Today on GoAbroad, we are thrilled to bring you GoAbroad’s list of the Top Travel Photo Bloggers. If a picture is worth a 1000 words, then these travel photography blogs have many stories to tell and will inspire you to see the world through a new “lens.” From capturing awe-inspring landscapes to narrowing in on the finer details of a global culture, these travel photographers each bring a unique style to how they see and explore the world. Each blogger was selected by GoAbroad editors based on the quality content of the blog, an interactive presence on social media, and a general kick-@$$ attitude when it comes to meaningful travel. We honor each of them today with this special feature, and encourage you to check out their blogs for more updates and information.
Christy and Scott
Far from ordinary, the Ordinary Traveler blog has a simple yet powerful mission: “Our website focuses on helping YOU get inspired, sharing travel trips, and teaching budding photographers how to take the best photos from travelers with nearly 20 years experience in the photography field.” Since Christy and Scott first met in 2006, and decided that life was too short to do something you don’t love, the duo have trekked their way around the world surfing and taking photos along the way. Ordinary Traveler was started in 2010 to chronicle their adventures and share their love of photography, and has since become one of the leading adventure travel and photography blogs. After jumping around the website ourselves, this achievement comes as no surprise – their photography is kick@$$ and the posts come with tips for travel photographers of all levels. As they note on the blog, “we want to inspire everyone to travel the world, (even if you work a full-time job!) because you don’t have to quit your job to travel the world. Whether your goals are to travel the world, face your fears, or build a business based on your passions, you can make it happen as long as you are motivated and committed to making yourself happy.” We couldn’t agree more!
If it’s stories of “successful hikes and epic failures” that you’re after, Hiking Fiasco is the blog to check out! The blog’s author and creator, Greg, describes himself as “a 40 year old bloke from the western suburbs of Melbourne.” If his snarky sense of humor isn’t already apparent, he goes on to say that early on in his hiking ‘fiascos’ he realized a lot of things can go wrong when outdoors – “It got me wondering when I began to read outdoor blogs, that they seldom mention the mishaps that surely occur along the way. Mishaps are entertaining, so I make sure that they get pride of place within my posts.” Whether it’s a successful hike or epic failure, the photography on Hiking Fiasco will inspire you to better appreciate the beauty and wonder of nature. Greg also notes that you won’t see a post “every 25 seconds” from him, because in order to truly write about what he sees and experiences, he spends most of his time actually outdoors hiking. You can’t ask for more than that when it comes to an ‘outdoor adventure blog’ as far as we’re concerned!
Next, we bring you Notes from the Road by Erik Gauger. Whether it’s by road, by kayak, by seaplane, or by foot, Erik has made it his mission to tackle the themes of city and country in the modern world. In his own words, “travel writing sometimes gets a bad rap, because of ‘the azure sea was undulating and the hotel was fabulous.’ But travel writing can be funny, powerful and personal. Every non-fiction writer has that capacity to exaggerate; his experiences happen far away from the reader. But travel writing implies honesty and research. And that’s why Notes from the Road is my project in the unvarnished, messy truth of travel, told by a regular guy.” Erik also notes that he travels on tight budgets to “ordinary places,” in that he hopes to demonstrate that the pleasures of travel can be found through a simple stroll through one’s own neighborhood. Every photo on Notes From the Road is vivid with this mission, bringing to life the simple yet powerful effect of seeing the world through new eyes – particularly as Erik goes about capturing real people in their environments. As he says, “their stories tell travel the best.”
Nomadic Samuel lives up to the name of his blog. He describes himself as “a bit of a jack of all trades and a man who wears many hats – the kind of individual that doesn’t like to stay in any one place for any serious length of time.” A wandering soul, Samuel spent the majority of his 20’s overseas in Asia working as an expat English teacher, model, photographer, freelance writer and – of course – “as a wandering nomadic soul completely infatuated by all the splendor and woe longterm travel has to offer an individual.” In the same way that Samuel sees travel to be filled with moments of splendor and woe, his photography and posts on the blog captures a variety of subjects — demonstrating his lack of fear in touching upon subjects that aren’t always easy to discuss in a public forum. We love the way his quirky personality and travel stories shine through on Nomadic Samuel, and can’t wait to see what subject he’ll cover next!
We love the inspiration for Troy Floyd of Fogg Odyssey to jump into travel photography/blogging: simply put, a trip to Australia made him realize seeing the world meant “more to me than anything else.” Upon his return home, he put in his notice to his job and made a move to Bangkok, Thailand where he was able to start refining his photography skills: “[I was] reading everything I could on the subject, talking with people and just walking around all day in the markets and streets of Bangkok with my camera shooting photographs. Thus a new life begun for me and I haven’t looked back since!” With the goal of achieving “Reverse Retirement” (aka: not working until he’s too old to enjoy the things he wants to do now), Fogg Odyssey captures Troy’s zest for life and seizing the moment through some pretty kick@$$ photography. Whether he’s hiking in Nepal or sharing photography tips, there’s always something new to discover on Fogg Odyssey. We’re also big fans of his belief in himself and his goals: “Some might say I am crazy, to them I say I am.”
The size of the images alone on the blog of Kris Koeller will do much to inspire your wanderlust. For other travel photography lovers out there, these large, high-resolution photos speak for themselves. While Kris notes that he is an amateur photographer, travel writer, and web developer, we’re of the thought that his blog is anything but amateur! Each post is more impressive than the last, as his photos capture both the magic in the mundane and the simplicity of the exotic. Whether it’s a New York City snowstorm or an international getaway in Portugal, Kris Koeller’s dynamic content will have you returning to see what he comes up with next.
Jason Castellani and Aracely Santos Castellani
Jason Castellani and Aracely Santos Castellani of 2Backpackers.com completed their first long-term trip together as a couple in 2010, and have since turned their attention to making their long-term dreams come true: Travel as much as possible. We love it already. As they achieve their dreams, 2Backpackers.com exists as a way to share their travel photos, travel tips, and top travel destinations. The story behind their passion for travel is also unique: they’re a couple who finished college years ago and have since spent most of their time and efforts becoming successful corporate professionals. In their own words, “a successful career is only a small part of personal satisfaction; it does not define [us] as individuals.” Jason and Aracely note that they find greater joy “being outdoors, experimenting with food, marveling at architecture and exploring new cities all while continuing to learn about the world.” No matter how often you visit their blog to check out new and exciting photos, they hope that the time you spend on 2Backpackers will inspire you to find and follow your own passions in life.
Unlike other travel blogs, Booked: A Travel Blog, by Amy Welborn, sets itself apart by saying that it ISN’T a travel advice or tips blog. As Amy says, “I don’t do advice. Every person has different expectations of travel and varied likes and dislikes. Even though I will spotlight, for example, some of my favorite accommodations it won’t be because I think everyone will like them or should stay there. It will simply because I enjoyed it and thought it was great and something interesting happened there.” We find this attitude refreshing, in addition to the resources that Amy shares on Booked. Each post is complemented by rich and and vibrant photography, bringing her descriptions to life and encouraging readers to have their own opinions. Amy describes her posting scheduling as daily, random, specific and bemused – and we can’t help but love it, because when it comes down to it, isn’t that what meaningful travel is all about? Whatever subject she might be covering, Amy will be the first to tell you that she’s “excited about it and ready to hit the road, children in tow, and laptop in hand.”
Jen Pollack Bianco
“There is no doubt that I am addicted to travel and I have no intention of getting into recovery for it,” says Jen Pollack Bianco of My Life’s a Trip. We can’t blame her either, seeing as how we feel the same! This Los Angeles based “writer slash photographer who accidentally fell into the world of travel blogging” incorporates some stunning photography into her blog, along with posts that all types of travelers can appreciate. Though she travels often for work, she notes that this isn’t the only reason she’ll get on a plane: “Show me an interesting event in a far-flung destination and I am there. I’ve flown to Iceland for a Foo Fighters concert and made my way to Pyongyang, North Korea to see the Mass Games. I’ve visited 75 countries and hope to increase that number to at least 100. In my travels, I’ve always tried to chronicle my experience through words and images so I could share them with family and friends back home and around the world.” If you’re a traveler interested in the intersection of mobile technology and travel, Jen has plenty of experience to speak of, and can be found participating in various events around the country. Simply put, this a travel writer/photographer who understands how important it is to make each trip meaningful: “The more I see, the more I want to see what else is out there. Although I have picked up degrees from some really awesome film schools, travel is still the best form of education I’ve ever received.”
Last but certainly not least of our Top Travel Photo Bloggers is the Ralph Velasco Photo Blog, which is the blog of photography instructor and international tour guide, Ralph Velasco. To date, Ralph has photographed in over 40 countries on 6 continents, in which case we’re sure you’ll enjoy the sheer variety of things to check out on his blog! It’s also a great spot for those looking to improve their own photography skills and to gather advice and tips–especially when you factor in the number of awards and honors Ralph has been the recipient of. From black and whites, to silhouettes, and to the portraits of locals, the Ralph Velasco Photo Blog will have you returning again and again to see what he captures through his lens next!
Congrats to each of these unique travel bloggers! Did we overlook any other awesome international travel photo bloggers? What are some of your favorites? Share them with us in the comments below!
**This post is brought to you in part by this month’s GoAbroad Blog partner, Maximo Nivel! Looking to volunteer, intern or teach English abroad? Be sure to check out Maximo Nivel’s programs in Costa Rica, Peru, and Guatemala.**