This Is What It’s Come To


Here I am. I’m writing my first travel blog post. I know – cringe. To make matters worse, I’m writing this from a coffee shop. If you’ve made it this far, I appreciate that. I probably would have stopped reading at “trav”. But the coffee shop is in Croatia, so that’s cool…right?

What follows is a self-reflective blog post about the blog itself. If this is a turn-off, hopefully by the time you read this there will be other content that you can read on the site – if not, feel free to close this tab if you haven’t done so already.

Why?

Why did I decide to start this blog? In short, the world was begging me to – and I knew that a few thousand keystrokes were what stood between me and millions of readers, Ferrari-funding ad revenue, and ultimately my own Netflix show where I get to travel the world and talk to interesting people and eat great food. So if you’re reading this in 2022, consider yourself one of the lucky ones, because one day you’ll be able to tell your friends, “Yeah, it’s crazy. I used to read this guy’s blog years ago and now he’s on Jimmy Fallon playing flip-cup with Emma Stone”.

Shockingly, none of that is true. The real reason I started this was because in October 2021 I decided to move to Italy for a year to have my Italian citizenship recognized and to experience life in Italy. In the months I’ve spent in Italy (6 as of this writing), I’ve traveled to 12 of the 20 regions of the spaghetti state (I hope that’s not offensive) and have generated some stories, recommendations, and insights along the way. In talking to friends, family, and fellow travelers, I found that I really enjoy giving people tips and suggestions on where to go in Italy, how to get around, good restaurants, what to expect, what not to expect, Italian culture, etc. The result is a lot of shared Google docs. Now I want to clean up that content, publish it, and have it all in one, easily-accessible place. And who knows – maybe some others on the internet will come across this and find it useful. Ultimately, I love exploring, learning, and talking about Italy, and I want to share the best and worst of it with others to maybe entertain but ideally help someone get the most out of their time in this interesting and beautiful country.

What [Not] to Expect

I don’t have million-dollar expectations for this and for now I don’t intend to optimize the content for clicks with tactics such as:

  • Content titles with numbers. For example, ‘8 things you should NEVER do in Italy!‘ (these rules are often wrong, by the way). (I have since changed my mind on this – read more here)
  • Unrealistic photos – It’s not about showing the natural appeal of a place. It’s making the colors so artificial that if you do end up going somewhere, you’re underwhelmed by what you see until you take a picture yourself, apply a filter, post it on Instagram, someone else sees it, and the cycle repeats. In the end, nobody actually sees anything.
  • Showing off my body in the thumbnails (I’m here to make jokes, you see).

What I have in mind is to write posts about:

  • Italian cities – not so much comprehensive guides, but more “what I did that you may also find interesting”, in addition to practical advice in terms of transportation or logistics
  • Italian culture posts – food, languages, etc.
  • The Italian Citizenship recognition process
  • Anything else I find interesting

Target Audience

If anyone finds this blog interesting or useful, it will be people who: 1) enjoy seeing the tourist attractions, but don’t need to see them all 2) like seeing the off-the-beaten path items and 3) value interaction with locals more than going to the highest rated restaurant with a line around the block. I’ll probably talk a fair bit about the Italian language as well, as I’ve become obsessed with not just the language itself but the many variations of it.

People who want to go to Italy for 9 days and see Rome, Naples, Milan, Lake Como, Florence, and Venice will likely not find my recommendations to be the most applicable. But maybe they’ll have time to at least walk by one of the places I recommend, or better yet I may be able to convince those people to reconsider their itineraries.

Goal Setting

So here’s my goal: publish 5 posts, and get 5 people to say that they either found value in or enjoyed reading my content. The rules: only one of the five posts can be about the blog itself (ok so this one counts – check! 1 down 4 to go), and the 5 people can’t be family (I love you all but there’s obvious bias there).

Predicted FAQ’s

  • 5 posts and 5 people? That’s a low bar. – Yes it is. But here’s the thing – as I said, I have no expectations for this, and it’s my game so I’m going to rig it so I can win.
  • A blog? Why not a vlog? Or shorts on Instagram or TikTok? You’ll get much more of a following that way. Plus, nobody reads blogs anymore. – This is probably mostly true. But I have neither the face, voice, personality, or well-managed insecurities for any of those media. And it’s probably true that less people are reading blogs these days, but I’m a bit old-fashioned. And for now I don’t have it in me to become a clickbait content creator (though I don’t fault people who are, as they’re more likely to earn a living off their content). As far as who still reads travel blogs – I very often meet other travelers who read blogs for recommendations from real people like themselves. In sum, there’s a few of us.
  • What about a podcast? – I love podcasts. In fact, I was on one recently, talking about the very things that this blog is intended for. That was a lot of fun. But part of my goal is to have travel recommendations and information that can help people when traveling in Italy, and sending someone a link to an article that they can read at their convenience has less friction than expecting someone to listen to a podcast or watch a video for a specific piece of info.

Lastly

If at this point you don’t see a clear direction or goal with my blog, then trust your instincts. Regardless, if you’ve made it this far, thank you. I honestly consider that a small win. But maybe nobody is reading this at all and I’m just writing for myself, and that’s ok.

Ciao for now.

3 thoughts on “This Is What It’s Come To”

  1. I believe I sent already about 5 people to your blog so far because it is just too amazing. And trust me, you have the face, voice or personality for any of those media. But for the peace of your 5 readers, we like the old-fashioned. <3 Xx

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