By Abbie D’Errico
You could be going abroad for anywhere from two weeks to an entire year. Regardless of the time span, that’s a lot of memories to keep track of. While scrap-booking and Facebooking sound like great ideas in theory, they often become overwhelming and tedious. Instead, join the blogging movement and keep all those memories in one place!
Family can keep up with you: It’s hard to keep up with your immediate family let alone your extended while you are simultaneously balancing school, traveling, roommates and adjusting to a new culture. I would absolutely suggest scheduling a time to Skype the mom, pop and siblings but it’s just not feasible to chat with your 4 aunts and 17 cousins. Starting a blog gives you more space than Facebook and Twitter to update your fam bam on all the exciting things you’re getting in to. Seeing the Eiffel Tower and Colosseum for the first time can’t be squeezed into 140 characters. Plus, blogging allows you to avoid telling the same story over and over and over.
You get to tell your story: Do NOT for one second think that your experience isn’t important. It is! You are the one and only you and nobody has traveled or seen the world through your eyes. Regardless of how many travel or study abroad blogs there are out there in cyber space, yours is unique. This is your space to share every tiny detail that you were a part of from squeezing onto bus 44 in Rome, Italy to flying off the canyon side in Interlaken, Switzerland. Hey, it’s your story, you can tell it the way you please. Trust me, when you look back in a few years, you’re going to want to read about your own experience, not your roommate’s.
Helps to set a routine: You can use your blog to set some stability in your crazy schedule. If you plan to write your blog at a certain café or park, or on a certain day of the week you’ll be able to create a routine for yourself which will make everything slow down a bit. Trust me you’ll want this. Plus, if you go to the same café for a cappuccino every week, chances are they may be kind enough to offer a free coffee one of those days (poor college student, worth a try right?!).
You’ll savor the feeling: The pictures on Facebook are breathtaking and the short tidbits on Twitter, hilarious, but what about all the stuff in between? There’s a certain feeling you get when you are experiencing something for the first time or when after months of practice you finally get the hang of the language, you don’t want to ever forget that. I mean it’s essentially the reason you’re going. Giving context to those in-the-moment-photos will help you to remember why that snapshot was so meaningful.
It can help others: As you transition from confused tourist to experienced traveler, you pick up a few tricks a long the way. Make the move from using your blog as a journal to a ‘how to’ guide for future travelers. You may not realize it now but you will become the go to person for family and friends that are planning to travel abroad. It makes you feel extremely important (which you are) so embrace it!
Turn it into a resume skill/proficiency: You know that section on the bottom of your resume where you list how great you are at excel and statistics. Well, welcome to the 21st century where companies are becoming increasingly connected to the public through social media. Blogging is a great skill to have. It shows employers that you can find a connection between your product and the community and that you are a functional writer. Kill two birds with one stone.
WHERE TO BLOG?
It is key to note that not everybody blogs in the same way, remember it is your story. If pictures are more your thing maybe Tumblr is best, if you’re the wordy type check out some of the more traditional sites like WordPress or Blog.com.
WordPress, Blogger, Livejournal, Tumblr, Blog.com, Blogsome, Open Diary, Blogetery, Blogster, Weebly.com
WHAT TO NAME YOUR BLOG?
First off, do not stress over what to call your blog. It’s just not worth it! If you’re spending more time prepping your blog than actually writing in it, you are not going to have an enjoyable experience. Instead, have fun with the title. Say something goofy or keep it simple, which ever you prefer but limit your brainstorming to 15 minutes and just go with your gut. I mean, come on… ‘Yo, Where’s My Map?’ But hey, I like it
*P.S. if you are not comfortable sharing your blog with others be sure to choose a site that allows you to set it to private.
Safe Travels and Happy Blogging!
If you are a study abroad student or an avid traveler and are maintaining a travel blog, please feel free to contact Gianna at [email protected] if you are interested in having your post featured on the Bus2alps blog.