Do you ever spend late nights staring into the bright glow of a computer screen, searching for inspiration through the adventures of other travelers? I do. Quite frequently actually.
I’m obsessed with travel blogs that excite me and it’s keeping me up past my bedtime.
No, I’m not talking about ogling over Instagram models stretched out under waterfalls or watching giggly tourists with selfie sticks riding elephants – that’s not what I’m searching for.
I’m looking for heartfelt writing, meaningful adventures, awe-inspiring photography, authentic experiences, and above all else, honesty about travel. These are the things that make me want to see the world.
The good news is that I’ve found a few bloggers who do all those things and do them really well. That’s what this post is all about.
Let me share with you my favorite travel blogs that I’ve come across. Each blogger is quite different than the next, but they are all capable of keeping you up late into the night, fascinated by the pictures they paint and the lives they lead.
#1 – Wandering Earl
Wandering Derek Earl Baron has travel in his blood. He’s been on the move constantly since 1999, with no signs of slowing down. In fact, he wrote a blog post in 2012 asking his followers for advice on a potential ‘home base’ and, well, it’s 2020 and the guy still hasn’t decided yet.
Earl’s blog is clean and inviting, which brings its genuine content to the forefront. He offers spot-on insight into the highs and lows of his life of constant travel, a refreshing perspective that’s all too often missing from mainstream sites. While his humble approach to blogging hasn’t vaulted him into social media fame, I don’t think he ever craved the spotlight in the first place.
His honest and focused posts push all of us to hold ourselves accountable and become better travelers, and that’s why I think he’s the best blogger of 2020.
Posts I Dig from Wandering Earl:
#2 – Nomad Revelations
João Leitão’s destiny is to wander the Earth, and his free-spirited blog reflects just that. He flows seamlessly throughout the world, entrenching himself in any and all cultures that he encounters. He, like Wandering Earl, has been traveling since 1999 and has visited over 100 countries. He’s got some serious mileage.
What intrigues me are that João’s favorite destinations – places like Mali, Nicaragua, and Uzbekistan – are almost always ‘the roads less traveled.’ Wherever he goes, João sheds light on rich cultures that most travelers wouldn’t think twice about passing over.
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When I read Nomad Revelations, I feel that João wants the reader to see the world from an ever-evolving perspective and break down their mental travel barriers. The depth of content he’s built up over 20 years is nothing short of incredible.
Posts I Dig from Nomad Revelations:
#3 – Expert Vagabond
Matt Karsten was an underpaid photographer in 2010, working gigs at used car dealerships and nightclubs. Now, he’s among the most successful travel bloggers in the world. How did he make that happen?
It helps that he’s a world-class photographer who seeks out extreme and obscure adventures – the types of trips most travelers shy away from. Whether he’s exploring the notorious Darien Gap or trekking deep into the mountains of Afghanistan, Matt constantly puts himself in heart-pounding situations and challenges his readers to do the same.
Posts I Dig from Expert Vagabond:
#4 – The Broke Backpacker
Will Hatton is a man on a mission. Three years ago, he was nearly out of money and his blog wasn’t taking off. He saw his dream disintegrating, so he decided to double down and go for broke. (It worked.) Will now runs two incredibly productive websites, offers tours of Pakistan, thrives in the cryptocurrency trade, and just purchased land to build a hostel in Bali.
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The content on The Broke Backpacker is witty, informative, and unapologetic. Will isn’t afraid to dive head first into touchy subjects. Sex, drugs, (and more drugs) – to Will, it’s all fair game. He inspires his readers through hilarious and motivating blog posts, and lays his failures and triumphs out for the world to learn from. He’s honest, provocative, and never quits, and that’s why he’s one of the best travel bloggers around.
Posts I Dig from The Broke Backpacker:
#5 – Nomadic Matt
Nomadic Matt Kepnis is a travel blogging powerhouse. His resource-heavy website exists to help any style of traveler from any walk of life. He was one of the first in the business to make it big, but success hasn’t slowed him down. He remains engaged and enthusiastic with his many thousands of readers, which is what helped him succeed in the first place.
Matt wants other bloggers to flourish, and you can see it in his writing. He recognizes and embraces the fact that he’s a leader in the travel blogging community, and shares the limelight. His site is abundant with high-quality posts from other talented bloggers from around the world. Reasons like these are why I’ve come to rely on his blog as a tremendously relevant and useful resource for me as I follow my own path.
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Posts I Dig from Nomadic Matt:
#6 – Atlas and Boots
Peter Watson and Kia Abdullah are a travel blogging power couple. Whether they’re trekking Africa’s Grand Canyon or exploring abandoned diamond-mining towns, they constantly find themselves in eye-opening destinations. The two work well together, and it shows through their swath of impressive content.
Kia is a professional author and Peter is an avid backpacker with an impressive resume in photography and filmmaking. Their talent shines through in every post, and their top-notch content never slows down, with two new posts hitting the site every week. Atlas and Boots celebrates Earth and raises important questions about its future, all within the same breath.
Posts I Dig from Atlas and Boots:
#7 – Fearful Adventurer
Fearful Adventurer isn’t your typical travel blog. Torre DeRoche’s goal isn’t to deliver cliché travel tips, packing guides, or scenic photography. She wants to let the world know that it’s okay to crash and burn once in a while and that fear and failure are an essential part of life (especially for her).
Torre is a brilliant writer – the best on this list. Her shamelessly self-deprecating style and honest introspection put the reader on an emotional and often hilarious journey. It’s perfectly normal to well up with tears during one paragraph and break out in laughter at the next. I don’t visit Fearful Adventurer to plan my next trip, I go there for the gripping and unfiltered over-sharing.
Posts I Dig from Fearful Adventurer:
#8 – Journey Era
Jackson Groves is a travel blogging machine. In two-and-a-half-years time, Journey Era has racked up over 600 blog posts – all while Jackson is constantly hiking, diving, and surfing some of the world’s most tropical and scenic destinations. How is that even possible?! While his writing may not be as polished as others on this list, his photography and sense of adventure are undeniably excellent.
Even with his huge vault to success, Jackson still chooses to live a simple and frugal lifestyle. He’s a six-figure adventure blogger who still hasn’t spent more than $12 on a night of lodging in his career. He strives to clean up the environment as well, which is a tall task that he’s willing to tackle head-on. Keep moving forward, Jackson. We’ll do our best to keep up.
Posts I Dig from Journey Era:
#9 – Goats on the Road
Meet Nick and Dariece, Canada’s most well-known travel blogging duo. Not only are these two passionate about visiting obscure and exhilarating destinations — think Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Mozambique — they seem to get equally as excited about the business side of running a successful travel blog.
They’ve written loads of helpful posts about web hosting, SEO, and affiliate marketing — all the technical stuff aspiring travel bloggers often overlook. Their posts are also incredibly detailed – Nick and Dariece leave no stone unturned in their quest to show the travelverse exactly how it’s done.
Posts I Dig from Goats on the Road:
#10 – Don’t Stop Living
And then there is Jonny Blair, the wild card of the bunch. Born and raised in Northern Ireland, Jonny knows what it’s like to live a chaotic and unpredictable life, and you can feel it in his writing. He seems to live every day by the seat of his pants and has the uncanny ability to take us all along for the ride. His and my lifestyles don’t really match up, but I have to admit that reading about his wild and reckless adventures is seriously entertaining.
But, it’s not all fun and games for Jonny – he’s battled mightily with depression and stopped work on the blog multiple times. When you dive beneath the wild adventures, Jonny seems to be an incredibly complex and genuine person who is unafraid to share his struggles with the world. It makes me think that maybe the title of his blog is a simple reminder to himself and those who share his kind of pain.
Posts I Dig from Don’t Stop Living:
There you have it: the 10 best travel blogs I’ve yet to come across. Together, these adventurous few challenge millions of travelers worldwide to explore further and lead lives beyond their borders. To travel is to see the world through a different set of eyes – a privilege that these wanderers don’t take for granted.
I encourage you to browse these captivating blogs and explore their stockpiles of accessible and free resources. You’ll find that travel blogging is more than just a pretty set of online postcards. Travel is deep and formative, and these bloggers are living proof.
Maybe some night soon, you’ll find yourself staring intensely into your computer as you absorb their exceptional stories, and the hours melt away. Maybe these are the pioneers who will inspire you to blaze a trail or two of your own.
Hell, it worked for me.
Who are some of your favorite travel bloggers? Who’d I miss? Who shouldn’t be on the list? Let me know by posting a comment below!