I have a problem of perspective. I write primarily about travel, like hundreds of thousands of others, and, yeah, sure, it’d be cool if more people read my little missives (but still appreciate those people already reading regularly; love you both!), but, if you ask me exactly why more people should be reading my stuff, well, to be brutally honest, I don’t know.
Travel bloggers aren’t just a dime a dozen anymore, they’re that thirteenth free thing you get for buying a dozen whatever-the-hells with that dime of yours. They’re the little maze game you find on the back of the cereal box and absent-mindedly solve while you eat your Cap’n Crunch. Travel bloggers are the free samples of shit you would never actually pay for but, oh, it’s free so yeah sure I’ll give it a shot okay thanks g’bye!
So, what’s a travel blogger to do? Well, she finds something to set her apart from the other free thirteenth whatever-the-hells, the other cereal box puzzles, the other sample giveaways. He makes his posts all about traveling on just three dollars a day. She writes about traveling while being a single mom of six cats and a wise-cracking macaw. They catalogue their adventures as vegans with nut allergies searching the world for the perfect plant-based seafood salad.
Each of them will have a unique perspective. Their experiences will be colored by that perspective, their voice will be shaped by it, and, in turn, their readers will be drawn to it. It’s that thing that will set these travel bloggers apart, but it’s also what will keep people coming back for more.
Me? Hell, I don’t know. I mean, I do the adventure travel stuff, hiking through jungles and jumping from waterfalls, and I try to do the living like a local thing, eating street food and wandering markets, and blah de blah de blah, you’ve heard it all before and that, my friends, is the issue at hand: those are all just things I do but, in the end, my perspective isn’t anything especially different or unique. I’m just another white dude in his thirties who quit his shitty job back home and travels a bunch and does that shit so many people wish they could do and I’m boring myself just writing this.
Of course, yeah, I’m being hard on myself. But the fact remains that my perspective isn’t unique. There’s very little that sets me apart from other—from any—travel blogger. In the end, I have yet to discover my unique perspective on things. I do shit, but I don’t really have a take on that shit. I love the life I live, love to do what I get to do, but I’m still not sure why anyone should want to read about it, about me, specifically.
So far, much of what I’ve written is kinda sorta maybe travel advice. Daytrips from Bangkok and things to see and do, classic thirteenth free whatever-the-hell stuff. Some of it might be useful to one or two people who stumble upon my site and take a few minutes to read through an entire post or (gasp) two (again: love you both!!). But, overall, my take on those little trips isn’t especially different and it’s not like you can’t find the information elsewhere.
And, so, yeah, I keep thinking about it, trying to figure out what I’ve got to offer that no one else does. What sets me apart? What’s my wise-cracking macaw?
But . . . then again . . . why? Right? Why give a shit? It’s not like I’m looking to make a career of this. I’m not looking to be a professional travel blogger; I’m not even sure I’d enjoy that. For the most part, I just write this stuff because I like it and I wanna share it, even if just with a couple people (so much love, you two!!!). That’s the root of it, though: I do wanna share it. I want to do something with these experiences of mine. I want them to mean something beyond my own enjoyment and growth. I want my perspective to matter.
I get so much out of my travels and adventures but, if I don’t share them, well, what’s the point…?
And, shit, now we’ve come to the crux of it: I’m not just searching for my unique perspective . . . I’m searching for the point, the point of these travels, the point of these adventures. They can’t just be about me. They can’t just end with me.
I want my experiences to matter to others. I want my adventures to matter to others. I want my story to matter to others. I want my story to matter. I want to matter.
Fuck. That got deep fast.
I feel like a guy who decided to dig a well in Canadian farm country and popped out in downtown Chengdu.
Welp, that’s it, though. That’s always been it. I want to matter. I want what I do out here to matter. I don’t want to experience and venture and discover in a void.
And, for what I do to matter, for who I am to matter, my perspective, my point of view, my voice, has to matter.
And, so, as deep as things might have gotten, I’ve still got some digging to do… Maybe I just need a girlfriend. Or a dog. Or an actual wise-cracking macaw.