The Armchair Traveler
I have to admit to myself (because it’s probably obvious to everyone else by now 🙂 ) that I’m an armchair traveler. At least for the moment. Twenty-five years ago we lived in Holland, had our summer vacations in England, shopped for Kosher food in Belgium and made short trips here and there including Canada and USA. Since we returned home to Israel my entire repertoire of travel boils down to three work trips to Poland with a two-day stopover in Italy. That’s it. Not much to show in two decades.
I love reading travel blogs of REAL travelers. Take Chris Guillebeau for example. This guy made it a goal to visit all 192 countries and he did it. Now there are 193 countries and I assume he filled in the gap. See his website. He’s written a few excellent books on business and travel like “The $100 Startup“. Or Tim Ferriss with his books on travel and life improvement like The Four Hour Work Week.
The common denominator with most travel writers is that they write about what they do personally and continuously, not only what they read about or observe in others. There’s another common denominator that many long-term travel writers remain single till later in life. World travel, backpacking and family don’t often go together, but there are some exception of course. The main point is that they write and talk about what they do personally, not virtually (like myself 😡 )
Walk Your Talk
In order to put across a significant message to others you have to “walk your talk”. There were times in the past that I succeeded (with the help of Hashem) to get people on a regular Torah study program and it usually was in a field that I studied myself, whether Halacha, Daf Yomi or a daily chapter of Mishna. When you do something, you can convince others to do the same. Today that I’m not in the Daf Yomi program, I can’t convince others to do it. It’s a fact of life and relevant especially to parents. “Do as I say, but don’t do as I do”, doesn’t work. Never. Ever.
My 30 Day Stats
Just to share with you a bit of statistics, I started this blog over a year ago during the time I was still a Rabbi in the army and got 5-10 visitors a week. After joining the civilian world a few months ago and sharing my posts on Facebook and LinkedIn, I’m getting an average of 300-400 hits a week. To be honest, 300 visitors a week is peanuts compared to travel bloggers who get tens of thousands of readers a week (and make a bundle on it too).
Of course they are probably better writers and have topics for a wider audience than Jewish Traveling (which is a small specialized niche). At the same time I believe that when I’ll start traveling again and writing about first-person and present events, my readership will go up more. I hope…. 🙂
To end off on a lighter note, I found a new travel blog with a post called Armchair Travel: A day in Paris from the comfort of your own home. The author gives you an entire video itinerary as a Virtual Tourist including what to eat while you are traveling from the comfort of your living room…incredible…
I sincerely hope that sometime in the near future I’ll be writing my blog from somewhere else than from the comfort of my living room.
Have a great Shabbat!