I have a friend who is about to start a big adventure. Yes, I am very excited on her part and I support her in every way possible.
There are many travellers that want to share their experiences. I am one of them and I love it. But we do it for different reasons. My friend wants to share her future ones and for that reason, she has gone all in. Homepage, FB page, Instagram account, Pinterest, YouTube. I remember how much I loved that creative part before starting my journey. Tech is one of my interests and passions so I built my blog in WordPress and shared it with the world. Just like most other travellers do.
I have another friend. A person I look up to and that I’m very happy to call my friend. She is very well read and engaged in how big a threat Climate Change is to us all. She is working really hard on making people aware. I admire and support her for her commitment.
Back to my first friend and her social media engagement. One part of her is very clear about wanting to inspire women to pursue their dreams, encourage to let go of fear. The other part is coloured from reading bloggers and influencers on how to make it, to be well known, to perhaps one day make money out of her travelling. Because that is what the ones that already made it is telling us.
‘Look at me, how successful I am. I have now travelled for x years staying in these posh resorts, drinking the fancy drinks, taking dips in infinity pools with amazing views. If you buy my online course, I will reveal all my secrets and you will be able to do it too. How to be successful.’
It’s so easy to be caught up in these successful stories, starting to think that our own lives are merely rat races. Following all these ‘influencers’ every step, dreaming and longing for having their life. Or at least taste he crumbles left on their posh dinner tables. Buying their products and services.
So how do they do it, these influencers? That’s what my friend and I discussed. AdSense, recommending products, being a partner and reviewing places are some examples. It is all about getting something in return. Money or getting things for free. Whatever way these bloggers choose is all about influencing people to consume more.
When I started my blog I added AdSense to it but removed it after a couple of months. I debated the issue with myself and realised how big a hypocrite I had become. Double standards personified. I had by then changed my way of living into not consuming more than I really needed and now I was encouraging others to consume. I removed AdSense and kept my blog clean.
I can’t be shouting ‘Climate Change will kill us’ and at the same time promote consumption.
So my friend and I had a conversation on why we want to share our experiences while travelling. She had been following a female blogger and traveller, and that made her look into how she can afford travelling. She tells us how she from being ‘non-blogging’, ‘know-nothing-about-it’ trained nurse into a successful and well paid off blogger in six months. That was 2013. She is also referring to the most well known and most successful travel blogger, Nomadic Matt, for us to buy his tutorial in how to secede as one. It is expensive, he points out but will reveal all the secrets about travel blogging. The last one is how to make money. Who doesn’t want that? My bet is that she gets a cut from everyone and every brand she recommends. Every person who clicks the link and makes a purchase.
This blogger also lets the readers know ‘How to get paid to travel … it’s not so easy!’ I honour her for the honesty. I don’t think it is easy. But I know it is all about consumption in different ways. And no one living off their blogs will link their blogs to Climate change.
There it is. I said it. Climate Change is also about how we unconsciously have been led to think we need a lot of stuff. Truth is we can actually live absolutely brilliant lives without these things. Without making shopping into entertainment. Living a simple life can be and is very fulfilling.
My blog will probably never become the success counted in money. Most certainly my name won’t be in the same sentence as the words influential and blogger. But if this blog can inspire one single person into a more aware way of living hers or his life, then I’ll pat my shoulder and say ‘Well done!’