I’ve been traveling my entire life. And I don’t mean when I graduated from college, or how I went on vacation every summer. I mean since the time I was born in Seoul, South Korea. Travel has been a very important part of my life, and my desire to travel grew once my family stopped. Studying abroad further motivated me to find a way to get out into the world. I then recently realized I wanted to start a travel blog. I started by browsing some pretty glamorous ones and I ooed and awed over their photos. Not only do some travel bloggers have some pretty stellar equipment, but they all almost seemed to be gorgeous (I mean, model status).
Now, this may seem extremely trivial to some, but it was a really detrimental thought process for me. Was I not pretty enough to be the star in so many photos? I had always imagined me just putting up photos of where I had been, the beautiful landscapes and buildings. But, to be a travel blogger, I am a huge part of that equation! I need to be in those photos! These other people are posting photo after photo of themselves in these really great places. And yes, the most important thing is reading about their experiences, but the photos do so much to tell their story. You can’t help but notice the girl in a bikini in Phuket, or the girl in a gorgeous dress in Greece, or the guy in a suit and tie at a gala, or a surfer in Australia. You can’t help but see these things, and it’s important that these photos are appealing to you. After thinking about this subject for several weeks, I started having palpitations at the thought of not being able to be a travel blogger. And then I realized something… not everyone is as shallow as the media has made you believe.
People really do want to hear your story. And yes, beautiful photos make it easier for your story to be told, but I am a unique individual who makes my photos special to me and to my readers. While I may not have the confidence to pose in a bikini (like ever), that doesn’t mean I can’t have pictures of me enjoying my time at the beach. I don’t need to expose to everyone things that I’m not comfortable with. I dress how I dress, and I look how I look. In fact, traveling has given me greater confidence in my myself, and more importantly, in my abilities.
Travel blogging doesn’t have to fall into the category of 14 year old girls taking the perfect photo on Instagram, or living the life of the rich and famous. What’s so great about the travel blogging community is how honest and down-to-earth these people are. I’m in a great circle of fellow bloggers, and I’m happy to be here where I believe I belong.