Balancing Blogging and Travel

When I go to someplace I’ve never been before, lets say a new national park, there are always conflicting thoughts about how to document my experience there. If I take a lot of pictures and video, I’ve captured the moment to share with the internet. But because I’m focusing on how best to share the location with others, I’m not experiencing it as fully myself.

Blogging works a little differently. If the best photos aren’t your primary concern, you get the good content for a blog post by being present and taking in what you see and feel about a location, and write it up after the fact. Which is maybe why I still insist on using a phone to take my photos instead of a real camera – it’s quicker, and I want to maximize the amount of time I’m actually experiencing a new location. I want to be fully immersed in it, it makes for a better blog post.

Pacific Park on Santa Monica Pier last night

Which brings me to why I’m writing about this. I’m currently dry camping at the Santa Monica Civic Center, within walking distance of the beach and Santa Monica Pier. I was due to post a blog yesterday, but I was too busy fighting through LA traffic getting the Casita here. I could write that blog post up now. But I’m somewhere new with good friends, and I want to get out with them and experience Santa Monica – our time here is limited. So instead you’re getting this short missive now, but you’ll be getting a better post down the road.

I was recently asked by a reader who wants to document his travels how demanding blogging is if you don’t intend to make money from it. Does it take a lot of time? My answer was that it takes as much time as you want to put into it. If you want to update frequently and regularly with high-quality content then yes, it can be demanding. But there’s no rule on how often you need to update, no law saying you have to be consistent, and no official stance on how long your blog posts need to be.

Put as much time into it as you feel like, and keep it fun. Nothing will burn you out on blogging as quickly as trying to do too much and missing out on the locations you’re traveling through just to keep up with it.

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  1. Leo Tat on March 16, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    I notice this too when I am travelling. I often find that when I set out a target to take as many photos as I am not present and not properly enjoying the moment. These days I don’t put as much importance into photo taking but spend more time appreciating the experience.
    Leo Tat recently posted..5 Best Magnesium Supplements and Forms to Take With DosagesMy Profile

  2. Becky on February 27, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    Thanks for the comments everyone!

    Hoot – Yes, it was awful. More on that in today’s travelogue!

  3. Hoot on February 27, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Have fun first. Then you can tell the rest of us about it. I enjoy your posts and your photos. I am switching over to my iphone for all my photos because like you mentioned it is quicker and it is smaller and I can carry it in my pocket. Would love to hear about the CA traffic. Was it horrendous?

  4. festivalbar on February 27, 2018 at 12:56 am

    Becky, thank you for this post. Its very inspiring.

  5. kkvier on February 25, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Becky, thanks so much for the post.Really thank you! Great.

  6. Jodee Gravel on February 25, 2018 at 10:36 am

    I find myself feeling guilty if I forget the camera because my phone definitely doesn’t take the quality pics your does. Then I have to look at why I would feel that way. Usually it’s more about not being able to capture our journey than it is not having anything for others to see in my blog post. Still, it’s easy to become a slave to blog content, and remembering to be in the moment for the moment is good advice.

    Dry camping in Santa Monica is not something I thought I’d ever hear, but glad you had the opportunity as that is such a fun area. Looking forward to hearing about your experience!
    Jodee Gravel recently posted..Fun With Friends in ArizonaMy Profile

  7. Rhonda on February 23, 2018 at 9:08 am

    What a fun photo to go with this excellent post, Becky. Thank you. 🙂

    • Becky on February 23, 2018 at 2:19 pm

      You’re welcome Rhonda!

  8. Becky on February 22, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    Thanks for the comments everyone! Yes, it was quite cold in LA!

    Jim – Kind of yes and kind of no. RVs are allowed to park overnight in the lot ($28 for occupying two spots), but the police may harass you for actually occupying the rig from the hours of 2 to 6 am. It’s a gray area. Three of our number got the knock at 5 am, two of us (including me) did not. Several other rigs were in the lot with us, none of us were kicked out. I’ll be writing more about all of this when I get to the travelogue.

    • jim on February 22, 2018 at 8:40 pm

      OK …..thx for the update, Beck…….pretty much as I expected…..SMPD is pretty lenient….to a point…….but the place has been ground zero for homeless and the slightly-less-homeless van-dwellers and such for 30 years. They are LESS lenient than in the past…..My car had two break in attempts – in a gated garage, no less – (one successful, one not- 1998 or so) but I was driving a P.O.S. 1986 Toyota P/U…and all they got were some cassette tapes and a sweatshirt…LOL. Point is SMPD was forced to be stricter b/c of all the crime associated with “street people”.

      Anyway…..the idea I was referring to was……Elks Clubs. Many Elks clubs offer spaces at their lodges…….some are just a portion of the parking lot with a handful of spaces where you can dry camp, some have full hookups, some are full on RV parks with 60 or 80 spaces with pools and the whole megillah. (These are usually in rural areas like Northern CA and are set up to attract weekenders, families on vacation, etc.). Max stays range from a few days to up to 2 weeks, depending. Nightly rates are discounted, usually $15-$30, again, depending. For the $60 or so annual dues it might make sense for some….I’ve checked it out and just here in Orange County there are about 8 or 10 lodges w/in 20 or 30 minutes of me…..with many more when you get to urban fringes. Certainly something to keep in mind if you tire of the boondocks and need to get your fill of City Action for a few days….. =)

  9. jim on February 22, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Echo what Diane Ely said…….you picked the coldest week of the year to visit LA!!….LOL (Funny…everyone is 8itching…..While from SoCal, and here now, I lived a year and a half in Denver and about 5 yrs in Jersey outside NYC. I tell them….this is what a NICE day in Jersey is like… March or April… least it’s sunny! SoCal=Big wimps…..LOL)

    One question……where did you park your rig? (And yes I know Santa Monica very well….lived for a year about one mile from the SM Civic Center…..late 90s……are the local “authorities” ok with street parking?

    That’s one…..if not a concern, then at least a challenge…..I have thought about. Finding a place to park a 35 to 40 foot rig isn’t a problem in most of the country…and certainly not in much of the West…..but what if you wanna “go into town” for a few days…..e.g. LA.? (I did hit on one idea that may be worth it, btw……respond and I’ll tell u….=)

  10. Kathi Foy on February 22, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Becky, you make good points. My assessment go to tool is a short one: show up; pay attention; tell the truth; be open to the outcome. I find if I step back and follow this assessment, I keep a good balance. It appears you do the same. Enjoy the journey.

    • Rhonda on February 23, 2018 at 9:05 am

      This assessment is one that can carry over in all walks of life at any time, Kathi…thanks for sharing. It sounds like a pleasant mantra to live by.

  11. Rob K on February 22, 2018 at 8:14 am

    I struggled with even starting a blog. I looked at Al @ Bayfield Bunch, and knew I could never take the time nearly every day and post. Others like you, Becky, post on an irregular schedule.
    When I finally took the plunge, my plan was a weekly post. It gave me time to work on a post, take photos, and lets be honest, time for myself to just chill in a place.
    I’ve been at it for nearly four years and I’ve felt a little stale at times. I’ve got a couple of ideas brewing for a fresh take on this life.
    While I don’t post here, I read, and you hit a note I know well.
    Safe travels.

  12. Richard Sykes on February 21, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    You might want to include a trip down to Venice Beach, the next “town” down the coast. It was once the beatnik area ofLA way back in the 50’s and has an interesting vibe. You could even walk there or take short bus ride.

  13. Diane Ely on February 21, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Welcome to LA! It was pretty cold (for us) last night – it got down to freezing at my place.

  14. Judy Blinkenberg on February 21, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    I used to blog, in fact, I’ve started several. But like you have mentioned it does take time, and good writing skills, and that takes me away from my sewing, let alone my poor husband! So take your time to go see things, Becky! Have fun! Enjoy yourself! And when you feel bored, do your posts. Me, na, I’m almost 70 and time IS too short!

  15. Jerry Minchey on February 21, 2018 at 11:11 am


    As you know, I like your blog posts where you talk about things other than travel and where you are or where you’ve been (like this post where you are sharing your thoughts).

  16. Richard on February 21, 2018 at 10:44 am

    It is great that you share your life and adventures with everyone. Make sure that you enjoy where you are at and your adventures. Do not let blogging become a burden. Safe and happy travels.

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