Information, to risk stating the baldly obvious, is essential to travel. Timetables, schedules, iPhone apps, hotel review sites and Foursquare check-in updates all deliver very specific information of immediate and inarguable value to travelers. Travel blogs that pursue listings- and information-based missions provide the nitty-gritty details that travelers need, the basic and essential information they require to get their holidays off the ground.
But very often, such blogs do not inspire. The actual work of inspiring people to travel is a different beast, and it materializes in unexpected places. It can be found through all sorts of stimuli: an image; a map; a novel; an overheard conversation; a random Wikipedia dérive. Such sources can help energize broad thinking about places and things and the enticing aesthetics of travel.
Here are two blogs that accomplish just this aim remarkably, by dint of their creators’ strong aesthetics more than anything else.
Exhibit A: l’antipodeuse. New Zealand photographer Mary Gaudin, resident in Montpellier, is the motor behind this blog. Gaudin’s l’antipodeuse showcases all sorts of objects and sites, with a broad eye toward design, interior spaces, and landscape. Many of the images depict Gaudin’s travels. She captures the seasons and food particularly evocatively. Among the places so beautifully captured by her lens are France, London, Finland, Japan, and New Zealand.
Exhibit B: Sarah Goldschadt. American Sarah Goldschadt, born and now resident in Denmark, follows a craftsier impulse in her blog. There are plenty of DIY projects detailed here. What really sets her blog apart from so many others is her well-honed eye for culturally and geographically specific sorts of objects: Danish cake, the shade of red seen on buildings in Sweden; a line of small flags overhead; the milky waters off Møn; London’s chimneys. I especially love her narration of a journey to Köpstadsö, Sweden.
(Image: Sarah Goldschadt)