One thing that really pisses me off is when I hear models complain about how hard their job is. I don’t care how many hours you have to stand there or how long it takes to apply makeup, at the end of the day you are a model not a coal miner. Coal miners have a reason to bitch about their job. It is dangerous, dirty, dark and one way or another it will probably kill you. To the best of my knowledge, no model as ever suffered from “fashion lung” disease.
Likewise, I often hear travel writers how their job is not all that glamorous. That they don’t have good wages, their assignments are very hard, press trips are very hectic, etc.
Well, let me just say for the record that I have the greatest f*%#ing job in the world. There is nothing else I’d rather be doing and I have no regrets whatsoever about traveling around the world. I’ve seen and done things that only a small fraction of our species ever will. I highly recommend “world traveler/photographer/blogger guy” as a career path to all you high school kids out there.
That being said, while the positives far outweigh the negatives, there are some negatives.
Right now, I am exhausted.
The last few weeks months I have been running almost non-stop. I spent a month driving through Canada in my car, 10 days in South Africa, 10 days back in Canada and then a week in Las Vegas for the 2010 Blog World Expo. Most of those days were filled with meetings and visits to various places. Last year I wrote a post which talked about the paradox of travel blogging.
In brief, the paradox is this: if you are traveling, you are not blogging and if you are blogging you are not traveling.
You can’t be out and about exploring the world and be sitting at your computer at the same time. You have to pick one or the other.
As I sit here at JFK waiting for my flight, I realize just how different this type of blogging is from what the vast majority of bloggers do. “How to write a blog post after you return from your hotel exhausted after a day of sightseeing and meetings” is never going to be a session at Blog World, but it is something I deal with almost every day. Usually, the exhaustion wins.
There is a stereotype of bloggers working in their pajamas or sitting in their parents basement. Let me tell you that nothing could be farther from the truth.
While I do make sure to always put a new photo up every day, my “to do” list of articles to write just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Just to give you a taste of what is coming down the pipe, here are some of the posts I have in the queue:
- The architecture of Salvador Calatrava.
- Swimming with great white sharks.
- Hot air ballooning over the South African Veld
- Dinner at the men’s dining club in San Sebastian
- Traveling by train from Toronto to Quebec City
Oh, and I also have over 4,000 unprocessed photos sitting on my laptop waiting to be processed. That is the real bottle neck for me. I make it a point to only use my own photos in everything I do, and I also use images with every article. This means my blog posts are held hostage by my photo editing.
Excuses, however, are like assholes. Everyone has one and they all stink.
I need to figure out a better way to work. Rather than whining and saying “woe is me”, I’m going to take some steps to rectify things:
- After the first week in November I have nothing scheduled for the rest of the month. I’m planning to go somewhere and just work. I’ve narrowed things down to Colombia or Hawaii. It is possible I might end up going to both if things don’t pan out in December.
- I’m going to start doing more video. I recently purchased a new Sanyo video camera and actually got a free Kodak video camera this weekend in Vegas (just my luck that I get a free camera a few days after buying one). It is much easier for me to just talk for a few minutes that it is to try and write a blog post with photos. Expect more video.
- I’m going to get some help. I’ve been talking about getting a virtual assistant for ages but have never pulled the trigger. Mariya has been helping me get my email newsletter out, but other than that this is still entirely a solo effort. There are so many little things I do each day that I could free up at ton of time just having someone help out to do those things.
- Get on a schedule. As things get more serious, I’m having to actually plan where I’m going to be, sometimes months in advance. This is a big change from what I’ve been doing the last 3.5 years. I also need to get the blog on an editorial schedule.