Are you a traveling professional or a professional traveler? As an assignee, you would usually expect to fit in the former category. Your main job is not to travel. And while there is a degree of wanderlust in your veins – indeed, this is why you put yourself up for an assignment – you could not claim to travel for a living.
There is a breed of people, however, who do exactly that. In historical times, they were known as explorers. And as the world has become more or less fully explored – and as social media has become the world’s favourite news channel – they are now known as travel bloggers.
The life of a global nomad
Travel bloggers roam the world, from country to country, culture to culture, driven by two complementary instincts. First to taste everything the world has to offer in all its glory and variety. Second, to tell as many people as possible about it and get the biggest possible Instagram following.
The world’s leading travel bloggers are certainly acknowledged celebrities, but they are not divas. It takes an admirable strength of character to live constantly outside one’s comfort zone, and an extraordinary open-mindedness to enjoy doing so.
Travel bloggers are generally some of the most positive people you will meet and love nothing more than helping fellow travellers. With that in mind, we thought we would highlight some of the advice and experience that can be passed on by professional travellers to the traveling professional.
Jennifer Aspinwall - World On A Whim
Although travel bloggers are naturally independent people, they often say that the people they meet are as important as the ground they cover and the places they see.
Making new friends is important, but it is also something that can be done the wrong way. As a solo female, Jennifer Aspinwall of the World On A Whim blog has some interesting views on how to make friends in all the right places – and how to strike the fine balance between independence and isolation.
Cory Lee - Curb Free with Cory Lee
Travel bloggers get into some crazy scrapes. Cory Lee’s experiences – being pickpocketed in Paris, caught on a burning bus in Washington, and attacked by a hippo in South Africa to name a few – make for great reading on his blog, Curb Free with Cory Lee.
What is unusual is that Cory was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at the age of two – and has travelled further than most people despite being confined to a wheelchair. Cory is a source of sound advice to any expat with disabilities – and an inspiration to all.
Erick Prince - Minority Nomad
The world is full of different cultures – and different attitudes to other cultures. A US Army veteran of ten years before he became a full-time travel blogger, Erick Prince provides an interesting insight into racial attitudes, speaking candidly about the reaction he receives in different cultures as an African-American.
He has the ambition to visit every country in the world. At time of writing he is on 93 – documenting each step of the way articulately and insightfully on his Minority Nomad blog and compiling a superb catalogue of images on Instagram.
Derek Earl Baron - Wandering Earl
In 1999 Derek left the US for Thailand on a three-month tour with $1,500 in his backpack. Twenty years later, he is yet to return. Travel is clearly in his blood – and his attitude is a useful reminder to expats to get the most out of their experience.
Travel is an opportunity to learn, grow and enjoy life – not just to tick the box and move on. He is particularly vitriolic on the subject of those who see travel as a social media boast rather than a true learning experience. As a travel realist, he also offers some great practical travel tips on his blog that are as useful to business expats as they are to backpackers.
Eric Stoen - TravelBabbo
The word “Babbo” is Italian for Dad’ – a nickname that Eric picked up travelling with his children around Florence. Before he married, he was an experienced solo traveller – but saw no need to change when he and his wife started a family.
Quite the opposite, in fact. Eric is an inspiration to families who want to experience the world together. Whether you would like advice on where to take your children, how to make air travel with children more tolerable, or how to make family trips more affordable, TravelBabbo is a great resource for expats who are travelling with the family.
Are you a travel blogger in waiting?
Travel bloggers offer expats a different perspective because travel is both their life and their work. But this can be extremely useful to expats, especially if the rest of your pre-trip research comes from other expats.
You never know – you may find that you start documenting your own travel experiences, and become the next big travel blogger yourself!