I’ve gone through shitloads of travel blogs, each one holier-than-thou about the higher calling and how the blogger left a life of riches and comfort to free herself (Mostly read hers) and go round the world again and again and again….. it seems there’s a rat race on to either visit the most countries or make the most RTW (Round-the-world) trips. Most of these blogs reeked of George Clooney’s character in the flick ‘Up in the Air’ whose aim in life was to attain the holy grail of flying – entering the exclusive Million Frequent Flier Miles club.
Of course you come across rare exceptions where the traveler really followed her instincts instead of following the herd.
You’ll hear of strange terms like Digital Nomad, which is just a glorified term to describe a junky/gypsy. Interestingly, none of them have gotten married and raising a family.
Me? Nah. Couldn’t survive a single day without my cozy 9 to 5 corporate job. Ah! There’s nothing better than basking in the glory of your comfort zone. Fringe benefits, perks, prestige. No Mama!
So how much I’ve travelled? A bit. England, Holland, Germany, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, UAE, Hong Kong and Thailand.
In terms of cities, hmmm….. let me see….. London, Amsterdam, The Hague, Frankfurt, Singapore, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Dubai, Ajman, Al-Ain, Sharjah, Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah and Bangkok.
And yeah, I’ve lived in Abu Dhabi for about four years. That’s just about it.
But all my travels until this point in time have been either at my father’s expense or my company’s. So for a change, I’m trying to fund my travels on my own, hence the need for this blog. Truth be told, the travel funds have dried up and there’s a limited set of cities or countries you can visit on the company’s payroll.
So let’s not beat about the bush. This is a travel blog purely intended to make money. Otherwise why the hell would I go to the trouble of creating yet another blog when I already had three?
Money for what? To travel more, of course. No one became rich pursuing a life of constant jetlag. Just scour through thousands of travel blogs and you would be hard pressed to find a single guy or girl who made enough travelling and writing about it that they now own a yacht, spending all day basking in the sun on the deck. Nop. Just doesn’t happen. The airlines alone ensure that no matter how much you earn, they siphon all your money in the form of tickets.
So money it is. That and yeah to brag about my travels. There’s nothing better than to stroke your inflated ego and indulge in some good old-fashion narcissistic rant.
How to pull it off?
Errr….. I’m not exactly sure. Run a few ad banners promoting other traveler blogs equally desperate as me to earn a quick buck, write sugar-coated paid reviews for hotels you won’t want your grandmother to live in and of course, the elixir of all internet marketers – affiliate marketing. So I’ll probably be savagely promoting all these ‘make money from travel blogging’ guides that I’ve never read in my life.
Press and sponsored trips (mostly by tourism authority of countries) are something looked down upon by the travelers’ fraternity as being too constrained or even manipulative. I wouldn’t mind being manipulated or used if at the end of the day I get a free trip. Hell yes.
You want to use me to project a kickass image of your country/city/slum, please do not hesitate to court me.
And then to top it all, I’ll probably land a book deal from a hotshot publisher, think Simon & Schuster or Random books. Ok maybe that’s taking things too far.
So what’s the USP? Why would people want to read this blog and more importantly, want to sponsor and send this smartass on free trips when there are a sillion travel blogs already out there, with far more travel experience and far better writing skills than this bloke?
Errr…. Gee I don’t know. Maybe the fact that he’s the only Pakistani around? That people may yearn ( Yeah right) to know the perspective of someone hailing from a country where every other person is ready to blow himself up at the slightest agitation, or so the media would have you believe.
And yeah, I’ll be sharing all the things that I learn along the way about how to save money in airline fares and hotel stays, or even pull them off for free. Any goldmine that I discover on my quest would be readily shared with my audience, instead of hiding it within an ebook.
And anything I earn, 10% of that would instantly go to some charity, preferably one that caters towards children, before I even touch the money. That’s a vow I’ll stick to no matter what.
So money, bragging and ummm…. to some extent projecting an image of Pakistanis that is unlike what the international media portrays, that we are either the suicidal types ready to blow ourselves at a whim and taking with us all the infidels in our vicinity, or slimy creatures that befriend you just to get in your pockets (and sometimes pants as well).
Although we do have these characters amongst us, the truth is neither black nor white but shades of grey.
So explore at your own peril.