Travel writing now vs travel writing then


It’s the end of the world if your phone battery dies on an a hike right? Well count yourself lucky you weren’t exploring hundreds of years ago – where you’d be praying not to be the next one to meet the reaper in your expedition! So, let’s delve back to the past to compare our terribly difficult blogger roles with what travellers faced back then.

Now: Your social media bio reads content creator, blogger or storyteller

Then: You’d be an explorer, cartographer, navigator, or captain.

Now: You take a snap, another photo for Instagram, then a few with your proper camera and maybe even a quick Instax.

Then: You’d pose for hours for one shot with no guarantee it would work, or even more shocking – you’d have to draw what you saw, or if you forgot your pencils/paints you’d have to rely on your memories to hit the canvas when you got home.

Now: You put your brain away into a pocket, and replace it with Google maps to explore new places.

Then: You’d have to go on directions from locals, a rough map, or even have to draw one yourself!


Now: To bankroll your trips you attend a few events, make friends with the right people and then pitch to the brands or marketing agencies….

Then: You’d travel for miles to pitch to the kings and queens to finance your travels and spare a crew and a few ships.

Now: It’s all about if you’ve got the latest gadget, get into the most exclusive venues and possibly get it for free.

Then: It was all about how many ships you got. Chris Colombus had to do with one ship on his first trip whereas Vasco de Gama had as many as four on his first trip.

Travel companions
Now: You’ll likely lose a few fellow travellers who end up too tired or drunk to keep up with you, or a friend you are travelling decides to go for another route.

Then: You were lucky if two out of ten of your crew came back alive from a shore expedition, survived an exotic disease or just fell overboard.


Now your mom complains you are away for too long when you head to the other side of the world for your two-week holiday, but remind her that Marco Polo was away for 9 years.

Now: A fellow blogger ‘borrowing’ your site theme or series idea is the worst thing that can happen…

Then: Forget bloggers, just think of what happened to Willem Janszoon – he discovered and named the island “Nieu Zeland” (after the Dutch province of Zeeland), but it just didn’t catch on…but a few years later, Abel Tasman tried again and it was beloved.

Travel time
Now: You may sigh when you see the cheapest flight takes 36 hours and includes four stopovers…

Then: You’d be lucky to make it to your far off destination in under a year!

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Comment & Leave A Reply


  1. Oh I didn’t know that about Willem Janszoon! Haha too funny. Sometimes when I think back to the old’n days of explorers I think it is absolutely madness the courage / patience that they must have had!

    nat – dignfiable

  2. Nice post, made me smile… my funding is a bit different than described though: working hard for a few months to purchase 4 return-tickets to the next destination of our ever-growing wishlist 🙂

  3. Hahah, very creative blog post idea. You definitely would be extremely lucky to make it to your far off destination in under a year, let alone alive and well!