The other side of a travel blogger’s life

Exotic locations, five star and luxury hotels, dining in Michelin star rated restaurants and being able to travel all over the world. This sounds like a dream life, doesn’t it? This is one side of a travel blogger’s life. While all of the aforementioned benefits can certainly make the job fun and interesting, the reality is that the life of a travel blogger is not all peaches and cream.

There is a hidden side to life in the world of travel blogging, one that is not often discussed. It is not an easy lifestyle to live and is not as glamorous like it looks from outside. While some may believe that traveling the world is all happiness, good times and learning more about new cultures, there are certain elements that are rarely discussed.

Like, seeing how some countries are forced to live life can be extremely traumatic psychologically. During our travels, travel bloggers come across some of the most beautiful places that our planet has to offer. However, life in these gorgeous nations is not always everything that it has been cracked up to be.

Encountering natural beauty and all of the different wonders of the world is one of the many great benefits of this job. Seeing the sights is easy, witnessing human atrocities is not. Third world countries are typically the world’s most beautiful and best places to travel, but this often hides a more sinister reality.

Even though these countries are picturesque, the people who live in them do not live the comfortable and easy type of lives we are accustomed to. Many of these nations are ruled by regimes who see nothing wrong with allowing their populace to starve in the streets, as the upper class enjoys the finest of things.

It truly tugs the heart strings when you see children roaming the streets with no clothes on their back, no food in their stomach and no decent place to live. The human element is tough to ignore in situations like these. An injustice anywhere is an injustice and only the most heartless traveler could possibly turn a blind eye to what they see.

During a recent trip that I took to Cambodia, I made visited the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, to learn more about the Khmer Rouge. On knowing about the atrocities that people experience in such beautiful country which has a landmark like Angkor Wat, can take a psychological toll on the more thoughtful traveler.

Skulls of the people who were killed during the Khmer Rough, are displayed at the Toul Seng Genocide Museum

Skulls of the people who were killed during the Khmer Rough, are displayed at the Toul Seng Genocide Museum

Another unexpected side effect of constant travel is that you truly begin to lose sight of your personal identity and where you belong to in the world.

Life begins to move at such a rapid pace, you start to become used to the idea of not belonging. Even though you get to experience a variety of different things, you are still on the outside looking in, far away from home, typically all alone. The ability to travel everywhere is something travel bloggers are truly grateful for, but there is a loss of the person’s sense of self that takes place along the way.

After a while, a person can lose track of where their home is and stop feeling any sense of belonging. Your friends become scattered throughout the world and you may soak so many cultures that they become difficult to differentiate. Belonging everywhere you go is excellent, but the lack of a home base to feel tethered to can be disorienting.

It is a lonely lifestyle to live. There is no chance of settling down at one place. Personal relationships tend to fall by the wayside. Falling in love with another person seems like an impossible chore.

But travel bloggers do end up falling in love with specific places that the visit and its a heartbreak to leave the place you love so much.

The first long trip that I took was to Vietnam. Over the course of my 10 week stay, I learned a great deal about the beauty of life and about how material possessions simply aren’t as important as we make them out to be. I will never forget how warmly I was treated by the locals and how we were able to communicate with one another with mere hand signals and facial expressions. The flip side of this is that I was not able to stay longer, which made leaving all the more difficult and tearful.

Traveling the world means losing track of close friends. No one knows what you are doing anymore and assume that you are off having the time of your life. People stop checking in on you. Even after dealing with all this, you still do not want to stop traveling. Travel becomes addictive after a while.

No matter how hard it can be from a mental and emotional standpoint, I love to travel. I would never want to give back all of the lessons that I’ve learned and if given the choice, I would choose to live this lifestyle over and over again.

Traveling the world has taught me the true meaning of life. It is not about material possessions or spending all of your free time with friends. It is about gaining knowledge and the only way to gain knowledge and perspective is by experiencing life and all that it has to offer.

Photo Source.

Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala

Karthik Reddy has been traveling around the world since completing his M.B.A in 2012. He is passionate about photography, trying out new food, meeting new people, experiencing different cultures and explore places solo.

2 Responses

  1. Yes, thinking about both sides of travel is a major part of being a responsible traveller. Most of the countries I’ve been to have a dark side – from government restrictions in Syria and extreme poverty in Bangladesh, to Aboriginal living standards in Australia… it can be extremely sobering to consider.

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