With the travel industry booming in 2014, it seemed that new travel blogs were popping up every day, all over the world. Everyone wanted to be a writer; everyone wanted to share their top five [insert noun] lists. It can be dizzying trying to keep up with all the new players on the field, even if you have Adult ADD. A plethora of travel bloggers wanted you to pay attention to them, establish themselves as the new Anthony Bourdain, and the most prolific expert on xyz.
And this is not to say that 2015 will be any different. I predict that an even great onslaught of wannabes and world travelers will be fighting for our attention, trying to give yet another spin on say, Cancun or Chiang Mai. This is a wonderful thing; we should all be free to express our thoughts and tell the globe how your gap year changed your life- because travel does change your life and perspective.
The problem is, not everyone has what it takes. Many travel bloggers (even those with thousands of followers) don’t know the difference between Columbia and Colombia, can’t take a decent-looking photo (thanks, Instagram), or apparently never passed freshman year English. Thankfully, I have done the hard work for you, sifting through too many blogs to mention, and have come up with a list of 15 blogs you should follow in the coming year.
(These are in no order of importance.)
Tripper is led by Sandra and Dhanish, an international couple from the Azores and India. It is a smart, quirky, user-friendly blog that covers a variety of destinations. They focus on slow travel, getting to know cultures and their histories on an intimate level. Providing personal opinions in “Tripper Thoughts,” including gastronomical recommendations and tips on selling tours, they also turn the camera around, featuring other Trippers roaming the world.
At the end of the day, we’re all just a bunch of backpackers wanting to see the world, aren’t we? Nonetheless, this blog is much more phenomenal than its humble name suggests. Manouk Bob, the face behind BoB, hails from the Netherlands and offers a fun, inspirational approach to world travel. With her different series, such as Sleep Less, Dream More and Bob Vs., the reader gets an eclectic view of some of the struggles travelers encounter on their journeys. (These yield the best stories anyhow, don’t they?) Check out her travel resume; it’s quite impressive.
Trisha Velarmino is one of those women who you just can’t help but love. A native Filipina, she is on a mission to see all countries in the world where her Philippines passport can get her a free visa. She manages to travel by volunteering and showing off her social media skills. P.S. I’m on My Way is an excellent source for travel hacks, advice on how to make your travel dreams a reality, and tips on countries in four different continents. Oh, and did I mention that she speaks five languages?
4. Nero and Me
Joshua has one of the oddest, motivating, and endearing travel stories that you may ever read about. Nero and Me is based on his adventures traveling around the UK with nothing but his backpack and bicycle- oh yeah, and his dog Nero. So far, they have explored five countries together and plan on roaming around Europe this January. When asked how he decided whether or not to bring Nero along, he responded that there was no choice; his dog was coming along. The love this man has for his best friend, and his adventurous spirit, are remarkably inspiring.
A native of Nicaragua, Will Castillo is a traveler who has decided that, no matter the odds, he will decidedly live his life traveling. Focusing on the Americas, Europe, and Asia, I Will Travel is a blog that offers a wealth of destination know-how including what to do and where to eat. On top of that, he shares information about shows, festivals, shopping, discount travel, and travel on Instagram. Also, be sure to check out Editor’s Picks for some of his favorite things in the travel world.
Lale, also known as Alejandra, is a female solo traveler who was raised in the Dominican Republic. She is a backpacker with a penchant for doing headstands all over the world (check out Who’s Lale? for a variety of photos). Lale’s Wanderlust mirrors its author’s personality, chronicling her self-described “fluky” travels. Her writing and photography cover tales of a vegetarian Latina on the road in Latin America, the Middle East, Northern Africa, and the US. So if you’re looking for a well-designed, fun blog chalk-full of travel opinions, Lale’s Wanderlust will flip your world upside down.
Karla is a well-read, award-winning serial expat who truly lives up to her blog’s name. She is a Latina with the soul of a traveler who has experienced culture within the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. Her blog covers a wide variety of topics, including translation, studying abroad, teaching English, and living in foreign countries. She is a Jane of all trades and offers expert advice to those interested in, well, too many things to list. To learn more about other travel bloggers who have inspired her, check out the series Spotlight On.
Mike Huxley, the Bemused Backpacker, is truly a remarkable person. As a traveling nurse, he not only has four e-books published, he also provides travel tips and health advice to other travelers. I don’t know when he has time to sleep. Bemused Backpacker aims to help others explore the world, independently and responsibly, on a budget. He has teamed up with R.I.G.H.T. Tourism, a segment of Care for the Wild International, amongst others, to spread the word about animal welfare in the tourism industry. If you are curious about how to avoid contributing to animal abuse while traveling, this is your place to start.
Of all the bloggers listed, Stephanie Mayo is the only one whom I have had the chance to meet in person. She was traveling up the west coast of the U.S., visiting more zoos than I have digits, documenting her observations. Stephanie happened to be in Portland to review the Oregon Zoo, so we met up for tea and a great chat about travel and animal rights. Her blog extensively details zoos around the world, debating the pros and cons, and explaining why zoos are crucial to the preservation and knowledge about animals worldwide. And if you want to know more about Stephanie’s travels aside from a wildlife focus, check out her other blog, The World as I See It.
If you’re looking for a blog that urges you to quit your job, abandon your responsibilities, and take off with an empty wallet, then this isn’t the one for you. Jessica Kay’s blog, A Passion and A Passport, shows that it is possible to indulge in wanderlust while maintaining a full-time job. She has traveled to six continents on a part-time basis, and encourages others to do the same with her Part-Time Traveler Interview series, as well as staycation ideas. This is one woman who knows how to make the most out of her precious time, and that having a “real” job is no excuse not to travel.
When it comes to travel bloggers making a difference, my hat goes off to Bret Love and Mary Gabbett of Green Global Travel. Focusing on “ecotourism, nature/wildlife conservation and cultural preservation,” they have covered earth-friendly travel over six continents. Having been featured in prestigious publications such as National Geographic, World Wildlife Fund, and The Huffington Post, to name a few, they are the go-to source when comes to making sure your trip is ethical in terms of global conversation. To top it off, Green Global Conservation has taken a huge initiative in sparking the #JustOneRhino Project, which aims to prevent rhinoceros extinction in South Africa.
12. Travel Candy
Travel Candy is just that- pure sweetness for those afflicted with the travel tooth. Covering food, exotic locations, shopping, and nature, Claire is sure to lead you to delicious destinations world-wide, complete with dazzling photographs. As a mother, she also demonstrates that travel is not an isolated passion for single, childless twenty-somethings. Visit Travel Candy yourself and chew on an array of colorful, tasty travel tips and an eyeful of pleasurable views.
13. World Explora
An established writer, Charlie is a woman who has already lived on three different continents and just can’t get enough. While she enjoyed her desk job, she has decided to jump into the great unknown this coming January, to earn her living as a freelance writer while embracing life on the road. Charlie has already experienced life as an expat, but World Explora is different because it is based on a life that she does not yet know. Beginning in Asia, she will work her way west to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, India, and South America. As for me, I know I will follow her journey, eager to learn all that she discovers along her round-the-world trip with no set end date, or planned endgame.
If there’s one thing I love, it’s a traveling couple with style, spunk, and a deep sense of awareness. Giselle and Cody have been on the road for two years, enjoying vegan food around the world while practicing compassion and gathering tattoos as souvenirs. They have also been photographing art, architecture, and animals as they spread their sentiment of cultural awareness and human kindness. If I had to choose a blog to be my soul mate, I have no doubt that it would be Mindful Wanderlust.
So far, Laura and Tanbay have weaseled their way into traveling Australia, Europe, Asia and the Unites States with a brilliant plan. Not only do they travel cheaply, they also travel comfortably and oftentimes luxuriously. Their strategy both inspires me and makes me loathe all of the nights I spent in bug-infested, smelly zones otherwise known as hostels. (Okay, not all hostels are bad, but…) They are able to save a ton of cash by house-sitting around the world, enjoying the comforts of home while discovering new territories. This couple is genius, and the best part is that they are more than generous with their advice on how other travelers can achieve this much-coveted type of slow-travel accommodation, too.
All in all, there are too many travel blogs out there to even begin counting. This list of 15 is by no means all-encompassing, but it is a place to begin exploring all of the talented bloggers around the world as they travel, enlighten, share advice, and strive to make travel beneficial for this planet. There are thousands I undoubtedly, and reluctantly, left out, but I believe that these 15 blogs are heading great places in 2015, both literally and figuratively.
P.S. If you’re interested, you can visit my travel blog, Chronicles of a Travel Addict. While I focus on Latin America and Asia from a solo, budget, vegetarian traveler’s perspective, many new things are manifesting in 2015. Aside from travel to new continents, I am also beginning Travel Addict Ruminations, which presents unique, oftentimes extreme, travelers to the masses.