A Travel Blogger’s Life – The What, Why & How I Work

“Would you like to take part in a travel bloggers’ blog hop?”

A travel bloggers’ what hop?

Amanda, from Not a Ballerina (there’s a story there!) emailed asking me to join the hop, skip and a jump from travel blog to travel blog where, having been tagged, we in turn pass the baton on to more travel blog writers and so create ever increasing ripples out through the blogosphere as each relates just what, why and how they create content for their travel blog.

So just What, Why and How do I do what I do here on Journey Jottings’ blog site?

1) What am I working on/writing?

While in my life I love nothing more than going with the flow, when it comes to the business of creating content for my blog or travel memory products to retail, I appear to have a habit of going against the stream 😉

When I set up Journey Jottings 10 years ago a few people said –
“Aren’t you going against the grain a bit producing a range of paper products?
Don’t you realize everyone’s gone digital?
Travellers and holiday makers don’t send postcards any more, they send emails –
And travel journals? *ROFL* *eyes roll* Everyone now keeps an on-line journal or travel blog!”

But sometimes it pays to go against the grain and take a road less travelled as we now have hundreds of thousands of so called ‘out-dated’ paper products in the hands of discerning travellers who see the world like me –
Travellers, who love the tactile feel of paper products that they’ve held firmly in their hands in far flung places and which now firmly hold memories of those moments from far flung times.
(Not to mention there’s no fear of platforms being superseded, files corrupted or sites hacked.)

Journey Jottings Highlight your Holiday Adventures

So while this blog hop is skipping and jumping from writer to writer, I’m going to…. yes, you guessed it, go a little against the stream and admit I’m not so much currently writing anything as creating a method for expressing your travels when you feel your writing simply isn’t quite sparkly enough… and you’re equally convinced you can’t draw!

I’m working on a way to help people like you create story maps
While we’re all made to believe from our schooling that alphanumerics are the only way to express ourselves (remember all those essay assignments you had to submit?) –
That hasn’t always been the case –
Rock art, hieroglyphics and pictographs were all successful methods of communication, along with story telling through woven textiles, decorating pots, sculpturing shapes, not to mention dance, song and ceremony.

I therefore feel – writing alone isn’t necessarily the only way to communicate and express yourself when it comes to recording travel memories.

Image: Travel Journal storyboard

So I’ve started a series of posts (How to Travel Journal Like a Map Maker) which by the end of the year will be pulled together in the one place so you don’t have to scroll through pages and pages of my blog to find what you’re looking for, it’ll be all on hand in an e-book 😀

2) How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?

Most travel bloggers write – they paint with their words
My travel pieces always incorporate a visual element, whether that be interspersing the post with photos (frequently every other paragraph)…

Or sharing the experience summarized with a story map.

As George Bernard Shaw said:

“The single biggest problem in communication
is the illusion that it has taken place.”

Communication George Bernard Shaw

It therefore seems prudent to me to utilize a combination of techniques, including what I call doodle drawing –
Such embellishments all go to help colour-in your tale that starts off in plain black and white – yet your desire is to create a vivid picture.

3) Why do I write what I do?

Travel is transformational.
Travel gives you the opportunity to not only go out and ‘see’ the world, rather it gets you to notice the details that make up our world, which sadly in our daily routine our eyes tend to get lazy to observing.
We go onto auto pilot as we work through our known off by heart to-do list and fail to notice the beauty that is often in our own backyard!
But travel?
Travel takes us out into a realm where the unknown and change confronts us at every turn and ignites our curiosity like a child who sees for the first time the wonders that are there to be discovered and which enrich our souls.

Travel is Transformational

I love sharing the joy that the experience of travel gives –
As well as helping to ensure those priceless memories are captured for future fun and laughs and enjoyment in years to come –

You know the feeling you get when you think about a past trip and a smile spreads across your face?

Well that’s what Journey Jottings is all about –
And is why I write what I write and do what I do here on my blog! 🙂

4) How does my writing process work?

Firstly by hand –

I need to feel the words on the paper as they spill out and take form –
When hitting the keys on a keyboard, there’s no connection with what is in my head and body and what is remotely/virtually being formed behind the screen.

Writing a travel bloggers post

That doesn’t mean to say I don’t occasionally think (against my better judgement) that I’ll take what I’m convinced in that ill-conceived moment will be a short cut by typing a post straight in –
But inevitably, I drown in my own words as I attempt to cut across that virtual river of thoughts instead of staying on terre firma (in the real world) where my words can gently flow and take their course.

And I’m a night owl – I work best in the wee hours when the house is quiet and the world is sleeping.

Blog Hop Tag

I’m passing the baton on to two of my favourite travel bloggers!



Annabel Candy of Get In The Hot Spot 
Get In the Hot Spot is for travel loving women aged 40+ who want to be more adventurous, have more fun and feel fabulous.”




Jade - Travel Blogger Our Oyster


Jade Johnston of Our Oyster who’s tag line is:
Travel now. Tomorrow is just a dream.
With her husband and young son they make the most of every available moment to explore, discover and share their findings with you so you can too.



Amanda Kendle



And thank you to Amanda from Not a Ballerina for tagging me –

Amanda’s site nudges those who think they might like to travel somewhere to actually get up and go. 

Do you have a writing practice?

Or more to the point –

How do you record your travels?

Do share in the comments below 🙂

42 thoughts on “A Travel Blogger’s Life – The What, Why & How I Work

  1. Oh Linda, I knew your response to this would be fabulous but you have even exceeded my high expectations! Totally love it. And I love the way you go against the grain, that’s where the best and most exciting stuff happens. Thanks so much for joining in!

    • Thank *you* for inviting me to the party Amanda 🙂
      Funny you should say that – When I was writing this I was wearing a pair of ear rings my Mum gave me that says on each:
      “If you obey all the rules”
      “You miss all the fun”

  2. I knew when I opened up your post that I would be in for a visually entertaining ride that would definitely go against the grain. You are a very hard act to follow in this blog-hop and now I’m just a little bit stressed 😉 Love your journey journals and yes, going against the grain is sometimes absolutely the best way to go – as long as you have a talent like yours 🙂

    • I’m thrilled to bits to hear these posts are inspiring “even” you “a non-artist” into “itching to start my own map.” hehe!!
      Couldn’t be happier 😀

  3. We tend to use a calendar (paper format) to jot down a few notes every evening, and these then form the foundation for our electronic diary and blog entries. We also keep a camping log in the same paper book with GPS locations, which we share on our website. I still find paper notes easier to handle, same applies to my old and worn paper address book, it never needs fresh batteries to find somebody’s address, I can have a bit of a mess in it, like some people entered under their first name, others under family name, notes next to the entries reminding me where I met some people, and so on…

    Which reminds me: time to get the camping log updated.
    Juergen recently posted..Street Art in Santiago de Chile (Part 3)My Profile

    • That sounds just like my address book Juergen!
      I also find the act of writing it in helps with the mental association of recalling who the dickens was that years down the track?!
      There is something to be said for jotting down notes as you go along 🙂

  4. I’m in awe of anyone who can draw and you do it beautifully. That’s why I gravitate to my camera. I know I can’t imagine a trip now without taking photos and taking them brings me a lot of joy.

    • I love my camera too –
      And I love flicking through photos later as well – They are such a joy!
      But I’ve read articles that say by relying on our camera aperture our brain doesn’t bother to register the memories so well unless we zoom in on a detail and then we evidently ‘look’ 🙂
      Have you seen that hypothesis banded about?

    • Its true most people upload photos and send their virtual “Postcards” on Facebook LOL
      Having said that – I always post a couple of postcards from really significant spots to myself when I’m away!
      Its such a thrill having a postcard on the fridge door from Venice and Kakadu 😉

    • Aren’t old letters written home little gems Suzanne?
      My Mum gave me back a bundled pile I’d written home from my first trip to Oz and there were some real treasures… in amongst my immature drivel!!
      I’ll be interested to see if your Zentangles are influenced by where you’re travelling in the world 🙂

  5. So envious of your talents and the innovative ways you use them! I enjoyed this very much. Pete and I are big fans of Print On Demand companies – it’s a major income stream for us. Our challenge is always design because we’re not particularly artsy ourselves. This post is a treat.

    • Thanks so much Betsy – So happy you enjoyed this post –
      It was actually interesting to stop and objectively observe for long enough to write this …
      I’m usually way too preoccupied in the doing!
      I think one could say this was a post full of mindfullness 🙂

  6. Your way of doodling a map has inspired me to work with my grandkids on this project as they love to draw. My handwriting isn’t as beautiful as yours and typing on a laptop (with spell check) is faster for me.

    I need to go through all the saved letters and incorporate their messages along with old time photos.

    • Let’s hope you can manage to keep inspiring your grandchildren after they hit High School –
      That’s the point where everyone decides – They can’t draw :/

  7. I absolutely LOVE your story maps an I’m getting back into scrap booking. If only my drawings will look s nice as yours, they will be a beautiful addition to my scrap books.

    • Just like developing a good writing style, your doodle drawing style won’t happen with the first draft!
      And like all things that one continues to practice… the rewards are wonderful 🙂

  8. I just watched your introduction video and it was nice to hear your voice! I’m a huge fan of your work, so creative and visual. Have you thought about branching out and adding other countries to your maps available, such as the United States?! 🙂

    • It’s funny hearing someone speak for the first time when all you’ve been going by is an avatar!
      Maybe if I did one for the USA you could be my distributor?! LOL 😉

  9. Lovely post Linda, I like how you are a night owl who writes when the world sleeps, I can relate to that! I love your website and have been browsing it whenever I get a chance to take a break and do a bit of armchair travel. It’s so beautiful and inspiring, I love the story on the outback dunnies and the story of how you started your maps. I remember arriving in Australia with a first edition of the Wheeler’s “Asia on a Shoestring” who knows, maybe it had one of your maps in it?
    It was great meeting you at PBEvent and how funny that I had given my niece one of your maps on her first visit to Australia six years ago.

    • So happy you’ve been enjoying browsing through the pages of my blog!
      Funnily enough I did do the maps for Lonely Planet’s 1st edition for Australia, followed by their 1st edition for Burma (as it was then known).

      And what a happy coincidence to meet both you and your niece for whom you bought a copy of my Journal Map on her first visit to Australia 6 years ago 🙂

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