Goodbye Travel, Hello Blogs!
Going to Europe by air, taking a cruise to a tropical island, and jumping in the car for a quick weekend escape to the beach or mountains are pre-pandemic adventures once enjoyed by many travelers. However, current cutbacks in travel do not restrict us from reminiscing about memorable vacations we experienced, nor keep us from dreaming of magical ones to come. Though we find ourselves at home more often, there are great ways in which we can still travel the world. And, as a bonus, we can do it for free by reading travel blogs.
How to Choose Blogs:
There are many great life adventure blogs on the internet. Some relate to travel experiences or escapades living abroad, and others are written by folks who share unique perspectives from their daily lifestyles. Some blogs are written in serious tones and focus on topics like proper etiquette while dining in a foreign country, while others are humorous and cover a variety of travel blunders from lost plane tickets to missing the last train to Paris. Readers should find blogs that are written and presented in likeable styles, are tailored to locations they wish to explore, and intermingle topics of interest, such as history, politics, religion, fashion, business, cooking, eating out, and more. The choices are endless, and no two blogs are alike.
My Personal Favorites:
- Zooming Japan is penned by a German blogger named Jasmine who lives in Japan. Jasmine has traveled to all 47 prefectures. This expat blogger shares a wide array of beautiful photos of Japan, including Hirosaki Castle that features three surviving towers from the Edo period and five gates and the dramatic Himeji Castle that bears the nickname “White Heron Castle.” A self-ascribed “castle hunter,” Jasmine visited over 150 of them, all of which possess rich history and cultural value. In addition, Jasmine has been to countless shrines, temples, and gardens and enjoys sharing must-see lists, advice, stories, and perceptions of “The Land of the Rising Sun.” I wholeheartedly enjoy this blog, not only for travel references, but for Jasmine’s personal insight into the most picturesque and best places to visit in Japan. Visit zoomingjapan.com
- Things to Love: The Unexpected Part II was the first material I read by Philadelphia blogger, author, and avid gardener Louise Turan. This blogger is formerly a non-profit executive in the City of Brotherly Love and played a key role in the revitalization of Philadelphia’s urban riverfront. The multitalented author recounts memories of life as a child in Vicenza, Italy, where she resided with her parents from 1962 to 1966. Louise’s father worked as the commander of the hospital at the Caserma Ederle, the United States Army Garrison, and her mother attended to a variety of duties as an Officer’s wife. In doing research for a book, Louise sought to gain information on Villa Chiara, formerly the family home, and uncovers mysteries of her childhood. Louise is also an avid gardener, as expressed in her blog entitled Things to Love: Gardening, Part I, which describes her “impetus” for her beloved pastime. To view her blog, visit Lousieturan.com
- Nomadic Matt is an inspiring travel blog, especially for those who enjoy city to city travel. It is written by a Boston-raised blogger who became hooked on travel. In 2006, Matt quit his cubicle job and set out on a backpacking adventure to see the world. Nomadic Matt takes readers on exciting journeys, from the quaint cafés of Paris to Germany’s vibrant fairgrounds during Oktoberfest. This blog goes above and beyond by sharing essential tips on how to see the world on a budget, travel better, and stay safe and healthy. Matt also shares Coronavirus travel advice and connects readers to resources regarding current restrictions and travel advisories for virtually every country. There is also guidance on how to start a travel blog, should one be inspired to do so in the future. Visit Nomadicmatt.com
- Gracelaced is a heartfelt Christian blog written by Ruth Chou Simons, a bestselling author, entrepreneur, artist, and speaker. Her blog focuses on her journey steeped in faith and God’s grace intersecting her daily life. Ruth and her husband are parents of six boys. Ruth’s devotion to God and family is showcased in her work and art. Her blog provides encouragement for those raising children, marital support, and a variety of meaningful topics centered on fostering a loving environment at home and beyond. Ruth shares Asian-inspired and easy to prepare recipes that take readers on a tasty food journey, from Acorn Squash Bisque with Apples and Bacon to Weekday White Wine & Mushroom Soup. Preparing recipes from Ruth’s blog will make you feel like you are at a five-star restaurant. Check it out at Gracelaced.com
- Maptia is the collaborative work of inspiring photographers, adventurers, and conservationists from all over the world. The blog contains moving photographs and feature stories such as highlighting the myriad of modern-day threats faced by Asian elephants and the 4,000-year relationship between humans and elephants in crisis. The feature photo shows captive elephants and their mahout caregivers along the Himalayan borderlands. The blog enables readers to explore different countries and view cultural, ecological, and geological wonders throughout the world. The landscapes and images are deeply moving, making us reflect upon our impact and how we can be better stewards of God’s beautiful earth. Visit maptia.com