Once a Travel Blogger always a Travel Blogger?

Holidays before the blog was born
Holidays before the blog was born

As a travel blogger I try to make the most out of every trip I take. I take photos of EVERYTHING, take notes of important facts, I visit every important monument or tourist hot spot, I try all the foodie delicacies and chat to all the locals for an ‘insider’s opinion’. I do everything the guide book tells me to and then try to do a little more.

The only thing I don’t seem to do is relax.

I remember a time when holidays were all about waking up at 11am, lazing by the pool all day, possibly strolling to the beach if I had the energy, sipping cocktails as the sun set and feasting in the evening at a candle lit restaurant.

There was none of this exploring every inch of the local culture, taking over 100 photos of a church or getting up at 6 am to get a nice shot of the sunrise. Back then, holidays were simple, they were easy, they were relaxing. But could I go back?

Could I really go back to that laziness, that holiday experience where all you take home is a sun tan and a few extra pounds around your middle? I’d like to think I could revert back to that relaxing trip but in all honesty I don’t think I could. I think that once you’ve been programmed into ‘blogger mode’ there’s no turning back.

Climbing sand dunes in Morocco to get a photo of the sunset
Climbing sand dunes in Morocco to get a photo of the sunset

I’ll never again be able to leave my hotel without my camera and a note pad or resist the temptation to start writing my blog posts before the day is even over. I’ll never again eat an amazing meal without taking out my phone and snapping a quick shot and tweeting it before I dig in.

I used to love a 5* all-inclusive holiday where I’d eat my own body weight at the banquet and do nothing for 2 weeks but get trashed and lay in the sun. But the thought of it now turns my stomach. I’d come home feeling lazy and lethargic, dreading going back to work or uni. These days I want more from my holidays. Not only do I want a good blog post but I also want the most amazing experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Not asking for much, I know.

I went to Boutique Boot Camp last year and this really changed the way I see holidays. Boot camp was a mixture between extreme exercise and extreme relaxation. I know that ‘extreme relaxation’ seems like a bit of an oxymoron but I came home from that holiday feeling refreshed, relaxed, revived and ready to tackle all those things that had snuck to the bottom of my to-do list.

If you’d have told me before I went to boot camp that eight hours of exercise every day without a scrap of sugar, salt or caffeine would give me more energy than I had at 15, I wouldn’t have believed you. I probably would have laughed but this is how you’re meant to feel after a holiday. You aren’t meant to feel more exhausted when you get back than when you left or more unhealthy or stressed out.

So next time you book your holiday, think about what you’re doing and where you’re going. Sure, a few lazy days on the beach is lovely and relaxing but think about getting out and exploring. Think about what is going to make you feel good in the long run, what it is that you’ll remember and which photos you’ll be showing off when you get back.

Can you guess where I’m going in March?

I started thinking about this because I’m taking my first ‘proper holiday’ in years next month. It isn’t a press trip, a fam trip (familiarization trip) or a work trip, it’s just a holiday that I’ve booked and organised myself. There are no pressures to provide x-amount of blog posts or social media coverage. Heck, if I don’t want to, I don’t need to write anything at all.

The thought of doing absolutely nothing for my blog gives me a little panic attack but will I be able to switch off and get out of ‘travel blogger mode’?

What do you think? Do you take holidays from your blog or could you ever slip out of travel blogger mode?


Monica is the founder and editor of The Travel Hack. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a full time blogger and has travelled around the world in search of affordable luxury travel experiences.Monica lives in Wales with her growing family and now also blogs about travelling with young children!

SHOWHIDE Comments (28)
  1. Boutique Boot Camp sounds good to me! Where was that?

    Now that I’ve got a blog I do a heck of a lot more thinking, but haven’t yet achieved the actual delivering writing as yet haha.

    Good luck unwinding and enjoy the holiday! India, yea?

  2. Totally agree with you here and for our RTW trip (which starts in April) I’ve tried to break up big cities and busy places, with beach resorts and I’ve tried to break up hostels with nice hotels.

    I don’t want us to feel stressed at all whilst we’re away because we’re worked so hard for the trip, so it makes sense to me, to “schedule in” time when all we can do is sit on the beach for a few days. Thailand will be good for that definitely!

    Although, I totally agree with you – I could never spend 2 weeks sunbathing by a pool now. Weird, because a few years ago that would’ve been my dream holiday!


    1. That sounds like such a good idea Elle-Rose. Especially if you’re going to be blogging about your trip, it’s great to have a few days to wind-down, relax and take it all in.

      On my RTW trip I did a whirlwind 2 months in South East Asia and barely remember any of it, it was just crazy. I then went back 18 months later and travelled much slower and had the chance to enjoy everything and it was much better.

      Looking forward to reading about your trip!!

  3. Couldn’t agree more. I remember the days of drunken beach holidays, now I always want MORE, so much more! I managed a holiday last year to Cyprus, I spent half my time imagining ‘ooo this would make a good blog post, oo I could write about this place, oo funny story for the blog’ but decided to keep it as my little holiday, just for me, no blogs at all.

    Good luck on your ‘proper’ holiday, enjoy it and hey, if we see a blog or two out of it, I won’t be complaining 🙂

  4. Completely agree. It is so hard to look at life the same way really when you become a blogger.

    For instance, when you go out for dinner, always trying to snap a picture of it – and the same with anything!

  5. I tell you what – let’s swap! Every time I go on a trip I forgot to switch into travel blogger mode and I end up relaxing too much. How am I supposed to pay my bills! 🙂

  6. Before we became travel bloggers, Scott and I still traveled the same way. I’ve always felt the urge to explore every inch of a place and get the most out of a trip. The exception is family vacations or a trip with a bunch of friends. We are going to Baja this weekend with 15 of our friends and all we will do is surf, hot tub, eat, drink and hang out. These trips are necessary and I rarely ever write about them. I can’t imagine what I would even write about on a trip like that! Lol enjoy your down time!

  7. While you do need to focus on your work and the purpose of the trip, it’s so important not to let everything (posting, updates, tweets, photos, Instagram…) get in the way of you really experiencing a place. I honestly don’t like when travel bloggers are constantly tweeting/updating on a trip – it makes me wonder what they’re actually doing…

  8. I’ve had sort of the reverse ‘problem’, I think. I’ve always been up for exploring when I was on some sort of trip, but now I find that even when I’ve settled into a city I have to convince myself NOT to take the camera and journal out with me for even a basic walk. I think LIFE has gone into blog mode!

  9. I totally know what you mean!! It’s so hard to get out of that mode. I’m constantly thinking about how I’ll need to share things and make good notes of places/things I’ve seen/eaten/experienced. Haha it’s constantly a struggle between deciding on using the SLR, point & shoot, or smartphone – or maybe just using them all!? 😛

    1. Haha, I know what you mean. Other ‘normal people’ must think I’m mental when I’m desperately trying to take a picture of something with all my cameras and then get a few seconds video footaage too!

  10. This sounds very familiar! I can’t remember the last time I had a proper lazy beach holiday. I’m always thinking what would make a good post of a great photo when I’m travelling. It does push me to explore new places though – sometimes I think I’d like to go back to somewhere but the quest for a new story pushes me out of my comfort zone to somewhere new.

  11. I couldn’t agree more with this. I used to love lounging on a beach and stuffing my face for two weeks on holiday but I couldn’t imagine anything worse now. I know a lot of people use those trips to relax but I’d feel like I was wasting precious time off, I’ve also found that the more we do on trip the more relaxed my mind is. I might come back physically tired but I’d go straight back to sitting in an office so it doesn’t matter!

    1. Same here. And physical tiredness can be cured with a few early nights but mental tiredness is the worst. It actually stresses me out now if I try and spend a day lying on the beach!

  12. Couldn’t agree more, blogging definitely changes your travelling perspective. And although I think everyone should experience an all-inclusive trip at least once in their life, it really does leave so much to be desired. I can no longer go anywhere without a camera and notebook – you just never know the crazy kinds of things you might run into! Good luck on your next trip!

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