flexibility because I realize that some of the best experiences happen by taking opportunities that spontaneously present themselves. It is more of a loose life guide and a place to keep track of the amazing experiences I hear about. Of course, I do actively want to check off items, but I am just as happy having a memorable new experience that isn’t on the list.

    I love what Jeremy says about how your list can help you to understand who you are. My “foodie” section is turning out to be enormous!

  14. Callie

    August 31, 2012 at 6:52 AM

    It’s such a vicious cycle – the more of the world you see, the more you realize you haven’t seen!

  15. Laurence

    August 31, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    I loved the movie, but man, that term is just so overused these days. Personally, I’m making a shovel list. Find some things you want to do in life, then go do them. If you get trapped by a list, throw it away. Life’s too full of adventure to be stuck making lists anyway 😉

  16. Angela

    August 31, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Yep, pretty much why I never have a bucket list. I do make plans, plenty of plans, and I also keep changing them and go with last minute decision!

  17. D.J. - The World of Deej

    August 31, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Great stuff Cole…I have a bucket list, actually I have 3 of them lol. But at the same time the best and most fulfilling moments of my travel “career” have been totally unplanned, small things, that I could never have planned. So in some ways it does render my bucket list totally useless…

  18. Natalie

    August 31, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    My bucket list grew all the time so I stopped looking at it. Like you say, along the way, you learn about new things and get inspired by different people. This is so much of a better path to take then looking at a list all day.

  19. Pete

    August 31, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    We’ve never had a list, goals or anything of the sort. It makes life a heck of a lot easier.

  20. Ali

    August 31, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    I’ve never made a bucket list because there are sooooo many places in this world I want to see, it would be easier to write a list of places I don’t want to see. As far as other types of experiences, well, it’s always changing. What was once important might not be now. I once thought Oktoberfest sounded like fun, but after participating in Tomatina last year, I realized I hate big drunken crowds. Like Jeremy said, it’s important to look at why you have a bucket list. A few goals you want to achieve with some sort of deadline might be more useful. I wanted to step foot on all 7 continents before my 30th birthday. Goal achieved, but I haven’t stopped traveling. Probably more in line with what Kate said, that it’s better to pick a few things that you want to accomplish in the next year or 2, rather than an huge list that you might do “someday.” And you definitely shouldn’t let it stop you from doing other things not on the list. As much as a list ticker as I can be, I don’t let it stop me from experiencing things. Maybe I just have a lot of mental lists that cover just about everything, and if it’s travel related, you can bet I’m planning several of them at any one time!

  21. Jess | GlobetrotterGirls

    August 31, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Excellent, excellent points. So true that the more you travel and open yourself up to opportunities, the more destinations you suddenly want to visit. a little while back we started saying that we became nomads so that we could give up our bucket list and life our bucket life. In other words, the only thing on the list now is to live life to the fullest, everyday, until it’s all over.

  22. Ian [EagerExistence]

    September 1, 2012 at 3:23 AM

    Nice argument. But I’m not tearing up my list. My whole site is based around it, and my travel plans. But my list wasn’t written in stone. I’m always making changes.

    Everyone has a list, whether they admit to it (or have it on paper) or not.

    Well, not everyone…

    Some people are completely open. I could say “Off to Siberia next”, and they would be up for it.

    • Ian [EagerExistence]

      December 10, 2012 at 4:51 AM

      It turns out I’ve got more to say on this:

      It’s all good not having a list while you are travelling. Leaving things open. Spend another day here, another week there; but what about when you stop travelling? You will start to make lists again; planning out all the places you still want to see. You see, lists have an important place for all those dreamers and armchair travellers out there. Just look at the success of Pinterest!

      • Cole Burmester

        December 11, 2012 at 11:37 AM

        Very true Ian and don’t totally disagree with you 🙂 I just wish people actually used their bucket list and ticked things off. I probably need to re-write the post to say we changed it to a Dream List!

  23. Lizzie Davey

    September 1, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Firstly, great post! I have never sat down and written a bucketlist simply because the thought sends me into cold shivers – I would almost certainly be writing it for the rest of my life, therefore eliminating actually DOING the items on it! I’m not even aware of all the things that can be done in the world, so how can I possibly write a list of the ones I want to do? If an activity seems appealing to me and I have the opportunity to do it, then of course I will. But I’m not going to kick myself for all the things I didn’t do.. so why would I want a list reminding me!? 😀

    Good luck on your travels and congrats on the tearing up of your bucketlist!

  24. Bethaney - Flashpacker Family

    September 2, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    I have a list. I call it our “Travel Wish List” because I don’t really like what the term bucket list implies. It’s more a list of things that will enrich our travels and inspire us to keep travelling. Something to give us momentum and keep us moving to the next place and the next. And, no, you may not tear it up! 😉

  25. Amanda

    September 2, 2012 at 5:43 AM

    See, I look at bucket lists slightly differently. Instead of set-in-stone lists of must-achieve goals, I look at them more as a list of cool ideas and dreams that you’re not ever actually MEANT to complete. Half the fun of having a bucket list is adding to it and watching it grow, knowing that so much adventure awaits!

    • Niel

      March 30, 2014 at 8:17 AM

      AGREE…
      Bucket list reminds us that there are more to life. It simply inspires me to save. Seeing those things you want to do and places you would love to visit ignites happiness within. Approach the list positively and keep an open mind and you’ll see that life has so much more to offer in times of depressing moments…

  26. Wandergirl

    September 3, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    I completely agree! I wrote a post similar to this about a year ago when I was in the midst of our European adventures and finding myself exasperated that once I’d arrive in a city there’d just be too many damn amazing things to do to worry about a stupid bucket list. I think there’s just one thing on my bucketlist: see and do new things. Once you start doing it, you’ll never be lacking inspiration for more new things.

    It might be good to just have a “Bucket List” where you write down interesting things to do so you really just remember them (sometimes there’s so many it’s hard to keep track). But making them must-dos does take your freedom, as you said, and doesn’t account for the fact that you might grow and change as a person.

  27. Gigi

    September 3, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    In defense of the bucket list: it can help people understand themselves better and create intention in their lives. For example: when I first created a to-do list of awesome things (I hadn’t even heard the phrase “bucket list” back then), I put “white water rafting” on it. It was just something I wanted to do. But not something I’d been intentionally pursuing.

    Having put it on my list, and thus put it top-of-mind, when the opportunity to go arose, I leapt at it!

    Ever since then, I’ve been a fan of putting things down on paper. Being intentional about my adventures.

    Though, of course, spontaneity is also wonderful. And the to-do list should never rope us into things we no longer want.

  28. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    September 4, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    I am anti-bucket list as well. It just adds too much pressure, and it is ever-expanding. Yes, I have a list in my head (and a few notes) that I consider my travel ideas or travel brainstorming. When the right opportunity arises, I’ll go for it. But no need to check off the boxes…. that makes it seem like work.

  29. Abby

    September 5, 2012 at 5:24 AM

    I couldn’t agree more — “loathe” is a word I find almost not strong enough! My best trips have come about because I followed where life took me or met a friend who recommended something, etc. Making a “to do” list for my life takes out all of the fun!

  30. Lillie - @WorldLillie

    September 5, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    Totally agreed!!!!! The other phrase I find icky and non-motivating is “bitten by the travel bug,” as if wanderlust is a disease that one has no control over. Thanks for writing this! 🙂

  31. Mike

    September 12, 2012 at 6:30 AM

    Doing a bucket list still helps me out plan ahead and not to forget all those things. It guides me when I travel. Just be simple with your list so that it can easily be crossed out. No pressure.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 13, 2012 at 4:41 PM

      True Mike. We just don’t like the name of it really. They should call it a “dream list” or something other than one that you need to do before you die.

  32. emma@greenglobaltravel

    September 14, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    This is interesting but I think it really depends on what you write down and if you’re the kind of person to go out and get it. I’m completely obsessed with writing lists becasue it just helps get everything straight in my head, and I do actually complete them all (Sometimes I write stuff on the list that I’ve just done, just to feel the satisfaction of immediately crossing it off…I’m sure I’m not the only one!) But I definitely agree with making a 5 – 10 point list just for the next two years of things that you know are completley managable. That makes perfect sense to me! Thanks for sharing, great post.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 14, 2012 at 3:44 PM

      Haha I write stuff down that I have done already lots of times! I just don’t like that it is called a “bucket list” 🙂

  33. Christina @ Packed Suitcase

    September 21, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Is there anything as polarizing in our travel community as the dreaded “bucket list”? Personally, I’m on the pro-bucket list side. Perhaps it’s because, as a producer I’m at my best when I’m planning and writing things out? Either way, I find it to be a fun and harmless source of inspiration.

    The key is — don’t take it too seriously.

    Since I’ve created mine, most of my trips have been to places that aren’t on it. But, when I went backpacking in NZ, the formality of having it gave me the extra push I needed to pay the cash to hike the Milford Track. And I’m so glad I did because it was a once in a lifetime experience.

  34. Laura Dale

    October 11, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    I have a bucket list that just won’t stop growing, so I completely agree with your views on the difficultly and frustration of trying to keep up. Then again, I’m so determined to do everything on mine, I’d be heartbroken if I ripped it up!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 11, 2012 at 4:48 PM

      If you are determined then definitely keep it and make sure you tick them off 🙂

  35. Charndeep

    December 26, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    I understand your frustration with the term “bucket list.” I hate it when people mistake what I’m doing on my “Goal List” for a bucket list because some of the items I want to do again and again.

    Now, I write lists for the year and not for the rest of my life. I can’t know what will happen in 5, 10, 15 or 20 years, so why bother? I just put a few things I want to try this year and do my best to do them. If I don’t, I’ll carry over next year. But most importantly, I wrote a lot of my goals as they came in the moment or from the suggestions of my family, friends, environment or after I already accoplished them. So, it’s fine to plan for the forseeable future, but make sure it’s not at the expense of the moment. In other words, don’t just focus on the end of the symphony, but sing and dance throughout the entire concert. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      A yearly list is a much better idea! And also it isn’t a “New Years Resolution” either which personally I don’t think work. Great idea 🙂

  36. Christine (Food Wine Travel)

    February 10, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    It’s great to have goals but it’s also nice to allow serendipity to bring amazing experiences your way. Recently I was invited to attend a wedding in the UK but coming from our Australian summer, I was reluctant to spend too much time in northern Europe in winter. So after the wedding, we zipped over to Spain and I was finally able to see the Alhambra in Granada, a place I have wanted to visit for more than 30 years. It was a glorious day, the sun was shining and (being winter) there were no crowds. Magic.

    • Cole Burmester

      February 11, 2013 at 9:28 AM

      Being able to add a little extra onto a trip, in your case Granada, is the best way to visit friends and family 🙂 Nice job on ticking one off the “dream list”!

  37. Emily-Ann/The Grown Up Gap Year

    February 10, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Great post and a topic which I’ve heard a lot of travellers discuss (both the pros and cons).
    I think one of the good things about making a list is that it can actually encourage you to take the first step to do something.
    As a journalist, I constantly live by lists in the ‘real world’ so making one for my travel plans makes sense to me.
    I agree with Charndeep’s view that it’s better to make shorter lists. For example, I wanted to have a big adventure during the last year of my 20s, so I wrote a 30b430 list, where I completed 30 things in a year that I’d always wanted to do. Some were big things like doing the Inca Trail in Peru, others were smaller like dancing a tango in Argentina, but it felt like such an amazing achievement to complete them all before turning 30.
    I’d never make an unlimited bucket list – like you say, it would be never-ending! – but I’d definitely write one for a specific time frame again:)

    • Cole Burmester

      February 11, 2013 at 9:29 AM

      Haha I live by lists as well, although my current To-Do list continues to grow rather than shrink….

      Like I have said in previous comments, if you are willing to actually make an effort to cross off the things on your bucket list, then definitely have one. But if it is just a pipe dream, I don’t see the point. Having set goals, like your 30b430 is a great idea too!

  38. Pingback: List #17 - My Five in Five - Traveler Ahoy

  39. Seanna

    May 11, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Here’s the irony: I’m a dreamer and travel bug, however my husband, who played it safe and led a rich simple life pursuing his best dreams here in Alaska had terminal brain cancer. One of our favorite past times was to watch shows about international travel and talk about where we might retire. After diagnosis Generous friends offered outrageous trips and we basically has carte Blanche to do anything. Trouble is, he was too sick and the burden of loss too raw to make any of it matter. Live each day with intent. Simple can be good. I have traveled extensively, I’m not sure he regrets knowing this part of the world intimately, and to have such a history with one place is a rare gift. This place is family. Both are priceless gifts if you experience them completely.

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Travel Blogging Tips

Our Experience of Starting a Travel Blog

Every now and then we provide tips for new Travel Bloggers. Today we focus on our own experience of Starting a Travel Blog, to see if it’s right for you.

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Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

We don’t often write about our experience of starting a travel blog as we know that most of our readers are not travel bloggers. However, every now and then we feel the need to dive into the Art of Travel Blogging to discuss a few things we have learnt, and provide tips for new travel bloggers.

If you aren’t interested in reading more then never fear, our regular adventure related travel articles and photos will be back soon. In the meantime here is a pretty picture and you should check out our top 5 most popular travel articles:

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

Our Experience of Starting a Travel Blog

I wanted to take the time to write about our experience of starting a travel blog because we just answered a really interesting survey from a research graduate student exploring the lives of travel bloggers. Specifically she is looking at why we create and maintain travel blogs, and how this relates to our leisure and work lives.

If you are a travel blogger, then hopefully it provides a little insight into how you can avoid letting the travel blog take over your life, and more importantly, your travels. Because if you want to make travel blogging your full time job, you will be in for a big surprise.

It all started of with the generic questions such as, explaining what our travel blog is about and why we started it. It was at this point that I began to realise how far we have come. Not to mention how our expectations and desires had evolved as well.

It also raised a few questions of my own.

We started this travel blog to keep a record of our own travels around the world. As well as keeping family and friends updated on what we were doing.

Cole and Adela Photos

After about 4 months we realised that other people were actually reading about our adventures.

This led us to research how we could turn this travel blog into a better travel resource for the general public. We realised that we wanted to maintain our travel blog to show travellers, especially couples travelling together, that you could quite easily step outside your comfort zone, in comfort.

By using our on the ground knowledge we could provide trusted and expert travel tips to our travel community, which was growing exponentially. And it wasn’t long before we were getting emails and social media mentions asking for specific travel tips.

As the travel blog continued to evolve it took over our lives. I started working full time on it which gave me the freedom to work independently anywhere in the world. This also gave us more opportunities and freedom to follow our travel and adventure passions.

For the next 6 months we dived into the travel blogging world with everything we had.

The next question I answered in the research made me pause:

“Do you consider writing and maintaining your travel blog part of your leisure, your work, neither or both? Why?”

It has been amazing to watch our site evolve over the last 18 months from a hobby into my full time work. But had we gone too far?

Travel blogging had became a full time job.

Her next two questions really made me stop.

How much time and energy do you invest in writing and maintaining your travel blog?

How much time and energy do you invest in other activities (besides writing and maintaining the travel blog) that support your travel blogging?  What are these other activities?

Those were the real eye-opening questions.

I realised that more time was now spent dealing with advertisers, tourism boards, travel companies and DMO’s than actually writing or editing photos. Not to mention all the hours spent on our various social media channels engaging with our very active audience on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram to name a few.

And the icing on the cake?

How important are your travel blogs as part of your leisure and/or work?

How important is it to you to maintain and continue writing your travel blog?  If you had to stop travel blogging how would this impact your life?

Before I realised it, I had already responded that our travel blog had basically become a part of every aspect of my life. Everywhere we go, everything we eat, everything we do, could be a potential story.

It was mind bottling.

Our travel blog had taken over our lives.

It was so obvious to us because I just went through a stage, very recently, where I nearly threw it all away. I absolutely loathed writing because it had become a chore. Our relationship was suffering and travel wasn’t even enjoyable.

It took a full month of not writing or working on the travel blog before I started to feel comfortable again. During that time I took stock of what I wanted in the future.

I realised that the reason I wanted to continue is because I want a couple of things:

  • I want to work remotely and have my own job independence;
  • An outlet to publish my photos and writing; and
  • To continue to inspire others to travel.

The last point was actually a surprise to me. But I realised it after I was asked:

What outcomes or results do you feel you receive from your travel blog (personal, social, professional and or financial)? How important are these outcomes to you? If you no longer received these results / outcomes would you continue travel blogging?

I have great pride in the work that I produce. I love seeing a photo or story that I have shared be “liked” or shared by others on social media. It is addicting. Every time you get a “viral” post it is like a high and you are always searching for the next interaction.

And every time we have an email come in from our travel community asking for specific advice, or thanking us, it is a real buzz knowing that we are making a difference to how someone travels.

While not every post or every picture makes a difference, I know that a lot of people have enjoyed reading our articles. Our most popular posts are visited on a daily basis by people searching for travel tips or information about certain places and experiences. People trust our advice. Even if we are just providing a person with 10 minutes of travel porn everyday to dream about, then I think we make a difference.

I realised that is what I want most from our travel blog. I want to continue to help those people that thank us.

Now I have managed to find a work/life/travel balance and I am back to loving writing. It was close and I was lucky to realise that I needed a break before I totally burnt myself out.

Clark Island, Whangamata Beach, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

Whangamata in New Zealand is where I spent a month collecting my thoughts.

And that is the ultimate point I want to make. Too many people start a travel blog for the wrong reasons. They think that it is going to be easy and they will be rolling in the money on a beach somewhere.

While the travel industry is one of the richest industries in the world, it is probably the hardest one to make any money in. And if you find that you are chasing after that fame and fortune, then starting a travel blogging probably isn’t for you.

But what do I know. There is definitely no right or wrong way to starting a travel blog. We get proven wrong everyday in this industry.

The only thing that is consistent, is that there are no rules, and you have to do it your way. 

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Travel Blogging Tips

Travel Blogger to Travel Vlogger Project

We are extremely excited to announce that the first Travel Blogger to Travel Vlogger Project workshop is kicking off this weekend, Email us to be involved.

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Cole and Adela, Four Jandals Adventure Travel Blog

From beginners with smartphones, to professionals with multi-thousand dollar set ups, everyone is doing it these days.

Video Blogging that is.

We even dabble in it a little bit ourselves with adventure travel videos from Running with the Bulls, Diving in the Red Sea and biking in Spain. Check out our Youtube channel for more adventure videos too.

However, much like our own, most travel videos really do suck.

With the rise of online video, businesses have begun to sit up and take notice of Travel Vloggers. But travellers want to watch great videos.

This is why we have created a new partnership called the Travel Blogger to Travel Vlogger (TB2TV) program. We have joined forces with the incredibly talented Greg Brand and his team at Travizeo, the travel video agency, and the wonderful Kelley Ferro from Tripfilms, the worlds leading travel video community.

Greg approached me initially to help get more Travel Bloggers to start Vlogging, as he thought that most already have half of what it takes to become a great Vlogger.

They are passionate about travel AND they know how to research a good travel story.

What we have done is create a Travel Blogger to Travel Vlogger workshop and online course (in the making) for any Travel Bloggers who are interested in learning how to create successful and engaging travel video content. The first workshop is in Brighton this very weekend!

If you are interested then all you need to do is send us an email to hello@travizeo with the subject “Travel Blogger to Travel Vlogger”.

Include a little about yourself and your Travel Blog, why you would like to be a part of this project, and what equipment you already have to work with. Remember, even a smartphone can be used to create great travel videos. There are no barriers to entry and the best part is that we are very glad to say it costs nothing at all.

All you need to do is get yourself to the venue every time we have a workshop. At the moment the physical workshops will be held in Brighton in the UK, every few months. However, we welcome anyone from around the world to enrol in our online workshop so send us an email today.

Finally, we are looking for interested Tourism Boards, DMO’s and Travel Companies who might be interested in hosting a Travel Blogger to Travel Vlogger workshop. Basically, we can host a workshop wherever you are with the invited Travel Bloggers (soon to be Travel Vloggers) to visit and explore your destination over a 2/3 day travel video course.

At the end of the course the Tourism Board, DMO or Travel Company ends up with very unique and incredibly awesome travel videos that they can use to promote their area. If you are a PR company or are interested in finding out more then please email us at contact@fourjandals.com

Follow us on Twitter with the hashtag #TB2TV to be kept up to date. We look forward to hearing from you and getting started on this exciting project!

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Europe

Bloghouse in the fairytale village of Besalu

Having the opportunity to visit the stunning village of Besalu to attend the first ever Bloghouse was the chance of a lifetime. One I would jump at again.

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Besalu Town Costa Brava Spain

Besalu Town Costa Brava, Besalú

Besalu Village

In September this year I was invited to join a handful of the most influential bloggers in the travel blogging industry. For two intense days we knuckled down in the fairytale village of Besalu in Costa Brava.

From one of the most photographed bridges in Spain, to its narrow alleyways, Besalu is one of those cute towns that you could spend hours exploring.

It is a place where you can wander between the little cafes and everyone will greet you with a smile.

Besalu Village Alleyways

The reason I had been invited to Besalu and the Bloghouse, was to provide us with a chance to focus on identifying our blogs strengths, weaknesses and overall path for our adventure travel blog. It was an opportunity that new bloggers dream of.

And we had it all laid on for us. We were hosted by the wonderful team at Charming Villas who provided us with one of the nicest houses mansions I have ever stayed in. Scratch that, Casa Marcial was the nicest place I have ever stayed in!

A pool, about a gazillion rooms and foundations from the 17th Century. This photo was taken from the backyard…

Charming Villa Bloghouse backyard Besalu

We had as much booze as we could drink. Which to be fair was a ridiculous amount. A personal chef showing us how to cook Paella, and enough food the rest of the time to feed an army.

We spent our days learning the intricate details of fine tuning our content, creating better videos and the overall art of travel blogging.

While this may sound very mundane to most of you, it is all helping to transform Four Jandals.  If you take a look back at our journey from when we first started posting articles a year ago (please don’t look they are horrendously written), to where we are now, there is a HUGE difference.

It is these sorts of opportunities that experienced travel bloggers provide to us, that make me love the decision to throw away a very successful career and pursue our dreams and passions full time.

And ultimately provide better stories and adventures for you to read.

Besalú Bridge Costa Brava

But it wasn’t just the Bloghouse that was so amazing.

It was the wonderful village and people of Besalu who opened their doors for us that cemented it as a place I will return to.

From the scrumptious cakes across the stunning Besalu bridge at Ribera Bistro, to the extravagant dinner at Pont Vell restaurant, the locals welcomed us in with open arms.

It is these sorts of small towns and villages that make me fall in love with travelling over and over.

Besalú Town Costa Brava Spain

So if you ever have the chance to visit Spain, then make sure you schedule in a few days around Costa Brava. And ensure you head towards the French border to explore the incredible village of Besalu.

You won’t regret it.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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