The art of traveling and the art of blogging
August 20, 2017
This is a slightly different travel blog than normally. It’s an announcement that I will not be posting on this website www.sunnyexplores.com for a while. I will be too busy traveling. Also my traveling will be a little different than normally as I am taking my 12-year old nephew with me.
Since he was born my nephew watches me traveling to Egypt. For years he listened to my stories and he studied my photos. He became fascinated by piramids, pharaohs and specially Tutanchamon. Every time I went to Egypt (and that was many times) he asked me if he could join me. On his 4th birthday I promised him that I would take him to Egypt. ‘When you are older,’ his mother hurried to say. We agreed on having our own Tutanchamon tour through Egypt before he would go to highschool. In september he will go to highschool, so this is the year of our Grand Adventure.
We started preparing the trip. But his parents felt Egypt is not safe. I don’t agree. I traveled to Egypt 3 times last year and already 2 times this year and trust me, Egypt is as safe as any other country in our grazy world. Still, I was not allowed to take my nephew on the trip we were talking about for the past 8 years. When it became clear that Egypt was not an option, my nephew asked me for a different destination. ‘I still want to go on a real travel with you,’ he said.
So I searched for other destinations. I was in shock about the prices. Normally I travel alone, outside the holiday season. Now it was 2 persons in high season with prices sky high. A safari in Kenya, watching northern light in Iceland, climbing the Machu Picchu in Peru were all too expensive. Even visting the National Parks in the United States was not affordable with airline tickets costing 1500 euro per person in august. Other destinations were affordable and sounded good (I mean ‘I’m going to China’ sounds pretty cool!) but were not really interesting for a 12-year old. Another difficultly was the time we had: his parents didn’t want my nephew to travel for too long. He never flew before, only visited Belgium and France and never was away from home alone for longer than a few days. Exploring Hawaii for a whole month as my nephew suggested was out of the question.
It took me weeks of research before I found a suitable and affordable destination. And it turned out to be a place we are both very excited about. We are traveling to Costa Rica for a few weeks. We plan to stay in the rainforest of Tortuguero for a while. It must be a magical place, only accessible by a small boat. We will dive deep into the travel experience. No computers, no phones, no wifi. Just feeling one with nature. After that we will go on a road trip. In a jeep with four wheel drive we will explore the country. Just the two of us. Again, no wifi or social media. Back to the basics as real explorers. And hopefully we will end up in the cloud forest Monteverde.
Life through a lence
Ofcourse I will blog about this trip when I am home again. I will, as usual, take a lot of photos. I love photography. It’s my way of living to take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone. But even more important to me is feeling and enjoying the moment. Being part of it as the moment exists. As a travelblogger I use technology to document my experiences. But at the same time we are so dependent on technology to keep us informed, entertained and connected, that we have to be careful that we don’t miss real life because of it. In every experience I make a concious effort to experience it fully, without a camera in front of my face. As a travelblogger and photographer who feels the urge to document magical moments, that is sometimes a real challenge. Still, I tell myself to put down my camera en just be. I want to document and share the beauty I see, but I also want to experience it wholly, because I realise that exact moment in time will never occur again. I want to participate the moment as it happens, not later at home when I watch my photos. It’s all about being present in the moment.
Maybe that’s why I don’t like the oversharing most travelbloggers do. I talked to some professional bloggers lately. They admit they do feel a constant pressure to travel further than others. To be more exciting and thrilling. To publish more than others. Most bloggers post 2 or 3 photos daily on instagram. I questionned if this is usefull. Most bloggers gave me gloryfying answers about numbers of likes and amounts of followers. Just one of them was so honest to admit he got tired of uploading photos because he felt he had to upload this much to look interesting to the world and to get potentential sponsordeals. You will never see me sharing this many photos, just to share. I am too busy enjoying my real life, to be busy with my online life. I will share a photo when I have something to tell, a new blog to announce or exceptional beauty to share. That was also my question to some pro’s. Why are you posting 3 to 5 blogs every week? I got the same answer. They feel they need to to be interesting to readers and partners. For me one blog a week is enough. I have a fulltime job, I write books and I want to live my true life, not create a fake one online. I am more interested in creating a life that feels good on the inside instead of one that just looks good on the outside.
So I will continue to blog about my travels and adventures and share this part of my life, but I will do it on my own terms and for the right reasons. Because I love to explore and because I love to share the beauty of the world. It’s my passion to create awareness and to inspire others to explore, respect, enjoy and protect our oceans and our incredible nature. To experience my travels to the fullest, I choose not to blog while traveling, but to live in the moment and to enjoy exploring new places, meeting new people and learning new skills. I choose to see my blogs as a great way to look back on an unforgettable journey, not as a way to make money or to raise my travelblogs popularity. So next weeks my nephew and I will enjoy exploring Costa Rica en when we are home again I hope I can write some great blogs about our adventures!