All that being said, after over a decade of souvenir shopping experience in markets all around the world, I’ve figured out a few ways to get the best price. Haggling, bartering, bargaining, wondering-if-you-should-sell-your-first-born-for-that-carpet… I’ve done it all.
I have recently written a few posts about blogging, which is weird, because I never wanted to be that blogger who just talks about blogging all the time. The fact is, however, that my entire life is dedicated to blogging, either on This Battered Suitcase or for my work. Whether I’m working on my own blog, collaborating with tourism boards, running a major travel brand’s blog, consulting travel PRs on who to hire for their campaigns, or giving presentations on working with bloggers and influencers (I still can’t say that word without cringing, anyone else?), I am talking about or working with blogs seven days a week. My recent post, When Did Travel Blogging Get So Boring? really hit a nerve, and many people came forward to say that they felt the same way.
Because seriously? If I hear one more person say, “It’s just about posting good content and using the right hashtags,” when giving advice about Instagram, I’m going to… sit behind my laptop and quietly seethe. NO. IT’S NOT JUST THAT. THERE IS SO MUCH MORE. It’s complicated sometimes, it’s frustrating sometimes, and, most of all, it takes a lot of work.
So I decided to write this post: every single thing I know about Instagram. And yes, this is all going to be my subjective advice, my personal opinions, and so on. But what I can tell you is this: a lot of what happens on Instagram is some straight up bullshit, and trust me, you’re not imagining things.
Ready? Grab your glass of wine and let’s do this.
Recently, I pulled back a bit to take a look at this blog, and where I’d like to take it. As I recently went down to part-time to focus on this as a possible business, it was necessary for me to outline what I wanted for the future of This Battered Suitcase, and for my career. I started going through my archives. I started looking at the posts that I loved writing the most. I started looking at the posts that readers loved reading the most. And it hit me: if I keep accepting all of these trips, and if I keep chasing SEO stats, my blog might grow, yes. But isn’t my blog also going to get really fucking boring?
I decided to divide everything I have to say into two posts, because I am both a masochist and a sadist. First, in this post, I’ll talk about some general tips (more like opinions, if I’m honest) about social media that will hopefully apply to all channels in some form or another, although it’s important to note that each social media platform has its own value and use as well as its own audience, though they do overlap. In the post that will follow next week, I’ll outline some specific tips regarding the social media platforms I use the most. For the sake of the length of these posts (and our collective sanity) I am not mentioning YouTube or Vimeo at all, because I am not a vlogger, and video is so huge that it would require its own post by someone much more qualified (though I will mention Facebook live videos in the post about specifics).
So. Buckle up, get a cup of tea (or something stronger), and here we go… every single thing I know about social media.
Over the past year or so, as I’ve enjoyed Instagram more and more (and simultaneously less and less with the new algorithms, if I’m honest), there have been some photos that have actually inspired me to travel somewhere new, or to explore a different part of a place I’ve already been. I fell in love with Cinque Terre through Instagram, for example, which inspired not one but two trips there this year.
In doing research for my recent trip to Paris, I noticed that a particular photo kept popping up – the “sinking house” or “tilting house”. Although I’d been to the French capital a few times before, this seemed like a fun and unusual spot to visit, and so I decided to try to find out just how exactly to find the sinking house of Paris.
A few months ago, when I was in Mallorca, I wrote a post called “Nine Mistakes to Make as a Traveller”. In that post, I wrote about things like trusting strangers and getting lost and how those “mistakes” could actually be really good, valuable, fun things to do.
But the travel mistake I keep making wasn’t on that list. And I made the mistake – again, and for the hundredth time – just this last weekend in Paris.
“Whatever could it be?!” I’m sure you’re all quivering with anticipation. Well, I hate to break it to you, but the travel mistake I keep making is actually one that I’m sure many people don’t make at all, if they are smart, resourceful, responsible travellers.