The Part Time Travel Blogger : Reality Calling

The Part Time Travel Blogger : Reality Calling
To be considered a serious travel blogger there is a perception by some that you need to give up work, sell up and hit the road to be truly great. If this is the criteria, I should give up now. But I’m challenging that idea. I’m reframing my thoughts.

Whilst travel is one of my big passions, it doesn’t mean I don’t have room for other things and it certainly doesn’t mean that by having other passions that my travel blogging is missing out. In many ways, it is actually strengthened.

For as long as I can remember I have had an innate sense of curiosity about the world around me. It saw me spending most of my adolescence exploring the Wombat State Forest on horseback, climbing Mount Macedon and hiking along the Lerderderg Gorge. It provided an amazing connection with country and fuelled a life long wanderlust. But this didn’t happen out there in the ether, isolated from all other passions.

While wanderlust was brewing, I was also developing a sense of service and community. I knew that I had a natural teaching ability so headed off to university to become an English/History teacher. Fate would intervene during my first year of teaching when I changed direction yet again and moved into the field of Special Education. It became another passion, fuelling my decision making when it came to career and move to Sydney. I’m now an Assistant Principal and have no plans to leave or take extended leave from my school. While I’m certainly not irreplaceable (who is work wise) I think my work is making a real difference and it is incredibly satisfying. The simple truth is, I don’t want to give it up but I do also want to be a travel blogger!

The Part Time Travel Blogger : Reality Calling

Travel and teaching are often entwined but they are also very separate. Most of the time I am delicately balancing the two while also prioritising my family. Add the complication of health issues, and well, my blog starts to resemble something a little different to that of a regular travel blogger. Does this make me any less real or any less qualified to talk about the magic of adventure, the human curiosity or even specific travel destinations? I think not. While the full time travel blogger can offer a number of wonderful things through their writing, I have the ability to provide you with something quite unique.

The Kid Bucket List is all about curating adventure in snatches of time. We seek out opportunities that can be grasped over a weekend or during the school holidays. Sometimes, these adventures may even lend themselves to the evenings, outside school time. My husband and I hope that our children will experience all the things on our Kid Bucket List before they hit high school. They might not and that’s okay. Our bucket list is always morphing.

What we create and share online is completely possible for the average Australian family if travel is one of their priorities. Current research shows that adults that went on educational trips during childhood earn at least 12% more than those that didn’t, which encourages me to encourage you to build these trips into your yearly plan even if travel and adventure isn’t your top priority (which is totally okay, of course).

The Part Time Travel Blogger : Reality Calling

This is where my two passions often intersect. As a traveler and educator, I know the importance of integrating curriculum linked excursions into my class program so my students do access these opportunities regardless of home travel priorities. In the last year I have significantly increased access programs within my school so our students have the opportunity to access art, music and history in person, outside our school grounds. It’s thanks to initiatives such as the Access All Areas at the Sydney Opera House that make it easier, and easier for all students to access sites and programs. Government subsidies across Australia are also helping to open the doors with most museums in Sydney and Melbourne now free for kids. Our rural kids are not forgotten either with organisationd such as Sydney Living Museums along with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service proudly offering financial support to assist transport to their museums. Their goal is to unlock heritage. These are just some initiatives making educational travel opportunities reachable for most kids.

So am I a serious travel blogger?  We’re not giving up on our other passions any time soon, nor the security of buying our own house. We’re not hitting the road full time nor giving up school to homeschool. But we are authentic travel bloggers, although I like to think of myself as a curator of adventure, led by our curiosity.  We hope our adventures inspire you.

What do you think defines a real travel blogger?

18 thoughts on “The Part Time Travel Blogger : Reality Calling

  1. I totally agree – as a part time travel blogger myself who holds down a full time role, we are not planning to become ‘full time travel bloggers’ any time soon. We prioritise travel above many other activities and are continually saving for our next trip – with three children our trips are very expensive…

    Unfortunately we can only afford to do a bigger trip every 3-4 years. We went to Japan last year which was amazing, and our next big trip will be to the USA in 2019. In between we are planning to do a cheaper local trip – we are currently weighing up options for next year, so that we are in a position to book flights as early (and as cheaply) as possible.

    We do incorporate local travel into our lives regularly, which can range from making the effort to do local day and weekend trips, to looking for travel opportunities when we visit our family (yes it can be boring doing the Sydney to Brisbane run on the Pacific Highway). I am sure I am one of the few who has been able to convince my husband to do the trip from Brisbane to Sydney via Moree!! (But it was actually a great detour!!)

  2. Here, here… I firmly believe that one can travel widely within 20km of home, or even 2km of home. It’s all about how you look at the world. With my particular family a travelling lifestyle would not work at all. But we can wander a wee bit here and there. Mt current dream would be to go overseas to live for a year or two again – not right now but one day when the time is right. We’ll see, meantime we have day trips, short visits and a few expeditions. And it’s fun!

    • I agree Seana. Travelling doesn’t need to be far from home. I think we have a travelling lifestyle, just on the weekends and school holidays. That’s achievable for most urbanites, don’t you think?

  3. So much of our travel is through cuisine because the reality is that we want to travel the world with our kids AND offer them a little stability. Part time travel is most people’s reality so it could be said that a travel blogger who travels part time and shares tips on making that easier and more affordable and packs more in to less time is more relevant to most folks than a blogger who lives on the road… Just sayin xx

  4. Wow, an AP + parent + blogging?? How on earth do you find the time?! (I come from a family of teachers so I know how huge the AP workload is!).

    I love this: “adults that went on educational trips during childhood earn at least 12% more than those that didn’t”. I’d love to know your thoughts on private secondary education vs travel. We’re in the position where we’re probably going to have to choose between the two.

    • Hi Rebecca

      I’m lucky that all three things are my passion areas so I somehow find the time. Relaxation is often found planning our next trip or writing about a previous one. Add that I just happened to find the perfect man who balances all the “other” stuff with me and it somehow works.

      How do I feel about Private Education vs Travel? I think that decision will come down to your personal beliefs and priorities. I personally will be making choices that ensure our family passions can continue to be nurtured without being put on hold, although I’m always aware that compromises need to be made on occasion. I refuse to put us into debt to put our kids through an expensive school when a public school exists right next door. I also refuse to halt our adventures for 8 years so the kids can get what one cohort of society things is the “best” or the “elite” secondary education. It’s a narrow view of education.

      I think you should look at the current research before making decisions too. Last year marked quite a historical moment when results from the largest longitudinal study around Public vs Private was released by researchers at the University of Queensland’s Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences. They found that sending children to Catholic or other independent primary schools has “no significant effect” on future success. (Interestingly, Children in families with more books at home have consistently higher test scores).

      So my plan? But more books

  5. I love this! While I have dreams of “full time travel” one day (for a couple of years, maybe), that’s certainly not our lifestyle now. To me, the thing I appreciate about all bloggers – travel or otherwise – is telling a good story. I actually think that some travel bloggers can become a bit dull because they just essentially list their itineraries from city to city or give a review of some hotel. I think your life gives you a great perspective for telling richer stories!
    And, I’m also of the mindset that travel is more of a state of mind – can absolutely be done in your own neighborhood or city.

    • The narrative is so important, isn’t it?

      I agree, we are all travelers if we apply the right lens. I hope to empower others to see that too

  6. I think there is such a variety of “travel bloggers” some travel full time, some during school holidays, some on planes, trains, cars or hike! I like it that we are all different, that we all write differently and I respect uniqueness in this community. I blog about our adventures but our days are so much more than that and I often feel like writing that as honestly somedays I am lucky to even get the kids out the door and to school! but I keep that private xx We love following your adventures x

    • I love your site Bron. The diversity within the travel blog niche is amazingly unique and rich.

      I hope we as a collective can change the mindset so all the shades of grey are recognized and valued.

  7. I love reading about travel. I have read several travel blogs that I don’t return to. They may be so called full time travel bloggers but just because they travel full time doesn’t mean I find their ramblings interesting or relevant to me. Some I find merely indulgent. Others I read have me reaching for the pen to list all the ideas that I can (or now have) put into action and I return to them regularly.

    Leah, to me travel is seeing and doing. As you know we travel in the sense of getting in a big plane and heading off to see the world. I also feel we travel when we pull out our $2.50 “old fart” Opal card and get on the train to the city to see something new. I follow your blog with great interest. You have brought many areas of Sydney to my attention that I hope Chris and I will get to see. Isn’t that what travel blogger wants – someone to read about their travels? I (and many others) read your blog – that makes you a real, authentic travel blogger!!!!

    • Oh Cathy, this is a lovely comment. Thank you. I hope we continue to inspire some of your local travels and even some further afield. Old fart opal card – still laughing!

  8. Having just started my own travel blog and also being a primary school teacher your post rings true to me. As much as I would love to pack up and travel non stop in reality that wouldn’t suit my kids as they also like stability. Our yearly trips keep me going with small adventures in the school holidays. Loving your blog.

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