So, the moment has arrived. You’ve had months of preparation and planning, fundraising and training and, after all that effort, the day is finally here – departure day. You’re on your way! You’re heading off overseas on a journey to a new country for an incredible adventure.
But think for a moment about those who don’t get to board that plane with you. Your family, who said YES to you going on this trip of a lifetime, your friends at school, no doubt jealous of your overseas escapade, sponsors and people who donated money to help get you on that plane. Think how much they would like to follow your journey. A blog is a great way to share your stories and photos with people back home whilst you are travelling.
We encourage every team to create their blog before you leave so that you can use it to update everyone back home. The good news is, setting up a blog is easier than you might think. ‘Blogger’ is the chosen blogging platform of World Challenge with a complete how to guide available on your ‘My World Challenge’ members’ portal. On expedition everyone in your team will take a turn at being the designated Communications Officer, meaning everyone has a chance to tell a part of the tale!
Some tips to get started:
Once you’ve read through the set up guide on ‘My World Challenge’ and registered a Blogger account you’re ready to start recording your memories! Of course you’ll want to make your blog look awesome, so pick a cool background from one of our resource photos on ‘My World Challenge’ or upload one of your own!
A cautionary point before you start, don’t make promises to friends and family about when and how often you’ll be posting on your blog on expedition – you’ll be in the developing world and may not have guaranteed access to internet as readily as you would at home.
Can’t think of what to write? Here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing:
Perhaps you could start with an introduction of the group. Who is in the group? Who is your Expedition Leader? What country are you going to and what are you most looking forward to?
Write about your preparation. Believe it or not people want to read about the hard work you’re putting in. What kinds of fundraising did the team do? Are you learning some of the local language? What facts do you know about the country you are going to?
When you’re on expedition the easiest way to update the blog will be to journal the events of the day. “We woke up in Luang Prabang, then we did a small day walk and had rice and fish for dinner.” Keep in mind that you won’t have access to the internet daily so you may want to keep a few notes the old fashioned way – with a paper and pen, so that when you’re next at an internet café you aren’t stuck trying to remember everything you wanted to say.
When you’re writing, tell your stories like you were talking to someone back home. What highlights would you make sure you tell them? What has been the most surprising thing you’ve come across, or what’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
If you want to get more creative…
Think of a travel quote that you love. How can you apply this quote to your current situation? Ask the other members in your team – they might have a quote to share as well!
If you’re struggling to think of ways to describe your experience, go around your team and ask everyone to describe one thing they have liked from the past couple of days. You’ll be sure to find common themes in what they say and chances are these will be the very things people at home will be interested in also!
If you have a camera and a way to upload photos easily, (this may not be the case on every expedition) then you could post a photo journal. Make sure you have everyone’s permission before posting photos of the team though!
Another strategy could be to focus on one particular part of your experience. Who have you met on the project site? How does their life compare to your own? Or; what food have you tried today that is different to what you would eat back home?
It’s important that you write for your audience, but always be respectful of your teammates and don’t share any personal details or stories about them. Your Teacher and Expedition Leader will be there to proof-read your post before it goes live.
In the end, whatever you choose to write about you’ll be able to give your family and friends a glimpse of the journey you’re on. Of course you won’t be able to tell them everything on your blog – there will still be plenty of stories to tell when you get home!
If you’d like to see a sample blog put together using the blogging platform you can check out this example: http://wcexample2015.blogspot.com.au/
The full list of resources and How-To guides can be found here: https://www.myworldchallenge.com/au-events-blog/Setup