I saw a blog post the other day, a very extensive and detailed list naming the top ONE THOUSAND travel bloggers in the world. The list was broken down into categories: solo female travelers, couples, families, etc. And despite my thorough search through each list, I couldn’t find my name anywhere. Maybe next year they’ll create a “50-something-American-expats-with-blonde-hair-teaching-English-in-Taiwan” category and I’ll crack the top ten. Yep, there’s always next year.
But as I perused this list that lacked any trace of my name, I did notice quite a few familiar names. It got me thinking about all the amazing travel blogger-connections I’ve made over the past 6 months and how much they’ve inspired and encouraged me along this journey. So, I decided to create my own list, but instead of ONE THOUSAND I’ll stick with the trusty (and often mocked) “Top 10 list”:
Top Ten Most Influential Travel Bloggers in the World – according to me – List
Snapshots and Stories – Faces and Places. Yeah, he knows he’s my idol and has been handling the pressure with amazing grace. I don’t think it’s gone to his head yet. Dan’s blog is filled with incredible photos and truly interesting, well-written stories about people and places. “I love to put people before places, emotion and experiences above things, search out stories and try and promote social good in this world.” You’ll never find a “Top 5 things to do in Bangkok” list on his blog.
My favorite post: “Brain Hemorrhages and Bucket Lists”
The solo female travel blog – Kate is a true rock star in the blogosphere. A 6-year veteran in the industry, she recently transitioned from being a full-time solo traveler and has now settled in New York. I must admit, I was a little slow to jump on the Kate fan bandwagon, maybe a little jealous of her success and not sure it was deserved. And then I saw a “Facebook Live” video she recently posted on her 32nd birthday and I saw someone humble, real, and genuinely grateful for her enormous success. I’m now a huge fan and will cheer for her as she transitions into whatever she’ll become.
My Favorite Posts: “Notes from the Brink of Age 32” and “10 Love Stories From My Travels”
“I’m a vegan solo full-time world traveler. I slowly wander the world, have mostly one-way conversations with animals, and try to find interesting things to do between meals.” I love her sense of humor and her attitude. She’s a house-sitting nomad who’s sitting her way around the world and, since I’m currently researching house-sitting in Europe, I found her blog posts incredibly valuable. (She may even inspire me to turn into a part-time house-sitter vagabond.)
My favorite Post: “Lone Wolf: An Introvert on the Road”
The World is Calling. I met Nikita in a Facebook group, “A Broken Backpack”, and then followed her to a spin-off group “Storytelling Bloggers”. Her focus is on storytelling and she avoids the typical “Top 10” or “packing” lists. Nikita dives into deeper ideas and surprising topics like “Thoughts While Nude Modelling for a Drawing Class” or “The Ghosts of Childhood Summers”.
My favorite Post: “The Ones Who Got Away”
Adventure Near and Far. Cathy is a member of a Facebook “Over 40” blogger group and focuses on adventure travel with her husband as they hike, bike, and kayak their way around the world. This adventurous mother of 4 says she “shares with her readers tips, advice, and encouragement to find their strength and inner “ROAR”.”
My favorite Post: “The Summit of Kilimanjaro – A Life Changing Moment”
Never too old for adventure. Jayne (another “oldie” in the “Over 40” group) and her husband did their first round-the-world trip in 2013 and have big plans for next year. Places like Antarctica, Africa, and the Trans-Mongolian Express are part of their very detailed epic adventure plan. Travel bloggers with a plan!
My favorite Post: “Travel Plans 2017” (This post inspired me to interview her for my “Humans of the World” series.)
“The Path Less Taken” Just like me, Kristin is an American expat who broke up with her old life back in 2013 and wrote a book about her experiences “Conquering Mountains – How to Solo Travel the World Fearlessly”. More recently, Kristin published a memoir of her incredible journey, “A Thousand New Beginnings”, and has inspired me to think about expanding my blog…into a book? (Maybe someday…)
My favorite Post: “Socially Awkward? Please Travel Alone” (That one really spoke to me!)
“Living my dreams through 100+ countries and inspiring you to live yours”. Johnny recently traveled to every country in the world! What an amazing travel blogger accomplishment! He is often accompanied by his 60-something-year-old mother who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a few years ago. While he’s traveling the world, he focuses on making a difference along the way and sometimes organizes humanitarian trips in developing countries.
My favorite post: “Taking My Mum to Afghanistan for a Holiday” (I seriously doubt my “Mum” would join me there!)
“Travel better. Cheaper. Longer.” Like Adventurous Kate, Matt recently gave up the full-time traveler nomadic lifestyle for a tiny bit of “normal”. His successes over the past decade have translated into a book “Travel the World on $50 a Day”. I love that his writing is very open and brutally honest.
My favorite post: “The Challenges of Being a Gay Solo Backpacker”
Liesbeth is passionate about travel and focuses on “diving head first into the great adventure that is life”. She loves to entertain her fans with her misadventures on the road. Since I’ve fallen on my face more than once, I appreciate a good misadventure story. Her stories are real and her writing is honest and hysterical.
My favorite post: “(Not so) Glamorous Moments on the Road”
These “Top Ten Influential Travel Bloggers” have provided inspiration to do my own thing in the blogosphere. I live on the edge and have become even more comfortable pushing out of my comfort zone.