Pascal once said that ‘All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.’ If we scratch ‘problems’ and replace it with ‘adventures’ then this is the perfect description of why we love to travel. Human beings aren’t meant to sit still in a room: we are meant to be on the move, and there is anthropological and scientific evidence back this up…but even if there wasn’t we at Pissup would still be promoting the idea of travel. Why? Because there are untold benefits of getting out your comfort zone and having fun in new, exciting places.
That’s why so many couples are getting married abroad and so many lads are booking stag dos in Europe. The cliche that travel broadens the mind is true, but it’s not just about exposure to new environments – travel also allows us to have experiences not available at home (like cable car bungee jumping or shooting automatic weapons).
But for some of us going out your door, Bilbo Baggins style, into the unknown is a bit too much. We want a taste of what destination X is going to be like (up to a point). That’s one of the reasons why travel writing has been popular ever since Marco Polo wrote about spotting two-headed dogs in China. Nowadays with the proliferation of social media travel writing has become democratised – anyone with a camera and a blog can do it. Of course doing it and doing it well are two different things. That’s why – in no particular order of preference – we’ve decided to bring together six of the best travel bloggers on the web right now.
A big thank you to all you guys who gave us quotes, and/or allowed us to use images from your sites!
Raymond Walsh – THE GENTLEMAN TRAVELLER
Travel Philosophy Quote:
“My motto has always been pretty simple: “Cover the earth before it covers you.”
Man On The Lam is the brainchild of ex-corporate guy Raymond Walsh. Bored of a life working for others he decided to do something for himself. Walsh founded his site based on the idea that every guy (and girl) needs a little adventure in his (or her) life. While the feel of Man On The Lam is all about the classic moustachioed gentleman of years gone by – the kind of chap who’d be knee deep in quicksand but is still wearing a golfers flat-cap and plus fours – the content is very modern. Basically it’s a great place for finding out about destinations, culture, food and other awesome stuff. Man On The Lam also acts a hub linking to other travel writers around the world: the perfect gentleman!
Daniel Baylis – THE FLANEUR
Travel Philosophy Quote:
“Travel transforms us into global citizens. We have the potential to become more empathetic, more textured, more cracked open. Indeed, if travel is not cracking you open, you might be doing it wrong.”
If the definition of a flâneur is a man who ‘saunters around observing society’ then Daniel Baylis has to be a turbo-charged flâneur. In 2011, with his 30th birthday fast approaching, he set himself the task of travelling to 12 countries in 12 months, blogging along the way – and he collected his adventures into one book, The Traveller. The best thing about his world tour was that he managed to do it all for 14k in US dollars, or around 8,000 pounds. Canadian by birth Baylis’ vision is truly global and his travel writing reads like the musings of a spiritual adventurer – with advice on many things including how to travel ethically and not be another average western backpacker douchebag.
Matt Gibson – THE WRITER-ADVENTURER
Travel Philosophy Quote:
“Adventure is not an activity, it’s a state of being that occurs when control is uncertain. Adventure cannot be planned. It can only be achieved by putting yourself into situations where you must solve problems that are beyond your experience. Adventure is high-stakes improvisation. I believe that engaging in these sorts of activities is healthy because it helps us to become more self-reliant, understand our potential, and sharpen our abilities.
As Kurt Vonnegut said, “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
XPatMatt is the site of by professional writer and photographer, Matt Gibson. Gibson is a born writer-adventurer having grown up in the great outdoors, he has been travelling ever since he left college. After helping to found an Ex-Pat magazine in Taiwan at the age of 26, he sold up and travelled all around East Asia. While he is passionate about writing hoping to pen a Pulitzer Prize Winning Novel, in the mean time he has done us all a favour by creating an awesome hub for travel advice, money and equipment tips and hacks based by his own awesome experiences. He is sort out for his travel pieces, which have appeared in, among other places, Huffington Post.
Steve Kamb – THE FITNESS NERD
Travel Philosophy Quote:
“When Sam and Frodo set off for adventure, there’s a moment when Sam realizes that if he takes one more step it’ll be the farthest away from home he’s ever been. Remember: adventure, growth, and life happens at our limits, wherever they may lie.”
Nerd Fitness sounds like an oxymoron, with the classic stereotypes of nerds being guys who live in their parent’s basement who look like they only move to adjust their headsets. But more than breaking the stereotype Steve Kamb, the self-proclaimed ‘Rebel Leader’ of Nerd Fitness, uses his nerd-skills to get to the nitty-gritty giving detailed information that shows how average guys can ‘level up’ and achieve their fitness goals…OKAY so you’re probably wondering why we’ve included him in our top travel bloggers. Well he has begun to travel the world on what he calls his ‘Epic Quest of Awesome’, where he ticks off his ‘bucket list’ completing fitness and travel goals – all of which is highly inspiring to read (so check it out now).
Matthew Karsten – THE VAGABOND
Matthew Karsten created his blog Vagabond Traveller to show readers how to have fearless adventures on the cheap! His blog – and Youtube channel – are inspiring not just because Karsten is extremely positive about other cultures he interacts with, but that he shows us – the armchair and/or potential traveller – how to go backpacking (links to what equipment he uses, what to do and what not to do when visiting certain countries). He has been travelling for nearly 5 years and bravely goes to places that most of us would avoid like the plague. He done some ballsy things like hitchhiked around America or visited the West Bank (on both sides). If you want practical advice then the Vagabond Traveller should be your first port of call!
Mike & Jay Explore – THE PROFESSIONALS
Travel Philosophy Quote (from Mike):
“Explore as much as possible, learn before you judge & don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.”
Mike is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker who, alongside his photographer roomate, Jay, have created a weekly Youtube series called Mike & Jay explore. While travel writing has become democratised with the explosion of blogs, over the past six or seven years YouTube has followed suit with a bunch of good travel vloggers having been discovered. Mike and Jay have all the ideal traits that make top travel vloggers: curiosity, openness and an easy-going manner. But what sets them apart from the rest however, is the sheer quality of content they produce – it just looks so sleek! At the same time their ‘diary entry’ style pieces to camera keeps their video content looking authentic. Likewise by dividing up their videos into easy to digest films of around 8 minutes they are able to hold the viewers attention. If you’re looking for a flavour of everything from a trip to the urban sprawl of Tokyo to the wilds of Norway then you have to subscribe to their page.
After reading that do you feel like jetting off into sunset on your stag weekend? Then contact Pissup today and our expert party planners will organise a party you’ll be talking about for years to come.