The Realities of Blogging from the Road

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The Realities of Blogging from the Road

I just returned from a 3-month trip through Southeast Asia. This was the first time that I traveled while maintaining my blogs, both Bohemian Traveler and GoMadNomad.com. It was a lot of work and I had to adjust my travel style, but all in all I liked this working-while-traveling-trip better than any of my previous trips.

Blogging from my hostel in Chiang Mai, Thailand

A purpose

Now  that I was blogging and writing from the road, I had a purpose while traveling. I was not just journaling each night for the sake of getting down notes and stopping to visit places just out my own curiosity. I felt that readers of the blogs deserved to know about these places, the way things were as I saw them.

If you decide to blog or freelance from the road, you will be writing, editing, publishing frequently to share your experiences with the curious world.

Blogging with coffee at a cafe in Luang Prabang, Laos

Travel Speed

When working while traveling, I travel much more slowly. This is something I knew ahead of time which I factored into my plans.

Every week I needed a few days to catch up on writing and publishing, so I made little bases along the way: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Luang Prabang. I got to see what it might be like to live in these places, and that’s always a good thing. It’s nice to experience a place as a local, albeit a temporary local. You have your usual shops, cafes, street cart vendors and make friends accordingly.

Blogging (with free wifi) from a bamboo hut cafe along the river in Tathon, Thailand

What’s different about blogging from the road

If you’re working from the road you’ll need to bring more equipment. But it’s OK because even though it might be heavier, you’ll be settled in more places for a longer time. This also forced me to pack even lighter for all my other gear because I knew I’d be lugging it all around on my back.

I took a netbook computer, a back-up drive, one camera, and a voice recorder. Many travel bloggers are going with a full laptop, a camcorder and more than one camera. Carrying all this expensive and important equipment means I had to take extra care from the elements and unsavory characters on the road. Luckily, southeast Asia is one of the safest and crime-free places to travel.

Need to have money saved up

At the time I started my trip in April of 2011 and announced Why I was going to Borneo, my blogs weren’t mature enough yet to be directly funding my travels. So the reality of this trip was that blogging from the road would only supply about half of my monthly expenses. I would still have to had worked to save up before my trip.

My next trip I hope to experiment with not saving up beforehand and earning 100% of my travel expenses from blogging/writing while on the road. This will be difficult and risky, but it is a challenge worth facing.

Blogging with 50 cent Angkor drafts at my hostel’s sunset bar.

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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 15 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine GoMadNomad.com. He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Google +, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

9 Comments

  1. flipnomad says:

    i agree with you… blogging while travelling keeps me less bored from the usual sightseeing activities of tourist… it gives me a new purpose in my travels 🙂

    t’was funny to see the last pic, because as of the moment, i can see sunset bar form my room here in siem reap… lol

    goodluck on your blogging ventures 🙂

  2. interesting tips, i have a question how do you update your blog in areas where there is no internet connection?

  3. Hey Stephen,

    I like the point you bring up about feeling a sense of connection or obligation to blog for your readers. As my youtube channel & blog have expanded I feel like I’m traveling more than just for myself.

  4. […] the marriage work and travel together well, stopping at a home base with a good internet connection every week or […]

  5. What i love about blogging while traveling is when I do it outdoors while drinking my favorite iced mocha drink. The ideal workplace! 😀

  6. Interview with Stephen Bugno - Traveler Around the World says:

    […] years, and enjoyed certain aspects of it, but I had a desire to transition out of this and into working online, so I could continue to keep moving.11. What’s in your backpack?Luckily I wrote a blog post with exactly what was in my backpack […]

  7. Rachel says:

    Hey,

    I was just googling for my class “Lao bamboo huts” and you came up! Weird!

    Hope all is well,

    Rachel

  8. @Rachel! Dude! I’m famous on the interwebs!! 😉

  9. Alex Gibson says:

    Blogging while traveling is a whole lot of work that requires alot of disciple, safety also is another thing. Thanks for the tip on how to scale down the equipment needed.

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