So 2017 is coming to a close and I must admit, it’s been pretty good. I mean an orange man in a white house has been ****ing shit up beyond what any of us had originally perceived but I’m talking about the little things… which happened to me.
For one I scored my Diploma in Travel and Tourism (YAY!) and I got a new nephew who has an awesome smile, just like his sister, brother and boy cousins… and add to all of that, I determined what my niche is. Now this is the type of good news that had me spreading my arms apart atop a small sand dune… about two years in advance.
Niches can help single you out in the crowd. They can range from the type of content you write about, the places you go or to your lifestyle and how you live it. Mine relates to the content I want to provide and the audience I want to aim it at… and they just so happen to be… the inexperienced young traveller.
For the record, this blog will always be for anyone and everyone… but that’s the case with so, SO many other blogs out there – I and a hundred others could easily talk about a day in Marseilles (haven’t been, but an Instagramer from there says I should visit) so it becomes imperative to paint one’s self a different colour so as to be seen.
Please note, I will still be sharing location based posts – can’t live without ’em.
Examples – Travel With Bender and Explore With Erin (same writer) puts a huge emphasis on travelling with young children, Almost Landing Bali is all about Bali (you saw that coming – admit it) and Never Ending Footsteps has shared plenty of accident and mishap stories (the book paints them most clearly) and this has served the writers very well.
So that’s what I’m going to do, I will share what I know and what I will go on to learn with the inexperienced young traveller. They’re a group of people I can easily relate to and one who I believe requires a lot of help in getting out the door and especially on the road.
Now here’s how 2017 informed this decision of mine.
Remember how I’m a swimming teacher? I’ve taken on a lot of special needs children and this year I said Goodbye to a teenage boy who had dyspraxia and was on the spectrum – we’ll call him Ben, yeah? His parents and I wanted him to be able to take care of himself and Ben achieved that, so I gave my blessing for him to finish up… and that was when I heard something quite positive – Ben’s parents want him to gain his independence one day.
This I support, and independence can include travel… so I researched some places – Ben had recently had to miss out on a snorkel workshop I was teaching so I mostly included snorkeling destinations around Australia and Fiji that I’ve tried, as well as England, Ireland and Northern Ireland which I thought he would enjoy, thanks to ease of travel on offer and its many theatres. Ben is also an aspiring thespian.
For one of my class assignments I was paired with – we’ll call her Leah – and we were sitting together discussing how we would approach the task. Just one problem though… Leah had lost her voice that day and so there wasn’t much of a dialogue. We did the best we could and for the remainder of that time we were communicating (she was typing her thoughts on a screen) about places we’d been to. Safe to say, I’ve used my passport more frequently and when I showed her the massive bridge in Ronda, Spain, her eyes went wide.
Another thing to note, my friend Leah has just gotten out of high school and hasn’t done the independent thing yet – she has made several family holidays to Samoa. She’s admitted that there’s so much she doesn’t know and is eager to find out, because those photos I was showing were definitely ‘inceptioning’ a few ideas. Good luck with your future adventures darl.
And then there’s one of the assignments I was needed to complete this year. I and two others each had to design and promote a tour for an intended target market. For mine I chose the inexperienced young traveller and for a few months I created The Branch Off, a tour starting in Singapore and ending in England which would allow for participants to learn how to travel internationally, independently and to eventually ‘branch off’ to a European destination and try out their new tricks for themselves.
I had a lot of fun putting my tour together (except maybe for the marketing research and costing parts) and one of the most rewarding parts was how receptive people were to my idea – Leah said she’d do it! This was humbling, but it did make me realise just how valuable an experience like this would be to one who hasn’t done anything on their own.
That’s how I settled on my niche. I want to help the inexperienced young traveller, whose position I was once in – I want to reassure them that they can do it, how to get the job done and hopefully get them on that plane to what they’ve always dreamed about. If you know someone who could benefit, let them know. The Sheep will always be here.
Happy travels everyone.
Additional photography provided by Julia Caesar, Willian Justen de Vasconcellos, Anthony Tori and Craig Whitehead