In August of 2012 I attended the Book Passage Travel Writing Conference and had the pleasure to meet Jeff Greenwald. He was introduced to me as being the world’s first travel blogger. Needless to say I was intrigued by this claim.
As it turns out, he does indeed have a pretty solid claim on being the first travel writer to post a story on the world wide web back in January 1994. While some academic from CERN or the Univesity of Illinois might have updated his website overseas, I’m pretty certain that Jeff was probably the first travel writer to actually submit a travel story via the world wide web as his first post was less than a year after the first release of the Mosaic browser. I thought Jeff’s story was fascinating and a great insight to how the world of travel blogging came about.
Here is Jeff…
In early 1993, I decided to try an experiment that seemed utterly insane.
For the past 14 years—since 1979—I’d been working as a photojournalist. My assignments had taken me around the globe, but in spite of all the miles I’d flown I didn’t feel like much of a real traveler. In truth, I felt like I was somehow … cheating.
It isn’t hard to say why. It was a result of flying itself. Airports are the great, bland equalizers of civilization; arriving in every new country, from Turkey to Thailand, felt exactly the same. Travel itself, which had seemed so thrilling and exotic when I’d started out, had become tame and predictable. The whole world, in fact, was feeling freakishly small. (more…)