Two years ago I attended the TBEX travel blogger conference in Stockholm. Based on my observations I would say that I’m a non traditionalist. In a host of ways…

I attended a talk by a well known journalist/travel writer for the New York Times and he was very forthcoming when he told us that we were a bunch of wannabes…  

No seriously, perhaps he was in job protection mode? But WTF!?

His point was that there are very few actual bloggers of substance who have the skills and/or qualifications to be writing on the travel industry.  

An uncomfortable truth for most of us in the room that day – me included!

I agree with his point of view in many ways, as an example we’re surrounded by a myriad of “influencers” on social media who are being funded to write or vblog (video blog).

Some might say all flash, but no substance. Others more legit with actual value being driven.

Admittedly I still struggle to get my head around the concept of an influencer as a viable business case for funding, but hey maybe that’s just me.

I suppose there is a segment of our society that truly follow the trends of their idols, and thus follow suit in terms of buying a particular brand or going somewhere that they recommend.

Lemmings some (those less charitable of us) may say, although contrary to popular belief lemmings do not commit mass suicide.

Arguably very few of them actually make a lot of money, contrary to what they would have you believe…influencers not lemmings. Lol! 🙂

Hey, if someone is willing to pay for your accommodations and expenses when you’re traveling why not take it! Right?

Clearly a much easier proposition if you’re younger and have no dependents or responsibilities…

I guess this where I see my niche. I do have dependents and financial responsibilities, but have crafted a life of travel.

My travel stories bring a different perspective, especially when I traveled with my kids during their teenage years.

The other big thing is that I bring lots of experience and knowledge from my years of traveling the world. 🙂

Another of the non traditionalist things that I do is my range of stories – not just travel but an eclectic melange of stories…

I’m often asked what drives my weekly topics…  Great question, and I suppose it’s whatever is on my mind when I sit down to write in any particular week.  

There is no master plan – basically going with the flow of life and what is top of mind, hence my eclectic range of topics. A non traditionalist by any standard! 🙂

Some even might say that I’m a diarist versus a blogger or a writer. Although with two books published I always say I’m a writer…. 🙂

Writing for me is an expression of one of my passions. It’s an opportunity to explore the written word…

I’ve always been an avid reader, and thus have been drawn to descriptive and conversational storylines that can paint a picture in your minds eye.

I must admit I love a good story!

Another non traditionalist aspect of my journey so far beyond my writing, has been to follow my passions and pursue the things that bring me happiness and joy.

In fact, there is a strongly held notion that this is a recipe for disaster…

To be clear I was warned by many whose input I sought when beginning my new career that this would never work. Some of you may even think that following your passions a little flakey.

In my mind, the difference between success and failure is one of self belief.

After all, who in their right mind would choose four things as their job?

I knew deep down in my heart that I could in fact create the life that I’d always dreamed of, but it was self belief that drove me. That and a lot of hard work!

Given the cadence of my life I would say that I’m not always comfortable with the status quo (okay a slight understatement). Hence, I’m a big believer in pushing your own personal envelope, and following your gut.

Which I suppose also feeds into my non traditionalist perspective of life. 🙂

The cold hard facts of life is that there are no guarantees, so why wait to do the things you love. Just go do them with all the vigour and passion that you have and see where it takes you.

Life is to be lived my friends…each and every day!

I definitely plan on continuing in my non traditionalist approach to life and wringing every experience I can from my ongoing daily adventures.

Until next week