I have a confession to make.
Despite operating a travel blog, in the past 9 months I have barely travelled.
In fact, since I came back to England from Barcelona at the end of June, I haven’t travelled at all.
I had planned on moving to the South of Spain, but that fell through in the middle of September, due to my ongoing anxiety issues.
Since then, I have remained in the UK the whole time, barely travelling anywhere at all.
I guess it makes a mockery of my travel blogger tag, despite spending the previous 5 years living and travelling around the globe.
Even though I haven’t travelled anywhere near as much as I would have liked recently, I’m ok with that.
The problem with tags
When you say to people you run a travel blog, they expect you to be living a life of constant travel and bliss at the beach, or in far-flung exotic locations.
The reality is very different.
Even if I was constantly travelling, the image they have in their mind of a travel blogger, would be far removed from the reality.
You see, despite all the pictures and videos you see on Facebook and Instagram, travelling is not as glamourous as it appears.
These images and videos are a snapshot in time. They do not show what happens behind the scenes when the camera has stopped rolling.
They don’t show the anguish you face when you have to travel to new places.
They don’t show the hours you spend in the hostel common room, because you really don’t feel like wandering aroundthe city again today.
They don’t show the hours spent in front of your laptop writing content and updating your website.
They show an idealised image of travel, which is not representative of the reality.
When I’m not travelling, people wonder how I can be a travel blogger, If I don’t travel regularly.
It’s a valid question.
A tag is only a tag
I have pondered the question of I can describe myself as a travel blogger, when I have braely travelled recently.
I quickly came to the conclusion that I can.
I used the example of Daniel Day-Lewis to help me reach this conclusion.
Day-Lewis is arguably the best actor of his generation. He has won three Best Actor Oscars during his career.
However, between 1997 and 2002 and he did not appear in a single film.
He went into semi-retirement, moved to Florence and even took up shoemaking as a hobby during this time.
During this period was Day-Lewis still an actor?
Yes, albeit one that wasn’t active.
Regardless of his break, he was still an actor. He did not stop becoming an actor just because he wasn’t appearing in any films.
I feel this is similar to my situation.
I am a travel blogger, but I am just not actively travelling.
The past 5 years had represented constant upheaval for myself, even if I was living in various countries for a lengthy period.
Like Day-Lewis, I needed a break to recharge my batteries, work on my craft and come back refreshed.
We are prone to using tags and berating people if they don’t live up to our expectation of what that tag represents.
But, it’s simply a tag.
There are many different ways to be a travel blogger. Likewise there are many different ways to be an actor.
In life, there is never one route that all must follow.
Like the veins in your body, there are any number of routes you can decide to go down.
I may be a travel blogger, but it does not define me. I am more than just the sum of my travels.