Like many final year students too scared to face up to real-world demands and find a job just yet, I’ve recently been planning a post-University gap year to Australia and parts of Asia. Whereas, in years gone by, I remember my parents pouring over endless brochures, atlases and travel guides before deciding on that years summer holiday, my first thought when planning my travels was to turn to the internet. In this golden age of technology in which everyone and their grandma has a blog, it is now easier than ever not only to travel the world, but to share your experiences with millions of other people along the way. As opposed to often out-of-date guides and the slanted advice of a travel agent in need of the commission, travel blogs offer a free and absorbing way to hear fellow travellers experiences and recommendations for exploring fantastic, fascinating new places. There are an estimated 200 million travel-related blogs on the net, with hundreds more being launched each day, but amongst the turgid, dull ones are some truly original, interesting blogs written by people from all walks of life.
Whilst some of the best blogs are from first-time travellers, with whom you share every wondrous moment, there is now a whole profession of full-time travel bloggers out there, many of whom have been doing it for decades and have the stories to match. Aussie native Chris Richardson’s blog is packed full of stuff to keep you reading for days at a time. From his Vegemite Challenge to a precise breakdown of how to survive on a tight budget as well as a whole host of stories and tales from his time travelling the globe, Chris’ blog is a must-read for anyone in need of inspiration or ideas for their own adventures. His Travel Tips are useful and inventive, and can save a rookie traveller from the expensive mistakes he admits to making himself many times.
Undoubtedly one of the best travel blogs around at the moment, One Way to Kathmandu is the work of British graduate Anna Purna Mellor, who previously ran the outstanding new music blog flyingwithanna.com. Upon graduating, like many young adults fresh out of University, Anna decided to travel the world. As the blog title suggests, she had a clear goal for her travels, this being India and the home of her namesake, the Annapurna mountains. Whilst only 6 months old, this travel blog is already packed with outstanding array of photographs, new music and uplifting anecdotes from her encounters, such as spending International Human rights Day in the Dalai Lama’s hometown. Anna gives an awesome perspective on the world around us and explores places that most people wouldn’t even consider.
Matt Harding’s blog started out as a way to keep his family up to date on his latest ventures. Thanks to the videos of him dancing badly in iconic places across the globe, which have garnered millions of views, Matt has become something of a poster-boy for middle-age, first time travellers. Watching through some of his dozen videos, each taking in a new landmark with a supporting cast of thousands, will stir a sense of adventure and excitement in anyone, and will leave you dreaming of the endless possibilities that travelling can bring.