Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely love reading incredibly detailed, beautifully narrated and deeply detailed pieces of travel writing. Anything that gives me a small preview of what my future could hold will pull me in.
But, in all honesty, the columns/posts/books that truly make my day are the funny ones. If you make a post about the top six worst kind of travelers you can run into which includes “Mr Backwards Backpack Guy” and “Miss ‘Look at my Titties'” or a post about that time you nearly shit your pants in the middle of Bangkok, I’m on it like a car bonnet.
There’s something about humour that draws people in; possibly the human element that it adds to writing. It can bring writing onto the level of the everyday person. For me, I love the the lightheartedness and (due to me not being able to go for more than a few days without seriously embarrassing myself) the relatability of the writing. Humour and wit, when done well enough, pull readers in and allow them to imagine themselves in your shoes. The relatability creates a bond between reader and writer. If the people who read my blog (all five of them. Hi again mom) start forming these bonds and genuinely begin to connect to me and share in my wonder, embarrassment and even sadness, then I feel like I’m doing my job as a writer and travel blogger.
Laughing and crying are the two things I do most in my life so if I read your work and do either of these things then its a win for both of us.
One of my absolute best travel blogs to read when I need a chuckle is Johnny Vagabond. His wit and cutting realness make for blog posts that make me snigger like an absolute creep in the middle of the Rhodes’ Journalism School’s writing labs. I may even have snot laughed in the process of reading his Three Mistakes on a Hot Day in Bangkok post #awkward.
Johnny Vagabond (real name Wes) has been traveling “low and slow” for four years now and plans to continue his adventure. While many of his posts are full of hilarity, one paragraph in his About section cut my laughter off short.
“We live at an interesting time, historically: modern air travel makes such journeys possible for even those of fairly limited means. At the same time, that easy access (and modern communication) is diluting and homogenizing cultures across the world. Languages are dying out and folk traditions are being forgotten (or converted into hollow entertainment for paying tourists).
I want to see as much of it as I can while it’s still here.”
Not to be cheesy, but it struck a note in my soul and reminded me of the reason behind my desire to travel; I want to see the world- not just the kitsch tourist hot spots- but really, truly see and experience the world for myself. These four sentences cut off the laughter but they also reinforced my determination to leave my comfort zone and get out there.
P.S. I am, unfortunately, guilty of being ‘Mr Backwards Backpack Guy’ during my trip to China. Sorry to all those whose eyes I may have offended. It was just so damn hot and my back was sweating like a sinner in church. There is photographic evidence. I’m not proud.