Everyone’s Writing a Blog

Day 19, Grand World Voyage 2020

Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020; At Sea

I hear there are 6 million travel blogs. At least a dozen of them originate on this cruise.

There must be something that urges some of us to write. I know I spend about two to three hours on each blog post. It’s the writing that takes me the longest. I can’t just write and post; I keep editing and editing. Have I used passive voice? Can I find stronger verbs? Did I just recite the activities of the day or have I found an interesting perspective or theme? How many extraneous words can I cut?

I first attempted a blog in 2013 on a 30-day Royal Caribbean repositioning from Galveston to Dubai. I spent the entire first port day in a bar with wifi downloading instructions on how to post text and photos to my free WordPress site. Its name –WoodenShoeSailing — confused everyone who didn’t read the “about” section or get the reference to Eugene Field’s childhood poem “Wynken, Blynken and Nod.”

Those early posts really were a form of “what I did on my summer vacation.” I wrote chronologically about what happened each day. In fact, I called the entries “cruise diary.”

I became more ambitious by 2017 when I sailed on Holland America’s Grand Asia cruise and wrote a blog post on every one of the 80 days. Port days were easy, but sea day reports quickly became routine. So I branched out to related topics and started interviewing fellow cruisers. I knew a few people on board who also were blogging their trip, but most sent emails to friends and family or posted on Facebook.

By 2018 the change from wifi-by-the-minute pricing to unlimited changed things. Passengers published blogs, and more followed my blog as we sailed. One day I wrote that I had skipped going ashore because I felt under the weather, and the next morning a number of people asked me how I felt.

Now I follow several other bloggers on this cruise, usually by subscribing through email so I receive each post as it is published.

Perhaps the most popular is Captain, who’s driving? – the blog of our captain, Jonathan Mercer. His view from the bridge describes the nautical aspects of the cruise, and he and his wife add photos from adventures ashore.

Stellar photographs enhance several blogs, including Pete’s Inside Cabin. He has an eye for details that I have forgotten by the time I write. His home page has a link to 13 blogs from this cruise, as well as reference links to daily schedules, dinner menus, port information and cruising tips

My first blog exposure to world cruises blogs came years ago from Bill and Mary Ann (https://cruisingwithbillandmaryann.blogspot.com/). They continue to find new things to say about their annual world cruise travels, even though they have been to most of our ports numerous times. Usually they head out walking in search of their favorite pizza and beer.

Captain Ricky, aka Rich, and his wife Suzi are from Sitka, Alaska. Rich’s blog, Postcards from the Transition, has stunning photographs and well-written recaps of their shore side adventures.

Linda and David — LinDave’s Adventures – also are excellent photographers.

Many of these blogs are heavy with great photos. I suspect some of these bloggers start with their photographs and add text as needed, the opposite of my approach. And their photographic equipment goes well beyond their iPhones. Whatever kind of cameras they use, I’m most impressed by their eye for beautiful pictures that tell a story.

I’m surprised when my followers comment about the photos, because for me it really is about the words. With faster wifi at sea and a good compression app my pictures are loading faster. I’ve stopped bringing my DSLR camera and settled for my iPhone, giving myself more time for sketching. So I particularly enjoy the blogs by avid photographers.

I don’t have time to follow all of the blogs, but I know that Kathi recaps some of the trivia questions at 128 Days Around the World. My friends Barbara and Richard have formalized their updates to friends and family with Down the Rabbit Hole. Other blogs include:

Laura and David’s A Passport in my Parasol

Diane and John’s Facebook page blog

John and Sharon’s World Cruise 2020

Anonymous’ Flying Pig Tales

TJR’s World Cruise

G and J’s GandJ Travels

If you have a chance, check out some of their blogs. We each do different things, have different interests and write from different perspectives. Reading them is almost as good as sailing along with us (and considerably cheaper).