My Best Friends Are Travel Bloggers

The friends I’ve made through the help of this blog know me better than the friends I had at home before I started blogging and traveling. Most of my old friends from New Jersey and New York have no idea where I am in the world and have no clue whether I’m back in the states or in China. These are friends I grew up with. Years together growing up all throughout elementary, middle school, high school, and quite some time after that . Now I hardly talk to most of them at all. Is that the way life just is or is it because of my lifestyle change?

I didn’t have a lot of friends but I had good friends. I remember thinking to myself when I younger how it’d be impossible to separate us. Some that I had even had known since kindergarden now barely speak to me. Nothing happened. We just drifted and the clear dividing line that changed everything was when I left to travel the world.

Mike and Jeremy

In Xi’an, China eating hotpot. I’m on the left and Jeremy from LivingTheDreamRTW.com on the right.

I have most of my old friends as Facebook friends and I see on occasion what they’re up to. Some of the same groups still survive but it’s just not the same. Each year I come home during the summer for a few months. I try to make an effort to see the few friends that I have left but most are too busy. I don’t own a vehicle and my mom moved an hour away from where we grew up. Most of them don’t have the motivation to hang out with me. Two of my friends in the last three years came to actually see me when I was at my moms house.

I have to admit, some of tried to hang out with me but sometimes I can be hard to track. I’m not in places long enough but most of the summers lately have been at least 2 or 3 months.

New Years Bangkok

Celebrating New Years in Bangkok. Left to right. Kate from AdventurousKate, Stephanie from Twenty-Something Travel (duh), Stephanie’s friend, and me.

In the last close to four years of blogging though, I’ve met a lot of people. I see  the friends I’ve made from travel blogging more often than old friends from home. They know where I am because they follow me on Twitter. They see the pictures of places I’ve been because of Instagram. They know me personally because we’re friends on Facebook. They know my whole story because they read my blog.

I never thought I’d say “Hey. Last time I saw you was in X country. How you been?” then at the end say “See you in X (another country).”

What’s nice is that many of the travel bloggers have the same mindset as I do about life. We’re all traveling and we have a passion for it. What we look for when we travel might be different but it’s the traveling lifestyle itself that brings us together. If you sit with us at the dinner table, you’ll find us talking about at least five different countries in about an hour. I don’t know what to talk about with my old friends anymore. I seem to overpower every conversation and I don’t like it. I’m always asked what my favorite country is or some other super common question travelers usually get. Somehow most of our conversations lead to me talking about some memory of my travels. When everything I do revolves around travel, it’s hard not to talk about it.

Montanita New Years

Celebrating New Years in Montanita, Ecuador with Erica and Shaun from Over Yonderlust

At the last Travel Blog Exchange in Colorado, I realized that my best friends are travel bloggers. I never realized before just how many people I knew within the community and how many people seem to know who I am. It feels nice.

What sucks is that I don’t get to see the people I really like hanging out with often enough. It’s not like meeting up for a house party and driving five minutes away. Instead, we take six hour long buses out of the way in another country just so we can meetup with other travel bloggers. We’ve been lucky a few times like when we lived in Buenos Aires for a few months and other travel bloggers stopped for awhile in the city as well. It was many nights of eating BBQ and drinking wine all night.

Travel Bloggers

At our apartment in Buenos Aires. Left to right – Stephanie from The Travel Chica – Me! – Shaun then Erica from Over Yonderlust – Dave from GoBackpacking

TBEX feels like a reunion. All the people we’ve met throughout the year and since the beginning all meeting at once. Hundreds of us. It’s overwhelming and the few days we were in Keystone wasn’t enough. I wanted to talk to everyone.

So Stephanie and I bought our flights for the next TBEX in Spain and we’re excited not just for the conference but to see all of our good friends again. Who knew that travel blogging would introduce me to so many wonderful people.

71 Comments

  1. Adventurous Kate on July 30, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Big awwwww to both the post and the picture.  🙂  I feel the same way.  My travel blogger friends are close in a way that my friends from elsewhere, as much as I adore them, can’t understand.

    I always feel like I’m walking a line when I talk about what I’ve been up to — “How much do I say without turning it into a brag-fest?”

    Can’t wait to see you guys in Costa Brava. 🙂

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      The villa is going to be a blast! I’m super excited about it.

  2. Adventurous Kate on July 30, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Big awwwww to both the post and the picture.  🙂  I feel the same way.  My travel blogger friends are close in a way that my friends from elsewhere, as much as I adore them, can’t understand.

    I always feel like I’m walking a line when I talk about what I’ve been up to — “How much do I say without turning it into a brag-fest?”

    Can’t wait to see you guys in Costa Brava. 🙂

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      The villa is going to be a blast! I’m super excited about it.

  3. Mary Jo Manzanares on July 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    I’m looking forward to seeing you both again.  

  4. maryjomanzanares on July 30, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    I’m looking forward to seeing you both again.  

  5. Roni Weiss on July 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    No karaoke? For shame.

    • Michael on July 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      I should have uploaded the video. Once you left, the vibe just wasn’t the same. You have some incredibly energy. I love it. You need to come to every karaoke I’m at.

      • Roni Weiss on July 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm

        Aww, sweet. Thx.

        There’s a vid?

  6. Roni Weiss on July 30, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    No karaoke? For shame.

    • Michael on July 30, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      I should have uploaded the video. Once you left, the vibe just wasn’t the same. You have some incredibly energy. I love it. You need to come to every karaoke I’m at.

      • Roni Weiss on July 30, 2012 at 3:55 pm

        Aww, sweet. Thx.

        There’s a vid?

  7. Leslie Forman on July 30, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    It was so nice to meet you here in Chile! I hope our paths cross again, though I have no idea where 🙂 Good thing you and Stephanie are relatively easy to track down.

  8. Leslie Forman on July 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    It was so nice to meet you here in Chile! I hope our paths cross again, though I have no idea where 🙂 Good thing you and Stephanie are relatively easy to track down.

  9. Tiffany @ theUnimaginedLife on July 30, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    This was awesome! I adore the few friends I’ve made in such a short amount of time from travel blogging, and can’t wait to make more 🙂

  10. Tiffany @ theUnimaginedLife on July 30, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    This was awesome! I adore the few friends I’ve made in such a short amount of time from travel blogging, and can’t wait to make more 🙂

  11. Erica&Shaun Kuschel on July 30, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Damn you. This made me weepy. 

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 12:47 pm

      <3
      See you at TBEX 🙂

  12. ericakuschel on July 30, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Damn you. This made me weepy. 

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      <3
      See you at TBEX 🙂

  13. Jeremy on July 30, 2012 at 5:23 pm

     So true.  Even though we met for just that one time in Xi’an, we’ve conducted so many webinars now together and worked on some sweet projects from afar.  Definitely know more about you and Stephanie through the blogs than I do more of my close friends.

    But, TBEX Toronto, I have my ticket already (Angie probably won’t be coming though)

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 12:47 pm

      We started talking even before we had blogs! Remember those days on the forums? Oh man.

  14. Jeremy on July 30, 2012 at 6:23 pm

     So true.  Even though we met for just that one time in Xi’an, we’ve conducted so many webinars now together and worked on some sweet projects from afar.  Definitely know more about you and Stephanie through the blogs than I do more of my close friends.

    But, TBEX Toronto, I have my ticket already (Angie probably won’t be coming though)

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      We started talking even before we had blogs! Remember those days on the forums? Oh man.

  15. Philip on July 30, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    What a great and truthful post.  Almost every observation mirrors my own experiences traveling and blogging the last couple of years, from coming home for a brief summer break to connect with old and dear friends (end up disappointed) to feeling like I am monopolizing conversations.  Long-term travel really does change something very fundamental within the human experience and we often need like-hearted individuals to relate.  And I enjoyed seeing your photos of some of our mutual TB friends!  See ya down the road.  

  16. Philip on July 30, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    What a great and truthful post.  Almost every observation mirrors my own experiences traveling and blogging the last couple of years, from coming home for a brief summer break to connect with old and dear friends (end up disappointed) to feeling like I am monopolizing conversations.  Long-term travel really does change something very fundamental within the human experience and we often need like-hearted individuals to relate.  And I enjoyed seeing your photos of some of our mutual TB friends!  See ya down the road.  

  17. LifePart2 on July 30, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Part of the “problem” (if you want to call it that), is that you have moved forward and they stayed behind. Not that it is bad, it is their choice.  They can’t talk about their experiences with long term traveling anymore than you can talk about American Idol or the latest that is happening with “the team”. You grew differently and that is OK. I shudder to think about going back to that.

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      I think it’s just that I moved towards a different direction, not so much forward, just in another direction. Good point though.

  18. Jonathan Look, Jr. on July 30, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Part of the “problem” (if you want to call it that), is that you have moved forward and they stayed behind. Not that it is bad, it is their choice.  They can’t talk about their experiences with long term traveling anymore than you can talk about American Idol or the latest that is happening with “the team”. You grew differently and that is OK. I shudder to think about going back to that.

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      I think it’s just that I moved towards a different direction, not so much forward, just in another direction. Good point though.

  19. Beverley on July 30, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I can totally relate to this!  I started travel blogging just over a year ago and I honestly consider some of my travel blogger friends as better friends than the ones I have at home.  I’ve not even met some of my blogging friends but we keep in touch more because we’re all online more and have the same interests and goals in life.

    I do still keep in touch with some friends from home, mostly on Facebook and the (extremely) occasional email.

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      Yeah, I keep in touch as much as possible on Facebook with my friends from home.

  20. Beverley on July 30, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    I can totally relate to this!  I started travel blogging just over a year ago and I honestly consider some of my travel blogger friends as better friends than the ones I have at home.  I’ve not even met some of my blogging friends but we keep in touch more because we’re all online more and have the same interests and goals in life.

    I do still keep in touch with some friends from home, mostly on Facebook and the (extremely) occasional email.

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      Yeah, I keep in touch as much as possible on Facebook with my friends from home.

  21. Victoria on July 30, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    What a lovely post. I have been quite overwhelmed by how friendly the travel blogging community is. I have only met people online so far but already I feel like I’ve made some friends and met some kindred spirits. I’m really hoping to come to TBU and TBEX in September. It would be great to meet the people I’ve read so much about. Hopefully see you there!

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      See you at TBEX!

  22. Victoria on July 30, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    What a lovely post. I have been quite overwhelmed by how friendly the travel blogging community is. I have only met people online so far but already I feel like I’ve made some friends and met some kindred spirits. I’m really hoping to come to TBU and TBEX in September. It would be great to meet the people I’ve read so much about. Hopefully see you there!

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      See you at TBEX!

  23. Vic Philpott on July 31, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Aww, what a lovely post. It’s so nice seeing you hanging out with the other travel bloggers. Maybe see you at TBEX! 

  24. Vic Philpott on July 31, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Aww, what a lovely post. It’s so nice seeing you hanging out with the other travel bloggers. Maybe see you at TBEX! 

  25. Tom on July 31, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    This was a really nice post, Michael! I’m relatively new to the travel blogging community, but I’m really looking forward to meeting more people as I progress on this journey!

  26. Tom on July 31, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    This was a really nice post, Michael! I’m relatively new to the travel blogging community, but I’m really looking forward to meeting more people as I progress on this journey!

  27. Andi Perullo on July 31, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    My best friends are all bloggers too! 🙂

  28. Andi Perullo on July 31, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    My best friends are all bloggers too! 🙂

  29. Nathan Brown on August 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    I love this post. And its true how you drift apart from other people as life goes on and interests change, but I’m glad there’s always people to still connect with.
    Can’t wait till I can actually meet in real life some of the travel bloggers I regularly converse with. Great post Mike.

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      I suppose it’s like having any interest. I was really into the DJ’ing for awhile and most of my friends were into the scene but after I drifted off from that and more into travel, things changed.

  30. Nathan Brown on August 1, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    I love this post. And its true how you drift apart from other people as life goes on and interests change, but I’m glad there’s always people to still connect with.
    Can’t wait till I can actually meet in real life some of the travel bloggers I regularly converse with. Great post Mike.

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      I suppose it’s like having any interest. I was really into the DJ’ing for awhile and most of my friends were into the scene but after I drifted off from that and more into travel, things changed.

  31. JPM (Lotus Artichoke) on August 2, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Great post. Totally rings true with me too: I’ve met so many great people in the last 10 or 12 years of traveling. Most of my best friends and people I stay in touch with regularly are people I met on the road. We’re living all over the world, some are still nomadic, but it’s just incredible, isn’t it? The blogging explosion in the last few years has made it even more intense. Of course, being based in Berlin now is a major boon: So many cool people coming here for long or short visits and its so easy to meet amazing, ambitious people in town.

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      Must be nice living in a big city like Berlin. Everyone wants to visit!

  32. JPM (Lotus Artichoke) on August 2, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Great post. Totally rings true with me too: I’ve met so many great people in the last 10 or 12 years of traveling. Most of my best friends and people I stay in touch with regularly are people I met on the road. We’re living all over the world, some are still nomadic, but it’s just incredible, isn’t it? The blogging explosion in the last few years has made it even more intense. Of course, being based in Berlin now is a major boon: So many cool people coming here for long or short visits and its so easy to meet amazing, ambitious people in town.

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Must be nice living in a big city like Berlin. Everyone wants to visit!

  33. The Travel Hack on August 3, 2012 at 6:23 am

    Love this post. I was reluctant to have ‘travel blogger friends’ for ages but now most of my best friends of travel bloggers. It’s so true that your blogger friends always know what you’re up to and how you’re feeling but it’s so hard to keep in touch and up-to-date with people who don’t blog. If only everyone would have a blog and then life would be easier 😉

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm

      There was a time when many of friends used Xanga and that was fun. But now with Facebook, many don’t feel like there’s a need for a blog to update friends. Oh well.

  34. The Travel Hack on August 3, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Love this post. I was reluctant to have ‘travel blogger friends’ for ages but now most of my best friends of travel bloggers. It’s so true that your blogger friends always know what you’re up to and how you’re feeling but it’s so hard to keep in touch and up-to-date with people who don’t blog. If only everyone would have a blog and then life would be easier 😉

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      There was a time when many of friends used Xanga and that was fun. But now with Facebook, many don’t feel like there’s a need for a blog to update friends. Oh well.

  35. Audrey Bergner on August 3, 2012 at 8:30 am

    I can completely relate to this! It’s funny how friendships can wane once you start to travel. Some friends lose touch sooner than you expect…but on the other hand, I have met up with so many travel bloggers since coming out to Asia! And I love the conversations that happen at the dinner table – treks through Mongolia, diving in the Andaman…it’s never boring!

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm

      Ah, yes. Asia and especially SE Asia is a haven for travel bloggers. I’ve met so many there.

  36. Audrey on August 3, 2012 at 9:30 am

    I can completely relate to this! It’s funny how friendships can wane once you start to travel. Some friends lose touch sooner than you expect…but on the other hand, I have met up with so many travel bloggers since coming out to Asia! And I love the conversations that happen at the dinner table – treks through Mongolia, diving in the Andaman…it’s never boring!

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      Ah, yes. Asia and especially SE Asia is a haven for travel bloggers. I’ve met so many there.

  37. Wanderlustinaction on August 5, 2012 at 10:15 am

    I have been reading your blog for some time now, I think a friend recommended to me just to keep me pumped about traveling which I have had no problem doing. When I read this post I was not only touched but could relate all to well, people back at home are busy with their own lives. The people I have kept in touch with read my blog regularly but the best people I have met have been through my travels and always make the effort to keep in touch. You keep traveling your friends around the world are routing for you. 

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm

      That’s so true too. I seem to be better friends with even other travelers that are non-bloggers and see them more often than my old friends. Thanks for the comment!

  38. Wanderlustinaction on August 5, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I have been reading your blog for some time now, I think a friend recommended to me just to keep me pumped about traveling which I have had no problem doing. When I read this post I was not only touched but could relate all to well, people back at home are busy with their own lives. The people I have kept in touch with read my blog regularly but the best people I have met have been through my travels and always make the effort to keep in touch. You keep traveling your friends around the world are routing for you. 

    • Michael on August 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      That’s so true too. I seem to be better friends with even other travelers that are non-bloggers and see them more often than my old friends. Thanks for the comment!

  39. MyPostcardFrom on August 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Have to agree with you on this. Since I began blogging just over a year ago I’ve made a few friends through meetups and conferences. 

    I think also that because you have that one thing in common, you’ve always got something to talk about. 

  40. MyPostcardFrom on August 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Have to agree with you on this. Since I began blogging just over a year ago I’ve made a few friends through meetups and conferences. 

    I think also that because you have that one thing in common, you’ve always got something to talk about. 

  41. Waegook Tom on August 12, 2012 at 10:27 am

    This is a great post, Mike. I’ve only met a handful of travel bloggers, and that’s been here in Korea (Sam from Nomadic Samuel, Audrey from That Backpacker, Amanda from Farsickness & Sheryll from Wanderlust Project) but I felt an instant connection with them – we all had something in common to start off with (travel and blogging) and really hit it off.

    I do know what you mean about friends from home drifting away though. My best friend since I was 4 is someone I’m not in touch with anymore. I know she got married in May last year but apart from that, I’m not sure what she’s up to. Friends from school have gone completely, apart from one. Friends from uni – I’m still in touch with about three.

    Hopefully I’ll get to meet up with you and Steph at some point, especially as I’m booked in for TBEX Toronto next year.

    By the way, bravo for posting this. I feel there’s been a lot of negativity in the community online lately, and it’s nice to remind others that travel bloggers are, in fact, awesome people and that it’s a good and supportive little bubble to be in.

    • Michael on September 3, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      I feel like not many travel bloggers head to Korea. Why is that? I didn’t find it to be all that expensive either. I’m dying to go back. I’ve been talking it up a lot with Stephanie for us to spend awhile there.

      There definitely has been quite a lot of negativity in the community lately. I hate that and I do my best to stay out of as much of that drama as possible. Sometimes it forces me in but I’m generally pretty good at staying out.So glad I get to finally meet you too! See you at TBEX next year!

  42. Waegook Tom on August 12, 2012 at 11:27 am

    This is a great post, Mike. I’ve only met a handful of travel bloggers, and that’s been here in Korea (Sam from Nomadic Samuel, Audrey from That Backpacker, Amanda from Farsickness & Sheryll from Wanderlust Project) but I felt an instant connection with them – we all had something in common to start off with (travel and blogging) and really hit it off.

    I do know what you mean about friends from home drifting away though. My best friend since I was 4 is someone I’m not in touch with anymore. I know she got married in May last year but apart from that, I’m not sure what she’s up to. Friends from school have gone completely, apart from one. Friends from uni – I’m still in touch with about three.

    Hopefully I’ll get to meet up with you and Steph at some point, especially as I’m booked in for TBEX Toronto next year.

    By the way, bravo for posting this. I feel there’s been a lot of negativity in the community online lately, and it’s nice to remind others that travel bloggers are, in fact, awesome people and that it’s a good and supportive little bubble to be in.

    • Michael on September 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      I feel like not many travel bloggers head to Korea. Why is that? I didn’t find it to be all that expensive either. I’m dying to go back. I’ve been talking it up a lot with Stephanie for us to spend awhile there.

      There definitely has been quite a lot of negativity in the community lately. I hate that and I do my best to stay out of as much of that drama as possible. Sometimes it forces me in but I’m generally pretty good at staying out.So glad I get to finally meet you too! See you at TBEX next year!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: