A Unique Travel Blog: Nerd's Eye View

by Bert Maxwell /
Bert Maxwell's picture
Aug 03, 2008 / 0 comments

As publisher of WanderingEducators, I am always on the web, searching for new and creative travel things to tell our readers about. One of the most unique travel blogs I've ever seen is published by Pam Mandel, and is called Nerd's Eye View. Pam is responsible for starting a new forum for travel bloggers, available through her site, as well. There are so many resourceson the internet for travel, but I really feel that this site is unique and fun! I was lucky enough to sit down and chat with Pam. Let's see what she had to say...


WE: Please tell us about your travel site, Nerds Eye View...

PM: Nerd's Eye View is primarily a narrative or story-telling site with a primary focus on travel, though I do, from time to time, write about food, local events and activities. I also write reviews of travel related books and products. I also post a lot of photography - I have to share credit for that with my husband, who has a fine eye.

What led you to start this site?

PM: I was living in Austria and expat life was both full of stories and very lonely. I have always written lots of letters and postcards and taken lots of pictures, blogging seemed like a natural next step. Starting a blog allowed me to publish my own stories and pictures while communicating with my friends back home and people in similar situations.



WE: What sorts of resources are available on your site

PM: I've just added a travelbloggers forum - it's a great place to trade ideas and discuss issues about travelblogging - how to get started, how to keep your site going, technical issues, photography... it's brand new, surprisingly lively, and has attracted all kinds of travelbloggers, from those just starting to those who are quite successful. It's just getting started so now is a great time to join because new ideas are helping shape how the community grows.

The rest of my site is mostly personal experience and while I don't know that I'd go so far as to call them resources, there are stories about what it's really like to live abroad, the truth about writing and photography for guidebook work, and a lot of descriptive writing about places -with pictures, and plenty of them.

What is your travel background and philosophy?

PM: When we were all little, my parents would load us in the back of the Buick Station Wagon and haul us all over the highways of California - to the beach, to Disneyland - it was all of us and often someone else's kids as well, cruising through the grass covered hills of California's central valley under a harvest moon... I guess that's how it started. I was an exchange student at 16 and after that, I was pretty much spoiled for staying put. I had my 18th birthday on a kibbutz in Israel, I crossed the Himalayas in tennis shoes not long after that, I drove all over southwestern Europe in a borrowed Citroen 2CV after graduating college, I met my husband at the campground at Ayers Rock, and recently, I lived out a life long dream by visiting Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I don't know that I'd say it's my travel background, it's my travel foreground, really. I do stay at home and work, a lot, but I only do it so I can again go traveling.

I don't know that I have a developed philosophy, really, but I can say that I am a glacially slow traveler and I think the idea of slow travel is right on. I am much more satisfied when I spend a week in one unknown place than I am spending that week seeing seven popular sites. Don't get me wrong, I want to see the popular sites too, but it takes me a very long time to absorb them so I would rather be nowhere slow than everywhere fast. Make sense? I try to talk to locals, I always find it valuable when I break my shyness and have a real conversation, but I'm also supremely content as an observer.

I don't buy into the tourist/traveler divide that is so popular. I applaud everyone who makes the effort to get outside of their own country. The white sneakers and rolling suitcase crowd gets a lot of heat and I don't think that's fair - everyone has their own threshold for adventure and who knows what it took for that loud couple in the airport lounge to make travel a priority? I do think that everyone should travel, every single person, because you learn so much from even the smallest change of scenery. Getting out of the country makes us better citizens of the planet.



WE: There are so many travel websites. What makes your site unique?

PM: There are a lot, aren't there? Forgive, for a moment, the vanity. As a writer, I'm devoted to narrative and presenting a true sense of place - I think I do a better than average job of that. I also think our photographs are just great, really great, sometimes I can't believe they're ours. I started the travelbloggers forum because yes, there are many forums about blogging and many more about travel, but none that I've found that focus on travelbloggers - that's unique, too.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

PM: If any of your readers are in Seattle in September, I'm on a panel about women's travel at the Adventure Travel Show. Exciting stuff and a great panel, the other participants are terrific - and I've got a code for free passes. Here's a link for more information:


Also, if you're in an airport just about anywhere on the planet and you see a dark-haired woman playing a little orange ukulele, quietly, to herself, that's me. I travel with my uke almost everywhere I go. I'm not very good, I have terrible stage fright, but it keeps me entertained while I'm hanging out waiting for flights, or I've run out of reading material, or I'm in my hotel room too tapped out to sleep. Come say hello.

Thanks so much, Pam! I've truly enjoyed both your Nerd's Eye View blog, and the travel bloggers forum. I will always remember a post from your blog, on the beach with the gorgeous sunshine bathing the photos in a golden glow. You've got the eye!

To check out Pam's travel blog, please see: http://www.nerdseyeview.com


Pam Mandel