Back when I was young(er), Lonely Planet was the name in travel. That white circle on the ocean-deep blue travelled with me as I made my way around the world, guiding, nudging, encouraging, sometimes discouraging, informing and, more times than I’d like to admit, serving as the basis of a pillow or an anchor to help me dry my crumpled, handwashed clothes.
Well, a lot has changed since then: for the world at large, for Lonely Planet and for me.
Today we have phones and apps and Google Maps. I no longer backpack, and, as it turns out, neither, exclusively, do they.
The technology of travel has changed more than many of us could have foreseen and yet the fundamentals of it all remain the same. Great experiences unfold when you travel from A to B and then on a little bit more, dabbling and dancing with all the other letters of the alphabet you care to find.
And so, today, I’m really, genuinely excited to let you know about a new partnership, nay an honour, between Inside the Travel Lab and the team at Lonely Planet.
Lonely Planet have been following the digital blogging landscape for some time and while they run an inclusive Pathfinders project for all enthusiasts to join, they wanted to single out and showcase the best travel blogs they could find.
What does that mean?
Well, if nothing else, it means they’re not embarrassed to be seen with us in public ;-)
It should mean more work, more partnerships and the chance to work from within the decidedly inspirational Lonely Planet London offices:
In their words:
Our Trailblazers have proven themselves to be pioneers in the blogger and travel influencer sphere, demonstrating best practices and impeccable professionalism. Their writing, photography and videography is top notch and aligns with Lonely Planet’s message. Just like Lonely Planet, our Trailblazers encourage their audiences to explore every day.
Emma Sparks, Deputy Editor lonelyplanet.com
But it’s worth taking the time to write about what this partnership with Lonely Planet is NOT and to clear up a few misconceptions I’ve had a few of you ask.
No, not at all. As ever, as always, we keep editorial control on Inside the Travel Lab, which means that we always have the right to say and publish what we like (you know, within the relevant laws of the land.)
Or to put it another way, I’m not saying that I think Lonely Planet are great because I’m working with them. I’m working with them because I think that Lonely Planet are great.
No (at least that’s not the plan for now, but never say never.) While Lonely Planet is the world’s biggest guidebook publisher, they do plenty of other things as well. Things like publish magazines, run social media channels, print inspirational books about travel and broadcast professional travel videos.
I’ve already been involved in most of those activities (I should perhaps share more links around here!) and I hope that now I’ll be doing even more.
No, not at all.
Like many of us, Lonely Planet definitely started out backpacking. But, over the years, they’ve also developed aching bones and a growing appreciation for the finer things in life. They’ve also launched Lonely Planet Kids, directly aimed at the younger-than-backpacker generation.
So, as far as I understand it, they’re interested in the content creation (uch, that phrase) that I can deliver because of the way I travel, not in spite of it.
Any other thoughts or questions?
Alright then! Let me hand you a digital glass of champagne and let’s celebrate!
It’s been a long road – and as those of you who have been here from the beginning will know, it hasn’t always been easy. So it’s important to enjoy the good times as and when they roll into town!
Happy travelling everyone – and don’t forget to check out the other Trailblazers:
Hi, I'm Abi, a doctor turned writer who's worked with Lonely Planet, the BBC, UNESCO and more. Let's travel more and think more. Find out more.
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