Why I’ll never be a good travel blogger

The Things in times out under a tree in the Maldives

The thing about blogging is its a bit insular sometimes. It can be full of questions and self doubt. I have wasted time wondering why I’ll never be a good travel blogger.

As a blogger, you sit behind your laptop and tap away. Occasionally you write a post that seems to resonate with people. You get a bit of a high over the things that are well received or are mystified when something tanks. You follow inspirational travel bloggers on social media and wonder how you’ll get a thousand gazillion followers like they have. Others have strict guidelines for sharing your stuff. I remember seeing a hugely successful travel blogger saying if your feed includes selfies, everyday activities and / or loads of pictures of your kids then he wouldn’t bother. I felt pretty deflated and started looking into taking better photos and getting a filter that I could use on my all Instagram posts in the hope of creating a prettier feed.

And then, suddenly this morning, I had a bit of an epiphany about why I’ll never be a good travel blogger.

Because I’m not a travel blogger

I know, I know. For someone who isn’t a travel blogger, I sure seem to write a lot about travel.

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But here’s the thing. There’s loads of chat in the blogging world about finding your niche. Being a travel blogger apparently isn’t enough these days. You need to know exactly who you are writing to and an audience of all people who travel is waaaaay too big.

So what am I?

I’m a family travel blogger

If you’re looking for a couples only holiday, I’m probably not the blog for you. If you want tips on high end super luxurious holidays I don’t think I can help you (the time when one of the Things got stuck in a revolving door at the Four Seasons springs to mind).

I’ve done a decent amount of backpacking in my time but I’m not doing that now and my opinions are pretty far out of date (no age jokes please!). We aren’t travelling full time as a family nor do we homeschool or worldschool (although I think we do travelschool).

Me and my friend on a boat in Lake Titicaca
Backpacking at aged 18

I am a mum of 2 quite cute but mischievous little Things who loves to go on holiday. I’m a mum who wants to figure out how to have great holidays that world for all of us without breaking the bank.

I’m an adventurous family blogger

Even within the family blogging space, there are niches. I love the idea of luxury family holidays and don’t get me wrong, if someone offers me one for free I’ll be off like a shot to review it for you. The reality is that we can afford lovely holidays but not ones are THAT expensive.

Pool at Four Seasons Amman
We just can’t (usually) afford this sort of luxury

And I may have got this completely wrong but I’m pretty sure you can’t either. I want to give you tips for holidays that you can use. I want to go to places you would go. Basically, I want to write about holidays that you might actually go on after I have been there and actually do things that I have done.

Wanderlust and Wet Wipes family photo outside Petra's Treasury
I’ve had an unprecedented interest in our trip to Jordan

I’m an expat blogger

I didn’t mean to start blogging about expat life. I guess by a pure function of my life here and the fact that lots of my readers are expats it was inevitable. The posts I have written about expat life have been my most popular posts (helpful for a travel blogger). Apparently you guys like reading about me. Or maybe what I have been writing (and when I have written it) has struck a chord with you.

Changing of the guards - but they are on camels! I saw this while stopped at a traffic light
Sometimes I see things I would never see anywhere else!

Its not perfect, its real

I’m trying to inspire you to travel. I don’t want you to see some picture perfect holiday. Why? Because seeing other people’s holidays like that made me feel pretty rubbish and insecure. They made me feel like we should be doing more on our trips. They made me feel like we were getting it wrong.

The Things sat under a tree in time out in the Maldives
Time out in paradise

I remember looking at a friend’s holiday in one location and comparing it to the one we were having at the same time in another location. I chastised myself for “only” doing 2 day trips out and for spending the rest of the time at the pool and the beach. It turns out a lot of things had gone wrong for them. The villa hadn’t been as described. People got sick. They had a nice time but it wasn’t the walk in the park that I assumed it had been. Facebook has ALOT to answer for!

The Things playing on the beach in Phuket
Nothing wrong with a beach holiday

The truth is, all families have a hard time on holiday. The kids sleep less or people get sick. Routines are broken which can be HARD for some families. Hotels get things wrong – from room bookings to food orders. Things just don’t go to plan sometimes. I want to help you with that side of it… Or at least show you that you aren’t alone. Not just show you a collection of gorgeous photos of us simpering at the camera. It’s just as well really since my Things are useless at simpering. It’s much more likely that you’ll get a picture of one of them pulling a face. If they are smiling or laughing it’s probably because one of them made a toilet humour joke or they’ve just done something really naughty.

Photo with my inlaws - Thing 1 is pulling a face while the rest of us are all smiles
There’s always one… (check out Thing 1’s face)

I’m honest

So here’s the thing, Wanderlusters. My Instagram feed won’t always have smug, drool inducing pictures on it. It will have some. I mean I have to inspire you to go away in the first place, right?!

Sunset shot from a beach in Phuket
Its not all bad

It might have a picture of me in tears after a row with the Things. I’ll show you when they spill soup on the hotel floor after I have the bright idea that a room service picnic will be less stressful than going to a restaurant.

Selfie of me and the Things at the Grand Mosque in Muscat. It was a disastrous weekend from start to finish.
Pretty much the only smiles all weekend in Muscat

If, by any remote chance, my kids eat something more exotic than chicken nuggets or pizza while we are away… I will tell you. But I’ll also tell you want they ate for the rest of the holiday because you can guarantee it was probably…chicken nuggets or pizza.

Photo of me at a BBQ place in LA with Thing 1 ;looking GRUMPY in the background!
Hungry grumpy Thing actually trued Mac ‘n’ Cheese in LA

I will always tell it like it is. If we’ve had a terrible time somewhere, I’ll let you know. If that means posting a picture of the Things in time out in the Maldives, or of them with Granny Wanderlust sat outside our room because we got locked out then so be it.

Granny Wanderlust with the 2 Things waiting for us to get let back in to our room
Sometimes things go wrong

So that’s why I’ll never be a good travel blogger. But if you’re looking for an adventurous expat family travel blogger then I’m your girl.

Emma Morrell
Emma Morrell

Find me on: Web


  1. Raneem
    22 January 2018 / 09:58

    Love this blog post, it is very hard to label yourself when it comes to what type of blogger you are. I feel like travel or food blogs have alot of aspects in them that you wouldn’t know what are the “requirements” from you… when I first started food blogging I didn’t know what I actually was supposed to blog about like I know it has to be food but what? And I think I just went with the flow whatever inspired me I shared and whatever I was passionate about in terms of food I shared. I’m not a professional food photographer either, so I found it hard for myself to compete with those accounts with beautiful food photography. Hence, right now I’m just doing my, so to say, own thing and its all good!
    I salute you for choosing writting about this it really speaks about alot of bloggers out there including myself that don’t know if they fit under a certain label.
    Finally, I would like to say your pictures are beautiful they showcase real moments on the adventure you went on, great work!

    • 7 February 2018 / 09:15

      What a lovely comment thank you so much for taking the time to write it all. I think we are always so preoccupied with fitting under a label whereas the beauty of it all is that we are all so unique and different. I truly believe that if we write about what we are passionate about then we will find “our people”. I’m glad you are doing your own thing. Thanks again for the comment – it has really made my day. x

  2. Mommy Jhy | www.myfavoritelists.com
    7 March 2018 / 20:08

    I can relate with this post. I’m a new blogger that can’t focus on the “right” niche lol.

    • 11 March 2018 / 15:33

      Just think about who your ideal reader is – and the more detailed you get, the better! It will come to you x